'Day of Education'

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The State Bar of Michigan Paralegal and Legal Assistants Section held its Annual Conference and Day of Education on May 31 at The Henry in Dearborn.

Speakers included Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge Amy Ronayne Krause, Genesee Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah, and other prominent Michigan attorneys and professionals.

Topics included rules of evidence, legal writing, the appeals process, ethics rules, skills needed to successfully interview witnesses and clients, stress management, and much more.

The keynote speakers presented the case of client Dennis Tomasik, who spent nine years in prison for a crime he did not commit, and discussed his prison experience, re-trial, and the role of paralegals in an exoneration.
Tomasik, accused in 2006 of sexually assaulting a boy over a two-year period, was released on bond in 2015. He went to trial a second time in Kent County Circuit Court in January 2017. A new defense team, headed by Chartier and Nyamfukudza, assisted by paralegals Lizzy Cary and Kim Thelen, presented witnesses, including 22 not called to testify at his first trial. Tomasik was acquitted in 2017.

Photos by Kim Thelen

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