Daily Briefs

Gov. Snyder appoints Kevin Elsenheimer to 13th Circuit Court

Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday announced the appointment of Kevin Elsenheimer to the 13th Circuit Court, which covers Antrim, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau counties.

Elsenheimer currently serves as the executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Prior to that position, he served as a Senior Chief Deputy Director at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs where he spearheaded reforms in the state’s workers compensation programs, handled hearings and adjudicated disputes as an administrative law judge.  He also served as the Director of the Workers Compensation Agency until receiving his appointment as Senior Chief Deputy.

Elsenheimer has broad legal experience ranging from civil litigation and municipal law to criminal prosecutions. He began his career at the Antrim County Prosecutor’s office and in 1995 was a cofounder of the law firm of Young, Graham, Elsenheimer & Wendling, PC, in Bellaire.  He was elected to the House of Representatives in November of 2003 and served as the Minority Leader from 2008 to 2010.  Elsenheimer is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Federal Bar of Western Michigan, and the Supreme Court of the United States Bar Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1987 from Michigan State University and a law degree in 1994 from Wayne State University.

Elsenheimer fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Philip Rodgers. He must seek election in November 2018 for the remainder of the term ending in 2020. The appointment comes after a thorough judicial candidate search, including vetting and qualifications rating by the State Bar Judicial Qualifications Committee.


New laws allow military spouse lawyers to practice in Michigan

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed House Bills 5288 and 5289, which will enable the spouses of those on active military duty in Michigan to apply for admission to the State Bar of Michigan without examination as long as certain conditions are met.

The bills sponsored by Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park, and Rep. David Maturen, R-Vicksburg, respectively, received near-unanimous approval from lawmakers.

Applicants must be married to a member of the armed forces who is on active duty and assigned to a duty station in Michigan, and licensed to practice law and in good standing in another state, among other requirements.

The legislation received support from the State Bar of Michigan, Board of Law Examiners and numerous veterans groups. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Brian K. Zahra testified in support.

The bills are now Public Acts 423 and 424 of 2016 after being approved by the governor on Jan. 4.