Appellate judge takes oath

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By Roberta M. Gubbins

Legal News

Mark Boonstra, a longtime senior principal at the Ann Arbor office of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C., was sworn in last week as a judge on Michigan's Third District Court of Appeals.

During the investiture, Allyn D. Kantor, adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School, noted that a good judge is one that has a passion for justice and the ability to think and write about the law clearly.

"Mark Boonstra has that ability," he said.

Ann Arbor attorney former state senator Anthony A. Derezinski noted that he relied on Boonstra's analysis of new laws when Boonstra was on his staff years ago.

"Now Mark will be applying his outstanding legal skills in full time public service for the people of Michigan," he said.

Other speakers included Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette; Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr.; and United States Court of Appeals Senior Judge Ralph B. Guy, Jr, for whom Boonstra clerked.

Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Boonstra to the seat in March to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Richard Bandstra. The appointment runs through Jan. 1, 2013. Boonstra and three other incumbents are running for four seats in the November election. His partial term expires on Jan. 1, 2015.

Boonstra, the former chairman of the Washtenaw County Republican Committee, placed his left hand on the family bible held by his wife Martha Rabaut Boonstra when he repeated the oath of office and officially became the 80th judge to serve on the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Boonstra said that soon after Snyder appointed him judge, former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Cliff Taylor advised him not to turn and look around for someone else when he's addressed as "judge."

He joked that six months into the job, he finally realizes he's the judge being addressed.

Boonstra said he believes it's not the role of judges to make law.

"And I promise to abide by that rule of law principal--to follow the law, rather than tinker with it," he said.

"I learned from Judge Guy that a judge should be courteous, respectful of all, of good temperament, modest, and humble."

A reception for Boonstra concluded the investiture, which was held at the Michigan Library & Historical Center in Lansing.

Boonstra graduated from the University of Michigan in 1983 with both a Juris Doctor degree and a master's in economics. He is a native of Muskegon.

The Michigan Court of Appeals was created in 1963 and is one of the highest volume intermediate appellate courts in the country. Its judges are elected from four geographical districts in the state.

Published: Thu, Oct 4, 2012

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