Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the appointments of people for two key posts within the governor's Executive Office, naming outgoing state Rep. John Walsh to be the director of strategy and Judge James Robert Redford to be the chief legal counsel.

Walsh succeeds Bill Rustem, who retired in the summer after a long, distinguished career in public service. Redford follows Mike Gadola, who was appointed to be Michigan Court of Appeals judge this month.

Walsh was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2008 and was a key voice in the work that led to the "Grand Bargain" legislation that helped bring Detroit's bankruptcy to a close and mitigate the impact on pensions for people who have served the city's residents.

While in the state House, Walsh served as speaker pro tempore and was a member of the important Appropriations Committee, chairing the Judiciary Appropriations Subcommittee.

Prior to his election, Walsh worked as an attorney and an executive at Schoolcraft College. He also was a member of the Livonia City Council. He earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Redford has served as Kent County Circuit Court judge since 2003, following a distinguished and diverse career practicing law in state, federal and military courts. He has nearly three decades of service in the U.S. Navy as part of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, including five as a military trial judge. He also served eight years as a federal prosecutor in the Western District of Michigan before joining Plunkett & Cooney PC in private practice and being elected to the Kent Co. Circuit Court in 2002.

Redford earned his bachelor's degree at John Carroll University in Ohio and earned his law degree at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Redford also studied at the University of Notre Dame's London Law Center in the summer of 1984.

Walsh's appointment becomes effective Jan. 5, 2015, while Redford will begin on Jan. 14, 2015.

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The Michigan Supreme Court has issued an Administrative Order appointing Judge Michael J. Talbot the chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals. He will serve the remaining year of a two-year term starting on January 1, 2015, and will succeed outgoing Chief Judge William B. Murphy who served the first year of the term.

As chief judge, Talbot will be responsible for overseeing the administration and management of the Court of Appeals, which includes case management, budget, and employees. In addition to his appellate duties, he will continue to serve as chief judge of the Court of Claims until his term expires on May 1, 2015.

The Michigan Court of Appeals, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015, was recognized in a 2013 report by the National Center for State Courts for its high level of business process discipline and the implementation of private sector methodologies and tools in its case management system.

Talbot was appointed by Governor John Engler to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1998, and was most recently re-elected to the court on November 4, 2014, for another six-year term commencing on January 1, 2015, and expiring on December 31, 2020. In May 2013, he was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to serve as the special judicial administrator of Detroit's 36th District Court, where he led the effort to restructure the court until September 2014.

Previously, Talbot had been appointed by governors of Michigan to serve as a judge of the Wayne Circuit, Detroit Recorder's, and Detroit Common Pleas courts. He was a member of the Judicial Tenure Commission from 2004 to 2010, and presently serves by appointment of the Michigan Supreme Court as chair of the Court Reporting Board of Review.

Talbot is a trustee of Madonna University, Sacred Heart Major Seminary and the Archdiocese of Detroit Endowment Fund. He received his bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Published: Mon, Jan 05, 2015


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