Michigan civil rights attorney

Dana Nessel honored

Criminal defense attorney and civil rights icon, Dana Nessel, will be recognized next week by Wayne State University’ Law School.  At the annual Treasure of Detroit ceremony, Ms. Nessel will be recognized with several other promenent members of Detroit’s legal community who have made significant contributions to the practice of law

As a graduate of Wayne Law’s class of 1994, Ms. Nessel began her career with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office, where she  served in several specialized units. During her tenure Dana Nessel successfully prosecuted dozens of murder cases, specialized in “shaken baby” cases, and prosecuted major auto theft and chop shop rings, to name only a few of her areas of practice.

2005, Dana Nessel left the prosecutor’s office to enter the world of private practice, where she has become renowned as a staunch defender of constitutional rights. In her criminal practice, Ms. Nessel has vigorously defended hundreds of criminal cases, from petty theft to first degree murder. Dana Nessel’s extensive knowledge of the law and her personal experience with the judges, prosecutors and police officers in the area makes her ideally suited to best advise her clients on their concerns, and to know how to approach their cases. As a result, she is able to achieve results unmatched by most attorneys’ practicing in the area, making her one of the top criminal defense attorneys in Michigan.

While Ms. Nessel’s practice has a heavy emphasis on criminal defense, she also handles civil rights actions, family law matters, and general tort litigation. Ms. Nessel is recognized as one of the premier litigators of LGBT issues in Michigan. In 2010, Ms. Nessel brought the matter of Harmon v. Davis, in which a Michigan court, for the first time, held that a non-biological parent in a same-sex couple could establish custodial rights to the couple’s children. Ms. Nessel also successfully petitioned for the first second-parent adoptions for same-sex couples in Oakland and Wayne Counties. She has defended and acquired exonerations for scores of defendants wrongly targeted for prosecution based on sexual orientation and has represented various clients terminated from employment based upon sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2012, she spearheaded the precedent-setting case, DeBoer v. Snyder, which challenged the bans on adoption and marriage for same-sex couples in Michigan. Deboer was later consolidated with its affiliated Sixth Circuit cases into Obergefell v. Hodges in the United States Supreme Court. This landmark case legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. In 2014, Ms. Nessel, along with her co-counsel on DeBoer, was honored with the “Champion of Justice” award by the Michigan State Bar Association. In 2015, she was designated as “Woman of the Year” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Ms. Nessel is also an officer for Fair Michigan, an organization dedicated to the equal protection of women and LGBT residents under the Michigan Constitution.

Here is a link for information regarding the Treasure of Detroit ceremony.

Online Scam Targets LGBT Community

Members of the LGBT community have often found themselves the targets of crime.  Unfortunately, with the advent of technology, the range of these crimes has significantly broadened.  Recently, a number of gay men have become the focus of a blackmail scam.

These men would meet other gay men online and then engaged in consensual sexual acts.  However, almost immediately afterwards, these men would be contacted by a third party who would tell them that the person with whom they just engaged in consensual sexual acts with was a minor.  In Michigan, statutory rape is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.  The third party would then tell these men that he would report them unless they paid him off.  Sometimes the payment was a few hundred dollars, but in other instances the payment would be upwards of $70,000.00. 

Many of these men contacted Dana Nessel, of Nessel and Kessel Law and founder of Fair Michigan, a nationally known civil rights attorney.  Ms. Nessel advised these men to contact the police because it was clear that they had been targeted by a scam artist.  Thankfully some of the men did and one man has been taken into custody. 

 

Here is a link to a story done by Channel 7 WXYZ, in which Michigan LGBT attorney Dana Nessel spoke about the matter.