Annual meeting: Forty-year honorees and award winners saluted by the OCBA

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(Photos by John Meiu except where noted)

Thirty-nine members of the Oakland County legal community were saluted as 40-year honorees at the 85th Annual Meeting of the Oakland County Bar Association on June 3.

The Family Court Committee and the Medical/Legal Committee were chosen as OCBA Committees of the Year for 2019. Under the leadership of Chair Tim Flynn and Vice Chair Delia Miller, the Family Court Committee presented a number of insightful programs on digital evidence in family law, hidden assets in divorce, and personal injury law in the divorce context. The Medical/Legal Committee was co-chaired by retired Oakland County Circuit Judge Fred Mester and Oakland County Medical Society Executive Director Cindy Dady. The committee spearheaded an all-day conference on March 26 at WMU Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills on the opioid crisis.

Also in the spotlight at the OCBA Annual Meeting were Sheldon Larkey, Kurt Schnelz, and Jon Kingsepp. Larkey, a past president of the OCBA, was the recipient of the Professionalism Award for 2019. An ADR attorney, Larkey served as editor of LACHES for eight years and also has chaired the OCBA Membership Committee, doubling the association’s membership during his tenure. He received the OCBA Professionalism Award in 2000. Schnelz, also a past president of the OCBA, was the winner of the Professionalism Award. The principal shareholder of Schnelz Wells, where he specializes in family law, Schnelz served on the State Bar Board of Commissioners for more than 15 years and has been a hearing officer on the Attorney Discipline Board since 1991. He also is a past recipient of the Roberts P. Hudson Award, the highest honor conferred by the State Bar. Kingsepp was honored by Lakeshore Legal Aid with its Pro Bono Service Award. An attorney who has practiced in the areas of business litigation, patent copyright, and public sector law, Kinsepp has offered his pro bono services to Lakeshore for the past 19 years. In addition, he mentors new attorneys by participating in the OCBA’s Pro Bono Mentor Match program.

Retired Oakland County Circuit Judge Joan Young was the recipient of the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the OCBA, while 52-4 District Court Judge Maureen McGinnis was honored as the 2019 winner of the Distinguished Public Servant Award. Judge Young, a former court administrator for the Oakland County Circuit Court, was elected to the Probate Court bench in 1989, beginning a 28-year judicial career that also included service as chief judge of the Circuit Court. She is a past recipient of the OCBA Distinguished Public Servant Award (2011) and the Distinguished Service Award (1986). Judge McGinnis, an alumna of Michigan State University College of Law, has served on the OCBA Board of Directors since 2010 and was a member of the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners from 2009-18. A former member of the Troy City Council, she was elected to the District Court bench in 2014 and served as presiding judge from 2016-18. Judge McGinnis currently serves on the board of the Troy Community Foundation.

Stefanie Mezigian, Michael Schloff and Silvia Alexandria Mansoor were among the award winners June 3. Mezigian, a health care and disability activist, was the recipient of the Allene and Martin Doctoroff Liberty Bell Award, presented annually to an “individual whose community activity has strengthened the American system of freedom under law.” Schloff, a past president of the OCBA and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, was the winner of the S. Gerald Gorcyca Meritorious Service to Veterans Award. An attorney for 44 years, Schloff founded the Veterans Committee of the OCBA and has been active in providing pro bono legal services to veterans and military families. Mansoor was named the recipient of the Bonnie L. Beutler Outstanding New Lawyer Award. A 2014 graduate of Michigan State University College of Law, Mansoor serves as a director of the New Lawyers Council for the OCBA, while also serving as an executive council member of the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Larry Powe, an attorney for more than 40 years, was the recipient of the Frances R. Avadenka Memorial Award, presented annually to an “OCBA member who has made a significant contribution to the community outside of the legal profession.” Powe has served as past president of the Mt. Clemens Rotary Club and the Detroit Rotary Club, and has served as a board member of the Anton Art Center, the Easter Seals Society of Michigan, and the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce.

Receiving recognition at the event were: Norman C. Ankers, Foley & Lardner; Marjory G. Basile, Miller Canfield; Daniel G. Beyer, Kerr Russell; Richard D. Bisio, Kemp Klein Law Firm; Gary R. Blumberg, Gary R. Blumberg, P.C.; Daniel R. Boynton, Driggers Schultz & Herbst; Hon. James B. Brady, 47th District Court; John C. Brennan, Dr. John C. Brennan JD PsyD; Susan Ambrozy Ciullo; and Geoffrey N. Fieger, Fieger Law Firm.

Also honored were: Edward M. Freeland, Garan Lucow Miller; Randall J. Gillary, Randall J. Gillary, P.C.; Kevin J. Gleeson, Sullivan Ward; Hon. Elizabeth L. Gleicher, Michigan Court of Appeals; Barry J. Goodman, Goodman Acker; Lisa S. Gretchko, Howard & Howard; Nancy L. Kahn, Foster Swift; Alan M. Kanter, Vestevich Mallender; J. Herbert Larson, Law Offices of J. Herbert Lawson; and Michael S. Leib, Leib ADR, L.L.C.

Among the other 40-year honorees were: Keith J. Lerminiaux, retired Oakland County Corporation Counsel; Theresa Smith Lloyd, Dinsmore & Shohl; Carlo J. Martina, Law Officers of Carlo J. Martina; Rik Mazzeo, Landry Mazzeo & Dembinski; Michael J. McCarthy, Michael J. McCarthy, P.C.; Kenneth C. Merritt, Collins Einhorn; Terrence J. Miglio, Varnum L.L.P; Daniel M. Moore, Syntel; and Jeffrey T. Neilson, Lipson Neilson.

Also saluted were: Edward J. Plawecki Jr., UHY Advisors; Robert F. Riley, Riley & Hurley; Mary T. Schmitt Smith, Lipson Neilson; Thomas J. Strobl, Strobl & Sharp; Howard C. Treado; Thomas Van Dusen, Bodman; I. W. Winsten, Honigman; Stephen L. Witenoff, Thomas DeGrood & Witenoff; and O’Neal O. Wright, O’Neal O. Wright & Associates.

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