Annual Justice Tribute awards to be presented to Kelly, Steinberg

The ACRL and the Detroit Branch of the NAACP will be hosting the 5th Annual Justice Awards Tribute event Tuesday, June 25, at the Music Hall rooftop.

This signature event features the joining of two premiere civil rights organizations to honor individuals who have dedicated their lives to equality and justice and to celebrate the goodwill and perseverance of our community.
This year’s honorees are Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Kirsten Frank Kelly and attorney Michael Steinberg, legal director of ACLU Michigan, who have demonstrated commitment to reform and justice.

Kelly was elected to the Court of Appeals in 2000 and reelected in 2006, 2012 and 2018. After law school, Kelly joined the Detroit law firm of Durant and Durant, where she practiced civil litigation, and became a partner in the firm.

In 1987, she was elected a municipal judge, and she was twice reelected to that position. She was appointed to the Wayne County Circuit Court by Governor John Engler in 1994. In 1997, she was appointed presiding judge of the Family Division of the Wayne County Circuit Court by the Michigan Supreme Court. In 1999 she was also appointed the presiding judge of Family Division - Juvenile Division.

Kelly served two terms as president of the Michigan Association of Municipal Judges and served on the board of directors of the Michigan District Judges Association. She also serves on the Rules and Family Law committees of the Michigan Judges Association.

Steinberg has served as the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan since 1997 and is responsible for overseeing all litigation taken on by the ACLU throughout the state.

Since joining the staff of the ACLU, Steinberg has worked on numerous high impact, high profile cases on a wide range of civil liberties issues including: freedom of speech and expression, post 9-11 issues, racial justice, LGBT rights, police misconduct, women’s rights, reproductive freedom, voting rights, religious freedom, right to counsel and prisoner rights.

Steinberg is a former president of the Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and a founding board member of Michigan Peace Action. He was selected by Harvard Law School as a public interest fellow for the 2007-08 academic year.

In addition to his ACLU work, Steinberg teaches public interest litigation and is a Public Interest/Public Service Fellow at the University of Michigan Law School. He is also the founding director of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Clinic at Wayne State University Law School.

The tribute awards event is co-chaired by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen M. McCarthy, Family Division, and U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker, Eastern District of Michigan.

The event is by invitation-only.

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