District Court Bench/Bar Conference hosted in Birmingham

The Oakland County Bar Association will present the 2024 District Court Bench/Bar Conference, “Recovering the Lost Art of Civility,” on Friday, March 15, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Community House, 380 S. Bates St. in Birmingham.

The OCBA’s biennial District Court Bench/Bar Conference provides local attorneys and judges the opportunity to interact outside the courtroom in an informal, solution-oriented environment. Gain valuable insights to enhance your legal practice and join us as we build congeniality between the bench and the bar.

This year’s conference will feature a keynote address by Dale L. Hebert, associate general counsel, University of Michigan; and Amy Blackwell, associate general counsel, University of Michigan.
Conference participants will have the opportunity to select from different topics during the two sessions including:

Session A
9:40 - 10:25 a.m.


• Landlord/Tenant Update - A discussion on recent updates in the area of landlord/tenant law and their impact, as well as discussions on related family court issues and evictions. The panel of attorneys and judges will provide the view of both sides.

Urenia Ricks-Johnson, Ricks & Associates PLLC
Adam Devlin, Devlin Law PLLC
52-4 District Court Judge Kirsten Nielsen Hartig


Best Practices for Representing a Client You’ve Never Met in Person - This session will highlight helpful technology and adequate representation which includes making sure a client is properly prepared for virtual court.

Elizabeth Chiappelli, 52-2 and 52-4 District Court
46th District Court Judge Debra Nance
44th District Court Judge Andrew Kowalkowski (moderator)

Session B
11:15 a.m. - 1 p.m.


The Current State of ADR: Where Do We Go From Here? - A look at case evaluation two years after its significant rule changes. Speakers will dive into a roundtable discussion of the various ADR options for district court cases and share ideas for using each most effectively. They will also brainstorm possible ideas for a rapid mediation program as an alternate tool to case evaluation.

45th District Court Judge Michelle Appel
52nd District Court Judge Travis Reeds
Geoff Patrishkoff, Khurana Law Firm PC
Jamie Low, The Dollar Law Firm (moderator)


Criminal Law Panel: MIDC Updates - The panel will talk about post-Covid expansion, new MIDC standards, the public defender’s office, working with the prosecutor’s office, and new rules affecting either side.

52-4 District Court Judge Maureen McGinnis (moderator)
Jeffrey S. Hall, chief of District Court Division
Pete Menna, chief attorney, Oakland County Indigent Defense Services Office
Paulette Loftin, Oakland County Public Defender’s Office

The District Court Bench/Bar Conference costs $75 for OCBA members and $45 for OCBA new lawyer, paralegal, student, judicial law clerk members.  To register, visit www.ocba.org and click on “events.”  

For information on becoming an OCBA member, call 248-334-3400.

Subscribe to the Legal News!
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available