Award Winning

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Neil Rockind
Biography of a Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

Many words have been used to describe me as a lawyer.  Artist.  Lifesaver.  Gifted.  Animal.  Master.  Emotional.   Hearing those things said about oneself is not easy.  Don’t get me wrong, they are kind words and I appreciate each one of them but they only begin to scratch the surface of my character, my soul, my essence.  There is something deeper in me -- a need to win or die trying.  

I happened upon a portion of a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt that comes closer to describing me and what I feel:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood . . .”

I am a trial lawyer.  A warrior.  Unlike many of my contemporaries, I am in the arena.  While I hate to see the government put a client, his/her family and loved ones in that arena, I relish those moments.   I live for them.  As I’ve said many times before, I was born to do this. 

How did I get here?  How did I become a criminal defense attorney? 

In 1968, the country was in turmoil.  War.  Protests.  The Counterculture.  Citizens were fighting back against the government.  In the midst of this environment, I was born.  From the start, my parents and relatives said that “Neil’s going to be a lawyer.”  I didn’t think much about it then . . . looking back on it now, I know that they saw into my soul -- I would never back down.  I will fight. 

I was born in Detroit, Michigan, graduated from the University of Michigan and returned to Detroit to go to law school (Wayne State University Law School).  After law school, I joined the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.  At one point, the Prosecuting Attorney, referred to me as one of the top five (5) trial lawyers in his office (of 120+ lawyers).  In 1997, I could take prosecuting cases and people no more . . . I resigned and became a criminal defense lawyer.  I have never looked back.  Law and Politics Magazine named me of one of Michigan’s Super Lawyers, an honor bestowed on only 5% of all criminal defense lawyers, 944 Magazine named me one of Detroit’s Movers and Shakers and dbusiness magazine named me of Detroit’s Top Lawyers.  

But some people still wonder, “how did you get to the forefront of Michigan Medical Marijuana Defense?”    I hate suffering.  I have seen too much of it in my family history.  If medical marijuana provides assistance or relief to anyone suffering from any illness or painful condition, then that person should have access to it.  Period.  The idea of the government interfering in those personal decisions offends me to my core.   

This biography is unconventional, I recognize that.  Its written differently than any other I’ve seen.  But, I’m an unconventional lawyer.  Different than any other I’ve seen or met. 

 I live in the arena, the courtroom.  I fight.

Bar Admissions:

      Michigan, 1993
      U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 1997
      U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 2003
      U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan
      U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2001

Education:

      Wayne State University Law School, Detroit, Michigan, 1993
            Juris Doctor
      University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1990
            Bachelor of General Studies
            Major:  Disciplines - Political Science, Psychology, Sociology

Professional Associations and Memberships:

      Michigan State Bar Association
            Member
      National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
            Member
      Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan
            Member
      Michigan Trial Lawyers Association
            Member
      American Association for Justice
            Member
      State Bar of Michigan, Criminal Defense section
            Member
      Friends of the Israel Defense Force, Board of Directors
      Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Regional Advisory Board 

Past Employment Positions:

      Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, 1993 - 1997

Fraternities/Sororities:

      Alpha Tau Omega

Colin A. Daniels

Colin A. Daniels was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Unlike many attorneys, Colin knew that he wanted to practice law as far back as the fourth grade. When he was nine years old, his Grandmother asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he promptly replied “a lawyer.” Eighteen years later, he is doing what he loves and was born to do: assist people in their struggles against an all-to-often oppressive and unfair criminal justice system.

Colin graduated from Albion College in 2004 with a degree in Political Science and several Dean’s List honors. After completing his undergraduate studies, Colin joined the Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), determined to spend ample time helping those in need. For nearly a year, Colin traveled the Southeastern United States performing community service projects for individuals and organizations in desperate need of help. His work, which was all unpaid and usually consumed between 50-60 hours per week, included building houses with Habitat for Humanity, supervising and conducting controlled burns of overgrown forests, removal of invasive plant species, maintenance of hiking and canoe trails, and tutoring grade school children in math and science. It was during this important period in his life that Colin realized that his heart lay in helping others, and ultimately, in criminal defense.

Immediately following his term in Americorps NCCC, Colin attended The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in Detroit, Michigan. While attending law school, Colin participated in Moot Court and was in the top of his class in his Advanced Legal Writing Seminar. In addition, Colin interned with the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office during his first two years of law school and with a small criminal defense law firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during his final year of law school.

Colin is now admitted to both the State Bar of Michigan and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and is currently employed as a full-time associate at Neil Rockind, P.C. in Southfield, Michigan.

Areas of Practice:

            Criminal Defense

Litigation Percentage:

            100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:

            Michigan, 2008
            U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 2008

Education:

           University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, Michigan
                      Juris Doctor
           Albion College, Albion, Michigan
                      Bachelor of Arts
                      Major: Political Science

Professional Associations and Memberships:

           State Bar of Michigan
                      Member
           Washtenaw County Bar Association
                      Member
           Oakland County Bar Association
                      Member
           American Bar Association
                      Member
           Federal Bar Association Eastern District of Michigan Chapter
                      Member
           State Bar of Michigan, Criminal Section
                      Member

Past Employment Positions:

Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office, Law Clerk, 2006-2009
Simon and Geherin, P.L.L.C, Law Clerk, 2007-2008
Americorps NCCC, Assistant Team Leader, 2004-2005

Jennifer Mellas, Paralegal

Jennifer Mellas is Neil Rockind P.C.’s official Paralegal. Jennifer, who grew up in Livonia, Michigan, began her legal career in 2003 when she started working for a small general-practice law firm as a legal assistant. While working at this firm, she discovered her passion for assisting in the representation of people who are going through some of the worst times of their lives.

In 2006, while attending Oakland Community College, Jennifer began to concentrate her schoolwork in Paralegal Studies. A year later, Jennifer was hired by Neil Rockind, P.C. and in 2008 Jennifer graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland Community College with an Associates in Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies. Her rigorous studies included classes and instruction from several distinguished Judges and Prosecutors in Oakland and Wayne Counties.

Since 2007 Jennifer has been putting her skills to use with Neil Rockind, P.C. Working in a small criminal defense law firm with such an outstanding reputation has allowed Jennifer to work hands-on with thousands of cases and individuals. To say the least, Neil Rockind, P.C. could not run effectively without her. Her paralegal skills are top notch and she prides herself on her ability to stay on top of every case that comes through our door, while providing excellent customer service skills, round-the-clock contact with all of our clients, an engaging and phenomenal writing style, and a fantastic relationship with nearly every court clerk and court employee in the tri-county area. You won’t find a better paralegal to assist in your case.

Areas of Practice:

            Criminal Defense

Education:

            Oakland Community College, Farmington Hills, Michigan
                       Associates in Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies
                       Magna Cum Laude

Professional Associations and Memberships:

           State Bar of Michigan, Paralegal Section
                      Member
           Oakland County Bar Association
                       Member