DBA installs new officers, honors legal leaders at annual meeting

The Detroit Bar Association welcomed its slate of 2018-19 officers on June 20 during its “Raising the Bar” annual meeting at the Detroit Club.

Incoming officers and board members include:

• Brian Summerfield, President – Kostopoulos Rodriguez, PLLC
• Arthur O’Reilly, Past President – Jones Day
• Joanne Geha Swanson, President-Elect – Kerr Russell
• Daniel Shirey, Secretary/Treasurer – Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook

Elected directors include:

• Bridget Hathaway – Bodman, PLC
• Benjamin Jeffers – Hickey, Hauck, Bishoff & Jeffers, PLLC
• Megan Moslimani – City of Detroit
• Sherry D. O’Neal – Shiloh Industries, Inc.
• Antoinette Porter – DTE Energy

Appointed Directors include:

• Tiffany Ellis – Seikaly, Stewart & Bennett PC
• Michael Gruskin – General Motors
• Andrew Kolozsvary – Dykema
• Paul Mersino – Butzel Long
• Paul Millenbach – Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC
• Robert Murkowski – Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone PLC
• Christopher Webb – Law & ADR Offices PLC

The DBA also honored a number of legal leaders for their exceptional service:

Frank Murphy Award – Hon. Patricia Fresard, Third Circuit Court: “In recognition of her leadership and service, which exemplify the role of the legal profession in upholding the ideals of integrity, safety, and fairness, and in appreciation of her innovative approaches to improving the efficient administration of justice. Her respect for litigants and dedication to improving communication between the bench and bar are a shining example of professionalism and civility.”

Detroit Bar President’s Award: Donn Fresard, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office: “For his continued support of the Detroit Bar’s mission and objectives.”

Section of the Year Award: Brendan Best, Varnum: “In appreciation for outstanding leadership while creating the Debtor & Creditor Section.”
Pro Bono Service Award: John Sier, Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook: “To work for the common good is the noblest creed. To do so with excellence is the highest accomplishment.”

Drawing from the example of the Nobel Foundation in Sweden the Detroit Bar Legal Scholar Program was established to recognize each year original legal work product that advances the field of law and offers the application of new ideas that address the social, educational, economic and/or human advancement of the State of Michigan. This year’s Mega Question addressed: “How could current legal/judicial tools and/or new ones be innovatively applied to optimize the present and future well-being of our children at risk after being expelled from public schools in Michigan and then serve as a model nationally?”

• Kaitlyn Mardeusz, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Office of the General Counsel, for “A multi-layered approach to strengthening Michigan’s school system and reducing expulsion rate.”

Additionally, Detroit Bar Barristers Section and Third Circuit Court Law Day honorees included: Tyler Padilla, University of Detroit Jesuit High School (first place high school essay winner), and Edith Carreon, Western International High School (high school scholarship winner).

“Every year, this event celebrates the best and brightest in our Detroit Bar Association. It is truly an honor to recognize the exceptional efforts and remarkable volunteerism of these legal professionals,” observed DBA Executive Director Darlene Trudell


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