Michael R. Bartish

Michael R. Bartish

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Grand Rapids, MI

Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law, PLLC
 | 15 Ionia Ave. S.W., Suite 520
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-458-5500
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2017
Selected to Rising Stars: 2009, 2011 - 2012
Licensed Since: 2002
Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense (50%),
  • Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI (30%),
  • Criminal Defense: White Collar (20%)
Attorney Profile

Michael R. Bartish is a founding member of Springstead & Bartish Law, PLLC.  He defends and represents clients in state and federal courts throughout Western Michigan from Niles to Traverse City. Mr. Bartish is a former active duty Judge Advocate in the United States Army where he served at Forth Hood, Texas, from 1999 through 2002. During his active duty service, Mr. Bartish served as a trial counsel and senior trial counsel for the First Calvary Division and as a Trial Defense Counsel for Fort Hood, Texas.

After four years on Active Duty, Mr. Bartish went into private practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan, beginning his civilian career at Smith Haughey Rice and Roegge. In 2005, Mr. Bartish joined the prestigious criminal defense firm Willey & Chamberlain, LLP, as an associate. Mr. Bartish left Willey & Chamberlain in June 2011 to join Gary Springstead and form Springstead & Bartish Law, PLLC.

Mr. Bartish’s criminal defense practice is split fairly evenly between Federal criminal cases in the United Sates District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and state criminal cases in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties.

In Federal Court, Mr. Bartish has represented people charged with a variety of crimes including:

 

Conspiracy to Commit Interstate Murder for Hire
Kidnapping and Kidnapping Resulting in Death
Bank, Wire, and Mail Fraud
Armed Bank and Credit Union Robbery
Drug Conspiracies
Embezzlement
Federal Gun/Explosives
Identity Theft

Production and Distribution of Child Pornography
Internet Crimes
Sex Crimes and Sex Offender Registry Act Violations
Immigration Violations
Bribery
Ponzi Scheme Allegations
Tax Fraud

 

Mr. Bartish has won not guilty verdicts for clients charged with felonies in federal court. Mr. Bartish has also had success in securing sentences for clients that fell significantly below the advisory guideline range, suppressing evidence, obtaining diversionary disposition for clients, and winning reversals from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

In state court, Mr. Bartish handles all serious felonies and misdemeanors. Mr. Bartish has won not guilty verdicts for his clients in numerous cases in jurisdictions throughout Western Michigan. Mr. Bartish also practices extensively before the Department of Michigan Drivers License Appeal Division where he has secured the return of driving privileges for clients both within and outside the state of Michigan.

 

Mr. Bartish was named to the 2009, 2011, and 2012 Super Lawyers Rising Star List. The Rising Stars list showcases outstanding under-40 lawyers in the state, and only 2.5% percent of the lawyers in Michigan are selected for inclusion each year. The selections for Super Lawyers are made by Law & Politics, a division of Key Professional Media, Inc. Each year, Law & Politics undertakes a rigorous, multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by Law & Politics' attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.

 

Mr. Bartish is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Michigan Army National Gaurd where he serves as the Staff Judge Advocate for the 46th Military Police Command - a CBRN unit responsible for responding to a nuclear or chemical attack anywhere within the United States.

About Michael Bartish

Admitted: 2002, Michigan

Professional Webpage: http://www.springsteadbartish.com/attorney-profile/michael-r...

Honors and Awards:

  • Super Lawyer - Criminal Defense, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2013
  • Top 40 under 40, National Trial Lawyers, 2012
  • Superlawyers Magazine: Michigan - Rising Star, Criminal Defense, SuperLawyers Magazine, 2012
  • Super Lawyers Magazine: Michigan - Rising Star, Criminal Defense, SuperLawyer's Magazine, 2011
  • Michigan Rising Star, 2009

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, 2013
  • Criminal Defense Attorenys of Michigan - Executive Board.  This is an elected position that assists in directing the activities of the entire organization, 2012
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, 2009
  • National College of Drunk Driving Defense

