Call to Justice award winners announced

Elder Law of Michigan announces the 2012 Call to Justice Award Winners with Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick, and attorney Thomas V. Trainer among the top honorees. The Call to Justice Awards celebrate the leadership and pro bono contributions of attorneys and others who are dedicated to protecting the rights, health, nutrition, housing and economic well-being of vulnerable adults reflecting the vision and values of Elder Law of Michigan. Honorees share a commitment to access to justice and lead by example through community and public service.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will receive the Leadership Award for Contributions in Law and Aging for his steadfast and long term work in fighting hunger, his support of consumer education for older adults through the Senior Brigade http://www.seniorbrigade.com/ and his commitment to victim rights.

Oakland County Circuit Court Edward Sosnick will be honored with the Judicial Contributions to Law and Aging Award. Sosnick is being recognized for his work in elder abuse prevention and his interest in supporting a system of justice that protects victims, helping them recover and transition after surviving serious crime and injury.

Attorney Thomas V. Trainer of Kemp Klein will receive the hallmark Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice Award. Trainer will be honored for his many years of service as an advocate for older adults and people with disabilities, his excellence as an elder law attorney, his commitment to educating professionals in the field of law and aging, and as a tireless volunteer for and donor to Elder Law of Michigan. Trainer created the Elder Law of Michigan Pooled Trust, which is an important financial tool for people with disabilities.

Also being honored by Elder Law of Michigan are State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker and Paul Bridgewater, president and CEO of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging.

Schuitmaker (District 20, Lawton, MI) has been selected for the Action Award for Contributions in Law and Aging. This award is given to a leader of vision and principle who is making an immediate and tangible impact in our state. Her leadership in the area of Elder Abuse Prevention has been instrumental in advancing personal and financial safety in the Legislature.

For decades, Bridgewater has been a leader and visionary in providing, developing and advocating for older adults and people with disabilities. His collaborations with organizations like Elder Law of Michigan to fight poverty, hunger, and to ensure access to legal services, along with groundbreaking research with institutions including Wayne State University, are important and lasting contributions to the field. He is being honored with the Vanguard Award for Contributions in Law and Aging.

The presentation of awards will be hosted on Thursday, May 3, at the Country Club of Lansing. Former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley will be the master of ceremonies. He will be joined by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman and State Bar of Michigan President Julie Fershtman of Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith PC.

More details on the event, offered in cooperation with the Ingham County Bar and Access to Justice Campaign, are posted at www.elderlawofmi.org/events. Net proceeds will benefit Elder Law of Michigan through the Access to Justice Fund.

Published: Thu, Apr 12, 2012