Robert Baker The Empathetic Lawyer By Donald Talonen

Local attorney Robert J. Baker has been involved in representing clients with interesting circumstances and varied amounts of media attention. One of those clients was Marlena Pavlos-Hackney. Marlena is the owner of Marlena’s Bistro & Pizzeria in Holland Michigan. Marlena Pavlos-Hackney is a Polish immigrant who escaped communism in 1983 and after a long journey, she became a United States citizen in 1992. Marlena was jailed for four days and fined $15,000 for keeping her restaurant open and for her alleged refusal to comply with health officials upon request during the COVID pandemic.

Executive Order No. 2020-21 took effect March 24, 2020, at 12:01 am, and was to remain in effect until April 13, 2020, at 11:59 pm. Despite the Executive Order Marlena’ Bistro & Pizzeria was open to the public allowing customers to make their own decisions, believing that this was their Constitutional Right as an American citizen. The case gained national attention and Marlena made appearances on multiple news channels, including being interviewed by Tucker Carlson. Marlena received an overwhelming amount of support from the community who were concerned with the government’s overreach of authority and abuse of power by issuing unconstitutional orders. Oddly enough the Order was disobeyed later by Gretchen Whitmer who had put the Executive Order into effect. Adding insult to injury, the hypocrisy relating to Marlena’s treatment for a similar situation did not go unnoticed.

After months of remaining open during COVID safety protocols, Marlena’s food license suspended and on March 4, 2021, a bench warrant was issued for Marlena Pavlos-Hackney. Marlena was subsequently arrested on March 19, 2021 and she spent the next four days in jail. Marlena was charged with contempt of court for her defiance or court orders by ignoring mask mandates and capacity limits.

Prior to Marlena’s release from jail, she had been receiving poor legal advice disguised as “assistance of counsel” from Richard Martin, who is the founder of Constitutional Law Group. On March 19, 2021, Richard Martin filed an appearance claiming, “assistance of counsel” and was promptly arrested for his actions. Judge Aquilina told Martin, “You have formally, by your own hand, told this court you were a lawyer and you wanted to represent your client. This is an appearance. This is for lawyers.” Martin was then held in contempt of court since Martin is not licensed to practice law in the state of Michigan.

Attorney Robert Baker joined the case on March 19, 2021. Marlena was released from jail on March 23, 2021, after paying her fines and providing proof of closing her restaurant. Marlena’s Bistro & Pizzeria was rebranded as Marlena’s and complied with the court order. Robert Baker was instrumental in helping Marlena resume her normal life.

The new Marlena’s celebrated a grand reopening on September 21, 2021, with her attorney in attendance to support his client in her fight for freedom.

Marlena became a symbol of freedom for many who supported her while the restaurant became pit stop public officials. Marlena believes that it was her right as an American citizen to remain open against the unconstitutional orders that were imposed upon her. Many agreed and donated $336,004 towards a $350,000 goal. The GoFundMe page was shut down by the organizer, Jon Rocha on February 10, 2022, who announce that he had filed to run for State Representative in Michigan because of the “tyrannical actions of our Governor”.

2 Average Joe’s, a podcast co-hosted by Robert Baker and Joseph St. John have also provided support and a verbal resource to further share her warnings about the loss of individual freedoms. The podcast is interesting because we get to learn more about the previous struggles Marlena experienced during her childhood in Poland. At the time, Poland was under the control of Communist Russia. Marlena provides valuable insight into the importance of her so-called willful defiance when she simply wanted her choice to be her own, not her government’s choice.

Attorney Robert J. Baker is dedicated to protecting and preserving the constitution. Marlena’s story tells us that Robert and his associates are always fighting for their client’s outside of the courtroom. I do not like many attorneys, but R.J. Baker & Associates clearly goes above and beyond.

In summary, Marlena’s actions were clearly not with malicious intentions, instead it was an attempt to exercise her constitutionally protected rights as an American citizen. Attorney Baker clearly understands his client’s need for support in a difficult situation. This is why Attorney Baker is always serving his client’s best interest.

I was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and raised in Holland, Michigan. I have a positive attitude towards life, and I always try to learn something new every day. This mindset has allowed me to experience many interesting things in life, from bagging groceries to building log homes and spending time as an industrial painter.

Donald  Talonen

I discovered my passion for working with databases while working in information systems. I enjoy the analytical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning aspects of my work. My job has taught me the importance of collaboration, and I value the benefits it brings.

I am passionate about writing and dream of becoming a writer. I believe that writing allows me to express myself and inspire others. I also enjoy photography, videography, and music production as they allow me to express my creativity and bring my ideas to life.

In addition to these, I also have a strong attachment to comic book heroes. As a child, I was always fascinated by their extraordinary abilities, their unique personalities, and the impact they had on the world around them. I enjoy drawing and often find inspiration from these characters, which has helped me to develop my artistic skills over the years. Overall, I believe that my passion for writing and content creation, combined with my love for comic book heroes, has shaped me into the person I am today.

I find solace in the act of creation and enjoy inspiring others to pursue their passions. I hold a firm belief that where there is a will, there is a way.

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