Supreme Court Justice Cavanagh honored

by Cynthia Price
with reporting by Oakland County Legal News

 The Catholic Lawyers Society (CLS) hosted is Annual Meeting and Brunch on Sunday, April 28, at The Ark at St. Ambrose in Grosse Pointe Park. 

After mass and during the brunch, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael Cavanagh was presented with the Monsignor Malloy Award, the highest honor given by the CLS. 

Michael F. Cavanagh was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1982, and re-elected in 1990, 1998, and 2006, His current term expires Jan. 1, 2015, and he is prevented from running again by his age.
Cavanagh served as the court’s Chief Justice from 1991-95.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Detroit in 1962, Justice Cavanagh went on to receive his Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Law School in 1966.

Justice Cavanagh worked hard to pay his tuition, including as an investigator for the Wayne County Friend of the Court. His parents were a factory worker and a teacher, originally from Canada.

A former Lansing City Attorney, Cavanagh served as a partner in Farhat, Burns and Story, P.C., from 1969-1971. He was elected to the 54-A District Court in 1971. Upon his election in 1975, Cavanagh became the youngest person ever elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals, where he served until 1982.

He is the former chair of the Board for the American Heart Association; past president of the Incorporated Society of Irish/American Lawyers; on the board of directors for Thomas M. Cooley Law School; and was a member of the Commission on the Future of the University of Detroit Mercy. Other positions include Vice President of the Conference of Chief Justices, Chair of the National Interbranch Conference of Funding the State Courts, Chairman of the Judicial Planning Committee, Michigan Crime Commission, Judicial Coordinating Committee, and Chair of the Sentencing Guidelines Committee. Justice Cavanagh has served as Supreme Court Liaison, Michigan Indian Tribal Courts/Michigan State Courts since 1990, attending many Indian Law conferences.

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