Wayne Region Leadership
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FROM FLATTERY TO FEAR
WLAM Wayne Region held their annual meeting on May 18th, whey they held a panel discussing sexual harassment and its ever present nature in our modern society, including Patricia Nemeth, employment attorney and partner at Nemeth Law PC, Dean Phyllis Crocker, Dean of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Sheldon J. Stark, Mediator and Arbitrator, and Fawn Montgomery, Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Army Veteran. Moderated by Meghan Brennan, Senior Manager of Marketing, Media, and Special Events at The Pope Francis Center. The new board of officers was also installed.
Calendar of upcoming events
|2017-2018 Grace Trueman View Bio
Grace Trueman is a partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP. Grace focuses her practice on a spectrum of matters concerning nonprofit organizations, estate planning, and charitable giving. Her clients include private individuals, couples, and families, as well as public charities, nonprofits, and corporate trustees. Ms. Trueman has been named a Michigan Super Lawyers “Rising Star” from 2015-2018. Ms. Trueman has been involved in WLAM since law school and has been active in the Wayne Region since 2012. WLAM-Wayne offers many resources and valuable relationships for fostering equality in the practice of law.
|2016-2017 Jennifer Stallings Dewey|
|2015-2016 Deanne Bonner Simpson View Bio
Deanne is the founding attorney of Veterans' Advocates of Michigan, PLLC. Her practice focuses exclusively on the legal issues of United States Veterans, most commonly: VA service-connected disability claims, widows benefits, and military records corrections/character of discharge upgrades. She represents her clients nationally at VA Regional Offices, the Board of Veterans' Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans' Claims, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in addition to the Board of Corrections for Military Records, and the Boards of Review for the respective branches of the military.
Deanne served on the WLAM-Wayne Region Board from 2012-2017, and was the 2015-2016 President of the Wayne Region. In addition to WLAM, Deanne is a member of the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (serving on the Amicus and Litigation Committee), Livingston County Bar Association, and the Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers. In addition, Deanne volunteers as a Moot Court Judge/Coach for the University of Detroit Mercy Veterans Law Clinic, and serves as a Volunteer Attorney for The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.
Deanne received her Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-San Marcos.
|2014-2015 Ellen Hoeppner|
|2013-2014 Elizabeth Jolliffe View Bio
Elizabeth Jolliffe is a career management and business development coach for lawyers. She helps her clients be their best self to get what they want in their practice and career, including new jobs, new clients, more control and more satisfaction. She works with lawyers at all stages and in all settings, in Michigan and across the country.
Elizabeth founded her coaching practice in May 2008 after being a partner, former recruiting committee chair and commercial litigator for 19 years at Clark Hill in Detroit. Currently President-Elect of the Washtenaw County Bar Association, she is also a former president of the Detroit Bar Association, WLAM Wayne Region, and the Detroit Association of University of Michigan Women.
Some of her most enjoyable extracurricular activities include speaking to groups like the WLA of Utah at their mountain retreat, the ABA Young Lawyers, and the ABA Women Rainmakers, leading the Detroit Bar’s Inn of Court, and having fun with women lawyers and judges leading the annual Bench Bar Culinary Challenge for charities. She also serves on the board of a small nonprofit sending eligible kids in Ypsilanti schools to overnight summer camp, and advises collegiate women in the Alpha Phi chapter at the University of Michigan. In 1975 Elizabeth was the first female safety patrol captain at Quarton Elementary School. Last summer she took delight in breaking another glass ceiling. She won the inaugural Championship Trophy coveted by the three male golfers, her close friends, in their summer long Sunday dawn foursome.
Elizabeth lives in Ann Arbor and is a graduate of the University of Michigan, B.A. 1986, and J.D. 1989. She was certified as a professional coach in 2009.
|2011-2013 L. Nichole Hunter View Bio
Nichole Hunter is currently the Managing Shareholder at The Allen Law Group, P.C., a law firm located in Midtown Detroit. Much of her legal experience has been garnered in the areas related to school laws, board governance and compliance, and real estate and corporate transactions. She has served as legal counsel to the Detroit Public Schools, Ecorse Public Schools, the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, Hamilton Academy, Oakland Schools and Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women. In 2012, Nichole assisted in the creation of the Institute for Population Health, a nonprofit corporation which assumed the public health services of the City of Detroit’s Health and Wellness Promotion Department.
