Attorney Profiles

Paula M. Fisher

Paula’s law firm has been based in Michigan for 13 years, but she is originally from Southern California, where she graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English Literature with a sociology minor in 1987 and went on to obtain her Juris Doctorate degree from the California Western School of law in 1990.  Prior to obtaining her license to practice to law she was a licensed private investigator for 5 years, so she knows how to find the evidence needed to be successful in court.

Paula successfully sat for the Michigan bar examination in February 2000 and was admitted to practice law in May of 2000. Shortly thereafter she founded her law firm and has been taking on Tribal membership challenges ever since.

Paula has strong ties to the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan because she has been married to a Tribal member for the last 13 years and is currently pursuing her children’s membership with that Tribe.  She works closely with expert witnesses in the areas of genealogy and tribal language and tribal history.  She has traveled as far as California to handle the defense of disenrollment and has successfully argued for her clients’ continued membership in front of an entire tribal membership as well as addressed tribal council in chambers.  She has been successful at every level of Tribal Membership litigation, from the Enrollment Department, to the Office of administrative Hearings, to the Community Court and the Appellate Court.

Where ever there is a tribal Court, Paula is capable of being licensed and handling your families’ tribal membership case regardless of where your tribe is located.  She is fully versed in the importance of constitutional rights and Tribal ordinances and has fought for numerous revisions to membership ordinances that have enabled her clients to obtain their membership.

Paula has recently expanded her firm to meet the ever growing demand for her services by hiring Attorney Toni L. Sessoms as her Senior Associate. Together, Paula M. Fisher, Attorney At Law, P.C. has over 20 years of experience successfully navigating the legal system.

 

 

 

Toni Sessoms has been an attorney in private practice for 19 years, with a practice concentrated in Family Law, Criminal Law and Personal Injury.   She is licensed in theSaginaw Chippewa Tribal Community Courtand she has actively protected Tribal rights for over 10 years. 

Toni graduated from WakeForestLawSchoolin North Carolina  in 1993 with both academic and faculty honors.   Toni distinguished herself during law school in a variety of ways.  She was the editor in chief for the Jurist publication and authored several articles during her tenure.  She received the American Jurisprudence Award in Family Law, given to the student with the highest grade in the subject.  Toni’s grades earned her a top 10 percent position in her class on several occasions.  She was awarded the Women in Law Award, an honor bestowed by the faculty recognizing Toni for her leadership and as the most outstanding woman law graduate. 

She received a Masters of Divinity degree fromNyackCollegeinNew Yorkin 1986, receiving academic honors.  Toni also has been a Registered Nurse (with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro), licensed for over 25 years, practicing in the areas of Pediatrics and Neurological Intensive Care.

Toni has volunteered her time to local causes, includingMt.Pleasant’s Broadway Theater (board member for 3 years), the Child and Family Enrichment Council (board member for over 10 years) and theIsabella County Juvenile Drug Court.  Toni has volunteered her legal skills for organizations such as the Isabella County Women’s Shelter and various non-profit groups in Mid-Michigan.   She lives on her farm inDeerfieldTownship, where she enjoys gardening, horseback riding, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and beekeeping.

In February 2012, Toni joined Paula M. Fisher, Attorney at Law, P.C. as an Associate Attorney.  She handles matters in the areas of criminal defense, family law and is co-counsel on tribal enrollmentcases.  Since joining Paula’s practice, Toni  has the ability to assist her clients in resolving their legal problems through settlement when possible, or successfully presenting the cases to judges, juries and hearing officers when settlement is not possible.  Toni not only aggressively advocates for her clients, she also demonstrates a genuine compassion for their needs.  Toni  is a serious opponent in the areas of family law andcriminal defense and she makes her pressence known.