Monday Profile- Tricia Reiser

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Patricia Reiser is a criminal defense attorney with a private practice in Ann Arbor. Before that, she was a Washtenaw County assistant prosecutor for 17 years. She and her partner, Nader Nassif-- doing business as Model Cities Legal Services--were recently awarded the indigent defense contract for the city of Ann Arbor.

Reiser earned a bachelor's degree in physics from University of Michigan, and a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School. She is the mother of daughter Molly, and is married to Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor John Reiser. The fourth member of their family is their cat, Mr. Kitty.

Residence: Ypsilanti Township.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? I believe in being happy despite circumstances.

What is your greatest fear? Letting my daughter down.

Which living person do you most admire? I admire my mother. When I was growing up, she devoted herself to being a mother, and was always there for me. Also, she always tries to see the good in people, and she never stops trying to learn and grow.

What is the trait you hate most in yourself? Disorganization. Having said that, I believe in "calling things that are not as if they are," so I'm calling myself "organized," and working on that change.

What is the trait you hate most in others? I don't like the word "hate," but I really dislike a judgmental, critical attitude.

If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it? I would either make a library/study or a workout room. The library may sound odd in this digital age, but I still love paper books--I love the feel of the pages, and the smell of paper and ink. On the physical side, it would be so nice to have a room completely devoted to workouts/training. I get very focused when I'm working out, and I don't like to be interrupted, even by my darling daughter and adorable husband.

Currently reading... I just started Khaled Hosseini's new book, "And the Mountains Echoed." I will read anything he writes. I'm also re-reading "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare, in anticipation of the movie coming out later this summer, and "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill.

How do you feel at 8 a.m. on Mondays? I usually feel a little like a drill sergeant because I'm trying to get everyone out the door! Once I arrive where I need to be, I usually feel pretty excited about what the day may have in store.

My mother always told me... that she loves me.

My favorite item of clothing... My running shoes. I rotate brands, but I always have two good pair at any given time. For me, they signify my active nature.

What words or phrases do you overuse? I still say "like" too often.

What is your most treasured material possession? I have a photo book that my daughter made for me for Christmas. She was very proud of it, and very excited to give it to me. It was so sweet to witness this outpouring of love on her part. Also, my great grandmother made me a blanket before I was born. I still have it.

If you could have any car in the world, what would you drive? My practical side is warring with my fun side. I love the Cadillac SRX--it's beautiful, and a great family vehicle. I have, however, always wanted a Corvette.

Where have you been that you will never return--if you can help it? A certain district court, just north of Washtenaw County.

Favorite local hangouts: Starbucks, Zingerman's, Café Zola, Keith Hafner's Karate. Recently, I have come to know and love Frita Batidos, and Literati Bookstore.

Your proudest moment(s) as a lawyer? When I was an assistant prosecutor, I won a murder trial. In this particular case, the defendant killed a homeless man primarily with his bare hands. I came to know the victim's family quite well, and I was proud that justice was done on their behalf.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Working extremely long hours. There are times when we all have to burn the midnight oil, but people who do it consistently do themselves and their families a disservice.

When and where were you happiest? Shortly after coming home from the hospital with my newborn daughter. I remember just being home with my husband and this beautiful baby girl and feeling such an incredible, overwhelming love for them.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Get over it.

Do you have spiritual beliefs? Yes, I am a Christian.

What one thing do you wish people knew about your work? A big motivator for me is helping people get back on track with their lives. A lot of people who end up in the criminal justice system are decent folks who made a mistake. I spend a lot of time with most clients building rapport, as well as talking about their case, in order to help them resolve their situation and move on.

What one habit do you wish you could break? Eating late at night. It messes up my sleep.

What is something most people don't know about you? Before going to law school, I worked for NASA Lewis Research Center in the Space Power division, doing systems analysis on space power systems. Also, I sometimes watch the Disney Channel's "Phineas and Ferb" and "Good Luck Charlie" even when my daughter is not present.

What do you wish more people understood? Math, science, and the art of listening.

Who is your favorite character of fiction? I have many, but if I have to pick just one it is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Favorite movie: There are so many. Some that come to mind are "The Princess Bride," "My Cousin Vinny" and "Enchanted."

What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do 20 years ago? Breaking boards and concrete slabs, grappling, and boxing--all things I learned during training in tae kwon do on my way to 3rd degree black belt.

Favorite place to spend money: Italy.

What is your motto? Be true to yourself; and Just do it.

Where would you like to be when you're 90? Traveling through Italy with my husband, daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. Enjoying life.

Published: Thu, Jun 27, 2013