In 2013, she had the honor of serving as Finance Controller for the Mike Duggan for Detroit candidate committee. In 2014, she became a graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit program, Class XXXV, which recognizes emerging and existing community leaders to address key issues that affect the Michigan region.
In 2011, she received the Barristers President’s Award presented by the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Barristers. This award recognizes a young attorney whose early career exhibited high standards of service to the profession, his or her clients, and the public. Nichole was honored to have been recognized in 2014 as the recipient of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Regional Leadership Award. Also, she has been distinguished by Michigan Super Lawyer as a 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 Rising Star in education law.
In 2017, Nichole received her Graduate Certificate in Business Fundamentals, and anticipates receiving her Master of Business Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy College of Business Administration in the Summer of 2018.
|2010-2011, 2012-2013 Allison R. Bach|
|2011-2012 Jeri Parkin View Bio
Jeri L. Parkin served as the president of WLAM – Wayne Region in 2011-2012. She is an attorney with Fredrikson & Byron, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jeri represents business owners, developers, private equity groups and investors on all facets of business and corporate law transactions, mergers & acquisitions and commercial real estate transactions, including acquisitions, sales, financing, leases and development.
Jeri is certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a Real Property Specialist, a prestigious title held by only 2 percent of attorneys in the state.
Prior to joining Fredrikson & Byron, Jeri was an associate counsel for Quicken Loans Inc. (QL). There she managed several billion dollars of warehouse financing, including negotiating new warehouse lines with global financial service companies. She also provided legal support to the mergers and acquisitions and capital markets teams, and worked with QL’s chief financial officer to ensure compliance with financial covenants.
Jeri earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. She was awarded the CALI Excellence for the Future Award from William Mitchell College of Law.
Jeri was admitted to the Minnesota State Bar in 2002 and the Michigan State Bar in 2008. She has served as a board member, vice-president, president and past president for WLAM – Wayne Region.
Jeri is involved in the Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Shopping Center Association (MSCA), Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Women (MNCREW), and National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), where she severed on the Board.
Jeri is also involved in her community. She’s on the Board of Trustees, Scholarships Committee and Development Committee for the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation and has been a construction volunteer for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity through St. Andrews Lutheran Church. She previously served as an event planner and committee member for the Hasting Public Schools Foundation.
Jeri now resides in Mahtomedi, Minnesota with her husband Russ Fleming and their six year old son, Jackson.
|2009-2010 Joni Van Genderen|
|2008-2009 Hon. Lynne A. Pierce|
|2007-2008 Kathleen Maslanka Peabody|
|2004-2006 Rubina S. Mustafa|
|2003-2004 Delise D. Miller|
|2000-2001 Sherrie L. Farrell View Bio
Sherrie L. Farrell is the Office Managing Member for Dykema Gossett’s Detroit office and Chair of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She advises clients on all aspects of business disputes, including a broad range of complex litigation and corporate bankruptcy matters. She has significant experience serving as a National Coordinating Discovery Counsel for Fortune 25 companies. She frequently counsels area businesses on southeastern Michigan regional government and public policy issues.
Ms. Farrell’s extensive experience includes complex commercial and general business matters, and pharmaceutical litigation. She represents manufacturers, closely-held corporations, auto suppliers and real estate development companies in both litigated and non-litigated commercial matters.
Ms. Farrell also has significant experience in corporate bankruptcy matters and business restructuring. She represents Tier One and Tier Two suppliers, staffing corporations, health care companies and other regional and national businesses in creditors’ rights matters, out-of-court restructurings and as debtors’ and creditors’ counsel in bankruptcy proceedings. She also represents financial institutions in matters involving breach of contract, loan workouts and UCC issues. She recently was named a bankruptcy mediator for the Eastern District of Michigan’s Bankruptcy Court’s mediation panel.
