Staff & Board of Directors



Edward J. Hoort, Interim Director


Mr. Hoort graduated from University of Detroit Mercy with his JD in 1975. Prior to joining CCJ, Mr. Hoort was the Executive Director of Legal Services of Eastern Michigan, a position which he held for 29 years. He has worked in the legal services arena for 40 years. He has been counsel in over 50 state wide class actions and has been instrumental in legislative changes in domestic relations, public benefits, housing, nursing home rights, and consumer issues. Mr. Hoort continues to teach Non-Profit Administration courses at University of Michigan and has done so for the past 14 years. Mr. Hoort formed CCJ in 1995 when federal restrictions prohibited legal services programs from undertaking many types of advocacy on behalf of the poor.


Lysa Postula-Stein, Staff Attorney


Ms. Postula-Stein is an attorney and community organizer from Metro Detroit. For many years, Ms. Postula-Stein was "the only female securities attorney in Michigan," primarily helping elderly investors recover their retirement savings from fraudulent investment professionals and the nation's largest brokerage houses. During that time, Ms. Postula-Stein was also appointed to the State Bar of Michigan Standing Committee on Character and Fitness. Previously, she was a State of Michigan Court of Appeals Prehearing Attorney, a long-term Intern for the United States District Court in Chicago, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Past President 2010-11, and an Executive Board Member of Michigan’s League of Women Voters - Oakland Area. Ms. Postula-Stein has also served in a variety of leadership roles for community-based organizations, including Executive Director of The Birmingham Temple, Grant Writer for the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, Co-Founder of LEAP, Living Educational Alternatives Program, and Program Coordinator of Detroit Compact. Ms. Postula-Stein obtained her JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2000 and her AB in Social Sciences from the Residential College of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1997. She speaks Spanish proficiently and is acquainted to varying degrees with American Sign Language, French, Hebrew and Arabic.

Marie DeFer, Staff Attorney


Ms. DeFer received her law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and her undergraduate from Northeastern University in Boston.  Prior to law school, Ms. DeFer worked as a Paralegal-Mediator at the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. While in law school, Ms. DeFer interned at the University of Michigan's Office of the Vice President and General Counsel - Health System Legal Office, 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri, the National Health Law Program, and Saint Louis University's Civil Advocacy Litigation Clinic. Ms. DeFer was a Lead Editor of the Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy, a David Grant Clinic Student Attorney Award finalist, and recipient of the Saint Louis University School of Law's Leadership Award.

Veronica "Nickie" Perera, Staff Attorney


Ms. Perera received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and her undergraduate degree in public policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Prior to CCJ, Ms. Perera was a staff attorney at Lakeshore Legal Aid's Counsel & Advocacy Law Line. While in law school, she interned for the ACLU of Michigan and a prominent civil rights litigation firm in Detroit, MI, and was a student attorney at the University of Michigan's Human Trafficking Clinic and Low Income Tax Payer Clinic.

Jackie Doig, Director of Advocacy


Ms. Doig is a graduate of Duke University and Boston University School of Law. Prior to working for CCJ, she was a Directing Attorney and Litigation Director at Legal Services of Eastern Michigan and a Staff Attorney at Georgia Legal Services. Doig received the "Champion of Justice Award" from the State Bar of Michigan in 2011. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan, and is past Chair of the Administrative Council for the State Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section. She started her work in poverty law in 1981 and has been with CCJ since 1996.

Mary Vizcarra, Health Advocate


Ms. Vizcarra graduated with a B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan-Flint. She was previously the Food and Nutrition Program Coordinator at CCJ. She has been with CCJ since 2002. Se habla Espanol.



Due to legal requirements of one of CCJ’s major funding sources,50% of CCJ’s Board of Directors must be attorneys. If you are interested in potentially serving on the board, please send a letter to

Executive Committee:

  • Bruce Petrick, President, Attorney, Underground Railroad, Saginaw County

  • Antwan Edson, Secretary, Consumer Representative, Genesee County

Board Members:


  • George Heron, Retired, former Director United Way of Bay County, Bay County

  • Karen Webster, C.P.A.  Vice-President, AXA Advisors, LLC, Saginaw County

  • Ravi Yalamanchi, Metro Community Development, Genesee County

  • Charles Grossman, Attorney, Genesee County


Thank you for helping to provide the legal and advocacy services that would otherwise be inaccessible to our most vulnerable neighbors.

To donate directly to CCJ, go to the "Donate" tab above.

To donate to the Access to Justice Campaignuse the DONATE NOW link on our sidebar.