Daily Briefs

Snyder names Fichtner to 70-2 District Court in Saginaw County

Gov. Rick Snyder last week announced the appointment of Elian Fichtner to the 70-2 District Court in Saginaw County.

“Through hard work and a commitment to community service, Elian Fichtner has established a reputation of legal excellence in the Saginaw area community,” Snyder said. “I am confident that those qualities will serve her well as a district judge.”

Fichtner has been in private practice since 2005 with Smith Bovill, P.C.  She became a partner at the law firm in 2012 and was elected president of the firm in 2016. Fichtner is a member of the Probate and Estate Planning Section and the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the State Bar of Michigan. She is a member of the Northeastern Michigan Estate Planning Council and the Saginaw County Bar Association serving as Treasurer and Chairperson of the Memorial Committee. She is on the Saginaw Community Foundation Board of Directors, the Junior Achievement of North Central Michigan Board of Directors and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of the Great Lakes Bay Region. She previously was on the Board of Directors of Legal Services of Eastern Michigan.

Fichtner earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 2001 and a law degree from the Valparaiso University School of Law in 2005.

Fichtner fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Manvel Trice III. She must seek election in November 2018 for the remainder of the term.


Straker Bar Foundation seeking applications for inaugural scholarship

The deadline for applications for the D. Augustus Straker Bar Foundation’s inaugural Harry J. Pearce Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship is Monday, April 16. The Straker Foundation awards scholarships for minority students seeking financial assistance in the pursuit of a degree in law. There will be one scholarship awarded at the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association’s Corporate Counsel Breakfast, on Thursday, April 26, at the Skyline Club in Southfield.

On May 16, 1989, Harry Pearce, former general counsel of General Motors, authored a letter to GM’s outside counsel requesting that diverse lawyers be utilized on GM’s legal matters.  The Foundation will award a scholarship to a third year, minority law student who can clearly articulate their vision for advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

To qualify for the Straker Scholarship, applicants must be enrolled in an ABA certified law school program and in their third year of law school in 2017-2018 school year. An application form should be completed and submitted to the email address of Kymberly Kinchen at kkinche1@ford.com no later than Monday, April 16, 2018. Students may contact their respective law school Deans of Student Services or go to the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association’s website at http://www.strakerlaw.org to download an application.