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Detroit attorney Cliff Woodards remembered for his wit, legal skills, love of community

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The Detroit legal, political and community communities, and the community in general, paid their final respects to prominent attorney Cliff Woodards II on Saturday with words of praise and heartfelt memories.

Woodard’s friends and colleagues, known for his quick, sharp wit and sharp comments, praised him as an intellect that could win arguments with just his words.

Woodard’s radio broadcasts and Facebook page considerations were also popular with Metro Detroiters and the area’s legal and political circles.

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Attorney Wyatt Harris said Woodards was fearless in the courtroom.

“He was absolutely brilliant,” said Harris. “It touched many lives and it definitely touched mine.”

36th District Court Judge Ronald Giles said Woodards “was my friend … my brother.”

A private funeral service was held at the Charles Step Funeral Home in Redford Ward on Saturday. A tour took place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the funeral home.

Karen Dumas, PR manager in Detroit, a close friend of Woodards, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, and Woodards’ daughter Melissa Connelly also spoke at the funeral.

Dumas said Woodards was “intelligent, kind, and loving” and had a personality as colorful as his suits and signature sunglasses.

Connelly said her father was the “ultimate measure of a man,” while Jones described Woodards as “astute,” ready to debate any topical issue.

Jones added, “He had compassionate behavior that made him a friend of mine and a friend of many. Cliff was a life-loving man whose years were far too short in a pointless accident.”

Woodards, 58, was killed in the early morning of February 8 when a police SUV slammed into his vehicle on Interstate 96 near West Chicago.

Woodards reportedly left a Super Bowl party. The police vehicle reportedly responded to an emergency request for assistance and travel at high speed.

Detroit police chief James Craig said a police Ford Explorer was walking with the lights and sirens on as it exited the freeway at 90 km / h. It slowed to about 47 mph when it reached the intersection before hitting Woodards’ car.

Emma Velasco, right, pays tribute to friends of Cliff Woodards II during a memorial service at the Charles Step Funeral Home in Redford Ward on Saturday, February 13, 2021.

The Rev. Tellis Chapman, who praised Woodards, said the popular lawyer isn’t afraid to be himself.

“He said, ‘I have to be me,'” Chapman said, referring to Woodard’s colorful clothing in the courtroom and outside. “Brother Cliff decided to be himself.”

Chapman, pastor of the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, said Woodards was “a man of conviction who operates in his own context … also on the right track.”

Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday it had received an arrest warrant from the Detroit Police Department in connection with the police crash.

“It will take a few weeks for forensic reports to arrive,” said Wayne County Assistant Attorney Maria Miller, Wayne County Attorney Spokeswoman Kym Worthy. “These are required before a fee decision can be made on this matter.”

Abouzeid, right, and Michael Glynne paid their respects to longtime colleague Cliff Woodards on Saturday, February 13, 2021 at the Charles Step Funeral Home in Redford Ward.

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Dusty Kennedy