Our Main Areas of Practice:
We work with our clients in the following legal areas, and with the following legal issues, populations and concerns:
Probate and Estate Planning
Small Business and Non-Profit Law
Special Education, Disability Law, and Advocacy for Families
The Legal Team:
Bradley A. Vauter, graduated with a B.A. in political science, cum laude from Lake Superior State University in 1975. After graduation he worked for the Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Community Action Agency until starting law school in 1979. During law school he also worked full time–at the Senior Alliance (Area Agency on Aging 1-C). In law school he was a member of the moot court program.
Upon graduating in 1983 from the Detroit College of Law–now the Michigan State University College of Law–he entered into private practice. He was a principal with the firm of Post Range and Vauter, P.C., before moving to Mercer Island, WA, for a sabbatical in 1990/1991.
At Post Range and Vauter, P.C., Brad focused on small business and non profit corporate law, guardianship and probate law, pioneering HIV/AIDS work, and work with the LGBT community. He was legal counsel to Adult Well-Being Services and handled all that probate work in a model guardianship project, and served as corporate counsel for the Detroit Area Agency on Aging. Vauter also taught estates and trusts for 4 years to paralegal students.
Upon returning from Seattle, Brad worked with non-profits. This part of his career included stints at Michigan Protection and Advocacy, the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago (as Executive Director 92/94), the William F. Ryan Community Health Center in Manhattan, Legal Services of Northern Michigan, the State Bar of Michigan, and Elder Law of Michigan.
Vauter is past chair of the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the State Bar of Michigan (2012-2013). He has written articles for the Michigan State Bar Journal, the Michigan Family Law Journal, newspapers, and helps every year with a chapter for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) on remedies for elder abuse and exploitation. He’s given hundreds of presentations to professionals and lay audiences; drafted legislation; and counseled thousands of clients.
Vauter is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and several sections of the bar, and admitted to the Eastern and Western (Federal) District Courts of Michigan. Vauter is certified as a mediator under the Michigan Court Rules (MCR 2.411) and offers mediation services, and a Notary Public. He holds a Certificate of Completion in Elderly Crime and Abuse: Prevention and Prosecution-a program jointly sponsored by the MSU School of Criminal justice and the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging.
In the past three years he’s worked with the local regional TRIAD and also the Eaton County Vulnerable Adult network. Vauter is a member of the Ingham County Bar Association, and also served as a G.A.L., or attorney, with the Eaton County Probate Court, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Grand Ledge. In his spare time he is often walking or hiking with his dog “Harry” a rescue from Ingham County Animal Control, reading or entertaining.
Attorney Jadranko Tomic-Bobas, graduated cum laude from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2010, was an intern at the Sixty Plus, Inc. Elder
Law Clinic while in law school, and now works with the firm on a limited part-time basis. Mr. Tomic-Bobas has garnered a lot of experience as a Staff Attorney at Lakeshore Legal Aid, the Counsel & Advocacy Law Line, Elder Law of Michigan and serves as a Hearing Referee with the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Jadranko has represented landlords in dozens and dozens of eviction and other property management related legal matters, and he has a deep understanding of Michigan property tax law, having heard and decided hundreds of property tax cases as a referee.
Four years ago he honed his skills in housing issues and has HUD certifications for housing counseling. He now serves as the Legal Director for the Hotline at Elder Law of Michigan, when not working with us. His B.A. is from the MSU Eli Broad College of Business. He speaks Croatian and German in addition to English and has lived in Croatia and Germany too.
He serves on the board of directors of Hospice of Lansing and in his very limited spare time, you might find him playing soccer or traveling with his wife.
Helen Riendeau, Paralegal, joined the firm in April 2017. She has a paralegal Certificate from Lansing Community College, a Master’s degree in Labor & Industrial Relations from Michigan State University and a BA from the University of Vermont. As a paralegal with the firm, she is enjoying a sort of “encore career” following her retirement from Consumers Energy where she had been a human resources and operations manager with the utility. She also serves as a docent at Wharton Center for the Performing Arts and enjoys travel.
In October of 2018, attorney Michelle Goetz from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, joined the firm and her work will concentrate in estate law, contract work, and elder law. Previous to joining the firm, she had been a project coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan. Goetz also has a Master of Science in Legal Administration from the Denver Sturm College of Law and a Bachelor of the Arts in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
In addition to attorney Vauter, Tomic-Bobas, and Paralegal Riendeau, the firm maintains an “of counsel” relationships with attorney Paul Sturgul, a well-known elder law attorney licensed in Wisconsin and Michigan. Mr. Sturgul is certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), and served as NELF’s President from 2001 until 2006. Mr. Sturgul is a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), has served on NAELA’s Board of Directors, and is a Charter Member of the Council of Advanced Elder Law Practitioners.
He is an Advisor and past Chairman of the Elder Law Section of the Wisconsin State Bar and the past Chairman of the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the Michigan State Bar. He appears frequently as a speaker or lecturer and also appears on a Public Television program in the Upper Peninsula on a regular basis. In his spare time he can be found biking, overseeing one of the best gardens in the region, or studying history and public policy.
Gone but not forgotten: Attorney Lu Wang, who once worked here, left for full time work at Ray Law International, and has since moved on to Miller Canfield. And Senior Attorney Mary Kathryn McKinley, who did a lot to help families with special needs while with the firm, stepped down late in 2016, but is still very involved with LINCS (Lansing INtentional CommunitieS, Inc.) and other efforts. Richard Rooney once worked regularly with the firm for some years, and left us about January of 2018–he now works largely as a petroleum landman where he concentrates in mineral rights, estate and property law issues. His current work keeps him in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. Law clerks Samuel Jaksa and Alexander Sheldon-Smith are students who were attending Michigan State University College of Law and both worked in the summer of 2018 with us and Tyler Golembiewski also from MSU College of Law, worked as a law clerk in the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018.
You Can Count On Us.
We are square with folks. We are professional and understanding. We try to take care of your problems and needs, without doing more than is needed, nor less. We think a legal checkup or a consultation has great value for many and we offer such things, for even quite distant clients, via Skype or similar arrangements, if need be.
We generally arrange payment for services via a retainer, and later billings. Those who come in for consultations pay when the services are rendered–or “on-the-spot.” Most clients pay us by check but we are happy to take credit cards/debit cards like Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, which we process via Square.* (*Credit card payments can be used for regular bills and out-of-pocket expenses, but we cannot use them for deposits to our client trust account. Also while we hope it never happens, if you present us with a check that bounces, 20 dollars is added to your obligation to us.)