SBM to honor 3 local lawyers

State Bar of Michigan members will gather at the Lansing Center on Wednesday, Sept. 18 to honor 11 SBM award winners at a banquet held in conjunction with the SBM annual meeting.

The awards and honorees include the following Ann Arbor attorneys:

Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award

Elizabeth Kitchen-Troop, who focuses on high-conflict divorce and custody cases, learned a few years ago that a growing number of Washtenaw County residents couldn't afford quality legal representation.

So she asked her fellow Washtenaw County Bar Association Board members to help her figure out a way to address the issue. The board formed an ad hoc committee to look into matter; it soon became a committee of one.

No programs of its kind existed in Michigan, so Kitchen-Troop reached out to bar associations across the country with similar initiatives, learned about their programs, and figured out the elements that would and wouldn't work in Washtenaw County.

Her efforts led to creation of the Modest Means program, which provides legal representation at a reduced rate for individuals at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty guideline.

As Modest Means chair, Kitchen-Troop has mentored several volunteers, focusing on young attorneys or attorneys not experienced in family law.

Champion of Justice Award

Thanks to the work of Ann L. Routt--deputy director of Legal Services of South Central Michigan--Ann Arbor, the surrounding counties, and the state are better places.

During her nearly three decades with the organization, Legal Services of South Central Michigan has grown from an organization serving four countries to one covering 13 counties and overseeing five statewide programs: The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, the Michigan Poverty Law Program, Farmworker Legal Services, Michigan Law Help, and the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative.

Her career arc and the organization's growth during that time are certainly impressive; even more inspiring is Routt's work on behalf of domestic violence survivors, low-income parents, and others who would otherwise fail to get legal representation.

In her tenure with Legal Services of South Central Michigan, ?Routt has represented more than 1,200 clients, specializing in cases dealing with third-party custody, termination of parental rights, and domestic violence cases.

John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award

How many of us can say that our commercial transactions professor literally "wrote the book" on the UCC? Everyone who took Professor James (J.J.) White's Commercial Transactions class at the University of Michigan Law School can.

White really did write the book on commercial law. His "Handbook of the Law Under the Uniform Commercial Code," co-authored with Cornell Law Professor Robert Summers, remains the leading treatise on the UCC, not to mention the best selling hornbook of all time. White is also remembered as an unparalleled influencer of legal minds and a larger than life teacher with a wonderful sense of humor. Veteran lawyer and commercial law professor Barkley Clark who, along with his wife, co-authored two commercial law treatises, called White "the standard by which all commercial law educators are measured."

Published: Thu, Sep 5, 2013

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