What kind of work is Constance really good at?
Constance is a good writer and a passionate speaker. She excels at laying a legal argument out so that it just makes sense to see it her way. When other lawyers quit the research and stop reading the affidavits, Constance keeps reading until she has nailed it down cold. Her depth of knowledge and insight shines through in the documents that she prepares for her clients, and in the briefs that she argues before the court. Her concentration for her law degree is in litigation.
What do her clients say about her?
Constance is warm and approachable. Her clients consider her a friend who cares enough about them to fight for them to the very end.
What kind of experience does she have?
In addition to her law degree, Constance has a Master’s in the Science of Taxation from Grand Valley State University Seidman School of Business. She is not afraid of mathematics or the Internal Revenue Code. This training is why she excels at Trusts and Estate Planning. Much of the law in this area is detailed, methodical code work. Constance drafts customized documents and it is demanding, dry work that takes a lot of patience. Constance has a lot of experience with editing, revising and perfecting written documents. She was a law review editor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Before she was a lawyer, she was licensed in Occupational Therapy. She gained compassion and insights about how different individuals react to crises and change from working in rehabilitation facilities with mentally and physically disabled individuals of all ages. She has been a valuable contributor to scholarship and legislation on guardianships, conservatorships and end of life care for the State Bar of Michigan because of her background in rehabilitation and healthcare.
Much of Constance’s interest in End of Life issues for disabled persons stems from her family history. Her mother died as a result of a car accident when Constance was 14 years old. Her mother was on a ventilator before she died and it was a difficult time for the family. Later, Constance’s elderly father died from multiple organ failure. He also was on a ventilator before he died. Finally, Constance’s sister died from complications due to multiple sclerosis that was no longer in remission because her sister was tired of the painful shots that kept her disease in check. Life can be very difficult. Constance understands that.
Constance is predictable and flexible at the same time. She has lived in many places as a military wife and veteran. She knows from experience that people are both different and the same wherever you go.
Will she return my calls?
Yes she will but Constance does not promise to personally return every call within 24 hours. It does not mean that the client is unimportant. In fact, it means the opposite. Here is why Constance developed this new policy about phone calls: She had a surgery recently. Her nurse was interrupted often with phone calls on a mobile phone that she carried with her. The nurse explained that she was required to carry the phone so that she was immediately available to the nursing staff. It was distracting. Not surprisingly Constance’s hospital discharge papers had serious medication errors in them, and it was the distracted nurse’s fault.
Rule #1: Phone calls are not put through unless the lawyer is waiting for the call. Professional work requires close attention to details and long periods of concentration. Interruptions lead to errors and errors cost our clients money.
Rule #2: Phone calls must be returned within 24 hours if the call is about a matter that is on our calendar today or tomorrow. If an assistant can relay a message, then do so. It will save our clients’ money for the things that matter the most to them – the stuff that only a lawyer can do for them.
Constance L. Brigman, Managing Attorney Connie Brigman graduated with honors from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
She also has a Masters of Science in Taxation degree from Grand Valley State University.
She is an appointed member of the State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Council
She is the former chairperson of the Council’s Guardianships, Conservatorships and End of Life Committee.
She is the current chairperson of the Citizens Outreach Committee for the Council.
Ms. Brigman was appointed to the Guardianships and Conservatorships Workgroup for the Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Office Forms Committee in 2012. She continues to serve on this committee.
Ms. Brigman has been published in TAXES magazine, the State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Journal, and she is the author f a chapter for the Michigan Guardianship and Conservatorship Handbook for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education at the University of Michigan.
She is also a speaker on Guardianships and End of life issues. She spoke on this topic again this past summer (2013) for the Annual Probate and Estate Planning Institute for the State Bar of Michigan.