Cooley Law Review hosts 25th annual Distinguished Brief Award Banquet


By Roberta M. Gubbins

Legal News

For the 25th year, members of Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, fellow students, professors and their guests gathered to honor the winners of the 2010 Distinguished Brief Awards at the Country Club of Lansing on June 16th.

Cooley Assistant Professor Bradley Charles, host for the banquet said, ''This year we celebrate the silver anniversary of the Distinguished Brief Award. Cooley's Law Review has been encouraging exceptional advocacy through practical legal scholarship for twenty-five years. We're very proud of this accomplishment.''

The winners of the awards were:

* John Bursch, Julie Lam and Matthew Nelson of Warner, Norcross and Judd, received the award for their Amicus Curia Brief in the matter of Edry v Adelman (Docket No. 138187).

* Christopher Bzdok of Olson, Bzdok and Howard, and Michael C. Grant, Alexandria, VA, were honored for their brief on behalf of the Plaintiff/Appellee in Kyser v. Kasson (Docket No. 136680).

* Kim McGinnis and Anne Yantus of the State Court Appellate Defenders Office for their Defendant/appellant brief in the case of People v McGraw, (Docket No. 132876).

''The Distinguished Brief Award," said John Bursch, in accepting the award, "recognizes great writing and excellence in advocacy. I am pleased to have been honored with the award.''

The Distinguished Brief Award is given in recognition of the most scholarly briefs filed before the Michigan Supreme Court as determined by a panel of jurists who volunteer their time to read and judge the briefs submitted. The briefs are evaluated in seven categories: the question presented, point headings, statement of the case, argument and analysis, style, mechanics, and best overall brief.

The winning briefs "are added at the end of Cooley's law review issues in the original format," said Cooley Professor Otto Stockmeyer. The briefs are published to answer the question, "What does a good brief look like?"

The Hon. Dennis Drury, Judge, 52nd District Court, was the keynote speaker. Assigned as Oakland County Drug Judge in 1996, he gave an overview of the activities and success of the Drug Courts and Sobriety Courts across Michigan and the nation.

Judge Drury noted that for a modest cost well below cost of incarceration, drug courts are able to treat defendants who are required to be involved in treatment, attend a 12 step program, be randomly drug tested and are intensely supervised. The recidivism rate for Drug treatment courts is below that for other defendants. Even those who drop out or are unsuccessful only re-offend 24% of the time.

"They must get something out of it," Judge Drury said.

Published: Thu, Jun 24, 2010


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