Attorney Bruce Block has been a trial lawyer in Grand Rapids, Michigan for over 27 years. He is experienced in criminal defense and civil litigation, which includes extensive knowledge and experience with medical marijuana and now, recreational marijuana laws. He has written appellate briefs and argued cases before the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. Attorney Block is fluent in Spanish and provides legal services to the Spanish-speaking population. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and a Council Member of the Marijuana Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.
ADMITTED State Bar of Michigan
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
District Court for the Western District of Michigan
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Tax Court
Supreme Court of the United States
EXPERIENCE 1992 – present, Bruce Alan Block, PLC, Attorney and Counselor at Law
EXPERIENCE AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
1992-present Criminal Defense Attorney, Divorce and Family Law, Expungements, Marihuana, Liquor Licenses, Appeals, and General Practice. Numerous cases taken to trial. Represented clients in state and federal courts throughout the state. Knowledgeable in matters relating to Ecclesiastical Corporations (churches); helped numerous churches with amending their bylaws and other legal issues.
8/15/2019 Guest panelist for “What’s Legal? Medical Marijuana Kent County Educational Expo.”
2018 Obtained a nolle prosequi of serious criminal charges involving an alleged assault by strangulation (a 10-year felony) and child abuse 3rd degree (2-year felony), following an 8-month aggressive representation.
2018 Guest on radio show AM 1680. Topic: “Drug Recognition Experts and Medical Marihuana.”
2014 - 2019 Management of a criminal case from inception through evidentiary hearings seeking suppression of evidence. The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the search in a published opinion: People v Frederick, People v Van Doorne, 313 Mich App 457 (2015). Appealed and argued the case before the Michigan Supreme Court. A unanimous opinion was issued on June 1, 2017 which reversed the appeals court, finding that the early morning “knock and talks” violated the 4th Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. People v Frederick, People v Van Doorne, 500 Mich 228 (2017). Case is presently pending at the United States Supreme Court, Case No. 18-1513.
1/26/2016 Guest on radio talk show, WOSU Public Media, Columbus Ohio, “All Sides with Ann Fisher.” Topic: Medical Marihuana and employment laws.
2010 – 2016 Management of medical marijuana criminal case from inception through multiple appeals, oral argument, and published decisions by the MI Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court.
People v Bylsma, 249 Mich App 219 (2011)
People v Bylsma, 493 Mich 17 (2012)
People v Bylsma, 315 Mich App 363 (2016)
2012 Advisory representation of a church succession from large, mainline denomination where the church property was held “in trust” for the denomination. Helped negotiate a separation on good terms, local church was deeded the property for payment of a modest severance fee
2013-2014 Successfully represented an individual wrongfully assessed a million dollars by the state of Michigan. Sued the state and treasury department on a theory of lack of due process. The Court of Claims agreed and ordered that the state re-serve the Notice of Levy and restart all of the appeals deadlines. State filed interlocutory appeal with Michigan Court of Appeals which was denied. State then re-served tax levy on client at correct address. We filed objection to levy in state tax tribunal. State eventually agreed to withdraw the levy entirely and refund all monies it had seized through garnishment of bank accounts.
2013 Guest speaker at minister’s conference held at Resurrection Life Church in Wyoming, Michigan, Topic: The Clergy-Penitent Privilege & The Michigan Child Protection Act.
2011 - 2013 People v Prominski, 302 Mich App 327 (2013) High-profile case involving local minister who was wrongfully arrested, jailed, and charged with failure to report suspected child abuse. Successfully won Motion to Dismiss in District court, and later appeals by State to circuit and appeals court. Case set precedent in Michigan and upheld the long-held clergy-penitent privilege for private communications.
2011 Wrote and published Pocket Book Edition: “Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, A Guide for Patients and Caregivers.” Booklet featured in news article in Grand Rapids Mlive: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/02/law_talk_marijuana_law_guide_f.html
2008 - 2009 Successfully defended a lawsuit involving Blue Sky securities case involving an oil and natural gas company that sought capital from “accredited investors” via a Private Offering Memorandum. Plaintiffs sued alleging a violation of the Michigan Uniform Securities Act. Case was successfully defended and eventually settled for a fraction of the amount sought.
2009 Guest on “Ask the Lawyers” show on WOOD Radio AM 1300.
2009 Represented a newspaper sportswriter accused of felony manufacture of marijuana, in a high profile case that saw almost daily articles in newspapers and on television. Held evidentiary motion to quash the search warrant for lack of probable cause. Eventually negotiated an acceptable plea and client kept his job.
2005-2008 Spousal Signature lawsuit case involving several multibillion dollar banks and their violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B -- Spousal Signature Rule.
1999 - present Brucealanblock.com: author & creator of informative website advertising my legal services and also providing detailed & accessible legal information to readers on a variety of legal issues such as medical marijuana, expungement, drunk driving, etc.
1995 Co-Counsel on Involuntary Manslaughter Case involving infant son who accidentally crawled into cedar chest when mother dozed asleep. Not Guilty Jury Verdict rendered after lengthy trial.
1991-1992 Student Attorney, Misdemeanor Defender's Office and Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services, Detroit, MI. Represented criminal defendants in arraignments, bond hearings, and pretrial conferences. Duties at legal services included: interviews, telephone consultation, drafted and filed divorce and civil pleadings, motions, and argued cases before Wayne County Circuit Court Judges. Assisted staff attorney in implementing an efficient Tickler system.
1988, 1990 Customer Service Representative, Amway Corporation, Ada, MI. Responsible for product information and replacement, Spanish translation, orders, and account adjustments. Instructed Customer Service Representatives in essential Spanish communication skills
OTHER PRIOR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
2017 Organizer, Planner, and Presenter at the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section annual fall conference: Topic: ___________________________.
2015 -present Voted in as Council Member for the newly created Marijuana Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, the first of its kind in the country.
2016 Organizer, Planner, Speaker and Panel Moderator at Marijuana Law Section fall conference, “Marihuana – What Every Lawyer Must Know.” Presentation topic: “Weed Mart – Profits or Prison? Advising the Cannabusiness Clients.”
Juris Doctor, Wayne State University Law School, Detroit Michigan
Bachelor of Arts, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Fluent in Spanish language.
1992 – present Licensed Ham Radio Operator (Call Letters N8IND). Volunteer Legal Counsel for Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL). Answer questions and field calls from ham radio operators around the state regarding antenna, zoning, and related issues.
2003 – present Legal Committee Member of Michigan NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).
1998 - 2010 Elder for three, 3-year terms at Oakhill Presbyterian Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan
2011 Coached “Odyssey of the Mind” team at Ada Christian School.