Daily Briefs, December 9

Two Michigan Circuit Court judges receive honors at Cooley
Two Michigan Circuit Court judges, who teach at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, are recipients of the school’s Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award. The Honorable Colleen A. O’Brien, judge of the Oakland County Circuit Court, and the Honorable Rosemarie E. Aquilina, judge of the Ingham County Circuit Court, have been chosen to receive this year’s award.

The Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award recognizes adjunct faculty members who best display dedication to the law school, excellence in teaching; passion for persuasive advocacy, compassion for law students and optimism about life and the future of legal education. Cooley Law School established the award in 1997 in memory Rick Griffith who taught at Cooley as an adjunct professor for nearly two decades until his untimely death at age 52. He was a former Michigan Supreme Court Commissioner and practiced of counsel with the Lansing law firm of Murphy, Brenton & Spagnuolo.
Despite the demands of a busy Circuit Court docket, Judge O’Brien has taught pre-trial skills at the Auburn Hills campus for 11 consecutive terms. Judge O’Brien is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Detroit College of Law. After a 17-year career as a litigation attorney, she was elected to the Oakland County Circuit Court bench in 1998 where she continues to serve.

Judge Aquilina has taught a wide variety of courses to students at the Lansing campus including, in the last year alone, animal law, defending battered women, legislative process and three sections of family law. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She spent 20 years as an officer with the Judge Advocate General Corps as the first female JAG officer in the Michigan Army National Guard. At the same time, she worked full-time as a lawyer and on the staff of then-Senator John Kelly in the Michigan Legislature. After retiring from the National Guard, she focused on her own Lansing law practice. Then in 2004, Aquilina was elected to the 55th District Court, followed by the Ingham County Circuit Court in 2008.

Holiday Hours
The Third Circuit Court Civil, Criminal and Family Divisions will be closed Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 26 in observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, Wednesday, Dec. 28, and Thursday, Dec. 29, the Court will be open for essential services only, including criminal arraignments, probation violation, failure to appear warrants, personal protection orders, parental waivers, and other emergency civil and family division matters. The County Clerk’s office will be open to accept civil and domestic relations pleadings and new case filing from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on those days.
The Court will be closed on Friday, Dec. 30 and Monday, Jan. 2 in observance of New Year’s Even and New Year’s Day, and will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 3. The emergency procedure that is posted in the Detroit Legal News every Friday should be followed for any after-hour emergency matter.


  1. No comments
Sign in to post a comment »