Frederick W. Lauck, author and long time trial lawyer, was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan... a Motown child of Greatest Generation parents. He graduated from St. Scholastica Grade School... a product of Dominican Nuns (1957), and Detroit Catholic Central High School... a product of Basilian Priests (1961). After attending the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Fred transferred to the University of Detroit on an NCAA football scholarship, finishing his undergraduate education, graduating cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Chemistry and Philosophy… a product of Jesuit education (1965).
After working briefly as a Computer Programmer for Ford Motor, Fred enrolled at the University of Detroit Law School in the fall of 1966 and graduated, summa cum laude, in the spring of 1969... number one in his graduating class. He is licensed by the State Bar of Michigan and the State Bar of California.
THURGOOD MARSHALL - First Black Justice of US Supreme Court, (1908-93)
Some Highlights of Fred Lauck's Career
PERSONAL INJURY PLAINTIFF CASES
- $2.4 Million Federal Court Verdict...for a ''homeless'', Detroit teenager... ''traumatic brain injury'' victim of excessive police force (Detroit P.D.). (No offer to settle before or during Trial).
- $3.9 Million recovery after defendants' appeals.
- $1.8 Million Wrongful Death recovery... for a Hubble Roth & Clark engineer killed at a work-site accident when downtown Rochester, Michigan blew up in a Consumer Power gas explosion.
- $1.2 Million Counterclaim Verdict... representing seven lawyers who were Defendants on a law firm split up case. The Jury denied the four million dollar claim of the two senior members of the Law firm and awarded the seven, younger, Defendant lawyers 1.2 million on their Counterclaim (no offer to settle Counterclaim before or during). A comic vignette of this trial is included in Fred's first book, Children Of The Greatest Generation (pages 411-414).
- $8.1 Million Verdict... for electrician seriously injured at a hotel construction site during a crane lift operation in windy conditions. (Plaintiff refused 3.9 Million Case Evaluation Settlement and opted for Trial against four Defendants and five Law firms).
- $2.3 Million Wrongful Death recovery... for a daughter of two judges who was killed in an auto accident by a run-away truck claiming ''stuck accelerator.''
- $900,000 recovery... for a concert goer partially paralyzed while diving into a pond at the Pine Knob Theatre (now DTE Theatre) during a ''Segal Schall'' concert.
- $475,000 recovery... for a ''traumatic brain injury'' victim of police excessive force... Southfield P.D.
- $350,000 Verdict... for a University of Detroit Mercy baseball player shot during a verbal altercation in downtown Windsor, Canada just across the Detroit river. (No offer to settle before or during Trial).
- $300,000 Verdict... for a ''traumatic brain injury'' victim of an auto accident. (No offer to settle before or during Trial).
- $475,000 Verdict... for cafeteria worker who injured her knee in a slip and fall accident at a General Motors plant. (No offer to settle before or during Trial).
- $375,000 recovery... for an auto mechanic injured by a defective jack after a ten day Federal Court trial. (no offer to settle until the jury was about to deliberate).
- $375,000 Verdict... for dentist injured in auto accident. ($5,000 settlement offer before Trial).
- $750,000 Verdict... involving the sale of a topless bar in Detroit. (no offer before or during Trial). Later, Fred was successful in getting a ''non dischargeable debt'' judgment after trial in the Federal Bankruptcy Court.
Fred has also tried numerous criminal cases both as a prosecutor (1970-71 Wayne County) and as a long time defense attorney Including:
- People v Ed May
A lawyer and a con man. Ed May ''fleeced'' many victims in an investment scheme, including Detroit Tiger baseball players. As a prosecutor, Fred convicted Ed May and May was disbarred. Later, May (not one to learn from the errors of his ways) continued his financial con games against other victims and sits in prison today... an old man who ruined many lives.
- People v Robert Smith
Charged with two counts of Assault with Intent to Murder at a General Motor's Forge Plant for intentionally shooting his foreman and accidentally and superficially wounding the daughter of General Motor's CEO, Richard Gerstenberg. Verdict... ''not guilty by reason of insanity.'' Smith was released from a psychiatric lock-up 29 days after the ''not guilty'' verdict. This intriguing, Courtroom psychodrama is Chapter 15: ''Taking On General Motors, Insanity... And Broken Hearted Melodies'' in Fred's first book, Children Of The Greatest Generation.
