Law professor reflects on prolific career

By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

For someone who has run with the bulls in Pamplona and scaled 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro, facing classrooms full of law students is a walk in the park.

Professor Charles Palmer, a prolific legal author who has taught at all the Michigan Cooley Law School campuses, is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. He primarily teaches at the Lansing campus.

"I practiced law for 18 years and during the last several years of practice, I taught at Cooley in the evenings," he says. "I enjoyed the interaction with students. I enjoy their enthusiasm about our profession that our entering students have and the challenge of figuring out how to explain a concept that may be foreign to them."

Palmer--who specializes in criminal law, real estate, personal injury, and entertainment law -shares with students his nearly two decades of professional legal experience, trying more than 300 cases and handling appeals in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Palmer enjoys teaching overseas. When he was invited in 2002 by the director of the University of San Diego program to teach in Florence, Italy, he jumped at the chance, even though the only opening was teaching Art Law.

"I did it and became very interested in the area which is essentially small items of personal property with great value," Palmer says. "Art Law considers copyright, forensics, and international heritage and commerce."

Palmer, who also has taught in Barcelona and London, thoroughly enjoyed his summer teaching Art Law in Florence.

"Walking the streets that Michelangelo and Da Vinci walked is quite an experience," he says. "Two of my three sons were with me along with their friends. It was a wonderful summer.

In 2000, Palmer taught Business Organizations in Cooley's Australia Program, and enjoying touring Down Under.

"Anyone who has traveled to Australia would be impressed with the Great Ocean Road along an area called the 12 Apostles, large rock formations sticking out of the Southern Ocean," he says. "I took the Ghan, a luxury Australian train, from Adelaide straight north to Darwin in the north, a 48-hour journey across Australia."

Before pursuing a law degree, Palmer earned a business degree from the University of Michigan Business School before going on to law school.

A native of Leslie, a small town located a few miles south of Lansing, Palmer is the proud father of three sons. Rob, a recent Cooley grad, has passed the bar and now works at Sinas, Dramis, Brake, Boughton and McIntyre in Lansing. Joe, who did two tours of duty as an Army scout in Iraq, is a deputy U.S. marshal in San Francisco; and Chris is an advertising executive with BeamGlobal in Chicago.

"I have two granddaughters who are ripping through the world with reckless abandon," Palmer says. "I'm proud of all of them."

His son Rob is also Palmer's co-author on an upcoming book for ABA Publishing on horse racing law, "The Little Book of Horse Racing."

"I grew up in horse racing with my father, sister, and brother-in-law racing horses," says Palmer, who also has written articles on sports law and legal history and is co-author of a book on entertainment law.

Horse racing at the legendary Saratoga track ranks among Palmer's leisure time interests, along with Wolverine football, and the Detroit Tigers.

Published: Mon, Mar 4, 2013