Daily Briefs

ABA president defends judiciary, prosecutors at Midyear Meeting


American Bar Association President Judy Perry Martinez delivered a strong defense Monday of the judiciary and prosecutors in remarks to the ABA House of Delegates, the association’s policy-making body, on the final day of the ABA Midyear Meeting.

“The personal attacks on our judges and prosecutors must cease,” she said. “No one, no one, should interfere with the fair administration of justice. And no one, no one, should have to live in fear for following the law and upholding our Constitution of the United States.”

Martinez also noted that Americans of all backgrounds are paying renewed attention to issues of justice.

“They’re talking about due process, evidence, attorney-client privilege, fair trials and just punishment; the imperative of the oath to protect and defend the Constitution, no better demonstrated than when lawyers and public servants operating within the framework of law are able to do so free from obstruction, intimidation and retribution,” she added.

 

Nessel appoints Jessica Pelto to Marquette satellite office
 

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Wednesday announced the appointment of Assistant Attorney General Jessica Pelto to the department’s Marquette satellite office in the Upper Peninsula. This is the first time in more than a decade the Michigan Department of Attorney General has stationed an assistant attorney general in the U.P.

Nessel announced plans late last year to expand services to U.P. residents by staffing the Marquette office, located on Northern Michigan University’s campus, with a full-time assistant attorney general.

“Too often U.P. residents feel neglected or overlooked by Lansing. By establishing an assistant attorney general presence in Marquette, I want to assure Yoopers that their concerns matter and that their voices are being heard by my office,” Nessel said.

Pelto grew up in the U.P. and graduated from Rapid River High School. She went on to attend Northern Michigan University and earned her law degree at Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing.

After law school, she was a private practice lawyer in Escanaba, then worked for the Delta County Friend of the Court before serving as the county’s chief assistant prosecutor. For the past year, Pelto worked in Delta County representing defendants at their initial court appearance and administering the court-appointed attorney program through the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission grant.

“I am excited to be in this new role as an assistant attorney general and I look forward to serving the people of the state – especially those who live in the Upper Peninsula,” Pelto said.

Pelto is assigned to the Attorney General’s MDOC Division and will primarily be handling the defense of the Department of Corrections and its employees. Her first day with the Attorney General’s office was Feb. 10 and she started working from the Marquette office Feb. 18.

The Michigan Department of Attorney General had a satellite office with a dedicated assistant attorney general in Escanaba, but that office was closed in 2009.


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