My practice focuses on claims for civil rights violations, debt collection defense and affirmative claims against debt collectors, eviction defense and affirmative claims against landlords, and divorce. I have also represented clients in custody proceedings, personal protection proceedings, land contract forfeitures, quiet title actions, Social Security appeals, criminal cases, guardianship proceedings, and probate estate cases.
I opened my own firm to assist clients in resolving their legal needs in a compassionate, effective, and efficient manner. The legal process is complicated and often locks out those who cannot afford an attorney. I have structured my practice to increase access to the court system, whether through direct representation in difficult cases or limited-scope representation in matters that clients can handle themselves.
I earned my Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2009. In order to support myself, I opened my first business when I was nineteen years old. After graduation, I worked in retail for four years before attending law school.
I earned my Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit in 2016. During law school, I competed in the National Appellate Advocacy Competition as a member of the school’s Moot Court team. I also drafted a note on the impact of the introduction of Form 1023-EZ on charitable organizations and their client populations as well as acted as the Symposium Director for the Journal of Law in Society. Lastly, I was a competitor in both the Student Trial Advocacy Program and the Transactional Law Competition.
I received a number of awards during law school. I was awarded the Ira J. Spoon Endowed Award of 2016, which was conferred for a paper I submitted outlining ways in which supporting black-owned businesses would foster productive urban development. I was also awarded the Lincoln Brigade Veterans Scholarship, which is awarded to those with an active commitment to social justice. Lastly, I was awarded the the National Lawyers Guild’s Outstanding Law Student Award in 2016.
During law school, I worked for a civil rights firm where I supported the partners in a major personal injury case against a defense contractor, as well as in constitutional claims, Americans with Disabilities Act claims, and habeas corpus petitions. After law school, I worked for an attorney that represented employees in discrimination, whistleblower, and harassment claims.
Prior to opening my private practice, I worked for a legal aid organization. While there, I specialized in prosecuting affirmative claims against landlords, defending against land contract forfeitures, defending against debt collection lawsuits, and assisting people with utility shut-offs. In addition, I handled a significant number of divorce, custody, and personal protection cases as well as eviction defense cases. The fast-paced environment of legal aid provided me with the tools to run an efficient and effective practice without sacrificing my compassion for people going through some of the most stressful times in their lives.
I believe it is important to remain an active member of our community. I am a board member of the Detroit & Michigan Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. I have also coached a Wayne Law Moot Court team each year since my graduation.
I look forward to learning more about you as we work together to resolve your legal issue.
IN THE NEWS
February 1, 2020 McKinney found not guilty of armed robbery by jury
March 12, 2019 Group wants renters to have lawyers in eviction cases
May 23, 3016 Sean Riddell wins social justice scholarship
May 16, 2016 Wayne Law student wins social justice scholarship
Amyra Woods is a lifelong Detroiter. An alumnus of the Detroit Public School System, she graduated from Bates Academy and Cass Technical High School before earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wayne State University, followed by Wayne Law. She has a passion for resolving conflicts and researching resources for civic and social causes.
Ms. Woods is a licensed attorney by the State Bar of Michigan and a Member of the Detroit Bar Association. She previously worked at Wayne State University Law School’s Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic where she served minorities, immigrants, and women, protecting their civil rights, and representing them in immigration and criminal proceedings. As a mediator to the courts at Wayne County Mediation Center Ms. Woods; provided support and fostered relationships towards positive resolutions from conflict.
As a civil servant concerned with her community, Ms. Woods served as a poll site senior chairperson for the City of Detroit’s Department of Elections. There she acted as the precinct’s Spanish translator, oversaw ballot tabulation, and assisted elderly and disabled voters.
Before practicing law, Ms. Woods civic and social activism were sparked as a Multimedia Journalist. She worked with 3 major media networks – WXYZ Channel 7 Broadcast House, WDIV Channel 4, and WJBK FOX 2 News – in the newsroom, special projects, and community services. She has published works for the Ferndale Patch and the WSU’s South End newspaper that specializes in reporting social, political, and business news in the mid-town area.
