Lynn D‘Orio, JD, PLC

Lynn D‘Orio: Significant Cases


Heidinger v Heidinger, Washtenaw County case 07-535-DM
Ms. D’Orio represented Mr. Heidinger, who objected to his ex-wife’s request for a change of domicile. She wanted to move their minor child from Michigan to New York to be with her new husband. After a four-day evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the mother’s request to change domicile. The mother appealed. Ms. D’Orio handled and won the appeal.

(The Court of Appeals opinion can be found at:

People v Deondre Byrd, Washtenaw County case 08-1886-FC
Ms. D’Orio was second chair to attorney Anthony Chambers in this First Degree Murder case. The case was tried before a jury, which acquitted Mr. Byrd of all charges based on self-defense.

People v William Calladine, Washtenaw County 09-714-FH
All of the charges against Mr. Calladine were dismissed after Ms. D‘Orio won a motion to suppress the evidence that was illegally seized by the police.

People v Maurice Brantley, Wayne County case 08-21074-01-FC
Mr. Brantley was charged with First Degree Murder. After the Prosecutor rested it case-in-chief, Ms. D‘Orio won a motion for directed verdict and the First Degree Murder charge was dismiss. Mr. Brantley was later convicted by jury of Second Degree Murder.

People v Tony Dwayne Tard, Washtenaw County 06-1196-FC
Defendant was charged with open murder. Under the open murder statute, a defendant can be convicted of First or Second Degree Murder. After a "degree hearing" where the court heard evidence pertaining to whether the Defendant committed First or Second Degree murder, he was convicted of the lesser offense of Second Degree Murder.

People v M. Kyle, Washtenaw County 05-1736-FH
Mr. Kyle was charged with First Degree Home Invasion, Felony Firearm and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. After a preliminary examination, the Home Invasion charge was dismissed by the District Court Judge. The remaining gun charges were dismissed in the Circuit Court after Ms. D'Orio filed a motion to quash.

People v James Bellville, Washtenaw County, 04-619-FH
Mr. Bellville received a harsh sentence that put him in prison. Ms. D'Orio went to the Court of Appeals and won him a re-sentencing, which gained him a shorter sentence.

In re CA Washtenaw County juvenile delinquency case 04-1055-DL
CA was charged with three counts of armed robbery. He was acquitted of all counts after a bench trial in February 2005.

Lickfeldt v. MDOC
Ms. D‘Orio handled this case in the Michigan Court of Appeals. In the trial court, the Ms. Lickfeldt, the plaintiff prisoner, was serving a string of consecutive sentences beginning with two 14-year maximum sentences, followed by a 5-year maximum for prison escape, and other subsequent sentences. Ms. Lickfeldt argued that she was entitled to termination of the initial 14-year maximum sentences that had chronologically passed, because MCL 750.193 provides that a sentence for prison escape shall begin after the termination of the sentences then being served. The trial court agreed with Ms. Lickfeldt and ordered that the original 14-year maximum terms that she was serving at the time of her prison escape must be terminated. However, the Department of Corrections appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Ms. D‘Orio successfully argued to the appeals court that the trial court correctly ordered the Department of Corrections to terminate those sentences. Lickfeldt v Dep't of Corrections, 247 Mich App 299 (2001).

People v. Violet Allen
Lynn D'Orio got a first degree murder conviction against the defendant reversed after filing a Motion for Relief from Judgment in the Ingham County Circuit Court. In 1977, Ms. Allen, when she was 18 years old, she killed her abusive, 34 year old, husband in an effort to save her baby from abuse. She was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. After failing to gain then-Governor Engler's attention with a Petition for Clemency, Ms. D‘Orio went back to the trial court and argued that trial counsel's failure to mention anything about the domestic violence Ms. Allen endured, among other errors, deprived her of a fair trial. Ms. Allen then pled to Second Degree murder. She was paroled a few months later in 1999, after serving over 22 years in prison.

In re "SM", Washtenaw County Juvenile Delinquency case
Lynn D'Orio was able to get an acquittal on a first degree Criminal Sexual Conduct charge against a juvenile.

North Sharon Baptist Church v. Leonard
In 1993, charges involving 10 victims were brought against Associate Pastor Timothy Lee Leonard, 32, of North Sharon Baptist Church near Grass Lake, &volunteer Sunday school bus driver, church deacon Mark Foeller. Lynn D'Orio served on the defense team for Mr. Leonard under the direction of lead attorney Michael Stillwagon. Several pre-trial motions were filed and Leonard was eventually released after 72 days in jail after all 10 charges were dropped over the objections of the prosecution.