Tessa K. Muir brings over a decade of experience as a former federal prosecutor and Army JAG attorney. As a federal prosecutor in the Western District of Michigan, Ms. Muir served as the lead attorney in over 150 criminal cases and Sixth Circuit appeals. She worked closely with and trained dozens of law enforcement agencies, including the Michigan State Police, FBI, DEA, ATF, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), police departments, and sheriffs’ offices. She earned commendations for her work as a trial attorney from the FBI, HSI, and the State Bar of Michigan. Since 2015, she has been selected by fellow attorneys and federal judges in the Western District of Michigan as an instructor at the Hillman Trial Advocacy Program — the district’s premier trial practice program.
As an Army JAG attorney, Ms. Muir worked inside the military’s highest security prison, prosecuted military courts-martial, and advised service members and commanders on Army disciplinary procedures and separation boards.
Ms. Muir has also served as an in-house corporate attorney at a large international tech company, where she led discreet internal fraud investigations and defended the company against lawsuits worldwide.
Ms. Muir’s combined expertise in federal and state courts, the Army justice system, federal prisons, and corporate America is unrivaled.
From the first stages of an investigation through the final stages of appeal, Ms. Muir knows from the inside out how the system works. As a criminal defense attorney, Ms. Muir uses her expertise as a former federal prosecutor to help her clients understand the investigative process, find weaknesses in the case, and build a strong defense.
Ms. Muir specializes in:
Ms. Muir is a persuasive courtroom advocate. She has succeeded at both the state and federal level in achieving the complete dismissal of cases after filing Fourth Amendment motions to challenge traffic stops, search warrants, and inventory searches. She has convinced prosecutors at both the state and federal level to agree with her position on motions ranging from reversing improper sentencing conditions to excluding evidence of other acts by the defendant at trial. She has persuaded prosecutors’ offices throughout Michigan not to charge clients under investigation for serious sex offenses. She used the government’s own expert witness to defeat a federal supervised release violation alleging illegal drug use. She succeeded in a motion to reverse a federal magistrate judge’s decision to deny bond to a client pending trial in a serious RICO conspiracy case. She achieved early release from a halfway house for a client suffering a mental breakdown. These are just some examples of the results she has been able to obtain for her clients.
Ms. Muir’s clients routinely comment that she is responsive, empathetic, professional, and effective. Read Ms. Muir’s client reviews.
Ms. Muir regularly advises people who are being investigated, accused, or called as a witness in criminal cases. As a federal prosecutor and Army JAG attorney, she worked with hundreds of victims, witnesses, and defendants during criminal investigations. She knows the ins and outs of what to expect, how to prepare, and how to protect people facing these situations.
Title IX and other serious school disciplinary investigations follow an administrative process handled internally by the school, and the traditional courtroom rules do not apply. Sometimes people accused in these types of cases try to defend themselves, believing that their goodwill with the school, their community contributions, or other factors will make the case go away. On the contrary, internal school investigations can have life-altering results including expulsion, termination of employment, or criminal charges. Ms. Muir comes alongside her clients to help them better understand the process, mount a thorough defense, find weaknesses in the allegations, present expert witnesses, negotiate with the school, and convince the decision makers to resolve the case favorably.
Ms. Muir has succeeded in convincing a university’s Title IX office to disqualify its full-time investigator for bias, which resulted in the replacement of the investigator and a finding of “not responsible” for the student accused of sexual assault. Ms. Muir also successfully negotiated on behalf of a school employee accused of improper contact with students, ultimately resulting in a finding of no impropriety and ensuring the investigation stayed out of the press.
Ms. Muir understands confidentiality, risk management, and mitigating public fallout for companies that suspect internal fraud or are under investigation. As former in-house corporate counsel to a large international tech company, Ms. Muir is a trusted corporate advisor, especially when confidentiality and privacy are of the utmost concern.
Clients turn to Ms. Muir’s trial skills for representation in civil matters on a range of topics, both on the plaintiff’s side and the defendant’s side. Ms. Muir leverages her skills in research, writing, negotiation, and litigation to help her clients avoid the upheaval of trial. If the case goes to trial, Ms. Muir’s litigation expertise serves her clients no matter the subject area of the case. On civil matters, Ms. Muir often partners with other civil attorneys in her network to ensure a comprehensive and specialized team approach in any particular case.
If you are being investigated for or have been charged with a federal or state crime, call Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C.’s Grand Rapids office at (616) 458-5500 or our Fremont office at (231) 924-8700 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.