Victor M. Norris

Managing Shareholder

I am best known for my competitive spirit and will to win.
I wear a few different hats … and they all fit.

-Attorney Victor Norris

From my earliest memory, I had to win or succeed at everything I did. Some may have said it was excessive. Whether in sports, school, or work, no one played, worked, or studied harder than me. There were no other options as far as I was concerned. I was just an all-in type of person in everything I did. This has served my clients well over the years. I care about my clients. I live and die with each case. I stop at nothing within ethical bounds to obtain the best result possible. No one can out work me.

As both a criminal defense attorney and civil litigator I live and breathe in an adversarial world. I’m good with that. I honed my trial skills early in my career as a Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Michigan Assistant Attorney General. I am not only comfortable in a courtroom; I seek to own it when in trial. I have handled countless criminal cases including felonies, misdemeanors, all things “vehicular’ such as drunk driving and drug related offenses, negligent homicide, driver license matters etc. My job is to keep my clients charged criminally out of harms’ way. My case results speak for themselves.

I obtained a verdict in excess of 2 million dollars in my first negligence jury trial.  My civil cases usually involve representing clients who sustain injuries due to another’s negligence. The result in each type of matter can be life changing for the better or for the worse. Clients who are injured and victims of negligence deserve compensation commensurate with their injuries, pain and suffering and loss of earnings.

Regardless of what type of case, I facilitate my clients staying on track with their lives. I think of my clients as my friends.  Having credibility with many judges, prosecutors and opposing counsel inures to the benefit of my clients.

Managing Shareholder

Hertz Schram was founded in 1979 providing formidable representation to clients large and small. We are a unique full service “large firm in a mid-size suit” with expertise in 25 areas of both business and personal legal services, locally, regionally, and nationally. Each client and each matter is our greatest concern.  

We have earned awards for handling 200 million dollar mergers and acquisitions, received tens of millions of dollars in class action suits, multi-million dollar jury verdicts in injury cases, represent businesses of every size and persons charged with white collar crimes, all felonies and misdemeanors, even vehicular and OWI cases, full scope of  family law matters and all the other business and personal legal services detailed in this website.

Our main office is in the Hertz Schram building on the shore of picturesque Square Lake in Bloomfield Hills, MI. We also opened a satellite office in downtown Detroit several years ago when we sensed it was embarking on becoming perhaps the greatest urban comeback in the history of America. For many of our senior partners, we have returned to where it all began and where it’s all beginning again. We are proud to be in Detroit again. It’s a revived mecca of commerce, finance, real estate development, retail, dining and entertainment of every variety. Entrepreneurial spirit, businesses of every variety, community involvement abounds everywhere with countless opportunities for young people and a vibrant and fun place to work, play, and live. It’s a miracle come true.  

I have proudly been the firm’s managing shareholder since 1986 and responsible for every facet of firm management including day to day operations and long-term strategic planning. The list of my duties and responsibilities is endless (and boring to read and oftentimes to perform!).  I do, however, evaluate each matter prior to accepting representation, work with some brilliant lawyers, and mentor, train, and supervise our up and coming next gen attorneys. 

Meeting clients’ needs, achieving their goals, managing expectations, delivering desired results, being efficient and cost effective, taking a vested interest in each and every client and matter are many of Hertz Schram’s core values. I must lead and set the example for all attorneys and embrace these same core values in representing my own client matters.

We preach and practice… “don’t ever take your focus off the client.”

Meet Your Camp Legal Counselor

As invaluable as the camp experience and recreational endeavors are for the growth and development of our kids, there is risk. Most camps, however, manage those risks diligently, which is why they are among today’s safest places for children’s recreational activities. However, the sheer numbers of camper and recreational participants in North America can result in unfortunate injuries, drownings, or other catastrophic claims. Notably, in recent years, sexual, physical, emotional abuse of one kind or another has significantly increased.

Few people or attorneys truly understand the intricacies of running a summer camp or other recreational facilities. It is incumbent on camps to prioritize safety, emotional, mental, and physical health. Activities of every variety, some high risk and others not but all of which must comply with applicable laws and regulations and meet the applicable standard of care for each and every aspect of these venues and operations. Prosecuting or defending these claims is fact intensive.  

In addition to litigation services, I also offer expert witness services including claim review, evaluation, consultation, risk management and loss prevention services for claimants, injured parties, camps, other recreational operations, adventure endeavors, as well for insurance companies.

