Calling his nearly 47 years of continuous service as a state and federal judge, ''an extraordinary privilege,'' United States Circuit Judge James L. Ryan has announced his retirement from the bench.
He will step down from active service as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge on September 3, 2010.
Ryan's long judicial career began with his election as a Justice of the Peace in Redford Township in 1963, followed by nine years as a Wayne Circuit Court Judge.
In 1975, he was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court by Gov. William G. Milliken where he served as an associate justice for another 10 years.
In 1985, the-President Ronald Reagan selected Ryan for a lifetime appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, where he ha served fro 25 years.
Ryan said he was leaving the court ''in good health and eager to spend time on a number of projects-some in the law, some not-that have interested [him] for years.''
He added, "I've spent almost 47 wonderful years on the bench. I've loved the work, and still do, but I promised myself years ago that I'd 'hang it up' before I began to lose 'the hum on my curveball and my E.R.A. started rising.'"
Judge Ryan graduated from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1956 and immediately entered U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School.
He was commissioned a naval officer in May 1957 and served on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps for three years as a military lawyer.
Upon release from active duty, he continued his military service for another 31 years as a Naval Reserve Military Judge and, in 1992, retired from the United States Naval Reserve with the rank of captain.
Judge Ryan has taught evidence, criminal procedure, and constitutional law at several law schools part time and lectured in judicial education programs in more than 30 states.
Ryan is married to Loretta Nagle Ryan. Both Judge and Mrs. Ryan's previous spouses are deceased.
''We have a happy and busy new life together,'' Ryan said. ''Our blended families comprise 10 adult children and 41 grandchildren, all living in Michigan.
"That tells you something about how active my retirement will be.''
Published: Mon, Jun 7, 2010