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • People v. P.C. - Retail Fraud,3rd Degree - Not Guilty. Client was charged with retail fraud in the thrid degree after 4 store detectives witnessed her fail to ring a number of items up when utilizing the self check out lanes.  Hoewever, the store failed to preserve the security video of the transaction.  We took the case to trial as client maintained that her failure to scan the items was an accident.  We stressed to the jury that the grocery store was the only party who had the ability to preserve the evidence that would have allowed the jury to determine for themselves whether this was an accident or an intentional act and they failed to so.  After 30 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a not guilty verdict., 2014
  • People v. P.M.; Operating With Presence of a Controlled Substance reduced to Careless Driving.  Client was pulled over in Jackson, Michigan for passing vehicles in the right hand lane on I-94 in violation of MCL257.637. The officer smelled marijuana as he spoke with the client and initiated an OWI investigation.  Client admitted to smoking marijuana approximate one hour prior to being pulled over.  Client refused to voluntary submit to a blood test.  The trooper obtained a search warrant for the client's blood and issued the client a notice of an implied consent refusal.  The blood test came back positive for marijuana and the client was charged with operating with the presence of a controlled substance (marijuana) in his system.  Client held an Illinois Driver's License, which meant that any OWI conviction in Michigan would result in a one-year suspension of his Illinois driver's license.  Upon receipt of the case, we requested the dashboard camera from the police officer's vehicle. While the video did show our client passing in the right hand lane, it also showed that the lane was unobstructed and clear and that he was a substantially continuous lane of traffic. We requested a hearing to challenge the implied consent refusal and won when the trooper failed to show up to the hearing.   We filed a motion to suppress the blood test in District Court challenging the validity of the stop on the grounds that based on the video, our client had not in fact violated MCL 257.637.  Upon receipt of our motion, the prosecuting attorney's office allowed our client to plead guilty to the civil infraction of careless driving and dismissed the OWI offense., 2014
  • United States v. Raju Nakum, Case No. 12-cr-; Obtained 3 month sentence in health care fraud case where guidelines called for 33 to 41 months. Client is an Indian citizen who worked for a health care / physical therapy company owned by a relative. The health care company regularly made illegal renumeration payments to physicians and nurse who referred patients to the health care company in violation of the Stark Act.  Client pled guilty and cooperated with the investigation.  At sentencing, we were able to demonstrate how culural and familial indebtness influenced the client to participate in the conspiracy.  In total, 8 codefendants pled guilty or were convicted.  Mr. Nakum received the largest downward variance from the reccomended guideline range of any of the co-defendants., 2013
  • United States v. Bobby Ray McClure, Case No. 10-6041; 20 year mandatory minimum sentence vacated by 6th Circuit Court of Appeal Client was convicted of distribution of 56.5 grams of cocaine base.  The statute in effect at the time of his offense called for a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence for distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine base.  Clients prior controlled substance conviction increased the mandatory minimum sentence to 20 years.  Mr. McClures federal sentencing guideline range would have been 108 to 135 based upone the quantity of cocaine base had the 20 year mandatory minimum sentence not applied.  Client plead guilty pursuant to a plea agreement that waived his right to appeal if the sentence fell within the calculated guideline range.  The Fair Sentencing Act was signed into law on the August 3, 2010 - the date of Mr. McClures sentencing hearing.  We appealed Mr. McClure's sentence on the grounds that the Fair Sentencing Act should apply to Mr. McClure since it was signed on the date of his sentencing hearing thus reducing Mr. McClure's minimum sentence to 10 years. The government first argued that the 6th Circuit should not even hear the case since Mr. McCLure waived his right to appeal in the plea agreement.  We argued that since Mr. McClure was actuallty sentenced in excess of the sentencing guideline range, his right to appeal was not waived.  The 6th Circuit agreed and allowed the appeal to go forward.  Following a extensive briefing period, the government eventually conceded that the new mandatory minimums should apply to Mr. McClure.  The 6th Circuit vacated the sentence and remanded the case for resentencing in accordance with Fair Sentencing Act.  Mr. McClure was resentenced to 10 years., 2013
  • People v. A.P. - Possession of marijuana charges dismissed following successful suppression motion. Client was involved in a roll over accident. The police officer responding to the accident searched the vehicle without the drivers consent while the driver sat in the back of the police vehicle and found a marijuana pipe in client's backpack. Client was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. We filed a motion to suppress arguing that the officer searched the vehicle and backpack without consent. The officer testified that he obtained consent while the client was sitting in the police cruiser. At a contested hearing, we were able to show through the circumstances of the offense, the vagueness of the officer's own police report, and the prosecutions failure to obtain the preserve the audio from the police cruiser indicated that the prosecution could not meet the burden of proof to indicate that the consent was specific and unequivocally obtained.  The judge suppressed all evidence obtained from the backpack and the case was dismissed., 2013