Ms. Woods’ drive for social and economic justice was further honed through her legal and master’s studies. Under the guidance of PhD. Donyale Padgett, Ms. Woods facilitated a Brown Bag lunch discussion for the Humanities Center called Using Dialogue to Facilitate Inclusion on College Campuses: The Case of the University of Missouri, exploring organized social movements and successful political protests at universities. She also created and moderated the program, Aged Out: Race & Ethnicity in Child Welfare, which brought together judges, lawyers, social workers, and community leaders to address the social and economic issues children of color face in the foster care system.
Now, Ms. Woods continues to follow her passion for social and civic justice as an attorney at the Riddell Law Firm PLLC. Having joined the firm in 2021, she assists clients with constitutional litigation and civil rights lawsuits, family law cases, and landlord-tenant disputes. Ms. Woods’ goal is to leave a visible footprint in helping folks who need and desire protection and grant a safe haven for them during these challenging socio-economic times.
Alex Kavieff is deeply connected to the legal issues that face residents of Detroit, and across the country. With nearly a decade of experience in the courts, she brings first-hand insight to Michigan families facing cases in Wayne County, and across the state.
In 2012, Alex earned a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University in English and Politics and Government. She went on to Wayne State University Law School, earning her Juris Doctorate in 2016. There Alex developed a well-rounded understanding of the law, working as a law clerk for the Third Circuit Court in Wayne County, a Michigan appellate judge, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, in Detroit. She also worked for the Levin Center in Washington D.C., assisting the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI).
Ms. Kavieff developed a special focus on issues relating to Michigan families, working for the Solutions Oriented Domestic Violence Prevention Court (SODVPC) and the Free Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC) in Detroit. She also participated as a student attorney in Wayne Law's Asylum and Immigration Law clinic.
Alex’s legal insight didn’t end with law school. In 2017, she began working as a Judicial Assistant to the Honorable Connie Marie Kelley (retired) in the Family Division for the Third Circuit Court of Wayne County. She continued to work in the Family Division for the Honorable Mary Beth Kelly and, most recently, for the Honorable Helal A. Farhat. There Alex was able to help unrepresented parents and spouses and the survivors of domestic violence get the help they needed to navigate a challenging, and often intimidating court system.
Now, Alex Kavieff serves as a paralegal at the Alex is not admitted to practice in Michigan the Riddell Law Firm PLLC. Having joined the firm in 2021, she assists the firms’ attorneys, and our clients, with family law cases and other litigation matters, helping us build the strongest case for our clients.
James Martines was born and currently resides in the city of Detroit. As a minority raised in a working-class family, he has had firsthand experiences with issues of racial and economic justice. It is those experiences that led James to pursue a career in law.
In 2018, James earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in African-American Studies from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He graduated with high distinction and was invited to present at the Meeting of the Minds research conference where he led a panel discussion on the formation of the Constitution. During this time James also worked as a bartender and as a mechanic fixing pneumatic and hydraulic machinery.
Prior to attending law school, James volunteered for a term with the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program in Detroit, where he worked to improve the health and well-being of communities. While with AmeriCorps, James connected with residents, businesses, and local leaders in efforts to reduce crime and meet the needs of different neighborhoods in Detroit. After his term with AmeriCorps, he worked at the Wayne State Center for Urban Studies as a research technician. In this position, James conducted surveys with parents of children with special needs, analyzing the data and proposing strategies to improve the children’s educational experience.
In 2019, James was awarded the Damon J. Keith Scholarship to attend Wayne State University Law School. He is currently pursuing his legal education there and sits on the board of the law school’s student chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. In addition to attending law school, James is employed by The Riddell Law Firm PLLC as a legal clerk. In that position, James assists clients with gathering their information and documents for their cases, drafts discovery requests and responses, investigates factual issues, researches and writes on legal issues, and assists in hearing and trial preparation. He is firmly committed to improving access to justice for clients and using his skills and knowledge to improve the greater community