FBA to hold seminar for new lawyers

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 Helping to prepare for the Federal Bar Association’s upcoming New Lawyers Seminar are (l-r) Brian Figot, Terri Serra, Brian Hartwell, U.S. District Chief Judge Gerald Rosen, Tom McNeill, Lauren Mandel, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Steven Whalen, Cathrine Wenger, and Chris Graveline.

 
Photo by John Meiu
 
United States District Court Chief Judge Gerald Rosen, Eastern District of Michigan, has announced the annual New Lawyers Seminar which will be held in Room 115 of the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse and Federal Building, 231 West Lafayette in Detroit, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 3-4.
 
The program is a “nuts and bolts” how-to-do-it approach to practice in federal and state courts, designed to assist recent law graduates in understanding the fundamental procedures followed in those courts.

The seminar is co-sponsored by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Federal Bar Association, and the State Bar of Michigan’s Young Lawyers Section. Rosen emphasized that the seminar is not a prerequisite for an individual to be admitted to practice in the courts, but rather a voluntary educational program that law school graduates are encouraged to attend.

The seminar begins at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, with registration and presentations on federal courts. The program continues on Wednesday, Dec. 4, with state court practice and a luncheon addressed by Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Virgil Smith.

The faculty of the seminar is made up of experienced attorneys, court personnel, and judges who are well-qualified to present the subjects.

Judges speaking at the seminar on the first day include United States District Judges Patrick Duggan, Marianne Battani, and Victoria Roberts, along with United States Magistrate Judge Stephen Whalen.

Experienced attorneys on the second day include Albert Dib of Dib and Fagan PC, Tim Wittlinger of Clark Hill PLC, Ann Tobin Levigne of Ann Tobin PC, and Rich Hewlett of Varnum LLP. Bob Agacinski, administrator of the Grievance Administration, also presents on the ethical practice of law.

Co-chairs for the seminar are attorneys Christine Dowhan-Bailey, Brian Figot, Grant Gilezan, Geneva Halliday, Theresa Serra, and Cathrine Wenger. 

The seminar costs $95. Admission includes both days of the seminar, the luncheon on Dec. 4, and course materials on a CD-ROM containing form pleadings and memoranda expanding on the topics covered by the speakers. A special price of $170 includes the seminar plus membership in the Federal Bar Association (limited to attendees who have been admitted less than five years — an $190 value). 

Reservation checks should be made payable to the FBA Eastern District of Michigan Chapter, and mailed to: New Lawyers Seminar, c/o FBA Executive Director, PO Box 20759, Ferndale, 48220. Anyone with questions may call Brian D. Figot at 248-594-5950, or e-mail: fbamich@fbamich.org. On-line registration also is available at www.fbamich.org, under “Events and Activities.”

There will also be a ceremony admitting attorneys to practice in federal court coordinated with this program on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 4:15 p.m. in the United States Courthouse for all those who have been admitted to the state bar and meet requirements for admission to the bar of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. This is a separate ceremony with a separate admission fee of $226 payable to the Clerk, United States District Court. Additional information is available at www.mied.uscourts.gov.

Although the focus of the program is on recent graduates, those experienced attorneys wishing to attend the seminar are welcome. Attendance satisfies the federal practice seminar requirement for admission to the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. 

This seminar has received national attention including a special interest in the programs from the Federal Judicial Conference. Because of this publicity, similar programs have been instituted in federal courts located in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Minneapolis.

Space is limited to 125 participants and is expected to be sold out. It is suggested that reservations be mailed in early to assure a place. The Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter’s telephone number is 248-594-5950. 

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