Pre-judging is a service that I offer which can improve your pleadings and briefs. A good pleading or brief is one of the most important tools in an attorney’s toolbox. Based solely on the briefs and pleadings, law clerks draft bench memoranda and judges often decide a case long before oral argument. In close cases, briefs are often reviewed again after oral argument when judges are drafting their decision. A clear and persuasive pleading or brief is more important than even the most inspired oral argument. A well drafted pleading or brief is the best way to make an impact on the court.
While the personality and philosophy of a judge effects their approach to decision making, every judge is taught certain techniques about how to review pleadings and briefs. After 27 years on the bench, I can offer assistance and guidelines, as well as a number of practical pointers to help you improve your pleadings and briefs from the perspective of the bench.
There is no “Consumer Reports” that explains how to find a good attorney. So when you have a legal problem and need a lawyer, it can be difficult to know who to contact. After 27 years as a judge, I know which attorneys are the best in the State of Michigan and who has the experience to help you. I can refer you to an attorney who specializes in the area of law that you need.
This service is free for you. The only fee you pay will be to the attorney for their services. I will arrange to have the lawyer reimburse me for my time without cost to you.
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I am a judicial educator who has presented both in the United States and around the world. My presentations include topics ranging from procedural fairness in drug treatment courts to the elements of negligent entrustment.
Among other entities I have presented for American University (AU), the National Judicial College (NJC), The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), the American Judges Association (AJA), the American Bar Association (ABA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the National Association of Court Managers (NACM).
As a result of my activities, the American Judges Association presented me with its highest award for judicial education.
Judge MacKenzie (Ret.) has written and lectured throughout the country on issues including:
He is the co-editor of the book Michigan Criminal Procedure. His most recent article is Extrajudicial Speech: Judicial Ethics in the New Media Age published by the Reynolds Courts & Media Law Journal.