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CDAM Faculty

Below are photos and bios of the hands-on training faculty for Trial College, Evidence Boot Camp, Skills Training 101, and A is For Attorney. We are showcasing this extraordinary group of attorneys who work so hard for CDAM to train, mentor, and share their expertise with other lawyers throughout Michigan.

Josh Blanchard is a partner at Blanchard Law.  From their offices in Greenville, Michigan, Josh and his colleagues defend cases in state and federal courts around the country. A graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, Josh is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Michigan Association for Justice, State Bar District Committee on Character and Fitness and serves on the Board of Directors for the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. He was the chair of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar in 2018-2019.

Contact Information: 
Josh Blanchard
Trial Lawyer
(616) 773-2945
(616) 328-6501 (fax)

Keeley D. Blanchard is a criminal defense attorney in private practice at Blanchard Law in Greenville, Michigan. Keeley has been a faculty member of the Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming since 2015, and is also on teaching faculty for CDAM's Trial College and Evidence Boot Camp programs. Additionally, Keeley is the project manager and teaching faculty for the MIDC's grant-funded trial skills simulation program, which provides free training to public defenders. 

Contact Information:
Keeley D. Blanchard
Blanchard Law
309 S. Lafayette St., Ste. 208
P.O. Box 938
Greenville, MI 48838
Office: (616) 773-2945
Cell: (616) 401-0984
Fax: (616) 328-6501
Email: keeley@blanchard.law
Website: https://blanchard.law/ 

Thomas W. Cranmer  is a member of the law firm of Miller Canfield practicing both criminal and civil litigation.  He is a former Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor and a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.  He is also a past President of the State Bar of Michigan. 

Contact Information:
Phone: (248) 267-3381
Email: cranmer@millercanfield.com

Tiffany DeBruin was licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan in 2011 after practicing in Ohio for 5 years. Since 2011 she has been a solo practitioner in East Lansing concentrating primarily in criminal defense; however, her other areas of practice include family law and divorce, and basic estate planning. Tiffany is a MAACS roster attorney, CDAM trial college graduate, member of the Criminal Law and Family Law Sections, member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, 2019 Clinton County Bar Association President and has a passion for criminal defense.

Contact Information:
DeBruin Law, PLLC
221 W Lake Lansing Rd., Suite 200
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: 517-324-4303
Facsimile: 517-586-3943
Email: tdebruin@debruinlegal.com

Christopher Dennie

Contact Information:

Lynn B. D'Orio

Contact Information:

Bernard A. Jocuns  is a Lapeer attorney, the current president of the Lapeer County Bar Association, and is an active member of the following organizations: (Inaugural Chairperson) Marijuana Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (Board Member), Michigan Association for Justice, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (lifetime member), National Lawyers Guild, American Association for Justice, Justice Caucus Michigan Democratic Party (Board Member), (Chairperson) Lapeer Zoning Board of Appeals, Lapeer County Criminal Defense Bar Association (founding member & President), , American Legion (lifetime member) & NORML Legal Committee (lifetime member).

Bernard is also Editor & Author of the Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana in Michigan (Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company) to be released June 2019 & is the Host of the Podcast the Bernard Jocuns Holy Happy Hour.

Contact Information:

Pamela I. Johnson graduated from University of Detroit Mercy Law School in 2000. She served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Oakland County from 2001 to 2007. She has been in private practice specializing in criminal defense since that time. She has been a CJA Panel Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan since 2016. Pam has conducted over 150 criminal jury trials. She is a member of the SBM Criminal Law Section, Oakland County Bar Association, and CDAM.

Contact Information:


Joshua Karton, president of Communication Arts, specializes in the application of the communication techniques of theatre/film/television to the art of trial advocacy. Television writing and acting credits range from Forever Fernwood to Beverly Hills 90210. Having trained as an actor at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, he returned there to teach after writing/directing the film and video exhibits of Theatrical Evolution, winner of the New York Drama Desk Award. His acting students there and at USC’s School of Theatre include the recipients of Oscars™ and Emmys™. He serves on the faculties and develops curriculum for AAJ's Ultimate Course, the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer's College, NITA, the JAG Corps, ABA, NACDL, National Criminal Defense College, Loyola and California Western Schools of Law, numerous state t.l.a.’s and criminal defense associations, as well as maintaining a professional practice of individual case consultation and witness preparation. His thirty years of work in this field culminated in his preparation of the winning oral argument to the United States Supreme Court in Hamdan v Rumsfeld. He is the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Advocacy from Stetson University College of Law’s Center for Excellence in Advocacy.

