Michael L. Mittlestat Becomes SADO Deputy Director

2013 Outstanding Advocate Replaces Outgoing Deputy Jonathan Sacks

The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) is pleased to announce the promotion of Michael L. Mittlestat to the position of Deputy Director.  The position will become vacant at the end of January, 2015, when Jonathan Sacks assumes the leadership of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC), as its Executive Director.  Mr. Sacks served for seven years as SADO’s Deputy, managing numerous innovative projects and a legal staff of approximately two dozen staff attorneys.  The MIDC oversees Michigan’s county-funded system for delivery of trial-level criminal defense services.

“Jonathan Sacks leaves a legacy of passion and excellence,” says SADO’s Director, Dawn Van Hoek.  “We look forward to working with him as the IDC tackles the difficult issues ahead, and are confident that he will excel in this arena as well,” she adds. 

Michael Mittlestat has served as an Assistant Defender at SADO since 2005, following federal court clerkships and seven years at the Washington Appellate Project.  Recently, he has taught SADO’s Criminal Appellate Practice Clinic at Wayne State University Law School.  He is a co-author of SADO’s Defender Trial Book, and frequent lecturer for the Criminal Defense Resource Center.  Mr. Mittlestat received the 2013 Outstanding SADO Advocate Award, presented by the Appellate Defender Commission, recognizing his work in several landmark appellate cases.  That work included outstanding legal advocacy on behalf of clients Rayfield Clary, Denzel Hardy, Ashanti Locket, Anthony Brooks, DeCarlos Hureskin, and Anthony Little, as well as his inspired writing of a position supporting retroactivity of the U. S. Supreme Court’s Miller v Alabama decision.  “Michael enjoys the respect of all, and will be a terrific leader in his new role,” Ms. Van Hoek says.