Judicial Spotlight: Edward Ewell, Jr., 3rd Judicial Circuit of Michigan

Judge Edward Ewell, Jr.

  1. What has been your most memorable case (in practice and/or as a judge)?
    As an Assistant U.S. Attorney I prosecuted a hate crime where a black family was attempting to build a home in a all-white neighborhood. Three young men from that community tore the house down and the neighborhood had a bonfire to celebrate it. One of the young men that I prosecuted was the police chief’s son. After all the black jurors were struck during voire dire, an all white jury convicted the three men.
  2. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
    Playing tennis, golf, and spending time with my family.
  3. Who was the most influential person in your life/profession?
    I was raised by my mother, who had major expectations. Professionally, Judge Damon J. Keith.
  4. What’s the most unusual thing in your desk drawer?
    A multi-purpose knife.
  5. What has been the most difficult decision you have had to make as a judge?
    Sentencing a young woman to prison who I believe was taking the blame for her boyfriend.
  6. Do you have a pet peeve when on the bench?
    Lawyers who bicker over routine discovery issues and who are not civil.
  7. What advice would you give to litigants before you?
    Practice the Golden Rule; you never know when you will need professional courtesy.
  8. Do you have any advice for new lawyers or law students?
    Be prompt, be prepared and be professional. Your reputation is being made every time you represent your client; no matter what is at issue.
  9. Football, Hockey, Baseball or Basketball (or other)?
  10. What is your favorite music?
    It is eclectic, depending on my mood from R&B to Rap, from jazz to country.
  11. How would you finish this sentence: “If I was no longer on the bench I would be…?”
    Playing golf or tennis every day or reviewing movies as a critic.
  12. What law school did you attend? Did you “enjoy” the experience and can you share your fondest memory?
    I attended Wayne State Law School. I can’t say I enjoyed law school, but I certainly enjoyed the people. My fondest memory is Professor Littlejohn recommending me for a federal clerkship without my requesting him to do so.
  13. Before becoming a judge where did you practice?
    I was General Counsel for Wayne County.
  14. Did you have any mentors as you gained experience in the law and practice?
    Besides Judge Damon J. Keith, Judge Bill Richards, Scott Gorland and William Wolfson.
  15. How old where you when you had the worst hair cut ever and what style was it?
    I was 17 and unfortunately I decided a Big Afro and long beard was good for my graduation pictures.
  16. What was the hardest part of transitioning from law practice to being a judge?
    Making decisions and not second guessing myself about them.
  17. Do you take an active role in assisting parties in settlement discussions? Do you prefer independent facilitation/mediation?
    I try to do what is best for the case and parties. Thus, I am flexible to do whatever it takes to help them reach a resolution regardless if I am involved.
  18. If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
    I would be an eagle because they can fly high and fast.
  19. Do you prefer attorneys to remain at the lectern in trials if they are speaking or questioning?
    I don’t have a preference as long as it is not distracting, annoying, or disrespectful to anyone in the courtroom.
  20. Without embarrassing anyone, do you have a memorable courtroom gaffe of yours or an attorney you can share?
    When I first became a Judge, I had a young lawyer who did not object at an important part of testimony and I yelled objection. I was very nervous at my first trial and this outburst, which made everyone laugh, helped me through my nervousness.
Categories: Volume 5 #4

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