Contact Information: 
Joshua Karton
3014 Fourth St., Apt. A-10
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Phone: 310-392-7558
Email: karton@earthlink.net

Lisa Kirsch Satawa is a criminal and family law attorney specializing in consulting and defending allegations of child sexual assault and child abuse. Her multistate practice includes trials, consultation, pre-charge investigation, educational advocacy, training and appeals. Ms. Kirsch Satawa has a unique multidisciplinary practice where she incorporates specialized knowledge of linguistics, forensic interviewing, childhood development, psychology and the law. Lisa is also faculty for CDAM’s Trial College and a frequent presenter at CDAM conferences and other law-related organizations throughout the country.

Contact Information: 

Barbara A. Klimaszewski  is a graduate of Oakland University and the University of Michigan Law School. Since January 2016, Barb has been the Regional Manager for the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) for mid-Michigan. She practiced in Saginaw from 1976 to 2015 in the firm of Klimaszewski & Street. She specialized in criminal defense and family law. Barb often lectures at CDAM conferences, most recently in the Fall of 2013 where she presented on the specifics of cell phone location and common fallacies of the testimony offered by police experts in cases involving cell phone evidence. Barb serves as faculty and presenter at CDAM’s Trial College and often facilitates CDAM Spring and Fall Conference Trial College Small Group Break-Out Sessions, a hands-on practice session designed to help Trial College graduates practice strategies and techniques. Barb is a certified senior citizen whose interests include gardening, crochet and jury selection.

Contact Information:

Elizabeth A. LaCosse graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1991. She is currently the assistant Federal Defender for the Northern Division of the Western District of Michigan. She is a 14-year CDAM member and has served on CDAM’s Board of Directors as a director, secretary, vice-president, and is the current  President.  Beth has also been a Trial College faculty member since 2011, has presented for CDAM, the State Bar of Michigan, ICLE and the Hillman Federal Trial training program.   

Contact Information:

Brian M. Legghio He began his career as Assistant Legal Counsel to the Director of the U. S. Secret Service in Washington D.C. He then returned to Detroit and was a Federal Prosecutor in the Controlled Substance Unit and General Crimes unit. He has been in private practice since 1988, specializing in his practice in Federal and State criminal defense and plaintiff’s Federal civil rights litigation.

Contact Information:
Brian M. Legghio
Law Offices of Brian M. Legghio
645 Griswold St. Ste. 2200
Detroit, MI 48226
p: 313-466-8300
f: 313-466-8301

Thomas M. Loeb has been licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan since 1976.  He has worked for the Detroit Defender's Office trying felony cases and as an associate for a law firm. He has been a sole practitioner since 1982 concentrating in the areas of criminal defense; plaintiff’s federal civil rights litigation; professional responsibility and grievance defense; and, family law and divorce. 

Tom has been a faculty member of the Detroit/Wayne County Criminal Advocacy Program (CAP) since its inception and has served on its Board of Directors for the last 25 years. He has also has lectured extensively to both lawyers and police officers for the Michigan’s Institute For Continuing Legal Education (ICLE); Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ); and the Macomb County Criminal Justice Training Center.  Tom has also served as faculty for the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan annual conferences and the annual Trial Practice College.  Tom is a member of the Criminal Law and Family Law Sections of the State Bar of Michigan, MTLA, NACDL, CDAM, and NORML.

Contact Information: 
Thomas M. Loeb
Law Offices of Thomas M. Loeb
32000 Northwestern Highway., Ste 170
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Phone: 248-851-2020
Email: tmloeb@mich.com

Patricia A. Maceroni

Contact Information:

Victor Mansour focuses his work on criminal defense in Federal and State court throughout Michigan. He serves as faculty for Trial College and was elected to CDAM’s Board of Directors. Victor was named a Top Attorney in Criminal Defense and OWI Defense by dBuisness magazine and named a SuperLawyer Rising Star 2015 – 2018 and in 2019 named a SuperLawyer.