For many years, Ms. Farrell has been involved in the administration at Dykema. In addition to serving as the partner in charge of Dykema’s Detroit office, she also serves on the firm’s Professional Personnel Committee and Recruiting Committee. Since 2010, Ms. Farrell has served as chair of Dykema’s Diversity and Inclusion Board.
A frequent author, speaker and panelist, Ms. Farrell has published several articles on issues related to cybersecurity. She also has served on numerous national panels, speaking on issues related to diversity and inclusion. Most recently, she was a featured panelist at the 2016 Corporate Counsel Women of Color Conference.
Ms. Farrell recently was honored as a 2016 Straker Bar Association Trailblazer of the Year. She also has been featured in Law360's Minority Powerbrokers series. In 2015, she was named a Michigan Chronicle 2015 Woman of Excellence. Each year since 2013, she has been recognized as a Super Lawyer for Business Litigation; Top Lawyer and Top Women Lawyers in Michigan by dbusiness Magazine; and named in Best Lawyers© for Commercial Litigation.
Active within and outside the legal community, Ms. Farrell has served on numerous boards throughout her career. She has president of the Women Lawyers of Michigan-Wayne Region and president of the Wolverine Bar Association. She is a past board member of the Legal Aid and Defender Association Board of Directors. Currently, she serves as a member of the governing board of the Gift of Life-Michigan; Citizens Research Council, and Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion. She also is the chairperson of the Board of Directors for Develop Detroit Inc., a non-profit real estate development organization.
|1999-2000 Noceeba (Gordon) Southern View Bio
Noceeba (Gordon) Southern is a former state court judge in Detroit, Michigan. She currently serves as a federal administrative law judge in Columbus, Ohio. Since making Columbus her hometown, Noceeba has served on the board for the Litigation Section of the Ohio State Bar Association, Guardian Ad Litem for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), member of the United Way of Central Ohio’s steering, WLC, and Key Club membership committee. She also served as a fellow and advisory board member of the African American Leadership Academy (AALA), fellow of the United Way’s Project Diversity, and advisory board member for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and LeaderSpark. Noceeba currently serves as a trustee board member for the Ohio Women’s Bar Association (OWBA). Noceeba was most recently named as one of Columbus’ most influential persons in Who’s Who in Black Columbus for the second year in a row.
Judge Southern’s servant leadership in Columbus is a natural extension of the service she demonstrated during her time in Michigan. A native of Detroit, Judge Southern was appointed by the Governor and thereafter elected to serve as a Judge of the 36th Judicial District Court. She also served as an Assistant United States Attorney at the United States Attorney’s Office in Detroit, where she prosecuted fraud and other economic crimes. A former judicial law clerk for Judges Anna Diggs Taylor and Damon J. Keith, Judge Southern has made a lifetime commitment to public service. Judge Southern is the former president of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan - Wayne County region, former regional director of the National Bar Association’s Region Six, former state representative of the National Black Prosecutor’s Association, former secretary for the Wolverine Bar Association, former bar examination grader for the Michigan Board of Law Examiners, and former hearing panelist for the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board.
Judge Southern is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees. She obtained her Master of Laws from the University of Alabama. Judge Southern is married to Justin Letts and they have three wonderful children, Sydney, Nelson, and Jocelyn.
|1998-1999 Valerie R. Newman View Bio
Ms. Newman graduated from Wayne State University Law School. She began her career as an attorney with the State Appellate Defender Office where she practiced for over 23 years. She argued hundreds of cases before the Michigan and federal courts. She has been a regularly featured speaker at the Michigan appellate bench-bar conferences, law schools and other groups. She frequently taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School for over 15 years. She has trained, supervised and mentored new attorneys and law students for decades and has advocated for women’s rights and the professional development of women throughout her career.
