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Judge Avery D. Rose took the bench on January 1, 2023. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Rose was appointed to serve as the probate register for Kent County in 2019, where he oversaw the administration of the Probate Court and the Kent County Guardianship Program. Prior to that, in 2015, Judge Rose was named as the probate register at the Allegan County Probate Court, where he also served as an attorney/referee. During his tenure in Allegan County, Judge Rose also served as the President of the Allegan County Bar Association, participated in the Allegan County Community Corrections Advisory Board, served as board member for the Allegan County Legal Assistance ...
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Judge Julie Gatti graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989. She received her Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University in 1995. Judge Gatti was elected to the Circuit Court bench in November 2018. Prior to her election, Judge Gatti was in private practice, specializing in Family Law. She served 9 years on the Board of the Macomb County Bar Association (MCBA) and was elected its 85th President. She was the proud recipient of the MCBA’s Civility Award for 2017-2018. Judge Gatti serves on the Board of Directors of The Resolution Center. Additionally, she is a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan ...
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Judge Karl Barr was elected to the bench in November 2022, and he began his term on January 1, 2023. He currently presides at the 14A-2 District Court in Ypsilanti, Michigan. After law school at Michigan State College of Law, Judge Barr worked in the tax department of Plante Moran and then joined Barr, Anhut and Associates, PC, in Ypsilanti. His practice areas included municipal law, real estate, trust and estates, criminal prosecution, and civil litigation. What types of cases are on your docket? My docket is a mix of civil and criminal. I handle all matters typically heard in a district court including landlord-tenant, general ...
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Curtis J. Bell is the chief judge of the Kalamazoo County Probate Court and 9th Circuit Court in Michigan. He was appointed to the court by former Governor Jennifer Granholm on February 8, 2005, and assumed office on February 25, 2008. He has served as chief judge of the court since 2014. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? It depends on whether the hearing is in person or virtual. If it is an in-person hearing, an attorney should go directly into the courtroom where they can either come to the judicial aide’s desk or the judicial aide will inquire of those present prior to the hearing. Should the hearing be ...
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Hon. Amanda J. Shelton was elected to the 6th Judicial Circuit Court in November 2022 and was assigned to the family division. Prior to being elected, Judge Shelton practiced law for 18 years (2004-2022). Judge Shelton is a member of several professional organizations. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? For matters on Zoom, attorneys need to identify themselves by name and case number. Attorneys need to make sure their clients properly identify themselves as well. We get many folks showing up as “iPad,” “Samsung”, etc. For motion call, the court schedules motions in 15-minute blocks, so ...
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Hon. David J. Allen was appointed to the Wayne County Circuit Court by Governor Jennifer Granholm in December 2003. He practiced law for ten years prior to taking the bench. He currently serves on the civil docket and as a business court judge. What types of matters/motions are held via Zoom and which are held in person? Trials are in person. I hold everything else via Zoom, unless the parties request otherwise. What is your check-in process? For both motion call and everyday status and settlement conferences, I let everyone into the Zoom room, and my law clerk directs counsel to use Zoom’s chat function to check in. I don’t use ...
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Judge Kinsella was appointed to the circuit court on April 27, 2022, by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Prior to her appointment to the Oakland County bench, Judge Kinsella spent nearly 20 years at Miller & Tischler, PC, in Farmington Hills in litigation practice and served as the firm’s vice president and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? For all in-person matters, an attorney need only enter the courtroom where one of my two clerks will greet them and check them in for their matter. For Zoom matters, attorneys need only sign in to the Zoom courtroom, and ...
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Judge Slay began serving the Washtenaw County community in 2005 as a program manager at Community Corrections and later as an assistant Washtenaw County prosecuting attorney. From 2017 to 2022, Judge Slay served as a deputy city attorney in the city of Ann Arbor, focusing on municipal matters, ordinance prosecution, and criminal justice reform. She took the bench on December 7, 2022. She currently presides over the personal protection order docket as well as family law and criminal law cases. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? There is no formal check-in process. Attorneys check in with the ...
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Judge Robert S. Sykes, Jr. is a life-long resident of Ionia County. He is a graduate of Purdue University and Valparaiso University School of Law. Upon graduating from law school, he worked in private practice, primarily with the law firm of McNamara, O’Keeffe and Sykes until being elected the Ionia County Probate Judge in 2004. He is a member of the Ionia County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. He is the 2010 recipient of the Robert E. Weiss Judicial Leadership Award and the 2016 recipient of the Michigan Foster Care Review Board Jurist of the Year. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what ...
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Hon. Catherine L. Heise has been a judge for the Third Circuit Court in Wayne County since her appointment on April 10, 2014. An experienced trial lawyer, Judge Heise served as a case evaluator with the Mediation Tribunal Association and was a member of the council of the Insurance and Indemnity Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. She earned the designation of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter in 2013 and has authored several published articles on insurance-related issues. Judge Heise served as a councilwoman in the city of Dearborn Heights from 2003-2006. She also served on the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery from 2012-2014 and chaired ...