Contact Information
Victor Mansour
32121 Woodward Ave, Suite PH
Royal Oak, MI 48073
248.579.9800 Call/Text
248.575.4470 Fax

Harry Mihas teaches our Evidence Boot Camps throughout the state.  He is a 18-year veteran in state and federal court, and uses his skills and experience to defend his clients both with passion and a solid base of knowledge in the evidentiary rules and supporting case law.  His career has spanned each side of the courtroom as a former state prosecutor, a judicial attorney to federal judges in the Eastern District of Michigan and the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and his current work as a partner at Smith Mihas PLLC where he defends clients  throughout the state of Michigan, the Eastern District of Michigan, and the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  

Contact Information
Smith Mihas PLLC
Haralambos Mihas, MA, JD
467 Eureka Road, Suite 1
Wyandotte, Michigan 48192
Telephone:  (734) 692-3033
Fax:  (734) 692-3535
Email: hdmihas@smithmihas.com
Website: www.smithmihas.com

James F. Piazza  is licensed in Michigan, New York, and various Federal Courts. He has handled over 500 Felony Jury Trial in a 40 year career. He began at the Kent County Defenders Office and Detroit Defenders Office and continued on to the Saginaw County Prosecutors office. He recently left private practice, after close to 20 years with offices in Saginaw and Flint, to assist in developing the Defenders Office in Saginaw County. 

Contact Information:
Phone: (989) 928-2786
E-mail jfpia@aol.com.

Stephen T. Rabaut is a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He was the 2008 recipient of the Leonard R. Gilman Award from the Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan which is awarded to an outstanding practitioner of criminal law. Rabaut is currently serving on the Michigan Supreme Court Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions.

Contact Information
Stephen T. Rabaut
16931 19 Mile Rd., Ste. 100
Clinton Township, Michigan 48038
Telephone: (586) 263-1600
Website: www.stephenrabaut.com

Margaret Sind Raben

Contact Information:

Mitchell Ribitwer graduated from Detroit College of Law in 1976 after receiving his B.A. from Wayne State University in 1971. He served as an Oakland County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney from 1976-1981. In 1981, he went into private practice with Jerome Sabbota and formed Ribitwer & Sabbota LLP representing clients on felony cases throughout Michigan with focus on Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Ingham and Lapeer counties. Mitch has conducted more than three hundred jury trial and is a guest speaker and legal analyst for local, state-wide, and national media. Mitch maintains professional memberships, including, but not limited to CDAM, Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA), National Association for Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL), National District Attorneys Association, and SBM Criminal Law Section. He is also admitted to practice in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan and U.S. District Court, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mitch is a regular lecturer and facilitator for CDAM’s Advanced Criminal Trial College. In 2009, Mitch was honored with CDAM’s Right to Counsel Award.

Contact Information:

Marjorie Russell is one of the founders of the CDAM Trial College, retired law professor, and criminal defense lawyer. She is now a case development, jury and trial consultant for plaintiffs in civil claims of all kinds, as well as for the accused in multi-defendant federal prosecutions, including death penalty, murder and white collar crimes; and in state court capital and life felonies, and claims of sexual assault and abuse. Whether in active cases or in continuing education seminars, Marjorie’s perspective on case and trial preparation employs a blend of action methods, storytelling techniques, brain science, and a good dose of humanity. She is a specialist at finding the story, values and connections that move jurors to action. Once discovered, Marjorie can guide the lawyer and witnesses in presenting their story in a compelling and memorable form. She has been active on the staff of the Trial Lawyers College founded by Gerry Spence and others, since 1996. Many of her techniques have been honed in the amazing laboratory of the TLC, for which she is grateful.

Contact Information:
Marjorie P. Russell
MARJury Consulting
529 W. Ash
Mason, MI 48854
517 819 0812 marjury4justice@gmail.com

Jerome Sabbota received his B.A. from Wayne State University in 1971 and graduated from Detroit College of Law in 1976. He served as an Oakland County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Major Crimes Division, from 1976-1981. In 1981, he went into private practice with Mitch Ribitwer and formed Ribitwer & Sabbota LLP. In 1991, he graduated from National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia. The firm specializes in felony cases such as homicide, sexual assault, rape, murder, domestic violence, drug cases, and white collar crimes. Jerry has tried hundreds of major felony cases and vertical prosecutions in state and federal court including complex Rico trials. He is frequent lecturer for CDAM, the State Bar of Michigan, Oakland County Bar Association, and other law-related organizations. Jerry is a regular lecturer and facilitator for CDAM’s Advanced Criminal Trial College. He is a member of CDAM, Oakland County Bar Association (OCB), National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and National District Attorneys Association, among others. He is a frequent guest speaker and legal analyst to local and national media. In 1971, Jerry received the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney’s Distinguished Service Award, and in 2009, he received CDAM’s Right to Counsel Award.

