Who are we? We are two well-experienced Oakland County attorneys who are familiar with the qualifications of Jessica Cooper and Michael Bishop, the two candidates running for Oakland County Prosecutor.
Jessica Cooper is a former District judge, Circuit judge, Court of Appeals judge, and a four-year term Oakland prosecutor who supervises a staff of 180 persons, icluding criminal trial lawyers, investigators, legal secretaries, etc. All in a county with a current population of 1.21 million persons.
Michael Bishop is a 12-year Lansing politician who has never tried or prosecuted a felony case. He was term-limited out of office and one of his last acts was an attempt to reverse the term limits law. Thankfully, he failed to do so. He has since been self-employed as a real estate attorney. He did handle some ordinance violations and minor traffic offenses, but that does not make him a prosecuting attorney as those matters are usually settled by payment of a fine, removal of a sign or a plea of guilty to a lesser traffic offense.
The voters should ask themselves, "If I were charged with a serious crime, would I hire Michael Bishop?" If you would not hire him as your attorney, why would you put him in charge of all the trials for all of the felony cases in Oakland County for the next four years?
Francis P. Hughes, Oakland Township
Otis M. Underwood, Oxford
About the authors of this letter
Otis Underwood: I practice law from my office in Oxford. I have actively practiced for 42 years in both District Courts and County Circuit Courts, including Wayne, Lapeer, Oakland, Macomb, Genesee and several other Michigan counties as well as the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court and Federal District Courts in Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio and Georgia. What is the nature of my practice? It is largely civil but I have also tried misdemeanor cases in district courts and at least 50 circuit court felony cases. (A felony is a crime with a two-or-more-year sentence.)
Francis P. Hughes: I am retired after practicing 33 years, including three years in Gaylord, MI and 30 years in Rochester, including 23 years as a partner in Bebout, Potere, Cox, Hughes & O'Mara and seven years as a sole practitioner. I retired in 2000. The nature of my experience was largely civil but I trie eight felony cases. I was briefly an assistant city attorney in Gaylord and an assistant city attorney in Rochester, where I handled both traffic offenses and city ordinance violations. I have practiced in many district courts and county circuit courts, including Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Genesee and 18 other Michigan counties. I also practiced in the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court, Eastern District.
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