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Judge Acquits Lawyer in Highwaymen Club Case

posted on: Nov 18, 2010

Friends and supporters of Metro Detroit lawyer Hatim “Tim” Attalla hailed his acquittal on a drug conspiracy charge involving the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club.

Attalla, a lawyer at Miller Canfield, was indicted in May 2009 on charges of improperly acting as general counsel to the Highwaymen, many of whose alleged members and associates the government is prosecuting on racketeering and other charges. The case has yielded six convictions and more than 90 indictments.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds acquitted Attalla on Monday following a bench trial in federal court in Detroit.

“That’s awesome. He’s a good guy,” said Redford Township lawyer Samir Mashni, who has served with Attalla in an Arab-American and Jewish-American peace activist group. “Anytime you have the U.S. government, with all of its resources, targeting you and prosecuting you, it’s a very difficult, very difficult time.”

Attalla’s lawyers said in a court filing there wasn’t evidence against their client. The only drug the government linked Attalla to was a single Viagra tablet he was accused of giving lead defendant Aref “Steve” Nagi, defense attorney Thomas Cranmer said in a court filing.

The only other allegation against Attalla was that he advised defendant Don Watson to remain silent until he retained an attorney.

“Truth and Justice prevailed today,” Attalla wrote in a Facebook posting Monday. “My ordeal ended today with a NOT GUILTY verdict. I owe my heartfelt gratitude to so many of you who never stopped believing in me.”

In an e-mail to The Detroit News, Cranmer said his client “is thrilled with the verdict and … we believe justice was served.”

Robert Snell
The Detroit News