In November 2017 Ms. Newman was hired as the Director of the newly created Conviction Integrity Unit of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. In this position Ms. Newman is working to strengthen the criminal justice system by investigating claims of wrongful conviction.
On October 31, 2011, Ms. Newman argued the case of Lafler v Cooper in the Supreme Court of the United States. The case issue was whether ineffective assistance of counsel during the plea bargaining stage could be remedied following a trial. On March 21, 2012 the Court ruled in her client’s favor in a 5-4 decision. The New York Times heralded the decision as the most important right to counsel case since Gideon v Wainwright. Legal rights groups and scholars alike cite it as one of the most important cases of that Supreme Court Term. Ms. Newman has presented on the case and its ramifications on the criminal justice system to many groups including the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts.
Ms. Newman returned to the Court in October 2013 to argue the case of Burt v Titlow.. This was a follow-up case to Lafler v Cooper presenting a twist on the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel during the plea bargaining stage. Interview footage with Ms. Newman was part of an ID Network “Snapped” episode about the case and her work on the case was highlighted in a book about the case by noted author M. William Phelps.
Ms. Newman litigated the highly publicized case of People v Thomas (and Raymond) Highers in 2012, which resulted in the release of two brothers who had each served 25 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. The story garnered substantial media attention and Ms. Newman appeared with the brothers on local and national media including CNN. The story was featured on Dateline in 2014 and included courtroom footage and interviews with Ms. Newman.
In 2016, Ms. Newman’s client Davontae Sanford was exonerated and released from prison. The case captured the nation’s attention primarily due to Davontae’s young age and the confession of a contract killer to the same murders. Ms. Newman supported Davontae throughout the significant media interest including appearances on CNN, all major local and national news stations, a REELZ segment and a segment on Discovery ID’s the Real Story (Failure of Justice).
Ms. Newman is active within the State Bar of Michigan. She has served on numerous committees and as co-chair of the Task Force on the Recording of Custodial Interrogations. On December 27, 2012, the Governor signed into law important legislation that was prepared and lobbied for by this Task Force, which mandates the recording of custodial interrogations in serious felony cases. Ms. Newman was instrumental throughout the process.
Ms. Newman co-chaired the Task Force on Eyewitness Identification Issues, which resulted in law enforcement and prosecutors adopting significant reforms in practices for conducting identifications and making charging decisions.
Ms. Newman currently co-chairs the Access to Justice Committee of the State Bar and is a member of several other groups within the Bar. She also serves on the Pretrial Reform Committee. She is a former elected board member of the Appellate Practice Section.
The Detroit News named Ms. Newman as a Michiganian of the Year in 2016 for her work on Davontae’s case.
The State Bar of Michigan presented Ms. Newman with the Champion of Justice Award at the Bar’s September 2013 annual meeting. The Award is given for extraordinary individual accomplishments and is given each year to practicing lawyers and judges who have made a significant contribution to their community, state, or nation.
In December 2012, Lawyers USA named Ms. Newman a Lawyer of the Year (one of only 7 lawyers from across the country). Also in 2012, Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly named her as one of the top 20 woman lawyers in the state and the State Appellate Defender Commission chose Ms. Newman as the first recipient of the Norris J. Thomas Jr. Award for excellence in appellate advocacy. In 2010, Ms. Newman was nominated and accepted as a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, an honor accorded to no more than 5% of Michigan lawyers.
In 2016, Cooley Law School honored Ms. Newman with the Integrity in our Community Award. In 2014, Ms. Newman was honored by the Wayne Law Review with the Richard J. Barber Alumni Achievement Award, which is awarded to an alumna who has advanced the reputation of the Law Review and the law school through her service to the legal community. In 2013, Ms. Newman was awarded the Woman of Wayne Headliner award, an honor presented to Wayne State University Alumni who have been recognized in the media for their outstanding achievements. In 2012, the Justice Caucus honored Ms. Newman with its Spirit of Millie Jeffrey Award for her commitment to equal access to justice. In 2010, Alternative for Girls awarded Ms. Newman with its community role model award. In 2009, Ms. Newman received the first ever Volunteer of the Year Award from the Women Lawyer’s Association of Michigan Foundation.
