Judge to retire after 28 years on bench


After 28 years of service to the bench, Judge Richard B. Halloran, Jr., is retiring from the Third Circuit Court’s Family Division at the end of the year. The Wayne County Family Law Bar Association is hosting a retirement party in Halloran’s honor Nov. 7.

Halloran was born and grew up in the Buffalo, New York, area. He graduated in 1970 from Canisius College with a B.A. in Psychology. He graduated from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1975 and was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan that fall. While in law school, he was the director of Residence Halls at the University of Detroit.

Starting in 1974, he worked as a civilian attorney with the Department of the Army, first with the U.S. Army Tank Command in Warren and then the Corps of Engineers in Detroit until June, 1982.

He ran for judge of the 36th District Court in 1981, along with 72 other candidates for seven new judgeships. Finishing 24th in that group, he was encouraged to run again in 1982, finishing 15th for seven additional judgeships.

In 1983, he quit the practice of law and went into the real estate investment business, where he served as regional vice-president of several national real estate firms until 1990. Halloran says it was during his time away from the practice of law that he learned what the public thought of lawyers and judges, which has aided him in his judicial career and influenced how he manages his courtroom.

In 1990, he returned to law, becoming a magistrate in the 36th District Court in Detroit. He was then appointed by Gov. John Engler as judge of the 36th District Court in 1994. He was not elected in 1996 and briefly went into private practice before becoming an administrative law judge for the Michigan Liquor Control Board.

In 1998, Engler appointed Halloran to the Third Circuit Court bench, where he has served in the Family Division for the past 20 years, turning down opportunities to move to the Civil Division.

Halloran has been actively involved in the fight against domestic abuse. He helped create the first domestic violence docket in the 36th District Court. He actively campaigned to help create personal protection orders and making stalking a crime. He served for 8 years as co-chair of the Wayne County Coordinating Council to Prevent Family Violence. He served on the Governor’s Task Force to create standards for batterer intervention programs. He served on the State Domestic Violence and Treatment Board and most recently as a member of the State Bar of Michigan Domestic Violence Committee. As a Circuit Court judge he created the Personal Protection Order Docket and was instrumental in developing the Solution Oriented Domestic Violence Prevention Docket that deals with high lethality cases.

He also served on the Family Law Council of the State Bar of Michigan, serving as chair of the Section from 2016-17. He was involved in the creation of the LGBTQA Section of the State Bar and served as its
chair from 2017-18.

He has been honored numerous times for his work on the bench and indicates he is especially proud of the awards he received for his work on behalf of victims of domestic violence. He is proudest of receiving the Marilyn J. Kelly Award for outstanding service as a Family Division judge from the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan in 2017.

Halloran also sings in Measure for Measure, a men’s chorale society.

Halloran is age limited and will officially retire January 1, 2019. His last actual day on the bench will be December 28, 2018.

For additional information on the retirement party hosted in Halloran’s honor, email Claudine Fets at claudine@tusalaw.com.