Muskegon County Bar Association welcomes four new attorneys in November

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By Diana L. Coleman
Legal News

November 5, 2015, three new attorneys were sworn in at the courtroom of Chief Circuit Judge William C. Marietti. Matthew D. Peterson was sponsored by attorney Joseph A. Fisher, Visishta (Vee) Boeringa was sponsored by attorney Karri Russell, and Heather Renee Halub was sponsored by the Honorable Raymond Kostrzewa, 60th District Court Judge. Muskegon County Bar Association President Cavan Berry welcomed the attorneys to the bar association and gave them the good news that their first year’s dues are free. He also encouraged their involvement in bar activities as a great way to network and get to know their associates.

November 24, 2015, Sarah Miller was sworn in to the bar association. Her sponsor and moving for her entry was her father, Nelson Miller, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Associate Dean and professor at the Grand Rapids campus. Sarah was traveling on November 5, 2015, when the others were sworn in and was unable to attend on that date. She was also sworn into the practice of law in front of Judge William Marietti.

Vee Boeringa is a native of India. Her father died before she was born, and her mother moved to Texas to complete her medical residency.  Boeringa remained in India with her grandparents until the age of five, when she and her grandparents joined her mother in Texas. At the age of ten, Boeringa moved to Iowa with her mother and sister, and her grandparents returned to India.  She graduated a year early from high school and toured several colleges before coming to Lansing to see Michigan State University.

“I fell in love with MSU,” said Boeringa. She received a BA in criminal justice and a BA in political science (pre-law cognate) from MSU, and a paralegal certification from Loyola University. Boeringa received her juris doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids (now Western Michigan University Cooley Law School) in January, 2013. She interned in the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office and Muskegon County Family Court. 

Boeringa and her husband, Josh, who is a part-time writer, met at a comic book convention seven years ago and became friends.  They started dating three years ago and were married in 2014. Her husband is from the Shelby-New Era area, so they settled in Muskegon County. Boeringa’s mother now practices medicine in the Battle Creek area so they are geographically close. Her older sister was also located in Battle Creek, but has now returned to Texas for employment.

Boeringa is currently seeking employment and hopes to practice in the areas of criminal and family law.

Sarah Miller is a 2015 cum laude graduate of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School where she was a Law Review associate editor, winner of Certificate of Merit academic awards, and president of the State Bar of Michigan Law Student Association. Sarah also represented the law school in a national advocacy competition and competed in local competitions. As an intern at the Michigan Judge Advocate General’s Office at Michigan National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, Sarah provided legal services to military officers, departments, and members.  She has also provided volunteer child-custody, divorce, and other consumer-law services at the Kent County Legal Assistance Center and participated in many service works including the Grand Rapids Bar’s 3R’s program. Before law school, Sarah attended Hope College where she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Sarah uses her education background to teach students at her church and to mentor other elementary students in the West Michigan community.

Matthew Peterson is a Muskegon native, graduating from Mona Shores High School in 2006 and then attending Muskegon Community College for two years. Peterson then transferred his studies to Grand Valley State University where he completed a BS in criminal justice.  He attended law school at Valparaiso University School of Law in Valparaiso, Indiana.  During his third year of law school he was involved with the Civil Law Clinic, where students provided free representation to those with low incomes, as well as school faculty. 

“The Civil Law Clinic provides representation in all manner of civil law issues ranging from divorces to contract-based disputes, with a heavy emphasis on defense against debt collection,” said Peterson. Peterson interned with Legal Aid of West Michigan during his first summer of law school and with the family division of the public defender’s office during his second summer.

Peterson says: “My ideal employment situation would involve at least some litigation, because I enjoy researching, writing, and arguing cases.  However, I am keeping an open mind to any available work that I might find.”  He is willing to travel, or maybe even relocate, to find work, although he would really prefer to stay in Muskegon.
“Not only am I a Muskegon native, but my parents have also lived here for most of their lives. My dad, Doug Peterson, co-owns and operates a small funeral home here in town called Shoreline Memorial Services. My mother is a working nurse for Mercy Health VNS, and my grandfather was the pastor at Samuel Lutheran Church some decades ago.”

Heather Halub was born and raised in Muskegon County, graduating from Mona Shores High School where she was heavily involved in extracurricular activities. She went to Valparaiso University for her undergraduate studies, receiving a BS in business administration and management with a minor in political science, concentrating on public administration and public policy. Halub graduated cum laude from Valparaiso in 2012, after just three years. She attended Michigan State University College of Law. While at MSU Law, Halub was a member of the highly-competitive Trial Practice Institute for her second and third years of study. She graduated magna cum laude in the spring of 2015 and passed the July 2015 Michigan Bar Examination.

Halub is currently employed with the Michigan Court of Appeals Research Division, where she is a pre-hearing research attorney in the Grand Rapids office.  In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.  She makes it clear she is a huge MSU Spartan fan, and she also loves spending time outdoors, hiking or camping, especially anywhere near Lake Michigan.