Mr. Zulakis' primary areas of concentration at this time include criminal law, juvenile law, child abuse and neglect law, school law (expulsions and suspensions) and traffic matters. He has represented clients successfully in criminal, juvenile, child abuse and neglect, traffic and education matters for over 30 years. He is one of the most experienced defense attorneys in mid-Michigan and is considered a leader in the criminal defense community by his peers. He has helped guide hundreds of young people through the juvenile/criminal justice system with discretion and results:
Mr. Zulakis has had considerable trial experience in criminal and juvenile matters, beginning with an acquittal in his first felony jury trial in 1980 and including acquittals (not guilty verdicts) in cases of murder, robbery, assault with intent to commit murder, larceny, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, assault with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering (home invasion), criminal sexual conduct, drug possession/delivery, assault and battery, shoplifting, child neglect and abuse, and many other criminal matters as well.
Clients of the Firm have included prosecutors, police officers, physicians, lawyers, teachers and other professionals, state employees, auto workers, executives and persons from all walks of life facing or potentially facing criminal charges. The Firm has represented numerous MSU students and hundreds of area high school and middle school students facing the possibility of criminal or juvenile punishments, including the possibility of prison, jail, detention, registration on the Sex Offenders Registration List, loss of driver's license, school sanctions, forfeiture of property, fines, and costs.
Mr. Zulakis has been recognized by his peers and the community for his skills as a Trial Lawyer and for his commitment to the delivery of the very best criminal and juvenile defense services. He is respected by judges, prosecutors and by fellow defense counsel. He is a former President, Vice-President, and Treasurer of the Ingham County Bar Association, and he co-chaired the Ingham County Bar Association Criminal Law Section from 1999 to 2004. He was a founding member of the Ingham County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Ingham County Bar Association, and served as its Vice-President from 2001 until 2009 when he was elected President of the Foundation.
The State Bar of Michigan recognized Mr. Zulakis by naming him a Fellow in 2003 and by appointing him to the position of Attorney Discipline Hearing Panelist with the Attorney Discipline Board in 2001. Ingham County Bar recognitions include his appointment to the Judicial Candidate Qualification Committee from 2002 to 2005, and was named Chair of the Committee in 2004. He was reappointed to the Committee as the Committee's Chair in 2008. In 2004, Mr. Zulakis was appointed by the Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Governor, as the Criminal Defense Lawyer Designee to the State Community Corrections Board. Governor Granholm reappointed Mr. Zulakis in 2008 for a second term; serving until April of 2012.
Other service has included an appointment by the Michigan Judicial Institute to the Advisory Committee in connection with the formulation and publication of the Child Protective Proceedings Bench Book, published in 1999.
Martindale and Hubbell, which rates attorneys based upon confidential input from their peers, has given Mr. Zulakis an AV rating, the highest rating available, effective 1999 to the present. He is a member of the Michigan Association for OWI Attorneys (MAOWIA). He has been included in the Best Lawyers Consumers Guide in 2001 and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of DUI/DWI defense in the 2009 through 2017 Editions. He was admitted to the National Registry of Who's Who in 1998 as a life member for service to the consumer and the profession; the National Registers Who's Who in Executives and Professionals as an honored professional in the 2001-2002 Edition; as a life member in the Kingston's National Registry of Who's Who for contributions to the profession and the community, 2003 Edition, and has been selected for listing in the 2010 Edition of Princeton Who's Who of Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs. Mr. Zulakis was also selected by his peers for inclusion in Michigan's LEADING LAWYERS publication in 2014, 2015, 2016. Mr. Zulakis achieved Lead Counsel Rating for state level crimes in 2015 and 2016. Finally, Mr. Zulakis achieved the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards from Martindale-Hubbell, the leading authority on rating attorneys every year from 1999-2017.
Areas of Practice
- Criminal Law and Juvenile Litigation
- Traffic Matters
- School Expulsions and Suspensions
- Criminal Law (White Collar Crime)
- Drug Violations
- Sex Offenses
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Michigan, 1978
- Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan
- J.D. - 1978
- Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- B.A. - 1972
Honors and Awards
- AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, 1999 - Present
- National Registry of Who's Who, Life Member, 1998 - Present
- Inclusion in the Best Lawyers Consumer's Guide, 2001
- Selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America Specialty DWI/DUI defense in the 2009-2016 Editions
- Selected by his Peers for inclusion in Michigan's LEADING LAWYERS, 2014 & 2015 Edition
- National Registers Who's Who in Executives and Professionals, 2001 - 2002
- Life Member Kingston's National Registry of Who's Who for Contribution to the Profession and Community, 2003 Edition
- Listed in Princeton Who's Who of Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs, 2010 Edition
- Lead Counsel Rating in State Level Crimes, 2015
Professional Associations and Memberships
- State Bar of Michigan, Member in Good Standing, 1978 - Present
- Michigan Association for Justice, formerly Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, Member
- Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, Member
- State Community Corrections Board, Member, Defense Attorney Designee, 2004 - April 1, 2012
- Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2003 - Present
- Ingham County Bar Association, Member
- Ingham County Bar Foundation, Founder, President, 2009 - 2013
- Ingham County Bar Foundation, Founding Fellow
- Ingham County Bar Foundation, Vice President, 2001 - 2009
- Ingham County Bar Association Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee, Chair, 2004; Chair, 2008
- Ingham County Bar Association Bench Bar Committee, 2003 - 2012
- Ingham County Bar Association, Former President, Vice President, Treasurer
- Ingham County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, Former Co-Chair
- Ingham County Bar Association, Board of Directors, Former Member
Past Employment Positions
- Dunn & Zulakis, P.C., Attorney/Shareholder, 1979 - 1980
- Zeff & Zeff, Attorneys at Law, Associate, 1978