Multi-faceted attorney sets sight on becoming judge


Editor's note: This is the third profile of the attorneys known to be running for Jackson County District Court Judge to fill the seat vacated by Judge James Justin. Gov. Rick Snyder will make the appointment.

By Tom Gantert

Legal News

Dan Goostrey has worn many different hats through the years. Now he'd like to add a robe to that wardrobe.

The Jackson attorney, who is a member of the Parker & Adams law firm, has been a commercial pilot, school board member, youth hockey coach and even a drummer/ singer in a band.

Goostrey's original career plans didn't include the law. His early dream was to be a commercial pilot, and from 1992-1994, Goostrey flew for Patrick Petroleum.

"I got to see every state in the country except Alaska and Hawaii," he said.

But Goostrey was laid off in 1994 when the oil business went south. He attended Cooley Law School, and after graduating in 1998, worked for Best, Heyns, and Klaeren (now Best, Heyns, and Schroeder) for four years. In 2002, he joined Parker & Adams where he does a lot of civil litigation as well as family law.

Goostrey, who has been married 22 years, has a daughter and son, ages 16 and 13.

Friends say Goostrey's passions involve hockey and his children. Although he played baseball and football while at Michigan Center High School, he's been involved in hockey since then.

Bill Rappleye, a Jackson attorney, played in the same hockey league as Goostrey about 12 years ago. Rappleye said he's watched Goostrey make sacrifices for his family since then, including quitting his own hockey team so he could be more involved in his children's lives.

Three times a week, Goostrey drives two hours and 20 minutes round-trip to take his daughter to hockey practice in Taylor. He's a coach on her team.

"He could be putting his kid in a car and shipping her over there with other parents," Rappleye said. "But he's really involved with his children. He has a lot of dedication to his kids. It's not showy-type stuff. To me, that is a pretty good character trait."

Dan Pero, a friend of Goostrey's from Lansing, also noted Goostrey's dedication to his children. On a Saturday, Goostrey will be in Saginaw for hockey try-outs for his son and then be in Taylor on a Sunday to coach his daughter's practice, Pero said.

"You get to know a lot about a person when you spend hours with him just talking," Pero said. "He has strong values. He's very ethical."

For the last nine years, Goostrey has been on the Napoleon Community Schools School Board, and now serves as president. If Goostrey is appointed judge, he said he'd have to resign as school board president because a judge can't serve in two elected offices.

Rappleye said he got to know Goostrey through their family businesses. Goostrey's grandfather started Superior Industrial Sales, which sells industrial equipment and is located on North State Street in Jackson.

Rappleye said Goostrey shares the same work ethic as his father and his uncle, who work for the family business.

"I guarantee you that even on a Sunday, they have grease and grime on their hands from doing something," said Rappleye. "That's something he picked up from them."

When not working, Goostrey said he finds relaxation in his music.

Goostrey is a drummer and singer for the local classic rock band "Bad Penny" - which is composed of relatives who play in local clubs. Bad Penny plays about six times a year. His favorite song to play is "Rockin' in the Free World" by Neil Young.

"It's all just for fun," Goostrey said.

Goostrey said he was a finalist for Jackson County Circuit Judge in August. Snyder appointed Richard LaFlamme to that position.

Goostry said one of the things he'd like to do if he becomes District Court judge is to start a drug recovery program similar to the one run by the Circuit Court.

That's just one of the reasons he wants to add judge to his resume.

"I see it as a better way to serve the community," Goostrey said.

Published: Mon, Mar 26, 2012


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