Monday Profile: Charles Hoffman

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Chuck Hoffman of Charles G. Hoffman, P.C. in Ann Arbor is a northern Michigan native.  He practiced law in that area for 30-plus years after graduating from the University of Michigan in 1974 and Detroit College of Law in 1978. 

Hoffman was city attorney in Cheboygan from 1979 to 2010, attorney for the Cheboygan County Road Commission from 1980 to 2013, and served as attorney for Benzie and Gladwin Road Commissions for many years.  He has represented many townships and served as a consultant to governmental units and private litigants throughout his career.

Although having experience in social security disability, personal injury, corporate law and domestic matters, he narrowed his private practice over the years to real estate matters.   He has litigated real property and municipal matters throughout both peninsulas, with an emphasis on public and private roads, easements, boundaries and riparian rights.

He also maintains a cottage succession, probate, estate planning and elder law practice with emphasis in Medicaid and Medicare matters.

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

What is your happiest childhood memory? I grew up in a village on a large lake in Northern Michigan, about as ideal as any place I can imagine.  I have two sisters and a brother; we were close-knit and allowed to be independent at an early age.  There were a limited number of local families during the school year, but in summer, our population would grow tenfold.  Our lives centered around swimming, fishing, water skiing, bonfires and ball games.  The quiet off-season was appreciated after those busy summers and it allowed us to bond with local friends.  Sure, we eventually had work obligations, but it’s difficult to pick out one memory when my entire childhood was an absolute blast! 

Why did you become a lawyer?
I formed the idea when very young and never lost it.  It was during the early ’60s with Camelot, and before all the unrest that would follow.  It seemed as if most people in the news were lawyers.  I was a good student at an early age, so why not?

What would surprise people about your job? I am just as much or more excited by each new matter as I was in my first years of practice.  I can remember my evidence professor saying the shingle was a ticket for a ringside seat to the greatest show on earth.  In my experience, those words were very accurate.  After all these years, it’s still very exciting to be a lawyer. 

What do you wish someone would invent?
How about a form of government or a default within that form that would result in a more responsive, fair and efficient operational structure should there be such prolonged, political polarization as currently exists.  Our infrastructure is crumbling around us and nobody has any idea when or if we might expect a remedy.    

What has been your favorite year so far?
Each day on the right side of the sod is a privilege.  They have all been favorites; we are here for such a short time.    

What is your most typical mood? Analytical, but always looking for the bright side.

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party? My dad and two cousins who passed on some time ago, together with my brother, wife and two friends who were close with all of us. Just once more to be able to say goodbye this time … just one more time.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. They are devoting the remainder of their lives to making a science of benevolence. 
What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? I love the mountains and oceans; so, maybe the Pacific Coast in Oregon and Washington.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? Every trial I’ve won; every time I help a client.

What do you do to relax?  I read.  Also, I love hunting deer and partridge; picking morels and shaggy manes; fishing trout, perch and walleye.

What word do you overuse? It’s best not to print it.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do?
To be better able to understand and operate the technological devices I have available to me.

What is something most people don't know about you?
One of my hobbies is technically analyzing markets.

What is the best advice you ever received?
Work hard; be prepared.

What do you drive? Although I once was, I’m not into the car game.  I expect that anything I do drive be able to get me from point A to point B in a safe and efficient manner.     

What would you drive if money were no object?
The type or make are not an item of importance, except that it be reliable.

Favorite place to spend money: Grocery stores, restaurants and bookstores.  

What is your motto?
Be better prepared than your opponent, always.

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