Contact Information: 
Jerome  Sabbota
Ribitwer & Sabbota LLP
26862 Woodward Ave., Unit 200, Royal Oak, MI 48067

James R. Samuels has been training criminal practitioners for over 30 years.  He was a faculty member of the first CDAM Trial College and has presented at numerous training conferences over the years. He recently attended the Gideons Promise Train the Trainers event at the request of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission. He is a past president of CDAM. When asked to provide his bio, Jim wrote, “He was born prematurely and nearly died. This past summer, he was stung by a bee and nearly died.  We don't know why he is still alive but be glad he is cuz he knows some pretty cool s*** and plans on sharing it with you."

Contact Information: 

Glenn M. Simmington is a nationally recognized criminal defense lawyer who has devoted his nearly forty-year career in ensuring “justice for all.”

Glenn was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1952 and graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 1978. Glenn earned his law degree from Wayne State University in 1981.

Glenn has earned the reputation as a fighter who takes on the toughest cases. He is widely known as an expert in constitutional law and requires that the government adhere to the highest principles when prosecuting a case.

Glenn is highly respected by judges, law enforcement, and fellow lawyers. He was awarded the Jerome F. O’Rourke Advocacy Award by the Genesee County Bar Association in 2015. This award acknowledges a lawyer who has demonstrated the highest level of professional excellence in advocacy, professionalism, ethics, and civility.

Glenn has been named the Super Lawyer by his peers for his courtroom abilities and integrity. Glenn has been a strong advocate for the criminal defense bar and has been a regular faculty member for continuing education for the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. Glenn is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Genesee County Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Glenn Simmington maintains a general and appellate practice, in both State and Federal Courts and handles cases involving fraud and abuse, investigation, professional liability defense, civil rights litigation and criminal defense in Flint, Michigan and surrounding areas.

Contact Information:
Law Office of Glenn M. Simmington, PLLC
Glenn M. Simmington
503 S. Saginaw St., Ste. 1000
Flint, MI 48502
(810) 600-4211 (direct)
(810) 232-1079  (Fax)

Charlotte Steffen has been practicing law for 20 years.  She began her career at the Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit, representing indigent defendants charged with felonies in Wayne County. She went into private practice in 2002 and continued helping those in need. Charlotte is currently the Senior Associate Attorney for the Law Offices of Barton Morris and focuses on criminal defense and driver license restorations.

Charlotte has worked as an adjunct law professor at the Detroit Mercy Law School in the Criminal Trial Clinic. She supervised student attorneys and lectured on criminal law, drunk driving and driver license issues. She is faculty of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan in which she helps train lawyers to become trial lawyers. She is also faculty for the Michigan Indigent Defense Counsel Trial Skills Simulation Program which provides free training to public defenders.

Charlotte is a graduate of the prestigious Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College, the Detroit Mercy School of Law and the University of Michigan. She scored exceptionally high on the bar examination. Charlotte is a single mother to two daughters and enjoys the great outdoors and volunteering at church.

Contact Information:

Michael L. Steinberg  is a Capital  Criminal Defense, Juvenile and CPS Cases attorney with Offices in Royal Oak and Mt Clemens.  He is a CDAM member since 1991. Mike serves on the Education Committee 1993-present,  board of Directors 2002-present, and as faculty for Evidence Bootcamp I and II since 2017.

Contact Information: 
(248) 321-1801

Marshall S. Tauber received his Bachelors Degree in Communication Arts & Science from Michigan State University in 1976, and his J.D. from Detroit College of Law in 1981.  After stints with a few small Detroit area law firms and contractual work with the State Appellate Defender Office, Marshall opened his own law office in Oakland County in 1983.  Initially concentrating on criminal defense and general civil litigation, Marshall’s primary practice has gradually gravitated into criminal defense at the trial level. In 1992 Marshall was elected to the Board of Directors of CDAM and served on CDAM’s Executive Board beginning in 1995.  From 2003, the year that this Trial College was commenced, through 2005, Marshall served as President of CDAM. He also remains an active member of CDAM’s Education Committee, (for 10 years) and, has been a very proud member of the Criminal Defense Trial College faculty since 2008. Additionally, he served as the 1995-96 Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association and as an active member of that association’s Public Advisory Committee on Judicial Candidates from 1998 through 2002. Marshall continues to try criminal cases throughout Southeast Michigan and other locations throughout the state.  Outside of work, Marshall has been coaching basketball and softball for Team Huron Valley Special Olympics since 2010. 

Contact Information: 
Marshall S. Tauber
Law Office of Marshall S. Tauber 
39520 Woodward Ave., Ste. 230 
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Phone: 248-723-5551

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