Monday, September 2, 2013

Clergy Privilege Under Attack Again

In People v Bragg, 296Mich App 433 (2012) the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the 1500 year old Priest /Penitent privilege. However that case has not dissuaded some Michigan prosecutors from attacking this long time and important privilege. In the recent case of People v Prominski, which was decide on August 22, 2013, the prosecutor’s office charged a Pastor with failing to report suspected child abuse. The defendant argued that the information was given to him in “Confidence” by a member of his church regrding her child. The Pastor said she came to him for spiritual guidance and he in turn provided her with several options including going to the authorities, but the pastor did not feel he could breach her confidential communication by going to the authorities on his own. The Court of Appeals rulled in his favor citing MCL 722.631 which protects communications to members of the clergy. The recent challenges to the clergy privilege sends a chilling effect on those who want to turn to their clergy for guidance. There is no doubt that more challenges to the privlege will come. At the Law Offices Of Raymond A. Cassar we are one of Michigan’s Premier Criminal Defense firms. Our job is to protect everyone’s Constitutional Rights. we love what we do and that gives us an advantage each time we step into the court room. Our web site is filled with useful criminal defense information. Come vist us at :

Monday, April 22, 2013

We are Attorneys and Counselors at Law

As attorneys we look at the problem, review options, then we give our clients advice on the right direction they should follow. It is much easier to act as an attorney than act as a "counselor". The later requires some emotional interest in the client. If you really want to help your client, take an emotional interest in him. Find out what is really going on in his life and maybe then you can start to help him. Yes it is more work, and yes we each have our own issues to deal with, but a little bit of caring goes along way. I recently told a drunk driving client of mine that he needs to set a better example for his son. I told the son, who also has a drunk driving charge that he needs to treat his dad with a bit more respect. They both agreed to be less selfish. It's a little step for them, but a step in the right direction. After all: "We are Attorneys and Counselors at law".

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lessons Learned from Lance Armstrong: Lying to win

Many people do not understand that lies can send you to prison. We know that some people lie all of the time, but when they lie under oath or when they lie to a grand jury it becomes perjury and that carries up to 15 years in prison . As an attorney I have seen good people and bad people lie on the witness stand.. I have seen police officers and lay witnesses lie under oath countless times. This is in spite of the fact that each and every witness swears to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help them God. So why do people lie so often when they are on the witness stand? The simple answer is that proving perjury is very difficult. It becomes much easier to prove perjury if you later admit that you lied. But most people will never admit that they lied, especially if they were lying while testifying under oath. Lying is a character flaw that no one really forgets. Remember Nixon? Lance Armstrong recently admitted that he has been lying for years. He admitted that he lied under oath, he lied during sworn depositions, he lied to the public, he lied to get ahead and he lied to win. Most people lie to win you over to their version of the story. We all know that lying is wrong and the public needs to be reminded from time to time that it is a crime to lie under oath. The Federal Government will most likely be charging Lance Armstrong with perjury. Thanks to Lance's recent admissions, their case will not be so hard to prove. The Government wants to show the public that lying under oath and lying to win will eventually make you lose. Our fundamental job as an attorney is to remind our clients to tell the truth or remain silent. Our fundamental job as a parent is to raise our children to tell the truth. There are no exceptions to the rule, even if you think you are a Super Athlete.