Chief counsel of Legal Aid and Defender's Civil Law Group retires

Joan Glanton Howard, chief counsel of the Civil Law Group of Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc. (LAD), has retired, LAD President and CEO Deierdre L. Weir announced Wednesday.

Howard joined LAD in 1991 as a staff attorney. She became chief counsel of the Civil Law Group in 1997. Before joining LAD, she was director of senior citizen legal services for Cook County [Illinois] Legal Assistance Foundation. She is a graduate of Howard University and DePaul University College of Law.

"Joan has devoted all of her professional career to ensuring that poor people in this country received high quality legal services," Weir said. "The staff and the legal community will miss her unwavering belief in and support of civil legal services. But after more than 35 years of commitment to clients, she has earned her retirement. We all wish her well in her retirement travels around the world."

Michele Hall, deputy chief counsel of the Civil Law Group, succeeds Howard as chief counsel, Weir said. Joon H. Sung, director of litigation, becomes deputy chief counsel, legal services.

Hall joined LAD as deputy chief counsel of the Civil Law Group in 2002. Since 2012, she has also served on the adjunct faculty of Baker College. Before joining LAD, she was managing attorney of UAW Daimler-Chrysler Legal Services Plan. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, University of Detroit School of Law and Oakland University School of Business Administration.

Sung joined LAD as managing attorney of its Detroit and Wayne County office in 1998. He left in 2007 to teach at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He rejoined LAD in 2014 as director of litigation for the Civil Law Group. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Boston College Law School.

Regina Daniels Thomas will continue to serve as deputy chief counsel, community relations and government affairs. Kelly L. Bidelman, managing attorney of LAD's offices in Macomb and Oakland counties, and Michelle Johnson, managing attorney of the Detroit and Wayne County office, will report to Sung.

LAD's two other practice groups, the State Defender and Federal Defender offices, will continue to be directed by, respectively, Donald L. Johnson and Miriam Siefer.

Published: Thu, Sep 03, 2015