Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed John Keuvelaar to the Bay County Probate Court.
Keuvelaar has served as assistant prosecuting attorney in the Family Support Division for Bay County since 1998. He has managed dependent neglect, mental health and juvenile cases. Prior to his work in Bay County, he worked for the Gratiot County prosecutor's office. He is a Bay County child abuse protocol training instructor and has been a presenter to the Gratiot County Multi-County Sexual Assault Program, the State Court Administrative Office Child Welfare Conference, and the Department of Human Services family-to-family kick-off community.
Keuvelaar earned a bachelor’s degree from Albion College and a law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.
He fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Karen A. Tighe. He must seek election in November 2016 to fill the remainder of the term.
Gov. Rick Snyder appointed David J. DiStefano to the Van Buren County Probate Court.
DiStefano has most recently worked as a general practitioner focused on probate work in Van Buren County. He has also served as Bangor city attorney from 1987 to 2014 and as general counsel for multiple companies. He is a member of the Van Buren County Economic Development Corp. board of directors and the Van Buren County Restorative Justice Committee. He previously served on the Van Buren County Mental Health Board and the Bangor Public School Board. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
DiStefano fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Frank D. Willis. He must seek election in November 2016 to fill the remainder of the term.
The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed two federal members to the Michigan Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum. Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Jeff J. Davis will serve a term ending July 1, 2016. The Hon. Timothy P. Greeley will serve a term ending July 1, 2017.
Governor Rick Snyder appointed T. David Law to the 52-1 District Court in Oakland County on Tuesday, Feb. 10.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Law has served as assistant attorney general in the Children & Youth Division of the Michigan Department of Attorney General. He has also previously served in the Michigan House of Representatives and the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.
Law earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from the Detroit College of Law.
He fills the seat left by the departure of the Hon. Dennis N. Powers.
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."