- People v Bruce Ramsey
Coined the ''Devil Murder case'' by the press, Bruce Ramsey was charged with First Degree Murder for the (''let the Devil out) ritual stabbing of his wife. ''Not guilty'' of First Degree Murder, but ''Guity, but Mentally Ill'' of Second Degree Murder. People v Ramsey wound up in the Michigan Supreme Court where Fred argued (unsuccessfully) that the new ''Guilty, but Mentally Ill'' verdicts were unconstitutional because they ''deceived'' jurors into convicting on the mistaken belief that ''Guilty but Mentally Ill'' defendants would receive psychiatric care while incarcerated. The reality... there was virtually no psychiatric care, just ''warehousing'' of the ''mentally ill'' in Michigan's prison system.
- People v John Calvin
Charged with First Degree Murder in a dispute involving complaints of ''loud music'' in an apartment complex in Ypsilanti, Michigan... ''not guilty'' on all counts. The Calvin trial is covered in an article entitled: Murder and Courtroom Manners.
- People v Raymond Brown
Charged with First Degree Murder, 18-year-old, Raymond Brown stood trial and listened as Detroit P.D. homicide Detective, Jimmy Harris, read a seven page ''confession'' allegedly signed by Raymond Brown. ''Not guilty'' on all counts. A short time later, Detective Jimmy Harris was convicted of protecting drug shipments coming into Detroit Metro Airport and served a couple decades in prison before he was released to die in 2014. Fred also represented codefendant, Arthur Jackson... ''not guilty'' on all counts (prompting front page coverage on both the Detroit Free Press and News).
- People v Andrew Jackson Payne
Charged with First Degree Murder for the death of a Melvindale High school football Coach who was killed in a parking lot, bar fight as the Coach and his friends were on the way to a retirement party for a Melvindale police officer... making Fred and Andrew Jackson Payne persona non gratis with the police and the Court in Melvindale, Michigan. ''Not guilty'' on all counts. Details on this case can be found in the article An Anatomy of a Melvindale Homicide.
- People v Dewayne McKenzie
A 27-year-old from Taylor, Michigan whose alcoholic father had been beaten by a pimp, Fred Baker, in the ''Cass Corridor'' section of Downtown Detroit. When Baker was later shot (and survived), Dewayne McKenzie was charged with Assault with Intent to Murder... ''not guilty'' on all counts. The McKenzie case merited a short ''comic'' description in Fred's first book Children Of The Greatest Generation (page 434-438).
- People v Joseph Walker
Joe Walker, the teenage son of a ''high profile'' (and outstanding) Trial Lawyer in the Detroit area, drank alcohol at a friend's house and then left for home, under the cover of darkness. On the way, Walker was driving past his own Brother Rice high school in upscale Birmingham Michigan southbound on Lahser road when an older gentleman and his female companion (who, ironically, had just left an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting), drove straight out onto Lasher with no lights on their vehicle, coming out of a ''black hole"... very dark area, on an unlit street with no name and no street sign. Walker's vehicle collided with the older gentleman's vehicle, and both the older gentleman and his companion were killed. Except for Walker's underage alcohol consumption, he would not even have been the target of a criminal investigation. When the police arrived, they claimed they "smelled" alcohol on Walker's breath, and, on the basis of the ''odor'' of alcohol, obtained a Search Warrant for a blood alcohol test... which indicated that Walker's blood alcohol was over the threshold for operating a vehicle. Walker was charged with Manslaughter. The defense centered around the challenge to the Search Warrant with a great quote from an Ohio case: "the 'odor' of alcohol is no more indicative of 'intoxication' and Drunk Driving than the 'odor' of food is of gluttony.'' In the face of stiff resistance to the Search Warrant challenge, Walker eventually took a Holmes Youthful Trainee plea (without any admission of guilt), was given a short term of probation, after which the charges were dismissed. Walker went on to become a very successful lawyer.
- People v Tony Sandoval
A 21-year-old Holy Redeemer high school grad, journeyman carpenter and nephew of Patrick Foley (deceased former prosecutor who was chief of Homicide in Wayne County) was charged with two counts of First Degree Murder for a blood bath shoot out at a ''Blind Pig'' (on Jefferson Avenue... right across from the hard scrabble, industrial complex on Zug Island) on St. Patrick's Day. Framed by four Southwest Detroit ''Cash Flow Posse'' gang members... ''Not guilty'' on all counts.
- People v Leonard Martin
An over the road Canadian truck driver who was involved in a fiery crash on M59 in White Lake, Michigan that resulted in the death of Kristin McClain... daughter of Detroit Tiger baseball legend, Denny McClain (31 game winner for the Detroit Tiger's 1968 World Championship team). Martin was charged with Manslaughter. After a five day preliminary exam and the testimony of the prosecution's five experts, all charges were thrown out and all subsequent efforts of the Oakland County Prosecutor to reinstate the case were denied by the Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court.
