Artistic attorney: Exhibition of magistrate's art benefited legal aid clinic


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Children’s rights attorney and magistrate Richard Halprin has always had a creative streak. Immersed in the arts since childhood, he eventually pursued a legal career, but never gave up his passion—scribbling, sketching, creating with plywood and paint, songwriting, editing, and working as a published film critic.

Over the past year or so, the self-taught artist started creating images with acrylic and ink—culminating in a recent exhibit at the AtomArt Gallery in Ferndale, focusing exclusively on Halprin’s artwork.

“The Faces That We Face” exhibit, that ran Jan. 12 to Feb. 14, attracted nearly 200 supporters, including many local attorneys and members of the judiciary, including the Hon. Fred Mester and Hon. Michelle Friedman Appel.

“My art is a crisis of crisscross addictions, to facets of faces, to fact into fiction,” Halprin writes on his Facebook page, The Inkling Fountain. “A steady slipstream of whimsical quips, of tightening focus to loosening grips, a subtle barrage of middle finger flips, a punch in the nose, a kiss on the lips. A chamber of torture with morphine drips, a passive aggressive acid trip through the minefields of passion, that digressions unzip. Peeping Tom confessions and manic solo missions performed without practice or permission slips.”

A portion of the proceeds from sales generated through this exhibit went to support the Salvation Army’s William Booth Legal Clinic in Detroit, that serves residents in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties who live at or below the national poverty guidelines.

The Royal Oak-based attorney, who earned his undergrad degree in economics and political science from Michigan State University, graduated cum laude from the Detroit Mercy Law in 1989. During law school, he had clerkships with a plaintiff law firm, an insurance defense firm and an internship with a public broadcast TV station.

An attorney for three decades, Halprin has a wide-ranging practice, including criminal, civil and family law litigation, to counsel and advocacy in business law, entertainment law and employment.

 In addition, he has been a magistrate at 45th District Court since 2006, where he resides over arraignments, bond hearings, search warrant requests, and contested civil infraction and small claims proceedings.