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When I was in my twenties, all I wanted to do was be a trial lawyer. I spent my days and nights, thinking of ways to better my craft, my trade … what I considered my art form. I studied it and thought about it. I read about it. It consumed me. All that hard work paid off and I became one of the more recognized and accomplished trial lawyers around.
Fast forward several years to now and while I am still a trial lawyer and it still consumes me, I am a parent of three children: two of whom are teenagers. Where are the books, guides, journals and other materials that I can study to help me perfect this trade? I am laughing out loud as I type this for I know the answer. There are no guides and this craft, parenting, cannot be perfected. I hope that I am doing a good job.
In Yiddush, the language spoken by generations of Jews, of which I am proud to say I am, the word for grandmother is “Bubie” or “Bubbie” (phonetically, “Boo – Bee” or “Bubb – ee”). My children call my mom “Bubie”. My father refers to my mother as nothing else now that they have grandchildren. For the word means something more…I called my father’s mother, “Bubie”. Geraldine King Rochkind, of blessed memory, died 20 years ago this weekend. She is my Bubie. The feelings of remorse and regret, the ones that try to swallow away, fill my throat. I keep trying to swallow them down and away…it doesn’t work. My father says that I was the last person that she spoke to before she died. 20 years – – she has missed much. We have missed her more.
Rest in peace, Bubie . . . you’d be proud to see how well your little family has done.
I’ll write more about this after my experience ends but I NOW understand the meaning of going on vacation and “recharging the batteries”. Contrary to my earlier thoughts, it does not mean going on vacation and resting. It does not mean relaxing. I never really understood it until now . . . on this trip, after a year battling the “powers the be” and experiencing what it means to be the top dog (all other dogs line up to challenge the top dog), I was beat. I felt disconnected and distant. A servant to my work and profession but a stranger in my home. In the moment, while fighting out court cases, there is/was no way to end that cycle or trend. This trip did that for me.
I spent every second with my children, wife and when they returned from their mini trip, my parents. My family, the ROCKIND’s, spent time together. Quality time. Bonding time.
My batteries are re-charged. I feel love, light and connected. I feel plugged in. Just what you do to charge your batteries.
Much was written about Joseph Casias and his shortened tenure at Wal-Mart, Inc. Casias, an employee of the year winner and an honored and respected member of the Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. corporate family was diagnosed with cancer and was forced to take some time off of work. When he was scheduled to return to work, he was required to take a drug test. He volunteered that he was going to test positive for marijuana or THC — after all, he was a medical marijuana patient. He might as well have said that he hated Wal-Mart and thought that Sam Walton, the now departed founder of Wal-Mart Stores, was a communist. At least then maybe he would’ve been able to enjoy doing something worth his termination or his firing. That’s what happened to him. Fired. Terminated. Broomed. Pink Slipped. Whatever the phrase, he was canned. He sued claiming a violation of his Michigan Medcal Marijuana rights. I know his suit well. My work on behalf of a subpoenaed party took nearly a week of my life from the beginning to the end. Casias’ suit was dismissed today. The Marijuana Wars continue. They just don’t include Joseph Casias as a party or witness.
Neil Rockind, P.C., led by Neil Rockind, Super Lawyer, dbusiness Top Lawyer and Top 100 Trial Lawyers per the National Trial Lawyers Association, has a extensive Medical Marijuana practice. Some consider our firm of lawyers the Best Lawyers in Michigan in the areas of Criminal Defense and Medical Marijuana cases. For answers to your questions, email our office at email@example.com or call 248.208.3800.
Earlier in the week, I filed a lawsuit on behalf of Christopher Frizzo against the City of Royal Oak. So when we appeared before the Hon. Denise Langford-Morris in the Marijuana Patients vs Bloomfield Township Case on Wednesday, 2.9, before the Hon. Denise Langford-Morris, I had little idea what to expect. The Marijuana Wars to date have been nothing if not interesting and surprising. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is under siege. Local municipalities and counties not accustomed to having their powers curtailed or limited are resisting mightily — picture a choking or gasping swimmer flailing in the water and so desperate to stay above the surface that when the lifeguard comes to save him, he starts to push the lifeguard under water. Government hates to have its powers limited and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does just that (robs government of its powers).
2.9 was round 1: instead of a bikini clad woman holding up a Round 1 placard or sign, co-counsel and I got to see William Hampton, the leader of the municipal powerhouse law firm, Secret Wardle, et al. Hampton is considered part of the old guard in Oakland County . We’ve had other “encounters” but never in court. In fact, I don’t think he’s ever seen me in court — certainly he’s never seen me argue a case. All of these guys have heard the rumors about me — powerful, eloquent, passionate, witty, quick, smooth, gifted, etc. — but they all figure the rumors are overblown, exaggerated or the fawnings of young lawyers. Guys like Hampton usually think,
I’ll handle him.
Uh, no they (you) won’t. The powers that be in state government, etc. may try to bring me down (that comes with the territory of being a target or a public figure) but they’ll never bring me down or handle me in an actual trial courtroom. NEVER. So, when I get up to argue after my co-counsel Tom Loeb and William Hampton, the importance of the moment is not lost on me. I am arguing for Michigan Medical Marijuana patients everywhere. I will not let you down.
Round 1: Bloomfield Township filed a motion to dismiss our Medical Marijuana Lawsuit challenging Bloomfield Township’s ordinance. Is it based on law? No. Are they saying that our client’s suit is not factually just? No. Rather, they argue that our clients, who elected to file this suit in pseudonyms, John Doe and Richard Roe rather than expose their confidential and private names and other information to the police powers, etc., MUST identify themselves in order to have to access to the courts. Forget long-standing precedent, e.g., Roe v Wade, Doe v University of Michigan and others, argues Bloomfield Township — they want to “out” the patients. So we are in court. Bloomfield Township trying to “out” and “intimidate” its residents; Loeb and I to protect the residents. Bloomfield Township to fight the law, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act; Loeb and I to enforce it.
So when we get done arguing, I look at the courtroom and I sense Hampton’s surprise. I imagine him saying to himself
Damn . . . this kid can argue.
There were no knockouts in Round 1 but I wasn’t expecting one. Maybe Hampton or Bloomfield Townshp were but as I said, they know that they are in for a fight. I fight I do not intend to lose.
“Dad, this is the best Super Bowl, isn’t it?”. I looked over at my nine (9) year old son. I smile…and nod, “yes, of course.” He is sitting next to me . . . digging his hands into a bowl of popcorn, smiling. I smile. It is just the two of us, watching the Super Bowl together. Just the guys. Just us boys. Sure I was invited to parties, dinners and gatherings. No doubt those are fun and I appreciate the invitations but I wouldn’t trade anything or places with anyone.
Where Does The Time Go?
Tears stream down my cheeks and that uncomfortable lump grows in my throath, chest. I’m looking at photographs of my children. My wife and I are looking at the photoraphs together. They tell a beautiful story of a young couple who marry and make a nice little, happy life for themselves with their three (3) children. These photos tell the story of my life with my wife and kids. Today I see pictures of a chubby cheeked, always smiling boy with huge, giant curls. I touch the cheeks of the boy in the picture trying to remember those “Kodak” moments. I turn to my wife and she has tears in her eyes. We both do. Where does the time go? He’s older now . . . 9. Yes, he’s still young but he’s older, sassier, more talkative and testing his boundaries. But not tonite. Tonite it was the two of us. The boys. Father and Son. It was the best Super Bowl Sunday ever.