Michigan Judges Association announces its officers for 2012

The Michigan Judges Association this week announced its officers for 2012. They are: President, Judge Timothy G. Hicks of Muskegon County; President Elect, Judge Lita Masini Popke of Wayne County; Vice-President ,Judge Stephen D. Gorsalitz of Kalamazoo County; Secretary, Judge Paul E. Hamre of Van Buren County; and Treasurer, Judge Colleen A. O'Brien of Oakland County.

Judge Timothy G. Hicks taught, counseled, and coached at two rural schools before starting his law career in 1983. He practiced law for 13 years before his appointment to the 14th Circuit Court (Muskegon County) in 1996. He was chief judge there from 1998 to 2003.

Judge Popke has been a member of the Family Division of the Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit for more than 11 years. From January of 2005 through December of 2007, she served as the presiding judge of the division and has been Chief Judge Pro Tem since 2009.

In addition to her duties on the bench, Popke has served as a member of Michigan's Child Support Leadership Council, the Michigan Judicial Institute's Family Division Academic Advisory Committee, and the Supreme Court's Post-Judgment Docket Committee. She is an instructor at the State Court's biennial seminar for new judges Popke is active in various community organizations, and remains a member of the Schoolcraft College Development Authority.

Judge Gorsalitz presides in the Family Division of the Kalamazoo County 9th Judicial Circuit Court. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University, where he was a member of its track and cross-country teams. Prior to coming to the bench, Gorsalitz was a trial attorney for 23 years in private practice in the areas of domestic relations and personal injury law. The Supreme Court recently appointed him chief judge for all Kalamazoo County Courts.

Judge Hamre, of Paw Paw, is the Chief Judge of the Van Buren County Family, District, and Circuit Courts. He received his B.A. in political science from Kalamazoo College, his Master's degree in political science from Western Michigan University, and his law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School.

After 15 years of private law practice, Hamre was elected as Circuit Court judge in 1996. In 1997, Hamre was appointed as the first Family Court judge in Michigan by the Michigan Supreme Court.

Judge O'Brien has been a Circuit Judge since 1998. She is the presiding judge of the Female Adult Treatment Court and formerly served as the presiding judge of the Oakland Circuit Court Civil/Criminal Division in 2009. Prior to becoming a judge, she was an active trial lawyer for 17 years with experience in municipal, civil, criminal and divorce law.

Judge O'Brien is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Detroit College of Law. She is a member of various organizations, including the Oakland County Women's Bar Association, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM), and the Adult Treatment Court Mental Health Community Committee. She is an Adjunct Professor at Cooley Law School, and at Baker College and Oakland Community College Paralegal Programs.

Published: Mon, Jan 16, 2012