Law Day celebrated April 30 in Grand Rapids

 by Cynthia Price

Legal News
Since Law Day, May 1, fell on a Saturday this year, Michigan legal organizations chose a variety of days to commemorate it, from May 3 to May 13. The Grand Rapids Bar Association held its annual luncheon April 30.
Larissa Hollingsworth of Rhoades-McKee chaired the Law Day Committee and introduced Susan Wilson Keener. Keener, as Grand Rapids Bar Association President-Elect gave out the GRBA awards solo because President Chip Chamberlain was out of town in court and could not make it back
in time.
The first awards were given for 50 years in practice, to John D. Boyles, who practiced in corporate law, real estate and estate planning for Verspoor, Waalkes, Lalley, Slotsema and Talen, PC; and Jack R. Clary, who practiced with Warner Norcross and Judd and Miller Johnson, from which he retired.
Home Repair Services (HRS) won the Liberty Bell Award, which goes to a non-legal entity “that has made an outstanding contribution to the cause of justice.” HRS has been at the forefront of assisting people who have been foreclosed on or who face potential foreclosure, working closely with Legal Aid of Western Michigan.
The President’s Award, given to someone who has given outstanding assistance to  the Grand Rapids Bar, went to Matthew L. Vicari of Miller Johnson, who was president of GRBA just before Chamberlain.
The final GRBA award, the Donald R. Worsfold Distinguished Service Award, was given to Attorney William S. Farr, who has his own firm, and specializes in dispute resolution and litigation.
Farr noted in his acceptance speech that he knew Donald Worsfold and was humbled by being honored in his name.
Nelson Miller, Associate Dean at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Grand Rapids Campus, gave an award named after former Associate Dean, Marion Hilligan, for public service. It went to the Honorable Jane E. Markey, Third District Court of Appeals Judge since 1994. Markey described herself as “Cooley’s biggest cheerleader.” 
After the awards, the audience was treated to a fascinating lecture by David Moran, Co-Founder of the University of Michigan Law School’s Innocence Clinic. Unlike most innocence projects, the U of M Innocence Clinic is not DNA-based, and Moran has just been involved with a high-profile case successful in clearing a man convicted of murder.
Watch for more in-depth coverage of Moran’s project and Law Day award-winners in future issues of the Grand Rapids Legal News.