OTHER PROFESSIONAL/ COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Ms. Newman created the Culinary Challenge in 2008. She chaired the event for nine years and continues to serve on the event committee. The event raises funds for several nonprofits that support women and girls. She also is a dedicated volunteer at several nonprofits.
|1997-1998 Janet M. Tooley|
|1996-1997 Bonnie L. Mayfield|
|1995-1996 Hon. Marsha K. Nettles|
|1994-1995 Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna|
|1993-1994 Carole Youngblood|
|1992-1993 Carolyn Fletcher-Sharpe|
|1991-1992 Nancy J. Diehl View Bio
Nancy J. Diehl joined Women Lawyers Association of Michigan upon graduation from Wayne Law in 1978 and remains a proud member. She served on the Candidate Endorsement Committee, 1978-2000; as Treasurer, 1989-1990; as Director‑at‑Large, 1990-1991; and as President of the Wayne County Region, 1991‑1992. With the WLAM experience as a foundation, Diehl went on to be active in the Detroit Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan, serving as the third woman President of SBM in 2004-2005.
Diehl’s career in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office spanned 28 years. Her position at the time of her 2009 retirement was Chief of the Trial Division overseeing general trials, child and family abuse, homicide, auto theft, major drugs, and victim services. Diehl’s work as founder and director of the Child Abuse Unit and the expanded Child and Family Abuse Bureau gained state and national attention as a model program of the team approach of prosecutor and advocate vertically handling abuse cases in the criminal justice system. She is the co-author of four booklets pertaining to children and the legal system: IT IS GOOD TO TELL THE TRUTH, KIDS GO TO COURT, KIDS AND SECRETS, and SOMETIMES IT IS SAD TO BE AT HOME, WHAT IS A KID TO DO ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Diehl founded the Wayne County Kids –TALK Child Advocacy Program and through her leadership roles with various organizations she was instrumental in enacting new statewide protocols and laws and amending existing laws to help children, families and the criminal justice system. Some include: child competency, child abuse, criminal sexual conduct, child abuse and neglect investigative protocol, child forensic interviewing protocol, child death review, personal protection orders, audiovisual recording of custodial interrogations, eyewitness identification, indigent defense, and wrongful conviction compensation.
Diehl continues to consult and train on child abuse, family violence, and other criminal justice issues. She is dedicated and involved in groups with a focus on these issues, including the State Bar of Michigan, Kids–TALK Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Board, Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, and the Archdiocese of Detroit Sexual Abuse Review Board.
Diehl has been recognized by many different organizations and institutions for her accomplishments and has received over 30 awards to date, including the WLAM Jean King Leadership Award in 2006.
|1990-1991 Mimi Gendreau|
|1989-1990 Paula Restum|
|1988-1989 Lori Zurvalec|
|1987-1988 Dawn Van Hoek|
|1986-1987 Sharon A. Kennedy|
|1985-1986 Kathleen Leavey-Kageff View Bio
I graduated cum laude from Wayne State University in 1980. I was an evening student while teaching full time at a Detroit Public School. Without exception my instructors at the Law School were excellent.
In my senior year at Wayne, I was elected to be the Chancellor of Moot Court. Our team won the Regional Championship and proceeded to New York for the National Finals. While we did not win at that level, our 1979 Regional win was the first for Wayne in twenty years.
After Law school, in 1980 I went to work for a small personal injury firm. This type of work was not appealing to me so I sought employment elsewhere. I wanted to do Court work and litigation. In 1985 I started working for the City of Detroit's Law Department's water division. My first assignment was the 1985 major lawsuit resulting from the first Fifteen Mile sewer collapse (not far from the most recent collapse). There were 21 plaintiffs versus the City. I brought in the construction companies so their insurance companies could partake in the discovery and settlement recovery. Through a full review of pre and post photographs, records (medical, financial, etc.), we were able to settle the case for $90,000 as opposed to the 21 million that was demanded. This remains my favorite case.
