CAROLE YOUNGBLOOD &AMOS WLLUMS: Where Tlsey Came From and W%o They Have Beconze
By Susan E. Lister The honorees for this evening are Carole Youngblood and Amos Williams. Carole and I met when, as a young law student, I came to work for Dick Goodman shortly after he leff Goodman, Eden, Millender & Bedrosian. Carole had been working as Dlck's secretary at the Goodman firm and she left with him to start a new firm, This was 1977 and the office was located In the Garden Court Apartments on Jefferson in Detroit. I,of course, knew nothing about the law, but Carole knew Justabout everything. She had been working in law firms since 1970. Her passion to understand the substance of what she was dolng made her an Invaluable asset to all the young law students and lawyers who came through our office that were smart enough to realize that they were learning from Carole rather than the other way around. Amos showed up in our ilves after he and Carole met at Detroit College of Law in the mid-1980s. The most engaging one-handed (or even two-handed) man you would ever chance to meet, he quickly became a favorite of everyone at "the omce" a place that took up so much of our tlme that it was more like home than home. During the late 70s and 80s, we all worked 70 hour weeks (so what's changed?) and, In addition, Carole was going to classes at Wayne State. Every once in a while, we would stay 3-4 nlghts at the office to finish a brlef to either one of the local courts or the
Michigan Supreme Court. Recall that back in those ancient times all pleadings were generated using typewriters and Carole would type the same brief over and over while Iwas generating draft of the document. The only breaks we took were to play PAC MAN at Andrews On The Corneron Joseph Campeau. Those were the Here's the short days. version of the story of this fabulous couple - where they came from and who they have become. Carole was born in Highland Park, Michigan in the first round of the babyboomers. She was raised in Royal Oak and graduated from Kimball Hlgh School. Her mother worked at General Motors as a cook and her father was a tool and die maker. She was the second of three children and the Rrst in her family to graduate from hlgh school and also from college. Carole's mother just celebrated her 90n birthday wlth family and friends in Kansas. She has more energy than most of us and there is no mystery as to the source of much of Carole's energy and vitality. Blame it on her mornl Carole worked on her Rrst political campaign in 1960 she was only 14 years old. John F, Kennedy was running for President of the United States and Carole went doorto-door in Royal Oak to persuade the Republican farm community to vote for the king of Camelot. Good luck. Carole enrolled at Wayne State University in 1964. She
chose to major in English. In the spring of 1966, she went to South Carolina to work on President Johnson's Neighborhood Youth Core Program for the summer. Funded as part of Johnson's war on poverly, it provided summer jobs for high school students and dropouts, to enable them to stay or go back to school. The program was so successful, additional funds were awarded based on a grant proposal drafted by Carole and her co-workers and Carole ended up working with the needy kids until August 1968. Carole's activist soul flourished In South Carolina and she found herself immersed in the local political scene. She campaigned for the opponents of Representative Mendel Rivers and Senator Strom Thurmond, marched in civil rights demonstrations, and worked with the volunteers in other poverty programs. In August 1968, Carole returned to Detroit to resume her undergraduate studies at Wayne State. Unwilling to leave politics behind in South Carolina, she was a Michigan Democratic precinct delegate from 1972 - 1976. She was a tri-county senior citizen cocoordinator for George McGovern during the '72 campaign. Carole worked for Morris Udall during his campaign for the Democratic nomination for President in 1975 and 1976. College was put on hold while Carole recovered from an illness and she resumed her studies at Wayne in 1978.