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense, including vehicular and licensing matters
Personal Injury & Negligence
Auto Accidents
Civil Litigation
Negligence & Commercial Litigation

Education

Oakland University, Rochester, MI – B.A. Political Science, Cum laude, 1972

Detroit College of Law, Detroit – J.D., 1976

Bar Admissions

Michigan, 1976 (sworn in by former Michigan Attorney General Frank J. Kelly)
U.S. District Court
U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit

Honors & Awards

Martindale-Hubbell A/V Rating, peer review

Examples of Excellence

Personal Injury
Client was thrown into side wall of an elevator when it abruptly jerked up and down a couple of times. Client claimed he could no longer lift his arms rendering him unemployable. Insurance company vigorously contested that elevator malfunctioned or that insureds negligence caused elevator to jerk. Also contested causation and severity of injury as client already had a pre-existing condition of weak back muscular structure making him easily susceptible to injury. Insurance company offered $5,000 before jury selection to settle claim. Wayne County jury rendered a verdict of $2,300,000 in favor of Plaintiff, my client.

Criminal-OWI (Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated)
Client charged with 5th drunk driving offense. BAC (blood alcohol content) was determined to be .42 some 4 times in excess of the then legal limit. Extensive sentence memorandum citing several compelling mitigating factors resulted in sentence of probation only. No jail time. Ultimately successfully won appeal of her suspended license restoring her right to drive.

Causing Auto Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injuries
Client truck driver was issued a tractor trailer by a trucking company to transport scrap metal. Rear ended an auto stopped at a GREEN Light causing brain and back injuries to 2 occupants. Client charged with 2 counts of Moving Violation Operating a Vehicle at Excessive Speed Causing Serious Impairment of Body Function, a 93-day misdemeanor and lengthy driver’s license suspension. Counsel was repeatedly informed by Prosecutor’s Office charges would not be reduced as part of a plea agreement. Counsel appealed multiple times seeking a meeting with supervising prosecutor to demonstrate compelling mitigating factors justifying reconsideration to reduce the charges. A fact intensive investigation with the assistance of an accident reconstruction expert revealed the trailer tractor issued to my client had multiple defective brakes and tires rendering the unit unworthy for road travel and unable to stop safely as evidenced by a braking skid mark of some 400 feet. Client was permitted to plead no contest to a somewhat fictitious offense of driving while license suspended. With an extensive sentence memorandum and presentation to the presiding Judge, a modest fine was assessed, but no jail time, no probation (extremely rare given the charges and disposition), and restitution for any out of pocket medical expenses for the injured occupants were capped at $1,000.

Saving a Physician’s Career and Life – Criminal Investigation
Referring attorney contacted me late in the afternoon informing me she was referring a client who was a long tenured orthopedic surgeon  (without any criminal or license violations) who was alleged to have committed a sexual assault offense upon a patient by stroking her breasts during a physical examination of her KNEES. Further, that the supposed victim/complainant had contacted a TV news station which agreed to air an interview of her that evening ostensibly to deter this physician from ever repeating the alleged conduct. I frantically tracked down the reporter and challenged the newsworthiness of the story, it could potentially ruin the physician’s unblemished career, a police investigation had not been completed, no charges had been issued, and that last time I checked, the U.S. Constitution provided my client  with a presumption of innocence. The reporter begrudgingly relented and indicated she would await the completion of the police investigation. Counsel along with his paralegal, conducted an extensive investigation of the complainant revealing she had filed multiple law suits seeking money damages with assorted  allegations, that she was illegally receiving various government benefits as she was  both working and not disabled, and multiple outlandish internet postings rendering this individual completely lacking credibility.  All of these investigative findings were compiled, organized, and presented to the investigating detective. As a result, no charges were ever filed against my client. The mere allegation becoming public would have ruined and likely ended my clients distinguished career and caused untold emotional and financial distress.  And, would have precluded him from continuing to take Residents to impoverished destinations in the world to provide free health services to both children and adults in need.

Driver’s License Appeals / Restoration Hearings
Successfully won all but one driver license appeal before the Secretary of State’s Driver License Appeal Division restoring several clients’ driver’s license suspensions primarily imposed due to multiple alcohol related convictions, excessive points, and assorted other reasons.

Writ of Habeas Corpus – Federal Bureau of Prisons
Client was on supervised probation and in a half-way house as a result of a Federal criminal conviction. His status was revoked and placed back in prison for allegedly having ingested drugs that exceeded the Federal Bureau of Prisons system levels. Counsel filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus that was granted and released from Prison having established that no illegal drugs were ingested but a false positive had registered by client consuming a poppy seed roll working at a delicatessen. And, that the Federal Bureau of Prisons violated its own policies. 

