Ann Arbor attorney Anthony Patti appointed as U.S. magistrate

 By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News
 
Ann Arbor attorney Anthony Patti says he is humbled by his recent appointment as United States magistrate judge, fulfilling a longtime dream.
“I really think it’s a position where I can serve people well—serve the public, serve the litigants appearing before me and serve the district court judges of the Eastern District of Michigan,” he says. “My particular skill set fits this job well, and I really love the law. I think my experience of 24 years in the practice of law and the broadness of my practice, both geographically and substantively, will be an asset as I serve those who appear before me, and the public in general.”
Chief Judge Gerald E. Rosen of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan made the announcement in September. Also selected was Elizabeth A. Stafford of Grosse Pointe Farms; the two, who have successfully undergone background checks by the FBI and the IRS, are filling vacancies created by the elevations of Judges Laurie J. Michelson and Mark A. Randon. 
Patti, 48, one of 50 attorneys who applied for the posted position, will be sworn in as a magistrate judge on Tuesday, Jan. 6, with a public investiture at a later date. 
A court-appointed merit selection panel conducted interviews, then recommended Patti and nine others to a panel of U.S. District Court judges, which conducted its own interviews and ultimately chose Patti and Stafford.
Magistrates are judges in the federal system, unlike in the state system. But they are eight-year renewable appointments rather than lifetime, and handle a wide variety of specific matters. Patti expects to enjoy all of it, but as a trained mediator expects to be particularly well suited to handling settlement conferences.
A native of Long Island, N.Y., Patti attended the University of Michigan before earning his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. On the other side of the lectern he has taught as an adjunct professor at Cooley Law School for three years, and taught at several other colleges, including Ave Maria School of Law, Lourdes College, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College.
A partner at the law firm of Hooper, Hathaway, Price, Beuche & Wallace, P.C., for close to two decades, Patti is a trial lawyer in the areas of complex and simple commercial, intellectual property, tort and personal injury litigation, as well as appellate work. His current six-mile commute to work in downtown Ann Arbor will expand to 45 miles to the historic Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse on Lafayette Boulevard in downtown Detroit.
But Patti doesn’t mind. He already spends a good amount of time in Detroit professionally as well as personally. He and his wife, Helen – parents of Anthony Michael, 22, Gabriella, 20, Francesca, 17, Marcello, 13, Lucia, 10, Gianpaolo, 8, and Stefano, 2 – are fans of the Tigers and the Detroit Institute of Art.
“The other thing that I like about being in Detroit is that most of the judges in the eastern district are located in Detroit, so it will help me feel connected with them,” says Patti, who believes the Motor City is poised for a rebound. “And I’ll have the resources of being at the main courthouse.”
He’ll miss two things: the ability to serve as a trusted advocate for his clients, and the collegiality of the firm, where he’s worked for 25 years.
“I think I’ve been very fortunate working in a modest-sized law firm of 14 attorneys, to be able to represent people with such a variety of legal issues,” he says. “One of the most satisfying things is that clients have told me I allowed them to sleep at night. I think that’s part of the lawyer’s job, to take something that’s really burdening a person, and let them entrust it to you so that you can try to find a reasonable solution for them.” 
Patti is also happy that he’s had a good relationship with the overwhelming majority of opposing counsel.
“I’ve made great friends in the practice of law, and also with the people on the other side,” he says. “I think I’ve been able to do that in a civil way, but also in an effective way on behalf of my clients.”
Patti’s colleagues at Hooper Hathaway are proud of his success. “Anthony and I have worked very closely and successfully on several large commercial litigation matters over the last nearly twenty years,” said attorney Angela Jackson. “He is an extraordinarily effective and tenacious advocate, with the highest ethical standards. He is thoughtful, careful, and fair and will make a fantastic magistrate judge. I will very much miss working with him.”

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