Believing that an English major might not provide her wlth enough versatility, Carole swltched to Finance and Accounting. This delayed her graduation until June of 1982. She might very well be the current 'Wayne State Unlverslty record holder" for the most credlts accumulated by an undergraduate at the time of graduation. Her very favorlte buddy (known to all who knew Carole - her dog Doc) died while she was still at Wayne in 1980. In January 1983, Carole enrolled In the Detroit College of Law and on the very first day of classes she met Amos Wllllams. Amos was still working full-time as a police lieutenant. Carole was still worklng full-tlme at the Goodman office. They started up a great frlendshlp. Amos was bom in West Helena, A.rkansas. He is the oldest of six children. HIS father was in the Merchant Marlnes and the famlly moved from Arkansas to Chicago, San Francisco and New Jersey all before he was 5 years old! They finally settled in Detrolt where Amos attended Detrojt Public Schools untll his graduation from Detrolt Central High School in 1965. While at Central, Amos played both varsity basketball and football. In the fall of 1965. Amos began classes at Wayne State University in engineerlng. On February 21, 1966 (somehow all guys seem to remember this date), he visited a recruiting statlon and enlisted with two neighborhood friends on the 'Buddy Plan." This plan guaranteed that those that enlisted together would be stationed together during basic training and In Viet Nam. Amos completed baslc training, advanced infantry tralnlng and jump school at
Fort Campbell, Kentucky (with only one of his huddles). After recelvlng additional tralning In light and heavy weapons, operations and communications, he was deployed to Viet Narn (with neither of his buddies!). This was shortly before the 1968 Tet Offensive and for the next 12 months, Amos fought wlth the 10ld Division in all four tactlcal zones in Viet Nam. He was wounded three times in major combat. He completed hls tour of duty in November 1968 and returned to Michigan. confused and dismayed over the fact that the United States had committed to a war it was not committed to winning. Amos now viewed himself as a warrior; and a warrlor, especlally a black warrior, had a sure enough role to play in the city of Detroit. Following the Detrolt rlots, criticism of the conduct of the almost-all-white police force in the city was evident. Quallffed black applicants were given serious conslderatlon, possibly for the first time, and Amos was certafnly qualified. The police department also fit into Amos's sense that he should fulfill a role of service to his community, as he had to his country. Amos was hired by the
Detrolt Pollce Department and upon graduation from the police academy, he was assigned to the Infamous Tenth Precinct. The Tenth Preclnct was the blggest, "baddest" precinct in the city of Detrolt. It was where the f 967 riots had started and the neighborhoods were very, very tough. Over the next 17 years, Amos worked at the Accldent Bureau, the Ilm Precinct, Vice, InternalAffairs, Professional Standards, the Disciplinary Section, the 14' ~ the Precinct, the 1 3 Preclnct, Detective Bureau, the 7'" Precinct, the Police Academy, and Special Detail 318 an undercover group of investigators assigned to the grand jury investigating police corruption. Amos was promoted to Sergeant in 1974 and Lieutenant in 1977. In 1980, he was selected to
(canthued on nexf page)
(confinued from previous pape)
attend the FBI National Academy In Quantico, Virginia. In 1982, atler many years of attending night school while working full-time for the police department, Amos earned his Bachelor of Science In Criminal Justice fmm Wayne State. Wayne State is a big school but Carole and Amos laugh over the fact that they never chanced to meet before law school. Amos has Wo children from a prlor marriage. Eric Christopher was born at Fort Campbell on September 16,1968. Jennifer Kendall was born In July of 1971 in Detroit. That marriage ended in divorce in 1979 and Amos began the long but rewarding adventure associated with being a single parent. Eric and Jennifer [and Eric's two glrls, Justlce (8 years old) and Sydney (7years old)] are cherished members of Carole and Amos's famlly that also includes their poodle, Charlie and thelr cat, Ben. During Carole and Amos' fourth (third) semester of law school (17 years after leaving Vlet Nam) Amos was diagnosed with an Agent Orange related cancer, which required amputation of his right hand. Now 'onehanded," he retired from the
Detroit Police Department in 1985. Amos worked as a director for New Detroit, while flnishing law school. He also clerked for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Dennis Archer. Carole worked at Dick Goodman's firm. There was little time for anything else. In 1986, Amos and Carole graduated from the Detroit College of Law with their degrees. After passing the Michlgan bar exam, Amos started his own firm In two rooms in the Ford Building in
downtown Detroit, Carole was now flnally getting pald for working as a.lawyer (after all those years doing the work of a lawyer) at Dlck Goodman's firm. In 1988, Amos went to work for Goodman, Eden, Millender and Bedrosian. Bill Goodman served as his mentor and became a good friend. In May of 1989, Amos and Carole were married at an
