Snyder fills two judicial vacancies

Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the appointment of Richard LaFlamme to the 4th Circuit Court in Jackson County. LaFlamme will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Chad Schmucker.

"Richard LaFlamme is an excellent addition to the Jackson County Circuit Court bench," said Snyder. "He brings years of experience and a solid understanding of the law. Rick stood out as the most qualified candidate and will be an outstanding judge."

LaFlamme opened his own law firm in 1989 and specializes in employment, commercial and business law, and civil litigation. He has tried numerous cases at the state and federal levels. He previously worked at Dykema Gossett.

LaFlamme is a 1971 graduate of William G. Mather High School in Munising. After four years of active duty in the Army, he earned a bachelor's degree from Northern Michigan University in 1977. In 1980 he received a law degree from the University of Michigan.

He currently serves as a trustee and vice chairman of Allegiance Health and was a board member of the Jackson County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority from 1999-2009.

A Clark Lake resident, LaFlamme has been a Jackson County resident since 1982. He and his wife Kathy have five children.

LaFlamme's appointment runs through Jan. 1, 2013. He will have to seek election in 2012 for the balance of the term which ends in 2016.

Snyder also recently appointed Preeti Gadola to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

The tribunal is an administrative court that hears tax appeals for several categories of Michigan taxes. Most of the tribunal's appeals include property taxes, though it also hears business and individual tax disputes.

"Preeti Gadola's extensive background experience in this particular legal field will be instrumental to the tribunal as it works to resolve tax disputes," Snyder said.

Gadola, of Haslett, serves as a contract hearing referee for the Michigan Tax Tribunal. She presides over hearings on the subjects of real property valuation, principal residence and poverty exemptions from taxation. Gadola also works as a grader for the Michigan Bar Exam. She previously served as an assistant attorney general in the revenue division, representing the Michigan Department of Treasury and as an associate attorney for Adams, Mott and Staniszewski. Gadola also worked as a hearing referee for the Tax Tribunal from 1992 to 1994. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Gadola's term will commence Sept. 6 and she will serve the remainder of a four-year term expiring June 30, 2013. She represents attorneys and replaces Patricia Halm. The appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Published: Tue, Aug 16, 2011

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