- People v Adam Nawrocki
An over the road truck driver who left Chicago in the early morning hours, and later, while heading east bound on I94 just outside of St. Joseph Michigan, drove up (and over) an ascending lane of freeway traffic and crashed into a stopped line of vehicles causing a chain reaction, firery collision in which four people in four seperate vehicles were killed. Nawrocki was charged with four counts of ''Negligent Homocide''... ''not guilty'' on all counts.
- People v Michael Wade
A First Degree Murder case involving security guard, Michael Wade, that arose out of his security duties while he was guarding the Detroit Police Impound yard. The ''verbal response'' of the jury at the end of jury deliberations... ''NOT GUILTY.'' But, the trial judge used an unconstitutional, ''written'' jury verdict form that left the jury no choice but to check off the ''guilty'' box on the written form. Bottom line-- Michael Wade, a ''classic contradiction''... AQUITTED AND CONVICTED at the very same time. After three years of appeals (with Michael Wade languishing in prison), the Michigan Court of Appeals set aside Michael Wade's conviction and the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission chastised the trial Judge for using an unconstitutional jury verdict form that deprived Michael Wade of his constitutional right to a decision on his guilt or innocence by a Jury. The unconstitutional jury verdict form that the trial judge (and a few other judges) had been using to unjustly convict defendants were forever banned. The Trial Judge's unconstitutional actions ''merited'' her Honor considerable scrutiny in Chapter 16 ''Detroit Judge... Slays Lady Justice'' in Fred's first book, Children Of The Greatest Generation.
- United States Army v John Conlon
Attorney, John Conlon locked horns with his commanding officer and he was scheduled to be court-martialed in a Monday morning hearing. Working all weekend, Fred filed a Federal lawsuit for deprivation of constitutional rights under 42 USC 1983. The case was assigned to Judge Thomas ''Tiger'' Thornton, a legendary football player at the Universty of Detroit in the 1920s and a legendary Judge thereafter. Judge Thorton issued an Order to Show Cause against the U.S. Army requiring the U.S. Army to appear in his Courtroom and explain why he shouldn't permanently enjoin the Army from proceeding with their Court-martial. The Army refused to appear, opting instead to dismiss their Court-martial, and John Conlon went on to a rewarding career as a Trial Lawyer in Kalamazoo Michigan. You gotta love America when two middle class kids can legally stop the U.S. Army in their tracks.
- St. Clair Shores v Filaramo
The Filaramos were charged with violation of a city ordinance re: too many cats and too many newspapers stacked up in their home. Although their lawyer had a legitimate reason for not appearing on the day set for trial, the District Court Judge, Craig Oster (ironically Fred's lawyer years before his Honor became a Judge), convicted Mrs. Filaramo without her lawyer present, and scheduled her sentencing shortly thereafter. After being retained, Fred again went to Federal Court and filed a lawsuit for violation of Mrs. Filaramo's Constitutional rights under 42 USC 1983, and obtained another Order to Show Cause, this from Judge Ralph Freeman who ordered Judge Craig Oster to appear before him and explain why Judge Oster should not be permanently enjoined from sentencing Mrs. Filaramo. As with the U.S. Army in the Conlon case, Judge Oster took a pass, did not appear before Judge Freeman and voluntarily set aside the sentencing and conviction. Again you gotta love America.
Fred has been most fortunate in recognition by his peers, including:
- University of Detroit Law School's ''Urban Law Clinic's Student for the Ages.''
- University of Detroit Law School's ''Alumnus of the Year.''
- Catholic Central ''Alumnus of the Year.''
- Catholic Central ''Athletic Hall of Fame.''
- State Bar of Michigan ''Champion of Justice.''
- Michigan Super Lawyers Designate 2006-Present
Fred has taught Mathematics at Hamtramack High school, Criminal Procedure at the Detroit Police Academy and Trial Practice and Evidence at the University of Detroit Law School as well as Constitutional Law seminars at Catholic Central High school and part time presentations at Mock Trial programs at Catholic Central and Merch High Schools.
Fred has also written and published two books: Children of the Greatest Generation... an Emotional History... and Wealth Power Politics Jesus, and has written and published 50 articles as the ''voice'' of those multitudes who have no voice... the ''common man'' and the ''forgotten woman (Fred's own parents) dealing with numerous and varied legal topics... always challenging the establishment power and the ''status quo'' of Michigan law... including: Michigan Courts: Open Season On Our Children (Flint Children in the Crosshairs), Open And Obvious . . .Best Friend Of The Chamber Of Commerce, Boycott Summary Trials, and many more.
Fred has three wonderful children: Frederick Valentine (age 46) and two teenage daughters, Jessie Valentine (age 15) and Frances Jean (age 13) who live with him in Milford Michigan.