intimate ceremony in their home in Grosse Pointe City by then Supreme Court Justice Dennis Archer. By this time everyone figured out that Carole was robbing the cradle. In 1991, Amos left the original Goodman firm to once again start his own firm. In 1992, Carole left Goodman, Llster, Seikaly and Peters, P.C., and with Amos fomed the firm of Williams & Youngblood, P.C. Amos and Carole won their first sevenfigure verdict trying a police case together in 1993. In 1994, Carole ran for and easily won election to the Wayne County Circuit Court bench. In 1995, Carole presided over a landmark case brought by NLG member Lisa Gleicher. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan refused to pay for bone marrow transplants for women who were diagnosed wlth breast cancer. Lisa (and other lawyers) had tiled cases in the Michigan trial courts seeking an injunction requiring Blue Cross to pay for the bone marrow transplants, In each case, the judges that were assigned the case denied the motions and the women died. Lisa drew Carole in a bone marrow transplant case she filed in 1995. Carole had only been on the bench for a year. Carole granted Lisa's request for a hearing and afler extensive testimony (spread out over a number of appearances), Carole entered an injunction which required Blue Cross to pay for the bone marrow transplant in the initial case and then for other women as their cases were added to the original case. Eventually the cases were certified as a class action as more women came forth with claims to pay for the life saving bone marrow transplants. Testimony was presented that Blue Cross paid for bone
marrow transplants for men with prostate cancer (and 8 other cancers), but not women with breast cancer. Evldence was presented that showed, that a bone marrow transplant could increase a woman's chance of survival up to 60% (from almost 0%). Doctors from prestigious institutionsall over the U n b d States testified in support of the transplants. Testlmony showed that in Eumpean countries with natlonal health plans, the plans paid for the transplants for women wfth breast cancer. By the time that trial was going to take place. Blue Cross was well aware that a very persuaslve and compelling case was golng to be made. Carole.was the trier of fact because no one had requested a jury, Blue Cross resolved the case by agreeing to pay for all bone marrow transpfants for women dlagnosed with breast cancer whose doctors opined that they needed the transplant. Based on its decision.to now pay for this category of bone marmw transplants in Michigan, Blue Cross adopted the policy natlonwide. This was certainly a huge victory for Llsa Glelcher and all the women she helped. Even though Carole had only been on the bench for one year when she was flrst addressed this issue, she confidently preslded over the landmark case, guiding It toward a fair and just conclusion. She remalns one of the most respected members of the bench and is credited for her hard work and rock-solid sense of fairness by consfstentfy recehrlng the highest ratings by the relevant Bar Associations. In 1995, Amos tried Jones, et.aL, v. Amerltech, in Wayne Couhty Circuit Court in front of Judge Arthur Lombard. As
part of its efforts to downsize and cut costs, Ameritech had flred a substantial number of its longtlme (25+ years) employees over the age of 40 (many of these employees were African-American). Amos brought an age discrimination case for three of the employees. During discovery it was revealed that one of the Amentech managers wrote a thesis for his doctorate that explained how an employer could downsize and target a certain class of people, yet do so In a manner in which statistical analysis would not reveal the discrimination. Amos won a 1.6 million dollar verdict for the two plaintiffs (one had settled before trial). With this case, Amos earned the distinction of having the only case agalnst Amerltech to prevali on appeal. The case was settled for a hlghly confidential sum while it was in the Michigan Supreme Court. In 1998, Carole ran for a vacant seat on the Mlchlgan Supreme Court. Carole received 1.2 million votes and Republican Cliff Taylor (with significant funding from many sources and lots of help from the Republican Party) recelved 1.3 million votes. Carole and Amos spent the better part of s year traversing the state trying to personally reach as many voters as possible. Carole was so tired by the time the election came around that I and others were worried that her health might suffer. She would have made a fabulous Justice. Carole and Amos should be winding down their busy lives rlght about now. They both have accomplished so much more than I have told (how much space do we have available?). But are they dolhg that? Of course not! Carole Is runnlng for her third
term on the Wayne County Bench. Amos has decided to run for Attorney General. Thankfully Carole and Amos retreat to a haven that they rely on to balance out thelr llves and provide them with the down time to refuel. Their cottage in Lexington is located on a beautlful spot faclng fake Huron. The cozy living quarters have seen the addition of a wonderful woodburnlng fireplace. Amos has his grill outside facing the Lake. Carole has her garden wlth flowers and vegetables. Family and friends visit in the summer end Amos Is famous for his golf game with the locals. Now you know just the tip of the iceberg about this great couple. Their shared commitment to people and to their community is evident in the way they have shaped their lives. They deserve our admiration and our respect.
