WHAT I DO AT THE PROBATE PRO
As the President of The Probate Pro, I take great pride in being the nationally recognized, leading probate and trust coordination law firm providing administration, litigation, and planning services. Most of my day-to-day operations are dedicated to representing individuals in contested probate and trust matters, will contests, the embezzlement by fiduciaries, exploitation of the elderly, and disputes in probate and trust files. When I am not working on my own cases, I try to lend as much support as possible to my legal team on their cases and their professional goals.
- University of Detroit Mercy – Juris Doctor
- Honors – Cum laude
- University of Michigan – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
- Wayne County Probate Bar Association.
- Macomb County Probate Bar Association
- Ottawa County Probate Bar Association
- Washtenaw County Bar Association
- Michigan Association for Justice
- State Bar of Michigan
FELLOWSHIPS AND COMMUNITY WORK
- Detroit Federation Board of Governors, Executive Officer (2019 – )
- Fresh Air Society (commonly known as Tamarack Camps), Past President Board of Directors
- The Wexner Foundation Heritage Leadership Institute Program, Fellow (2017 – 2019)
- The Wexner Foundation Leadership Summit Program, Fellow (2019 – )
- Hartman Institute, iEngage Detroit Community Leadership Program, Fellow (2019 – )
- Harvard College Social Innovation Collaborative, Participant (2020 – )
- JDC Interface Fellowship (2012 – 2013)
- JDC, Ambassador (2013 -)
- Grosfeld Leadership Mission, Chair and Liaison
- Ziggy’s Playground, Kigali, Rwanda (2022 – )
- Repair the World, Detroit Advisory Committee, Member (2020 – )
- Curo Opes Investment Club, Past President
- Common Ground Legal Clinic, Legal Coordinator (1994 – 2000)
- Yad Ezra Food Bank, Volunteer
- Wayne County Probate Bar Association, Former Officer (1997 – 2000)
- Tamarack Camps 110th Anniversary, Chairperson
- Synagogue 2000, Member
PRO BONO SERVICES
- Jewish Family Services Legal Referral Program
- Wayne County Probate Bar Association
- Washtenaw County Bar Association
- The Probate Pro, Pro Bono Services
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
- AVVO SUPERB rating 10 out of 10
- AVVO Rated Top Lawyer 2022
- Lexis Nexis Review AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5
- 2017 – 2019 Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Law Firms in the Country
- 2016 – 2018 Legal Leaders Top Rated Lawyers-Real Estate Law
- 2013 – 2018 Top Lawyers in Michigan – The Legal Network
- 2010 – 2023 Martindale Hubbell Preeminent Rating AV
- 2010 DBusiness Top Lawyers
- 2008 Michigan Super Lawyers – Rising Star
WHO I AM
Born in the backseat of a 1969 Buick Regal, my mother says the world was ready for me faster than her body was. She was right. When I was three, my Jamaican nanny brought me to an inner-city Baptist church where I promptly danced down the aisles. As a teenager, I charmed my way into a hotel to hang out with the Jackson Five. As an adult, I bought a beat-up, 40-passenger bus that I painted maize and blue to drive the neighborhood kids to U of M football games. I have also appeared on The View and on the front pages of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal — all for different reasons.
I am both quick thinker and talker, and am obsessed with puns — very much to the dismay of my four children. I take the phrase “it can’t be done” as a challenge in both my professional and personal life. When I’m not in court or behind a desk, you can find me spending time with my family, bungee jumping, sky diving, heli-skiing, trekking mountains, running marathons, and re-inventing philanthropy. Usually performing a few of these simultaneously.
WHY I AM WHO I AM
My father is a survivor of the Holocaust. His mother was murdered at Auschwitz and his father was shot into a mass grave by the Einsatzgruppen. My father and his siblings survived by hiding in the forest in the Vichy region of France, along with a hundred other Jewish children. These orphaned children banded together, subsisting on radishes and potatoes that they dug up from the ground, for nearly two years. Finally they were rescued and brought to America. My father was just eight years old at the time. Now 85, he remembers constantly fearing for his life as a child and believing he was unworthy of life itself. His parents named him Siegfried, which in German mythology means “dragon slayer.” He says that throughout his childhood in Nazi Europe, the association of his name gave him the inner strength that allowed him to persevere. His survival was dependent on many miracles and, most importantly, on the unconditional help of others.
My mother was born in Casablanca, Morocco to teenage parents who both abandoned her and left her to be raised by her grandparents.
When my parents met and married in Europe, they were both terribly wounded by their childhood experiences. When I was six years old, my mother left us. I remember huddling together with my two brothers and sister in the face of our fear. As we constantly strategized on what to do next, I quickly assumed a leadership role in my family.
These life experiences had a profound impact on me. They opened my heart and my mind to the suffering of others. They gave me the confidence to be fully engaged in the world around me. My father raised me to believe that I have an expansive responsibility that includes all those who are in need. My father was never philanthropic in the traditional sense, so I had little exposure to the financial side of philanthropy prior to my education and professional experiences. For my family, philanthropy was not about writing a check and moving on to enjoy the luxuries of our upper-middle class life. Instead, my dad instilled in me a duty to help others in need. His philanthropy was directed at personally helping those in crisis. My childhood was filled with random teenagers who lived in our home, seeking refuge from their troubled lives. Unable to turn away from the sufferings of others, my father opened his home and his heart to children and, in turn, we welcomed and accepted these ‘strangers’ into our lives. We could not and would not avoid those who were suffering. Indeed, our own suffering was diminished by helping others.
My past and the way I was raised makes me who I am today. With so many experiences shaping me, helping others has always been and will always be at the forefront of my career and my daily purpose.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for a complimentary consultation at either 1(833)PROBATE or Darren@TheProbatePro.com.
Go Ahead, Ask Away…
We’re here to help answer your questions. Probate matters can be complicated, let us be your guide. We have experts on hand to answer all of your probate related concerns. We take great pride in using our skills and knowledge to help walk you through all of your concerns. We take great pride in using our expertise for you and look forward to hearing from you.