State Bar annual meeting returns to west side of state

By Lee Dryden
BridgeTower Media Newswires
DETROIT — The State Bar of Michigan’s yearly convention returns to the west side of the state this month.

The NEXT Conference is set for Sept. 26-28 in downtown Grand Rapids. Formerly called the Annual Meeting/Solo and Small Firm Institute, the new name debuted last year in Detroit. The gathering shifts between the two sides of the state.

Attendees will hear about “the latest technology and practice management innovations designed to raise your level of practice” and “learn new strategies for delivering competitive legal services in this changing marketplace and harness artificial intelligence software to increase your productivity.”

A new president will take the helm of the 45,000-member organization, 50-year State Bar members will be honored and numerous prestigious awards will be presented.

Most activities are at DeVos Place, but first-day events are planned at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. For a full agenda, registration and pricing information for education sessions, luncheons, receptions and the awards banquet, visit

The legal summit will occur amid the backdrop of the popular ArtPrize competition, which displays unique works from more than 1,400 artists throughout the downtown. Visit for information.


New officers

Jennifer M. Grieco will become the new State Bar president, taking over for Donald G. Rockwell. Grieco, of Neuman Anderson Grieco McKenney PC in Birmingham, focuses on complex commercial litigation with more than 20 years of trial experience.

Other officers will include: President-Elect Dennis M. Barnes, Vice President Robert J. Buchanan, Secretary Dana M. Warnez and Treasurer James W. Heath.

Richard L. Cunningham will be the 2018-2019 chair of the Representative Assembly, and Aaron V. Burrell will be the vice chair.

The inaugural luncheon is set for noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 27 at DeVos Place.


Among the offerings to choose from at the conference are:

•  “The 2018 Legal Trends Every Michigan Lawyer Must Know,” Jack Newton, CEO and founder, Clio. 9-9:50 a.m. Sept. 27.

• “Time Management is for Suckers: Convert Your Time into Wealth,” Christopher T. Anderson, headmaster, Million Dollar Solo Lawyer Preparatory Academy. 11-11:50 a.m. Sept. 27.

• “Avoiding Malpractice: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Legal Technology,” Barron K. Henley, Affinity Consulting Group. 11-11:50 a.m. Sept. 27.

• All-Member Networking Luncheon. Noon-2 p.m. Sept. 27.

• “Moneyball for Lawyers — Managing by the Numbers to Get Major League Results,” Christopher T. Anderson. 2-2:50 p.m. Sept. 27.

• “Email is Killing Me,” Barron K. Henley. 2-2:50 p.m. Sept. 27.

• “How to Sell Like a Rock Star: Selling Done Right is the Most Ethical Thing We Do for Prospective Clients,” Christopher T. Anderson. 3-3:50 p.m. Sept. 27.

• All-Member Networking Reception; 4-5 p.m. Sept. 27.

• Celebrating Diversity Reception at Atwater Brewery; 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 27.

• “Artificial Intelligence and the Law,” Nicole Black, legal technology evangelist, MyCase. 9-9:45 a.m. Sept. 28.

• “Top Tips for Presenting Your Summary Disposition Motion,” Muskegon County Circuit Court Judge Timothy G. Hicks, Ottawa County Circuit Court Judge Jon H. Hulsing, Kent County Circuit Court Judge Christopher P. Yates and Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph J. Farah. 9:50-10:30 a.m. Sept. 28.

• “Effectively Writing Your Appellate Brief & Making Your Argument,” John J. Bursch of Bursch Law PLLC, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth T. Clement and Judge Farah. 10:45-11:30 a.m. Sept. 28.

• 50-Year Golden Celebration Luncheon Event. Noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 28.


An awards banquet is set for 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Amway Grand while the State Bar Representative Assembly will present its awards at 10:20 a.m. Sept. 27 during its general session at DeVos Place.

• Roberts P. Hudson Award: Bruce A. Courtade and Julie I. Fershtman

• Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award: Marilyn J. Kelly and Robert P. Young Jr.

• Champion of Justice Award: Miriam J. Aukerman and Robert J. Heimbuch

• John W. Reed Lawyer Legacy Award: Professor Lawrence Dubin

• John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award: Charles “David” Jones

• Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award: Women Lawyers Association of Michigan

• Liberty Bell Award: Urban League of West Michigan

• Michigan State Bar Foundation Founders Award: Thomas Linn

• Michigan State Bar Foundation Access to Justice Award: Lorray Brown

• Respected Advocate Award: William D. Chaklos, Liisa R. Speaker

• State Bar Representative Assembly Michael Franck Award: Hon. Victoria A. Roberts

• State Bar Representative Assembly Unsung Hero Award: Michele P. Fuller


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