(248)642-5770 Fax: (248)642-9460
.. .. .. .......:.., . ....... ........... ............. _:._. ..!. ....................... . . . ......................... ........ '. ., . ,;..?.,, :! :' . . . ,c., .... ......... ................... . ...!. .,"::" ................... .. ......... ... ... .. . .- . . .........,......., . . . ....... d;,.?
l . .
MONAOH ....... AN,, L~PRETE?! I.
:;?' ::t:M'&bONALD, 1
YAW MA; GRSNKE!:::,. a Mcc'ARTHY ..... ........ ...
A Professional Corporafion Attorneys & Counselors 40700 W O O ~ W ~ ~ Suite ~AV A~ . , Bloomi7ejd H~lls,MI 48304-51 70
A l R l B U TO ~ G4ROLZ YOUNGBLOOD By Dick Goodman I have known our friend and comrade in arms, Carole, since 1975 when she first came to work at the old Goodman Eden offices as my secretary. Upon her arrlval at the firm, she was welcomed with a barrage of condolences from people who inexorably refused to say precisely why condolences were in order. She soon found out, but, like the soldier she's always been, she persevered with me for more than 15 years until Amos Williams, our next Attorney General, stole her away for good. Carole was a woman filled with a truly unflappable optimlsm and self-confidence. No job too tough, no obstacle that couldn't be overcome. So when we planned to open our own office in 1977, and Itold her I didn't have a clue about how to do it, she just smiled and blinked that special blink she still has and soothingly replied, 'No problem." And "shazam," it got done In no time flat, right down to the last paper clip and electric typewriter. A few years later, she said she wanted to go to law school, while she continued to run our office. "impossible," l bellowed, But sure enough, next thing I knew she was graduating, and had hardly missed a step in running the place. Fast forward a few years to her marriage to Amos, and
then her plans to run for Wayne County Judge, never having run for anything before, a daunting challenge for anyone. Carole never doubted that she would be elected. She must have visited every Democratic club that ever existed from Grosse Pointe Park to Northvilla to South Rockwood, personally and more than once. In the end, she won big and continues to do so in the vast alphabet soup of diverse people, languages and cultures that is Wayne County, Mlchlaan. I
to run against an incumbent done. she losilshe got than a mili0n statewidesa better showing than any other Democratic non-incumbent in a race against a sitting Republican justice in the history of politicsCarole has brought this
same "can domattitude to her work as a Wayne County Judge. In reality. a study of her accomplishments shows dramatically how much just~ce can be achieved in th~sworld by one lone person who is not 1 afraid to work hard against all odds. Carole has literally performed miracles on the bench, and the stories of those cases are legion among her friends, as well as those who would make themselves her enemies. I would like to focus on iust one of those cases tonight, in the belief that many of you may know nothing about it: The People of the State of Michigan v. Shawn Deon Hutchinson, Case No. 94001010, In 1994, Shawn
Hutchinson was a 23.year-old single male living alone In the City of Detroit. He had no criminal record whatsoever and supported himself by doing odd jobs wherever and whenever he could find them. Four or five months prior to his arresl in the instant case, Shawn had been employed by M.O., a man
he had known most of his Ilfe. M.O. owned a car wash on Grand River Avenue, and employed Shawn to run errands of different kinds and to also wash the cars. M.O. had a girlfriend named L.H. who owned a Toyota automobile which she left at the car wash, and whlch was used as a utility vehicle by M.O. or his employees when they needed to run an errand. Thal day M.O. sent Shawn on an errand to M.O.'s mother's home. On the way there, Shawn was stopped by Detroit police for an alleged traffic violation. As Shawn got out of the car, the officer observed a paper bag underneath the driver's seat. The bag was taken and opened, and it was later established as containing 794.7 grams of cocaine. Shawn was arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver more than 650 grams of cocaine, a felony carrying a mandatory life sentence without parole. From the first moments of hls arrest, Shawn claimed he had no knowledge of the cocaine whatsoever and testified that he was not a cocaine user or seller and that, in fact, he was totally innocent of any such crime. Shawn waived a jury and was tried by Wayne County Judge Louis Simmons who refused to flnd him guilty of the actual offense charged, but did find him guilty
m rn m rn
m m rn rn
m m @ m m m
m. m rn rn m
........... . . . . . . .. ... . .. . . . . . . . . , .. ....... .. . . .: .. .. ; . . . . . :.
