Kelly appointed to juvenile justice committee

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Mary Beth Kelly, now vice-chair of Bodman PLC’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group, has been appointed to a two-year term on the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (FACJJ).

The FACJJ is a consultative body established by the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. It is supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, a part of the U.S. Department of Justice that works with states and communities to develop and implement programs for juveniles. The FACJJ advises the president and Congress on juvenile justice matters, evaluates the progress of juvenile justice activities and projects, and advises the administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The FACJJ is composed of appointed representatives from state advisory groups. Kelly will serve as the primary committee member for Jurisdiction I, which includes Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
“I look forward to working with the committee to address the needs of young people who are involved in the justice system and those who are at risk for involvement,” Kelly said. “The Committee’s mission is squarely aligned with my personal interest in developing a system of justice that is better equipped to help families and children.”

Kelly has a long history of public service, with a special focus on causes that promote the welfare of children and families and an equitable juvenile justice system. As chief judge of the Wayne County Circuit Court, she led efforts to double the size of the court’s Family Division to devote more resources to cases concerning children and families. During her tenure on the Supreme Court, she served as the court’s liaison for child welfare and juvenile justice matters, providing leadership and expertise on behalf of the court to the legislative and executive branches and other stakeholders. She currently serves as chair of the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice and has chaired other statewide committees that promote child and family welfare.

While on the Supreme Court, Kelly wrote the dissenting opinion in People v. Carp, which would have applied retroactively the constitutional requirement that juvenile offenders receive an individualized sentencing that takes into consideration the offender’s youth, personal characteristics, and circumstances of the crime before being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The U.S. Supreme Court adopted Justice Kelly’s dissenting position in Montgomery v. Louisiana in 2015.

In her legal practice, Kelly counsels and guides companies through various state administrative issues and procedures while effectively helping clients avoid litigation or additional exposure. She also acts as a mediator for commercial disputes related to sophisticated business issues.

Kelly is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She served as a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court from 2011 to 2015 and as a judge of the Wayne County Circuit Court from 1999 to 2010, including three terms as chief judge. She is the only woman to ever serve as chief judge of that court.

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