Drug Units Bust A Prominent Defense Attorney

Posted at 4:55 PM, Feb 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-27 22:43:51-05

TERRY NOLANMUSKEGON, Mich. – Terry Nolan is a well known defense attorney in Muskegon who has been practicing law in the area for years. In the lobby of the Nolan Law Office on Apple Avenue are newspaper headlines from prior victories for clients in the courtroom. Now he’s the one making headlines of his own after being arrested and put in jail on a charge of cocaine use.

Muskegon County prosecutor DJ Hilson issued the drug arrest warrant moments before sitting down with us Wednesday afternoon. Hilson said Nolan is a respected lawyer in the area.

“He is a local defense lawyer that does practice here in Muskegon,” said Hilson.  “He has practiced in the area for a number of years and has been around in the community for longer than that.”

Walter Wilson, a former client who considers Nolan a friend said, “I think one of the reasons that he is respected is for the very reason that he is in jail tonight, and that is he has a will of steal,” Wilson said. “No matter how many times he falls, he wants to pick himself back up.”

Wilson is referring to Nolan’s past arrests.  In 2002 he was arrested for buying $300 worth of crack in front of undercover police. He pleaded guilty to drug possession.

In 2003, Nolan was arrested for use of a controlled substance and also entered a guilty plea.

After those convictions, Nolan lost his law license.

According to his colleagues, Nolan passed the bar again and returned to the profession three years ago.

The Nolan Law Office issued a statement saying the staff is, “shocked and deeply saddened after receiving the news of Terry Nolan’s arrest.”

The prosecutor said it is too soon to say if Nolan will again be stripped of his ability to practice law.

In the meantime, attorneys at the Nolan Law Firm said they will continue to practice in his absence and welcome any calls from Nolan’s current clients.

One of Nolan’s brothers is a judge in Muskegon.

According to the prosecutor, the judge has dismissed himself from handling the case.

Nolan was taken to the Ottawa County Jail, while the courts work to see where the case will move forward.