.... ..... ..
story is and always was the correct one. The cocaine belonged to his boss M.O., who was deep into the drug rackets. Moreover, M.O. admitted to Shawn's newly appointed post-conviction attorney that the cocaine had always been his and that Shawn knew nothing about it. In addition, Shawn's trial attorney had been retained and paid to defend Shawn by none other than M.O., the real perpetrator. But, of course, that attorney did nothing to inculpate M.O., his paymaster. Instead, he let Shawn take the rap, thus exposing him to life in prison without parole. On the basis of all this factual development at the evidentiary hearing, Judge Carole granted the motion for new trial in its entirety, and today Shawn Deon Hutchinson walks the streets of Detroit, a free man. Had the Michigan Appellate judiciary had its way, he would have rotted in Jackson Prlson for Ihe rest of his life. How many. Shawn Hutchinsons are there behind those walls today? Ibelieve that the people of this state have in Judge Carole Youngblood a rare and priceless treasure a champion of justice in the truest sense of those words, who graces this state and this nation wilh her fierce dedication to justlce at a time when justice itself is so at risk in the seats of government and in our courts of law.
. . . .. .. .. . . . . . . .. .. .. .. .. ... . . .. . .. . . . . . . .
cAROL . .
... ...... .I-... , '
of attempted possession and sentenced him to three years imprisonment The prosecution appealed, and the Mlchlgan Court of Appeals reversed and ordered Shawn to be resentenced under the actual possessionwith intent to deliver statute carrying the mandatory life sentence. The Supreme Court, of course. denied leave. On remand, an angry Judge Simmons granted Shawn's moUon for new trial, which alleged certain trial errors. Agaln, the prosecution appealed and, again, like clockwork, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the grant of a new trial and the Michigan Supreme Court denled leave. ordering that a new trial judge be assigned to the case. Happily, for the cause of justice, but unhappily for the recidivistjurists of the Michigan Appellate judiciary, the case now landed In the Court of none other than Judge Carole. Determined to get to the bottom of this unseemly mess once and for all, Judge Carole, on defendant's renewed motion for new trial (now alleging ineffective assistance of counsel at the original trial before Judge Simmons), held a full evidentiary hearing on defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel motion. And now, for We very first time, the rats started crawling out of the woodwork. It turned out that Shawn's
... : ::.
>. .. ..
EXTRAORDINARY LAWYERS. CONGRAmr"LATIONS!
: -'$ is,* =: ...... ~:
- C a n 4 crowhy
i~p~ri.'::~:?,c.GiEj~I~,;:;::,::.~:.i , . ... ~::~;i ~ :.;~~.!::~.::.i . . . . .--.:.:2:::..:.,
z G !s. j i z < G:'*i'*i ~ s . . . .: . . .
!# ~jtg~ ....... -...... gg
p ...>.+ .... .q:,; ,., ., k...
......... . : . .~.. . . .. . . .2. ... .. .. ............ . . . ,............. ................ .:.:<,. . . . . . .! . . . ....... . .