What does the Washtenaw County Circuit Court do?
The Washtenaw County Circuit Court handles all civil matters in excess of $25,000.00, all felonies, all family law cases (divorces, child support, spousal support, parenting time and child custody and adoptions), personal protection orders and all requests for injunctions (orders to compel someone to do something or stop doing something).
I heard the first two years of this judicial term will be mostly family law. Do you have any family law experience?
Yes I do! Family law made up a very substantial amount of my practice for a number of years. In fact, the very first trial I ever did was a divorce case.
You do a lot of bankruptcy work. What makes you qualified to be a judge on our Circuit Court?
What are some of your proudest accomplishments as an attorney?
I was in the forefront of mortgage foreclosure prevention during the housing crisis. I partnered with our County Treasurer, Catherine McClary, local real estate agents, the Housing Bureau for Seniors and the Michigan State Extension on Zeeb Rd. to provide information and services to people in danger of foreclosure. Saving someone's home is a great feeling.
What have you done as an attorney that you never expected?
In law school (and before) I never thought I would be involved in advocacy for individuals with mental illness. It just wasn't on my radar. However, my practice, through happenstance, led me down that mental health road. I have now represented hundreds of people in mental health proceedings. I have won a number of jury trials for them. More importantly, I have learned about the weaknesses in our mental health system and have tirelessly advocated for improving our mental health system in Michigan.