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James S. Lawrence

James S. Lawrence

also known as James Sterling Lawrence

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About Me

I am a graduate of the University of Michigan law school, licensed as attorney since 1982.  I have extensive experience in both state and federal courts.  It appears that I have more published opinions at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals than any other Michigan attorney who does not work for the government.  I have gotten many people out of prison.  I have argued at the US Supreme Court.  I am well known in the Michigan prison system for my successes, and also for the seminars I give occasionally to prisoners informing them about the court system.  When I was 8 and 9 years old my family lived in Caracas, Venezuela, so my Spanish is fairly good.  For those considering hiring me, I have samples of my appeal briefs and rulings, and transcripts showing my performance in trial court criminal defense.  I am married, live in Detroit suburbs. 


Languages Spoken: Spanish, English

Photos and Videos

748618 1327521961

Practice Areas


  1. Appeals: 60%
    33 years
  2. Criminal Defense: 25%
    33 years
  3. Federal Crime: 5%
    33 years
  4. Constitutional: 5%
    33 years
  5. Lawsuits & Disputes: 5%
    33 years



Fixed (Sometimes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

7 total 

  • Stuart G. Friedman

    I endorse this lawyer. I've known Jim for over 25 years and think he is a brilliant appellate attorney. We compete for the same market so I am probably shooting myself in the foot by endorsing him, but I think is a great lawyer and a good guy.


    Stuart Friedman Appeals Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Edward Jacob Sternisha

    I endorse Attorney Lawrence. His knowledge of the law and his years of experience are very evident in the answers to the questions posed on Avvo. I would not hesitate to refer anyone to him for legal services. I am proud to call him a Michigan Colleague.


    Edward Sternisha DUI & DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

James Sterling Lawrence, Attorney

17520 W. 12 Mile Road.
Suite. 101
Southfield, MI, 48076


MIActive And In Good Standing198210/08/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Certificate of Merit - highest grade, f ctsUniversity of Michigan Law School1980
Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
AttorneyJames Sterling Lawrence, Attorney1982 - Present
Law Clerk, AttorneySheldon Halpern, Attorney1981 - 1986
Law clerkState Appellate Defender Office1979 - 1981
Association NamePosition NameDuration
State Bar of MichiganmemberN/A
Darrow Criminal Defense ForummemberN/A
Michigan Habeas Corpus Attorney ListservememberN/A
Criminal Defense Section, SBMmemberN/A
Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
Matthews v Abramajtys, 319 F3d 780 (6th Cir. 2003)Habeas corpus granted, case dismissed.
Abela v. Martin, 380 F3d 914 (6th Cir. 2004)Habeas corpus granted.
Satterlee v. Wolfenbarger, 453 F3d 362 (6th Cir. 2006)Habeas corpus granted, Defendant released from prison, all charges dismissed.
See all Legal Cases 
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of MichiganLawJ.D.1980
Michigan State UniversityHistoryB.A.1972
Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
SeminarLegal Ethics2014
Speak at prisonsCriminal appeals and habeas corpusN/A