Lawyers honored at SBM annual meeting

By Roberta M. Gubbins

Legal News
The State Bar Annual Meeting and the ICLE Solo & Small Firm Institute held last week in Lansing gave lawyers across the state the chance to network as well as revitalize their practices by taking part in educational programs.

Governor Rick Snyder spoke at the awards banquet on opening night, thanking lawyers for assisting with the reforms taking place in Michigan. He also  applauded the success of specialty courts such as drug courts, mental health courts and veteran’s courts, as well as the improvements in indigent defense. 

Fifteen individuals who achieved the highest honors in areas of leadership, professional integrity, and community service were called to the podium and recognized. The award winners included:
• Kurt E. Schnelz - Roberts P. Hudson Award 
• Hon. Donna T. Morris - Frank J. Kelley Award
Professor James J. White - John W. Reed Lawyer Legacy Award
• Elizabeth A. Kitchen-Troop - Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award
• Marge Palmerlee - Liberty Bell Award
• Eugene Driker, Michele L. Halloran, Valerie R. Newman, Ann L. Routt, A. Kay Stanfield Spinks - Champion of Justice Award
• Robert G. Mossel - John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono 
• Martin P. Krohner - Michael Franck Award, Representative Assembly
• James E. Brenner, Elizabeth A. Stafford - Unsung Hero, Representative Assembly
• Jesse M. Reiter - Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, Respected Advocate Award
• Chad C. Schmucker - Michigan State Bar Foundation, Access to Justice Award
• Steven B. Galbraith - Michigan Association for Justice, Respected Advocate Award 

Brian D. Einhorn, of Southfield, was sworn in as the 79th president of the State Bar of Michigan at the SBM Inaugural Luncheon. Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. officiated at the ceremony. 

Also sworn in as officers for 2013-2014 were President-Elect Thomas C. Rombach, of New Baltimore; Vice-President Lori A. Buiteweg, of Ann Arbor; Secretary Lawrence P. Nolan, of Eaton Rapids; and Treasurer Donald G. Rockwell, of Flint.   

Prior to the swearing in of officers, Justice Michael F. Cavanagh was honored by Hon. Michael  D. Petosky, Chief Judge, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, for his efforts in bringing the Indian Tribal Courts and the state courts together as evidenced by the adoption of Michigan Court Rule 2.615, which provides for recognition and enforcement of Indian tribal court judgments. 

Justice Cavanagh was called to the podium to be wrapped in a “blanket of honor” and serenaded by Honor Drum Song. 

SBM Section meetings, held all three days, were opportunities for the members to conduct official business and gain new information. 

At the Military and Veterans’ Law Section, the newest State Bar section, John Wojcik, general counsel for the Michigan National Guard, talked about legislative efforts to give returning soldiers credit for skills learned in the military with the crediting and licensing agencies, grant in-residency status for returning students, and change some of the restrictive requirements of powers of attorney that adversely affect soldiers. 

Subscribe to the Legal News!
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available