Governor Rick Snyder appointed Judge Paul J. Bridenstine to the Ninth Circuit Court and Christopher Haenicke to the Eighth District Court in Kalamazoo County.
Judge Paul J. Bridenstine has served as chief judge of the Eighth District Court since 2000 and will be replaced by Haenicke. Judge Bridenstine will move into the seat vacated by Judge J. Richardson Johnson.
Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Bridenstine served as assistant prosecuting attorney with the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office from 1992 to 2000. In addition to serving on the bench, Judge Bridenstine teaches political science at Western Michigan University. He has also taught at Davenport College. He earned his law degree from the University of Detroit in 1991 and his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Haenicke is vice president of Greenleaf Trust, where he has worked for 13 years. Prior to that, he worked as an attorney in private practice for nine years. He earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1993, and earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the Michigan Department of Attorney General had just cause to terminate Andrew Shirvell, and that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits.
The appeals court affirmed a circuit court's order, which held that "there was competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record to support that there was just cause to terminate Shirvell and properly held that the termination was not arbitrary or capricious."
The appeals court reversed the circuit court's order on Shirvell's unemployment eligibility, ruling that the circuit court "erred in concluding that Shirvell did not engage in misconduct that disqualified him for unemployment benefits under the MESA. Shirvell's speech was not protected and there was competent, material, and substantial evidence introduced at the unemployment compensation hearing to support the UIA's determination that Shirvell engaged in misconduct such that he was disqualified for benefits under MCL 421.29(1)(b)[.]"
Shirvell was fired in November of 2010 for using state resources to maintain a blog attacking the first openly gay student body president of the University of Michigan and for lying to investigators during his disciplinary hearing.
The justices of the Michigan Supreme Court selected Robert P. Young Jr. to serve for a third two-year term as chief justice of the court. Chief Justice Young has served on the court since 1999, and was elected and re-elected to the court in 2002 and 2010. He has served as chief justice since 2011.
Chief Justice Young says he plans to continue implementing innovations that will better measure court performance and increase efficiency while improving service to the public.
"Being allowed to stay on as chief justice allows us continuity to build on that record of success and move ahead with further reforms to make Michigan's judiciary a national model," Chief Justice Young said. "Continuing efforts to adopt best practices, implement technology, and re-engineer our courts are absolutely critical if Michigan is to remain a leader in court innovation and in improving service to the public."
The Michigan Supreme Court reappointed Hon. Michael Smith, Hon. Mark Boonstra, Hon. James Redford, Hon. Michael Warren, Thomas Van Dusen and Thomas Waun, and appointed Gary Felty Jr. to the Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions. All will serve terms beginning Jan. 1, 2015 and ending Dec. 31, 2017.
The Supreme Court also reappointed Hon. James Redford chairperson of the committee.
The Michigan Supreme Court reappointed Rafael Villarruel and Mary Rubio and appointed Hon. Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger to the Foreign Language Board of Review. All three will serve terms beginning Jan. 1, 2015 and ending Dec. 31, 2017.
Governor Rick Snyder has appointed David Fischer to the Judicial Tenure Commission for a three-year term that will expire Dec. 31, 2017.
Fischer is the chairman and CEO of the Suburban Collection in Novi. He is chairman emeritus of the North American International Auto Show, on the board of trustees for the College for Creative Studies and an emeritus director for the Detroit Institute of Arts. He has a bachelor's degree in business from Parson's College.
Governor Rick Snyder has appointed Michael Gadola to the Michigan Court of Appeals seat vacated by retiring Judge William Whitbeck.
“Mike is an outstanding addition to the Court of Appeals,” Governor Snyder said. “He is widely respected for his legal acumen, as well as his personal and professional integrity. This appointment will expand Mike’s impressive record of public service. I have every confidence that he will uphold the court’s highest standards through his commitment to fairness and thoughtful reasoning.”
Gadola has served as the governor’s legal counsel since 2011. He served as counsel to the Michigan Supreme Court and general counsel to the State Court Administrative Office from 2001 to 2010. He also previously served as House majority counsel, deputy legal counsel to former Gov. John Engler, director of the Office of Regulatory Reform, and as an attorney with Dickinson, Wright, Moon, VanDusen & Freeman in Detroit and Lansing.
Effective immediately, the Michigan Supreme Court has assigned Hon. Pamela L. Lightvoet to the role of business court judge in the Ninth Circuit Court for a six-year term that will expire April 1, 2019.
The Michigan Supreme Court issued an order on Friday, Nov. 28, stating that the high court and the Michigan Court of Appeals will implement a new electronic filing and service system.
The new filing system, called TrueFiling, will allow users to e-file documents to both the Supreme Court and appeals court in Michigan. Initially, filing will be voluntary, but the high court anticipates that e-filing will eventually become mandatory for both courts. The new system will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will accept Microsoft Word documents, pdfs, text files, tiffs, pngs and jpgs. The courts will prefer original pleadings to be submitted as Word documents, text files or searchable pdfs.