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Judge Jennifer J. Manley was elected to serve on the 67th District Court in November 2014. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Manley was in private practice with the Manley Firm, PC, now Manley & Manley, where her primary practice area was criminal defense. Judge Manley spent the bulk of her career with the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office. The majority of her time was spent as a circuit court trial attorney. There she prosecuted hundreds of felony cases, including trying and winning some of Michigan's most notorious murder cases. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? When you arrive in person for court, ...
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Hon. Qiana Denise Lillard was appointed to the Wayne County Circuit Court on August 7, 2013. She won her retention election in November 2014, and she was reelected for a full six-year term in 2018. Judge Lillard began her tenure in the family/juvenile division and then served in the criminal division for six years. She is currently assigned to the civil division. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? If you’re appearing in person, check in with the deputy or court clerk upon arrival. On Zoom, I ask that you rename yourself to only identify your first and last name and then names of the primary parties ...
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Approaching the Bench Questions – Judge Sara Schimke Judge Sara Schimke was appointed to the Macomb County Probate Court Bench in April 2022. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Schimke was in private practice with Chalgian & Tripp, PLLC; Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss, P.C.; and Barron, Rosenburg, Mayoras & Mayoras, P.C. Judge Schimke focused her practice on probate law, estate planning, and advocacy. Judge Schimke has also previously served as an adjunct professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Judge Schimke is active in her community, including serving as a board member of the Michigan Parkinson’s Foundation, a past member of the ICLE ...
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Joseph F. Burke has sat on the 15th Judicial District Court since February 15, 2012. He was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court as Chief Judge effective January 1, 2016. He presides over general civil provider cases and drunk driving cases as well as the specialized Sobriety Court docket. Before becoming a judge, he worked in private practice and as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Washtenaw County. Judge Burke has served several local nonprofit organizations as a board member, including Neighborhood Senior Services, Humane Society of Huron Valley (past president), the Washtenaw Council on Alcoholism (past president), and Dawn Farm. He is the current ...
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Judge Tina Yost Johnson was elected to the 37 th Circuit Court in November 2016, where she presides over the Family Division. Judge Yost Johnson serves on the State Bar of Michigan’s Family Law Council Legislative and Court Rules Committees and the State Bar of Michigan’s American Indian Law Section Executive Committee. She is a member and past president of the Calhoun County Bar Association. Judge Yost Johnson is also a member of the Michigan Judges Association Family Law Committee, and she was the past-public relations chair of the Women Lawyer's Association. For attorneys who have never been to your court, what is your check-in process? I have an amazing ...
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Judge Cynthia Stephens, Retired, served on the Michigan Court of Appeals for 14 years. Judge Stephens was the first African American woman to be appointed to the state Court of Claims bench and served as a judge for Michigan’s Third Circuit Court and the 36th District Court. Her many contributions include serving at the State Bar of Michigan as commissioner and chairing its Justice Initiatives Committee, Communications Committee and Children’s Task Force, and the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth M. Welch currently serves as the Justice Liaison on data gathering and transparency in the civil, criminal, ...
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Hon. Celeste Bell was appointed to the 7th Circuit Court bench to fill a vacancy in 2018 and was elected to a full term that November. She currently serves on the court’s Civil-Criminal Division. Before becoming a judge, she worked as a staff attorney with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, deputy city attorney for the city of San Francisco, assistant corporation counsel for Genesee County, and chief assistant prosecuting attorney in the civil division of Genesee County’s prosecuting attorney's office. When is your motion call? Are there a maximum number of motions heard during motion call? Monday is motion day for my court. Attorneys ...
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Honorable B. Chris Christenson III joined the 7th Circuit as a Family Division judge in January 2021. Previously, he practiced in the areas of criminal defense, business and contract litigation, real estate and construction law, general civil litigation, and probate administration. Active in the State Bar of Michigan (SBM), Judge Christenson served on its board of commissioners from 2007 to 2010 and was recently reelected for a term expiring in 2023. He is also a member of the Centennial American Inn of Court and the Friends of Berston Field House's board of commissioners. Judge Christenson is a past president of the Genesee County Bar Association, a former chair ...
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Hon. Carol Anne Kuhnke was elected to her judgeship in 2012 and took the bench in 2013. She is currently the Chief Judge of the Washtenaw County Trial Court and 14A District Court. She hears civil, criminal, adoption, and parental waiver cases, and she started and presides over Drug Treatment Court. Prior to her judgeship, she worked in large and small firms before founding the law firm of Davis & Kuhnke PC in 1997. She worked in civil litigation for 19 years before becoming a judge. Judge Kuhnke has been active in numerous legal and community organizations. She belongs to the American Judges Association, Michigan Judges Association, Michigan Association ...
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Hon. Cynthia Meagher Arvant is a judge for the 46th District Court. Before her appointment to the bench, she served in various roles for the 46th District, including research attorney, magistrate, and court administrator. Judge Arvant was also previously an assistant attorney general. She is a member of the National Association of Women Judges, the State Bar of Michigan, the Michigan District Judges Association, the Women's Bar Association, Oakland Region of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, the Oakland County Bar Association, and the Oakland County District Judges Association (past president). She also serves as chairperson of the State Court Administrative ...
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