During this time-1985 to 1990-I became active in the Wayne County Region Woman Lawyers, and was eventually elected President of the local region. Amongst the things I was able to accomplish was to form a coalition with the Wolverine Bar Association to merge the WLAM and WBA slates for the election of state bar delegates. Ultimately, we were successful in helping to create a more diversifiedrepresentative body in the state bar.
While working at the City's Law Department, Director Charlie Williams asked me to take over management of the Water Office Program Management division. This division had just complete the planning and oversight of the reconstruction of the wastewater treatment plant under the orders of the Federal Court. Almost immediately, the state of Michigan issued a proposed new permit for the operation of the wastewater plant. It became my task to write the protest against the new permit. A group was created comprised of lawyers, engineers and staff members tho operated the plant. I represented the Water Department alongside the lawyers. The negotiation lasted approximately four years. The Federal Court approved the final document. During the time of the negotiation, Mayor Archer appointed me Acting Director of the Water Department. During this time, I was also elected President of the State of Michigan Women Lawyers Association. During my tenure, the primary issue had again become abortion. WLAM played a major role in bringing this issue to the forefront and ultimately helping to bring about the demise of this issue.
When Kwame Kilpatrick became Mayor, I was moved from the Water Department back to the City's Law Department's contract section. when Kilpatrick was removed from office, acting Mayor Ken Cockrell appointed me as the Law Department's Corporation Council.
I retired in 2009.
|1984-1985 Lorraine H. Weber View Bio
Lorraine Weber was born in 1952 and raised in Gibraltar Michigan with her attorney father Lorne, mother Thelma and sister Lynn Ann. She is a third generation lawyer; her paternal grandfather was a law professor at Detroit College of Law. Lorraine Weber and Mac Lister have been married for 30 years and lived in the historic Indian Village area in Detroit throughout most of that time. They are interested in music, art and outdoor camping and hiking. They have traveled extensively both in the United States as well as abroad and have a deep interest in the cultures of other countries. Their daughter Alison lives in Royal Oak with her husband and two grandchildren who are the light of their lives. They currently own a home deep in the woods of the Leelanau Peninsula where they plan to retire full time with their dog Tucker and their cat Phoebe.
Lorraine is the daughter and granddaughter of lawyers. An honors graduate of the University of Michigan and Boston College of Law, she first joined Wayne County Probate Court in 1979 leaving her father’s private practice in Flat Rock, Michigan. During her time with the court she served as Probate Division Attorney, Juvenile and Probate Register and Court Administrator.
In 1987 she left Wayne County Probate Court to serve as Project Director for the Michigan Supreme Court Task Forces on Gender and Racial/Ethnic Issues in the Courts. As a result of this work, two landmark reports were issued from the Task Forces outlining 167 findings and recommendations for improving fairness and eliminating bias in Michigan’s legal system.
Upon completion of this work, she was appointed a Referee of the Juvenile Division of Wayne County Probate Court in February of 1991. She left the bench in July of 1997 and served as special advisor to the State Bar of Michigan Task Force on Racial/Ethnic and Gender Issues in the Courts and the Legal Profession and Director of the State Bar of Michigan Open Justice Commission. She worked with the Commission under the leadership of Justice Marilyn Kelly and Judge Harold Hood to develop and administer numerous programs and initiatives specifically aimed at eliminating all forms of bias within the legal profession and promoting fairness in the courts.
In July, 2003, Ms. Weber became the Executive Director of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. In August 2009, she was appointed the first Michigan Supreme Court Director of Access and Fairness by then Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly.
Notable in her accomplishments is the appointment by Chief Justice Kelly as Co-chair of the Michigan Solutions on Self Help Task Force with Michigan State Bar Foundation Executive Director Linda Rexer, Together they led a statewide collaboration of judges, courts, lawyers, bar associations, funders, nonprofit legal aid agencies, legal self-help centers and others to develop a statewide system for providing comprehensive services to the public and courts for self-represented litigants. As a result of this work, the Task Force developed and recommended the use of standardized, understandable forms for all Michigan trial courts; implemented a statewide, interactive, self-help website with affiliated self-help centers throughout the state; and produced self-represented litigant curricula for judicial and quasi-judicial officers and for court administrative and management staff.