  • People v. A.P. - Possession of marijuana charges dismissed following successful suppression motion. Client was involved in a roll over accident. The police officer responding to the accident searched the vehicle without the drivers consent while the driver sat in the back of the police vehicle and found a marijuana pipe in client's backpack. Client was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. We filed a motion to suppress arguing that the officer searched the vehicle and backpack without consent. The officer testified that he obtained consent while the client was sitting in the police cruiser. At a contested hearing, we were able to show through the circumstances of the offense, the vagueness of the officer's own police report, and the prosecutions failure to obtain the preserve the audio from the police cruiser indicated that the prosecution could not meet the burden of proof to indicate that the consent was specific and unequivocally obtained.  The judge suppressed all evidence obtained from the backpack and the case was dismissed., 2013
  • United States v. John Mekediak - Successful Appeal; Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Client pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. At sentencing, client was classified as a career offender on the basis of three prior crimes of violence - one of which was a juvenile adjudication.  As a result of his classification as a career offender, Mr. Mekediak was subject to a mandatory miniumum of 15 years and was ultimately sentenced to 20 years. We appealed the sentence to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that the juvenile conviction for felonious assault was not a crime of violence and thus Mr. Mekediak should not have been classified as an Armed Career Criminal and thus subject only to a maximum sentence of 10 years. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and vacated the original sentence and remanded the matter back to the District Court for resentencing. We represented client at the resentencing hearing where his sentenced was reduced to 10 years., 2013
  • People v. B.P. - OWI charge dismissed following successful suppression motion. Client was charged with operating while intoxicated after a sheriff's deputy pulled him over for loud exhaust and defective license plate light. Our client submitted to field sobriety tests which the Sheriff's Deputy claimed he failed in the incident report. Our client also submitted to PBT with the result of a .10. Our client was arrested and taken to the Kent County Jail where he submitted to a chemical breath test with a result of .8, .9. Our office submitted a FOIA request to the Sheriff's Department for the patrol vehicle's dashboard camera. After reviewing the video of our client's arrest, we filed a motion to suppress the results of the chemical breath test on the grounds that the sheriff's deputy did not have probable cause to arrest our client because the field sobriety tests and PBT were administered improperly. The court held an evidentiary hearing on our motion. During the hearing, we demonstrated that not only did the sheriff's deputy administer and score the field sobriety tests improperly, but that he did not even know the proper way to administer the field sobriety tests in the first place. We also demonstrated that the officer failed to comply with the proper protocols when administering the PBT and as a result, the PBT results of .10 were not valid. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court agreed that the field sobriety tests and PBT were administered improperly and as a result no probable cause existed to arrest our client. The court also suppressed the results of the chemical breath test., 2013
  • People v. E.B. - OWI reduced to non-drunk driving defense following filing of suppression motion Client was arrested and charged with Operating While Intoxicated after running through a flashing red stop light. Following the traffic stop, the client was asked to step out of the car to perform filed sobriety tests after the officer noticed bloodshot eyes and the heavy aroma of cologne as if "it had just been sprayed in the car." Client performed the field sobriety tests as requested and submitted to a preliminary breath test registering a .11. Client was arrested and taken to the Wyoming Police Department where he blew a .9, .9 on the Datamaster machine. We filed a motion challenging the legality of the stop. We also challenged the officer's probable cause to arrest the client based upon the improper scoring of the field sobriety tests and the improper administration of the preliminary breath test. Finally, we advised the city attorney that we intended to challenge the accuracy of the datamaster with our own expert. Following the filing of our motion, the city attorney agreed to allow our client to plead to a civil infraction and a non-dui offense. This resolution allowed our client to keep his CDL license and his job., 2013
  • People v. K.A.; OWI charges dismissed following successful suppression motion. Client was charged with Operating While Intoxicated after being pulled over for speeding and a busted front headlight. Client data master result was .13. Prior to his arrest, our client submitted to a preliminary breath test and several field sobriety test which the arresting officer stated that he failed. We requested the dash board video from the officers cruiser. The video revealed that the client actually performed very well on the filed sobriety tests and that the officer failed to comply with the administrative rules before administering the preliminary breath test. We filed a motion to suppress the results's which he We filed a motion to suppress on the grounds that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest our client due to his failure to follow the administrative rules while administering the PBT. We further argued that our client's performance of the filed sobriety tests was excellent and provided the officer with no probable cause to suspect driving under the influence of alcohol. After a hearing on our motion during which the court viewed the dashboard video, the court agreed and through out the results of the data master on the grounds that the officer had not probable cause to arrest our client and have him submit to a data master test. The case against our client was dismissed and he avoided an OWI conviction.  , 2012
