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Tecumseh Law

Tecumseh Law

Tecumseh Law

It might be one of the most misunderstood professions. Our ideas of lawyers are shaped through TV and big screen courtroom dramas. Yet, the reality is vastly different. We asked three Tecumseh lawyers to share their thoughts on practicing law, common misconceptions about their profession, and about their proudest moments.

DAVID STIMPSON
Why did you choose to be a lawyer? What attracted you to this career?
As a lawyer in a small town you are the reference point for people in the community. I chose to be a lawyer to serve the public and help people, particularly those who are being bullied and unable to defend themselves.

What type of law do you practice? Why did you choose these types of law?
The types of law my practice focuses on are Probate, Estate Planning, and Family Law. I am interested in helping people through difficult times, planning to avoid unnecessary court proceedings, planning for loved ones and, protecting people's rights.

Where did you attend law school?
I attended the University of Toledo College of Law.

Finish this sentence: Being a lawyer isn't just about knowing the law, it is also about…
understanding your clients' needs and providing access to the legal system for people in your community.

If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with your extra time?
I would spend time with my wife and four daughters. We enjoy traveling together and doing outdoor activities like swimming, fishing, and hiking.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about lawyers? What do you wish people knew?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that lawyers like to argue and cause conflict. An important quality that good lawyers have is deescalating conflicts and helping to find resolutions.

Why did you choose to live and practice in the Tecumseh area?
I grew up in the small town of Chelsea and wanted to raise my family in a small town. I enjoy working in a community where we as small business owners know of other quality professionals that can assist our clients.

If community involvement is an important aspect in your life, tell us what you do and why you are passionate about it.
I am very involved with the local community. I have been a county commissioner in Lenawee County for 14 years, and served on many boards and committees. I am also a member of the Tri-County Community Action Agency. My firm has provided free estate planning services for veterans during November for the past two years and intends to do so again this year. I am also part of the Tecumseh Downtown Development Authority and am passionate about seeing local businesses succeed.

Tell us about a case on which you were extremely proud to have worked.
I am very proud of our Wills for Warriors project that we do during the month of November where we provide free estate planning services to all local veterans. We have had the pleasure of meeting veterans who served during many different foreign conflicts including WWII through the most recent conflicts in the middle east.

Is there a certain law that you'd like to see changed? If so, why?
I disagree with certain applications of eminent domain when the government uses the doctrine to take lands from private citizens. Specifically, the Supreme Court's interpretation in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), in which the court ruled that the public use requirement for eminent domain is satisfied even when land taken by the government is inaccessible for use by the general public.

KATHRYN MOHR
Why did you choose to be a lawyer? What attracted you to this career?
I chose to be a lawyer because it was a profession that is governed by ethics and combines my love of the study of law, writing, public speaking, and most importantly, helping people. What attracted me to this career? I am not sure what attracted me, but I knew I wanted to be a lawyer in junior high school.

What type of law do you practice? Why did you choose these types of law?
I practice estate planning, probate, real estate, business and farm succession planning, and commercial transactions. This was a natural choice given my agricultural background and my personal family business matters. My husband and I and our children own Mark Prielipp Greenhouse & Mohr.

Where did you attend law school?
University of Toledo College of Law

Finish this sentence: Being a lawyer isn't just about knowing the law, it is also about…
being empathetic, sympathetic and passionate about what concerns my clients.

If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with your extra time?
I would work more.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about lawyers? What do you wish people knew?
The biggest misconception about lawyers is unfortunately sometimes people perceive lawyers as “hired bullies.” This is not the role that we as professionals play in resolving disputes for assisting clients.

Why did you choose to live and practice in the Tecumseh area?
Our law firm is based in Toledo, Ohio which I have been a part of since 1986 where I clerked. Several of my Michigan-based partners and I brought the firm to Monroe and Lenawee Counties. I was born in Onsted and moved to the Britton area when I married my husband Mark Prielipp.

If community involvement is an important aspect in your life, tell us what you do and why you are passionate about it?
I have served on many charitable and community boards and I believe it is an important function in our profession to give back to the community. I am very proud that I have served on the Adrian College Board of Trustees for over 22 years and have been the only woman chairperson of that Board.

Tell us about a case on which you were extremely proud to have worked.
I was contacted by a client to do a private adoption, of which I had not had previous experience. Bringing the child and adoptive parents together was one of the most rewarding experiences that I've ever had.

Is there a certain law that you'd like to see changed? If so, why?
I would like the elimination of federal estate taxes so that it would never be an issue in farm or business succession planning.

CHUCK GROSS
Why did you choose to be a lawyer? What attracted you to this career?
I thought it would be interesting and a chance to help others. Both have been true.

What type of law do you practice?
I have a general practice, primarily real estate, estate planning, probate and civil litigation.

Where did you attend law school?
University of Detroit (now Detroit Mercy).

Finish this sentence: Being a lawyer isn't just about knowing the law, it is also about…
listening to people and knowing the most effective way to help them.

If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with your extra time?
I would read books, travel, ride my bike, and play tennis.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about lawyers? What do you wish people knew?
The biggest misconception is that we are all getting rich. I'm self employed so I need to purchase my own insurance, fund my retirement, and make enough for overhead before I get paid. It works for me, but many attorneys are not as fortunate.

Why did you choose to live and practice in the Tecumseh area?
I grew up in Adrian and like small towns. I had an opportunity to join an attorney in Tecumseh (Henry Newlin) with an established practice.

If community involvement is an important aspect in your life, tell us what you do and why you are passionate about it.
One of the great things about a smaller community is the opportunity to get involved and try to make a difference. I have been fortunate to be involved in various boards of directors such as the Hope Center, Herrick and Bixby Hospitals, Lenawee Community Foundation, Stubnitz Foundation, Goodwill, Tecumseh Recreation Board, Kiwanis, Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce, and others. I like to think my involvement has made a difference.

Tell us about a case on which you were extremely proud to have worked.
I represented a group of local homeowners whose property was contaminated by Tecumseh Products. We changed the law in Michigan by getting the courts to agree to compensate people whose property values were affected, even though they were not directly exposed.


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