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DETROIT – Richard Bernstein officially joins the Michigan Supreme Court in a few days. But he’s been working off the clock since November, preparing for 10 cases in an extraordinary way – memorizing the key points of every brief read to him by an aide.
Bernstein, 41, has been blind since birth. After winning the election, Bernstein had an assistant at his family’s Detroit-area law firm begin reading briefs to him for mid-January arguments, including a medical marijuana case and a labour dispute covering thousands of state employees.
“It would be much easier if I could read and write like everyone else, but that’s not how I was created,” Bernstein said. “No question, it requires a lot more work, but the flip side is it requires you to operate at the highest level of preparedness. … This is what I’ve done my entire life. This goes all the way back…
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