Areas of Practice

These are explained in more detail in other areas of this web site. There is no rigid boundary between areas of the law. In fact, they often overlap.

Elder Law

This relates to issues commonly faced by older adults, but can actually be faced by people of any age. Common topics include

Estate Planning

Planning for what you want to happen after your death. This includes decides who should get your property and transferring responsibility over others. For example, you can nominate guardians for children and wards.

Life Planning

This includes appointing someone to talk with doctors if you are unable to and tell them what your views are on medical treatment and appointing someone to oversee your finances. This need not be a permanent transfer. Most people who undergo general anesthesia are unable to make decisions for a short time and may need someone to act during that interim. There are some standard forms, but these might not allow you to express your wishes adequately.


Probate essentially involves managing the affairs of people who cannot manage them without assistance. This includes people who have died, people who are legally too young to make decisions, and people whose capacity to make decisions has been questioned. I offer services in each of these components, both drafting documents to prevent problems and representation in court.

Consumer Matters

There are special protections in the law for consumers who may have been deceived or taken advantage of in a business transaction. Some of these laws require the business to pay your attorney fees in case you prevail.

Expert testimony and consultation in language and the law

Often legal disputes will turn on matters of language. What did this word in the contract mean? Was one of the parties in a conversation saying “yes” because he accepted the offer or was he merely saying “yes” as a move to dismiss the offer? “Yes, yes, I heard you but I don’t want to talk about it.” Is the trademark similar to another one? Were the instructions understandable to ordinary people? I have a Ph.D. in linguistics and have conducted research in various related areas and can provide consultation or expert testimony.

Education and Training

I have offered numerous training programs for attorneys, law enforcement, social workers, other professionals, and concerned citizens. Often a specialized seminar is a cost-effective way to increase knowledge within an organization.

Consulting on Crimes Against the Elderly

I have worked with law enforcement, prosecutors, and adult protective service workers in elder abuse and exploitation matters. I would be happy to consult with groups concerned about these pressing problems.

Speaking Engagements

Much of the work of an attorney is education

In addition, I have had the opportunity of educating various other groups such as

It is much more effective to offer education to groups, rather than one-on-one tutoring. I have given presentations around the state—from St. Ignace to Ste. Clair Shores to St. Josephs. For example, I have given presentations, sponsored by the State Bar of Michigan, the state AARP, the state Attorney General, and the state Office of Financial and Insurance Services to groups around the state on the problems of so-called trust mills, organizations that have free meal seminars to entice people to purchase poor-quality, cookie-cutter estate plans. I have given talks on various issues including

I am always interested in giving more presentations. There are some logistical matters. For example, the further away the site, the larger audience I would want. If you wish to discuss a potential talk, please contact me by email, phone, or snail mail:
517 655-9782
The Law Office of Josh Ard, 1340 Trotters Lane, Williamston, MI 48895