An honors graduate of the University of Michigan and Boston College of Law, Ms. Weber has served on the faculty of the National Judicial College, the Michigan Judicial Institute, the Institute for Court Management, and has lectured and taught for numerous conferences and organizations throughout the country, including the National Association of Court Managers and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She is a founding member and former Board member of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness Issues in the Courts and received the Consortium’s Founders Award in 1999.
She retired in January 2017 as Executive Director of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation. In her position as Executive Director, Ms. Weber was an influential leader in the Metropolitan Detroit legal community working with law firms, courts and other community organizations to improve the administration and quality of justice in their community through education, dialogue, and community activities. Under her administrative leadership, the DMBA Foundation supported a diverse mix of programming; and advocacy, including the Detroit Legal Services Clinic, the For the Seventh Generation program, legal pipeline efforts, pro bono mentoring and other initiatives of the Detroit Bar Association. Upon her retirement, the For The Seventh Generation program became an independent 501c3 organization helping foster children and families in metropolitan Detroit. Ms. Weber currently administers that program as President and CEO.
In addition to her contributions to the legal community, Ms. Weber was an adjunct Professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School teaching Cultural Competency and the Legal Profession. In 2003 she received the Community Service Pride Award from the Triangle Foundation. Since 2005, Ms. Weber has been the assigned mentor for the young women attorneys nominated to participate in the nationally recognized Mentium program and sponsored by the WLAM Foundation. She received the WLAM Jeanne King Award for her contribution to the advancement of women and girls issues in the legal profession. In 2008 she was the recipient of the prestigious State Bar of Michigan Champion of Justice Award for her lifetime career of service to the causes of equal and open justice.
She is an ordained minister with the Church of Tzaddi and Director of the EarthWalk Spiritual Center based in the Detroit metropolitan region.
|1983-1984 Geneva S. Halliday View Bio
Geneva Halliday served as Magistrate to the 67th District Court from 1977 to 1978, on the Army Corps of Engineers from 1978 to 1980, and at the Office of United States Attorney 1980 to 2008. She is Past President of WLAM Wayne Region, and is also Past President of the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan. She serves as a board member and officer of several non profits. She lives in Green Valley, AZ and South Haven, Michigan.
|1982-1983 Charlene Snow View Bio
Charlene Snow has worked with United Community Housing Coalition since 2008. She represents tenants & people in tax and mortgage foreclosure at 36th District Court in Detroit. Since January 2017 she has been the supervisor of the Tenant Housing Clinic that UCHC operates Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at the Court. Ms. Snow worked in private practice and in legal services positions during her legal career, representing women prisoners in two class action cases. She was co-counsel from 1977 to 1989 in Glover v. Johnson, 478 F. Supp. 1075 (E.D. Mich. 1979); 510 F. Supp. 1019 (1981); 855 F.2d 277 (6th Circ. 1988); 934 F.2d 703 (6th Cir. 1991). Glover was the first class action in the country on behalf of women prisoners; it dealt with education and vocational training. The other prison case in which she was involved was Cain v. MDOC, 461 Mich 470 (1996) which concerned personal property and the classification of women prisoners. She was co-counsel in Cain, from 1989 to 2000. Her legal practice also included divorce, employment discrimination, probate and other general civil matters. Additionally she is a facilitative mediator with both family law and general civil mediation credentials.
Ms. Snow is a member of the ADR Section of the State Bar. She is a member of WLAM and of the National Lawyers Guild. Ms. Snow served as a public member on the Michigan Board of Dentistry from February 2008 to June 2011, and was chair of the Disciplinary Subcommittee of that board. She was also a public member of the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners, now the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments, from 2009 to 2017.