Professional Affiliations & Credentials

American Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan

Member of Negligence, Criminal Law, Law Firm Management Sections

Oakland County Bar Association

Michigan Association of Justice

American Trial Lawyers Association Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan

Former Legal Positions

Assistant Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney
Michigan Assistant Attorney General

Publication

Michigan Bar Journal 410, May 1995, Photo Finished: Calling into Question Michigan’s Roadside Confiscation Law by Victor M. Norris, Esq.

Testimonials

I have known Vic Norris for a very long time and referred to him several clients with criminal law matters that are out of my own civil law practice. I have seen the results he obtains for his clients and they all were very happy. Vic is smart, conscientious, experienced, and able to apply the law and circumstances to his client’s advantage like very few other defense attorneys. Vic knows how to communicate, particularly with prosecuting attorneys, judges, and juries. He knows his way around the courthouse and will make sure his clients understand what they are up against and work for the best possible outcome. I suggest you talk to him and retain his services.

Attorney Marc E. Thomas

As an attorney specializing in employment litigation, I often refer clients to lawyers who specialize in other areas of the law. I feel my own credibility is at stake when referring a client to another attorney. Victor Norris is my immediate go-to for any criminal matter. I know he will instantly jump on the case and zealously represent the client. No matter what the issue, no stone will be left unturned. My clients typically thank me for referring them to Victor. He has a strong sense of what’s right and wrong, fair or unjust, and uses his years of experience, sheer will, fierce advocacy and respectful style of representation to obtain superior results. I know of several clients who were in extremely difficult situations and Vic managed to obtain a very successful result. He uses his experience and knowledge of the system to shut down investigations at the earliest juncture possible or get charges dismissed, but he will go the distance if needed. He’s a “whatever it takes” kind of lawyer. I highly recommend him.

Attorney Deborah L. Gordon

Mr. Norris has represented me on about 15 traffic violations in several jurisdictions. Never received any points or license suspensions. Can’t argue with results!

Anonymous

I regarded attorney Victor Norris one of the elite attorneys practicing in the Wayne Circuit Court who appeared before me in my courtroom. He was always prepared, thorough, and skilled. He was an intense and effective advocate on behalf of his client in open court and his written submissions were well reasoned and scholarly. I deemed him a credible attorney with integrity. I am not known for heaping such praise on many of the attorneys who practiced in my court room. But, Victor Norris’s clients were extremely well served.

Former Chief Judge Richard C. Kaufmann (Retired) – Wayne County Circuit Court

I am a long tenured physician without any professional discipline history, who was falsely accused of touching a female patient’s breasts during an orthopedic exam. Victor Norris represented me in a most thorough, effective, and tenacious manner. His attention to detail, his use of ancillary personnel and his personal attention was greatly appreciated resulting in a positive outcome in a case which could have been a professional and personal disaster. He shut down TV coverage of the alleged incident as well as the investigation without a warrant even being issued. He certainly could “talk the talk” with the detective in charge of the case and to whom Mr. Norris furnished his own fact intensive investigation and history of the complainant completely negating her credibility. Should I or someone I know ever need an attorney, Victor Norris would be my choice without question.

Anonymous

When we were referred to Victor Norris of Hertz Schram, my husband was facing a possible jail sentence and losing his license for a year. This was due to a rear-end commercial truck accident and Michigan law surrounding auto accidents resulting in injuries. It was an “accident” in the simplest context of the word. There was no reckless driving, speeding, or drugs or alcohol involved.

After Mr. Norris was informed several times the charges could not be reduced, he submitted written requests to the prosecutor’s office seeking additional consideration for charge reductions. He relentingly kept requesting meetings directly with the supervising assistant prosecuting attorney and police investigators to present compelling mitigating factors supported by expert witness analyses. A meeting was finally convened resulting in significantly reduced charges.

My husband ultimately obtained a minimal 30-day restricted license only, a minimal fine, zero points, no jail time or probation, and minimal restitution.

My husband and I found the one-and-a-half-year long case extremely stressful. Mr. Norris befriended us and was always comforting throughout this unfamiliar and difficult process. For all of this, we are very thankful we had Mr. Norris as our attorney. He could not have fought any harder on my husband’s behalf. 

Anonymous

I have had many cases against Victor Norris. He is a formidable opposing counsel and fierce advocate on behalf of his clients. Yet, he is refreshingly  civil and respectful, but nonetheless effective and persuasive. I always feel he deeply cares about each of his clients and cases. I sense he makes his clients feel their case is the most important he has ever handled. His oral advocacy in court is skilled and the product of many years of experience. His written court submissions are thorough and among the most scholarly I have seen. His credibility and integrity with city attorneys, assistant prosecutors, and Judges enhances securing the best result possible for his clients. Victor Norris’s clients are well served. Hopefully, they realize that.

Local City Attorney

Awards and Accolades