  • People v. J.N.; Possession of Marijuna charges dismissed following successful suppression motion. Client was arrested for possession of marijuana after officers approached his parked vehicle in a grocery store parking lot. We filed a motion to suppress the evidence on the grounds that the officers did not have probable cause to approach and search the vehicle. Judge Servass of the 63rd District Court agreed and the evidence was suppressed., 2011
  • United States v. Raogo Ouedrago; Murder conviction overturned, Motion for Acquittal Granted. Client was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Interstate Murder for Hire, Kidnapping, and Kidnapping Resulting in Death. Client was convicted after a 30 day jury trial of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Kidnapping, and Kidnapping Resulting in Death and was facing a mandatory life sentence. We filed a motion for judgment of acquittal not withstanding the verdict and a motion for a new trial. The judge granted our motion and acquitted our client of all counts. Client was set free just before Christmas, 2011., 2011
  • United States v. Samuel France; Successful appeal to 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Client was charged in the Western District of Michigan with Distribution of More than 5 grams of Cocaine Base, a 10 year to life offense, after he acted as the middleman in a drug transaction between a confidential informant and a bigger drug dealer. Unfortunately for the client, he had two prior felony offenses in 1994 - Delivery/Manufacture of more than 50 grams of cocaine and Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Penetration. The United States Probation Department classified the client as a Career Offender pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(b)(A) based upon the client’s prior felony controlled substance delivery convictions and his assault with intent to commit sexual conduct involving sexual penetration - which was classified as a crime of violence. This classification resulted in a sentencing guideline range of 262 months to 327 months. At the original sentencing hearing, I objected to the client’s classification as a career offender arguing that Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Conduct involving penetration was not categorically a crime of violence. Ultimately, the District Court did not see it my way and ruled that the client was a career offender. I filed a motion for variance arguing that the career offender guidelines were too harsh especially since my client’s criminal history category absent the career offender tag was level III. The sentencing judge granted the variance motions and sentenced the client to 200 months (the equivalent of a 3 level departure). We appealed to the 6th Circuit. In June, the 6th Circuit heard oral arguments and in September it issued an opinion holding that Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Conduct was NOT categorically a crime of violence and ordered a remand to determine if any court documents (plea transcripts) existed to indicate whether the specific facts of the client;s case gave an indication of whether the his conviction was a crime of violence. At re-sentencing, the government could not produce any court documents or plea transcripts regarding the client's conviction and conceded that no evidence existed to support a career offender classification. The client's guidelines dropped to 87-108 months based upon the 2009 crack cocaine guidelines. The sentencing judge imposed a sentence of 74 months (the same percentage off the maximum of the guideline range as he did at the original sentencing hearing)., 2009
  • People v. M.J.; Client aquitted of Domestic Assualt following jury trial. Client was charged for domestic against his ex-wife. His wife was attempting to get into his vehicle and remove property that belonged to him. My client restrained his wife to prevent her from entering the vehicle and removing his property. The responding officer's charged him with domestic assault and battery since he touched her without her permission (she suffered no injuries). We convinced the judge to give a defense of property jury instruction over the prosecutor's objection. After a full day trial, the jury acquitted our client after an hour of deliberation.
  • United State v. Willie Lewis; Client Acquitted of Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Client was accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of cocaine base after the vehicle in which he was a passenger was pulled over. As the police officer approached the vehicle the client exited the vehicle and fled on foot. The client was eventually tackled and arrested. After the client was subdued, the officer's searched the vehicle and found a hand gun in the rear passenger well. The client was facing a 10 year sentence if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. At trial we were able to show the that officer's version of events regarding how the weapon was discovered and where the weapon was discovered during the search of the vehicle did not make sense and was not credible. The client explained that he ran from the officers due to the crack cocaine in his possession and had no idea that there was even a weapon in the car. The client was convicted of possessing crack cocaine (a 1 year misdemeanor) and acquitted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • United States Army Meritorious Service Medal, 2013
  • United States Army Combat Lifesaver Course Graduate, 2012
  • United States Army Commendation Medal, 2011
  • United States Army Commendation Medal, 2003
  • United States Army Commendation Medal, 2002
  • United States Army Acheivement Medal, 2001
  • United States Army Acheivement Medal, 2001

Educational Background:

  • University of Cincinnati College of Law, Cum Laude, 1998
  • University of Notre Dame, B.A. (with honors), Government United States Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, 1995

Industry Groups

  • Criminal Defense
  • Driver's License Appeals
  • Military Law
  • Office Location for Michael R. Bartish

    15 Ionia Ave. S.W.
    Suite 520
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503

     

    Michael R. Bartish:

    Last Updated: 3/14/2017

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