Ms. Snow is a precinct delegate and a board member of the Justice Caucus and the Women’s Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party. She coordinates Camp Millie, a candidate training program for the Justice Caucus. Starting with the campaign of the late Justice Blair Moody Jr. while in law school, Ms. Snow has volunteered on numerous judicial and political campaigns. Since approximately 2001 she’s been actively involved in voter protection efforts. In 2008, Ms. Snow attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO as an alternate delegate from the 14th Congressional District, when President Obama was nominated. Most recently, in January 2017 she took a bus with two friends to the Women’s March in Washington DC.
Since 2006, Ms. Snow has been secretary of the Irish Cultural Forum in Detroit. She is also a member & recording secretary of the Detroit Irish Music Association, which is a branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Ms. Snow was on the Detroit committee that planned events in Detroit commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Irish Rising.
Ms. Snow has a BA from James Madison College at MSU and a law degree from the University of Detroit, where Ms. Snow was one of 20 women in her law class. Ms. Snow received a Champion of Justice Award in 1987 from the State Bar of Michigan and a Spirit of Detroit award from Detroit NOW in 1981.
Ms. Snow was president of the Wayne Region of WLAM from 1982-1983 and of the state organization from 1986 to 1987. In 1986, WLAM completed a study on Women Attorneys in Michigan; the results were presented at a Women in Law Conference held by WLAM in October 1986. The Committee that conducted the survey was chaired by Marilyn Jean Kelly, who became president of WLAM in 1987. The late 1980s was a particularly interesting time to be president of WLAM. Julia Darlow was president of the State Bar and a number of women were being elected or appointed as judges in Michigan, including Judge Clarice Jobes, Judge Marianne Battani, Judge Denise Page Hood, and others. WLAM had an active Candidate Endorsement Committee both on the regional and on the state level. As a result of the networking opportunities through women lawyers, Ms. Snow was appointed to other committees and boards, including the Diversity Committee of the State Bar of Michigan and the board of what would become Michigan Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, and later Professionals Direct Insurance Company. Ms. Snow served on the insurance company boards for approximately ten years.
There was a lot of activity around women’s issues and WLAM members were in the thick of it. In 1986 a group of women, many of them WLAM members, started the Michigan Women’s Campaign Fund which endorsed and provided funds to pro-choice women running for local and state offices. The Mabel Dinner, the primary fundraiser for the group, was first held in 1986. The dinner was named for Mabel Dingman, a Michigan woman, who held the first all-women’s bear hunt in northern Michigan. The Mabel Dinners, which yearly honored an unsung woman in Michigan history, were attended by 200 to 300 women and a few men, featured humorous skits by women lawyers and judges, and continued for about 20 years. Ms. Snow participated in the skits, hosted a table at the dinner and was on the board of the Michigan Women’s Campaign Fund for most of those years. The Michigan Women’s Campaign Fund was a bi-partisan group and provided funds to the campaigns of many women who ran for office between 1986 and about 2004. While the Mabel Dinner was a fun filled evening, the contributions of the Women’s Campaign Fund to women running for office was a serious endeavor that resulted in many women being elected at all levels of government.
Charlene Snow and her spouse, Tom Carey live in Detroit, where they raised their two children, Patrick and Eleanor Carey. Ms. Snow was active in the mother’s clubs at both U of D Jesuit and Mercy high schools, while her children attended those schools. Prior to that, she was on the board of Friends School in Detroit for nine years when her children were in school there.
Ms. Snow enjoys reading, genealogy, Irish set dancing, listening to live music, and traveling.
|1981-1982 Victoria C. Heldman|
|1980-1981 Dianne Rubin View Bio
Dianne Rubin was president of the Wayne Region in 1980-81. At that time, she was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan, representing the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. She litigated many cases on behalf of women who had been discriminated against by their employers in the terms of their employment. After her husband retired from his position in 1995 with the Michigan Transportation Commission, she also retired from her State position. They then moved to their vacation home in Niagara County, NY. She now resides in Buffalo, NY since the death of her husband in 2015.