New justice Viviano is 'exceptional' choice for Michigan Supreme Court


Hon. David F. Viviano, appointed to the Supreme Court today by Governor Rick Snyder, is “a man of unimpeachable integrity, an exceptional trial judge, and a recognized leader on the bench,”
Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. said today, reacting to Viviano’s appointment to the Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Snyder. “He is a welcome and wonderful addition to this Court.”
Young added, “Justice Viviano is uncommonly bright and learned in the law. But it is not his legal ability alone that makes him an outstanding jurist. He also knows that the role of judges is to interpret the laws, not to make them. He understands the deference due to the legislature as the body that expresses the will of the people through legislation. He is committed to following the rule of law wherever it leads him.”

Viviano, who has served as chief judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit and Macomb County Probate courts for the past two years, also brings a “forward-thinking perspective to this Court, demonstrating the kind of innovation that is so critical to the future of our justice system,” Young added. “My fellow justices and I entrusted then-Judge Viviano with the oversight of one of the largest and busiest circuit courts in the state, because my fellow justices and I had confidence in his abilities and leadership, and he did not disappoint.”

In 2012, Viviano was among those honored, along with the Michigan Supreme Court, with the G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation by the National Center for State Courts. Viviano and 11 other judges were selected by the Supreme Court to test a comprehensive package of jury reforms in a 2010-2011 pilot project; the Supreme Court adopted many of the reforms in
September 2011. Viviano also headed the 16th Circuit’s e-filing project and advocated for other technological improvements to court services.

“I have been privileged to work with Judge Viviano over the years,” said Dana Warnez, president of the Macomb County Bar Association. “He was diligent, innovative and hard-working as a young lawyer in private practice, and he brought those important qualities to the bench. The Macomb County legal community is very proud of him. He’s an excellent addition to our Supreme Court.”
Judicial service runs in Viviano’s family. His sister, Judge Kathryn Viviano, currently serves in the 16th Circuit Court’s Family Division. His father, Judge Antonio Viviano, served as a probate judge from 1993 to 2002 and as a circuit judge from 2003 to 2010.

“Justice Viviano’s experience will help the courts use evidence-based practices to improve public service,” Young stated. “As a branch, we will be using performance measurement and technology to make the courts more responsive and efficient. Justice Viviano’s knowledge and perspective will be invaluable as we continue these efforts.”

Before being elected to the 16th Circuit Court in 2006, Viviano was in private practice with the law firm of Viviano & Viviano, PLLC and also served as city attorney for the city of Center Line. He previously practiced law with Dickinson Wright PLLC in Detroit and Jenner & Block LLC in Chicago. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Hillsdale College; he earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.