Daily Briefs

Kingsley honored with MJA Hilda Gage Award
Hon. James C. Kingsley of the 37th Circuit Court (Calhoun County) is the 2012 recipient of the Michigan Judges Association’s Hilda Gage Award for Judicial Excellence, MJA President Timothy G. Hicks announced last week.

The award is named in honor of the late Judge Hilda Gage, who served on the Court of Appeals and the Oakland County Circuit Court. The award recognizes current and former circuit court and Court of Appeals judges who have excelled in trial and docket management, legal scholarship, and contributions to the profession and the community. The award also honors judges who serve their profession and their communities with integrity, skill, and courage.

Kingsley is a graduate of Albion College and the Northwestern University School of Law. He has served as a Calhoun county circuit judge since 1982 and has also served as his court’s chief judge.

Kingsley is a faculty member for the Michigan Judicial Institute and lectures at Albion College. He has served as a member and president of both the Michigan Judges Association and the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Alton T. “Tom” Davis praised the choice. “Judge Kingsley has exemplified, without lapse, the high standards of professional conduct and scholarship we ask all in our profession to aspire to,” he said.

Kingsley’s colleague and current Chief Judge, Hon. Allen L. Garbrecht, said, “Judge Kingsley — by his words and his actions — has shown me how an outstanding trial judge should act on the bench, off the bench, and in the community. I have been blessed to be his colleague.”

Albion College president Dr. Donna M. Randall noted that Judge Kingsley’s “capacity to understand the depth and nuances of politics is exceptional. Equally impressive is his ability to frame the issues in ways that students understand.”

AG’s Solicitor General’s Office receives award

Attorney General Bill Schuette announced last week that Michigan Attorney General’s Solicitor General Office has received the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Best Brief Award for 2012.

The award has been received for Michigan’s merits brief in Howes v. Fields.  The winners were selected by a panel of eight independent Supreme Court experts, each of whom is a leading member of the Supreme Court bar.

Solicitor General John Bursch, Chief Legal Counsel Richard Bandstra, Deputy Solicitor General Eric Restuccia, and Assistant Attorney General Brian Neill were recognized by NAAG for their work on the brief.

“As I’ve said many times, we have a great team and we have the best Solicitor General’s Office in America,” said Schuette, “This award is welcome recognition that the People of Michigan are being represented by outstanding legal minds.”

In Howes v. Fields, the United States Supreme Court reversed a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and reinstated the conviction of a defendant who sexually abused a child. The defendant’s attorneys had persuaded the Sixth Circuit that his confession while in prison was inadmissible because he hadn’t received a Miranda warning. Michigan persuaded the Supreme Court to reverse, with the Court concluding that the police had acted properly in questioning the suspect.


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