New OCBA president to focus on CLE, New Lawyers Grieco to be installed as 78th president June 3

By John Minnis

Legal News

Jennifer M. Grieco is focused on helping lawyers -- newbies, veterans and the solo and small-firm practitioners.

When she is installed as president at the Oakland County Bar Association's 76th annual meeting on Thursday, June 3, Grieco will announce three goals of her presidency:

1) Provide continuing legal education to help attorneys expand and hone their skills in a difficult economy.

2) Create a list-serve networking capability for solo and small-firm practitioners.

3) Encourage young attorneys be active in the bar right out of law school.

"Obviously, the economy is a real issue right now," said Grieco, who recently joined Southfield-based Neuman Anderson P.C. as partner. Previously, she was as a shareholder with Maddin Hauser Wartell Roth & Heller P.C. and Sommers Schwartz P.C.

A 1997 cum laude and Order of the Coif graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, Grieco became active in the Oakland County Bar Association in 2000 as a member of the New Lawyers Committee. When the committee was expanded in 2001 to become the New Lawyers Council, Grieco was its inaugural president.

"That continues today be a very active group," she said of the New Lawyers.

She first ran for the OCBA board in 2003 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2009. She also serves as a trustee on the OCBA Foundation.

Grieco recognizes the importance of CLE in tough economic times when lawyers are looking to expand their practices and go into other areas. She also realizes that solo practitioners and small firms do not have the technological capability of larger firms. Consequently, she wants to electronically network the solo and small-firm attorneys.

"The small firms and solo practitioners make up the largest number of attorneys," she said, "not just in Oakland County but in the country."

Through her involvement in the New Lawyers groups, she realizes that becoming an attorney is much different from what it was just 13 years ago when she became a lawyer. New attorneys today, she said, require resources and mentoring, and she wants the OCBA under her leadership to fill those needs.

Outgoing OCBA President Kurt E. Schnelz will be missed, Grieco said.

"He was a fabulous president," she said. "We were really lucky to have him."

Greico credited Schnelz for focusing the board on strategic planning and said his influence as one of the longest-serving members of the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners will be a loss.

"He has been great leader for all of us in Oakland County," she said.

Schnelz will be honored at the annual meeting for his year as president, and as master of ceremonies he will oversee his successor's installation as the 78th president of the OCBA, the state's largest volunteer bar association.

Grieco said a big part of the bar's 15th annual Award Ceremony at 4:30 p.m., prior to the annual meeting beginning with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., is recognition of the OCBA's 40-Year Honorees, those who have been members of the bar for four decades.

This year's 40-Year Honorees are A. David Baumhart III, Barry R. Bess, Stuart M. Bordman, Kenneth M. Boyer, Charles W. Centner, Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Pat M. Donofrio, Richard C. Eriksen, Joseph J. Fabrizio, Alan C. Harnisch, Dr. Clark C. Johnson, Dennis M. Kacy, Richard B. Kepes, Kenneth E. Konop, Robert E. Kostin, Sheldon G. Larky, Gary E. Levitt, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge John J. McDonald, Robert P. Milia, Terence V. Page, Michael F. Plourde, Myron F. Poe, Richard D. Rattner, Martin I. Reisig, Daryle G. Salisbury, Kent D. Schultz, Michael B. Serling, John N. Thomson, Paul L. Triemstra, Martin C. Weisman, Robert C. Williams, Hadley J. Wine, David H. Wolock and LeRoy H. Wulfmeier III

Pro Bono Honorees will also be recognized along with the presentation of eight awards honoring those who have contributed to the OCBA, the legal profession and the community.

The Award Ceremony and annual meeting will be held at the Marriott at Centerpoint, 3600 Centerpoint Parkway, near Square Lake and Opdyke Roads. Tickets are $60 ($70 for non-members) and $45 for New Lawyers (P68150+). Call Lisa Lyman at (248) 334-3400 to make a reservation.

Published: Thu, May 27, 2010