3 attorneys inducted into Academy

Three prominent attorneys serving in the field of municipal law have been inducted into the Academy of Municipal Attorneys (AMA). Those inducted to the prestigious Academy are John Barr of Barr, Anhut & Associates in Ypsilanti; Peter Letzmann of Peter Letzmann Associates in Grand Rapids; and William Mathewson, general counsel for the Michigan Municipal League. The three were recognized during the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys Municipal Law Program in Lansing Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.

The Academy of Municipal Attorneys was established by the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys to recognize attorneys who have achieved a special level of education and service in the municipal law field.

"To be inducted into the academy is not just an honor, but it's an earned honor," said Andrew Mulder, a member of the Academy board and a municipal attorney in Holland. "To reach this level you must complete deliberate course work and also get recognition by your peers."

To be inducted, the attorneys must achieve educational and practice requirements. The educational component of the program seeks to train and educate the applicant in not only the basic elements of municipal law, but also to encourage academic and scholarly excellence in municipal law. The practice component recognizes the implementation of the academic component by applying the academic program to effective and competent legal practice. In addition, membership in the AMA seeks to encourage opportunities for dialogue, friendship and fellowship with social opportunities to promote the Academy, Mulder said.

Barr has been an attorney for more than 50 years, and currently is attorney for the city of Ypsilanti and other municipalities. He is the recipient of numerous other awards and recognitions, including the State Bar of Michigan Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award.

Letzmann has been an attorney for more than 40 years, and is also a mediator, consultant, municipal attorney and educator. He currently represents the Lowell Fire and Rescue Authority.

Mathewson, of Ann Arbor, has been the League's general counsel since 1997, and previously served in several distinctly different positions with the League in its Ann Arbor and Lansing offices. He also serves as secretary-treasurer of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys and is the fund administrator of the League's Legal Defense Fund, which provides appellate-level amicus assistance to municipalities involved in litigation of statewide importance.

Published: Wed, Oct 19, 2016