Daily Briefs

Asmar to receive DMBA Barristers Pro Bono Award

Bodman PLC associate attorney Donovan S. Asmar has been awarded the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association’s Barristers Pro Bono Award. The award is given annually to an outstanding attorney who has practiced for fewer than ten years and who has made extraordinary accomplishments through his or her participation in pro bono activities.

Asmar is a member of Bodman’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice group. He represents clients involved in commercial litigation matters. Before joining Bodman, Asmar clerked for Justice Mary Beth Kelly of the Michigan Supreme Court, who has since joined Bodman.

Asmar’s nomination, submitted by fellow Bodman attorney Michael Serra, focused on his pro bono work with a family of Iraqi asylees. The family’s journey to America followed years of persecution, imprisonment, and even torture in their native country.
To accomplish permanent residency in the United States for the five family members, Asmar had to learn a new area of law and prepare detailed applications for each family member, including compiling hundreds of pages of supporting documentation.

The Barristers Section of the DMBA consists entirely of attorneys who have worked for fewer than ten years in the legal field. The Barristers provide new attorneys with tools and opportunities to exercise their leadership skills, get involved in their communities, and further their education in their practice area.


Nominations open for Child Welfare Awards

The State Court Administrative Office’s Foster Care Review Board is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Child Welfare Awards, which are given every year in the fall to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to Michigan’s foster children.

“The awards program provides a forum for recognition of the excellent work that is performed by child welfare professionals who work diligently to overcome systemic barriers and go above and beyond policy, court rule, and statutory standards to help ensure the safety, well-being, and timely permanency for children and families served by our foster care system,” said FCRB Program Manager James Novell. 

One nominee from each of the following categories will be recognized:

• Jurist of the Year.

• Foster Care Worker of the Year.

• Lawyer-Guardian Ad Litem of the Year.

• Foster Parent of the Year.

• Parent Attorney of the Year.

Nomination criteria can be found online at www.courts.mi.gov/fcrb by clicking on “Child Welfare Awards.”

The nomination deadline is Sept. 6.  Finalists will be chosen by a panel of Foster Care Review Board members, and award winners are chosen by a panel of child welfare professionals and advocates, including award winners from the past year.  This year’s award recipients will be recognized at the FCRB annual training conference on Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport Hotel in Romulus.
The FCRB serves as a statewide system of third-party review of the foster care system.  The program is administered by the State Court Administrative Office, the administrative agency of the Michigan Supreme Court.