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Laywer: It’s Legal! Client: Great, Let’s Do It! Lawyer: Oh, Wait… Sorry

$23,000 for THAT house? I'm moving to Michigan!A Waterford, Michigan couple has filed a lawsuit against their former attorney, claiming they were ill-advised when they tried to raffle off their house in October.

Joseph and Penelope VanDevelder’s house on Wanamaker Road was on the market unsold for 18 months. So they contacted attorney Phillip Strehle to find out if they legally could raffle off the property.

In a suit filed in Oakland County Circuit Court, the VanDevelders said they hired Strehle, created a Web site and began printing and distributing raffle tickets that the attorney approved.

After much public attention, the VanDevelders sold 235 raffle tickets at $100 apiece. The couple says Strehle advised them to decline their snow removal contracts for 2008-09, because they would be out of the home before it snowed; and that Penelope VanDevelder quit her job and gave up medical benefits.


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The suit says Strehle called the couple a few weeks later and told them to stop the raffle because it was illegal. It also states that Strehle attempted to change the house raffle to an essay contest.

The VanDevelders are seeking more than $25,000 in damages.

Laywer: It's Legal! Client: Great, Let's Do It! Lawyer: Oh, Wait... Sorry by

  • Fred R

    Was he a lawyer or a first-year law STUDENT?
    Michigan has some of the most obvious and stringent gaming laws in the country. There are no gray areas when it comes to raffles, which can only be conducted by qualified 501 c 3 organizations – and then, with very strict oversight by authorities.
    For over ten years I developed a national home raffle program for a major nonprofit organization and can attest that Michigan offered the most challenges.
    This lawyer needs to re-think his areas of “expertise”.

  • Hey Fred R

    Hey Fred R how can i retain you. I am in a similar situation and wish to raffle my house.

  • Anonymous

    Well Strehle’s and not much anyway. Anyone who will sue their own disabled mother needs to rethink alot of things.

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Posted by on January 31, 2009. Filed under Home,Legal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry



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