President's Corner

By Richard W. Paul, Dickinson Wright PLLC

“We have deep depth.”

--Yogi Berra

These words of my favorite American philosopher resonate and succinctly capture my sentiments about the MDTC as I begin my tenure as President. The MDTC is an engaged group of legal professionals throughout the State with a rich tradition and history, and I am honored to have been selected to lead the organization.

Our depth begins with our Executive Director Madelyne Lawry and her staff, including Valerie Sowulewski and Joe Strother, who work tirelessly to keep the MDTC running smoothly. This year’s Officers--Vice President Josh Richardson, Treasurer Irene Bruce Hathaway and Secretary Terry Durkin--together with our Board of Directors--Deborah Brouwer, Mike Conlon, Conor Dugan, Gary Eller, Mike Jolet, Rik Joppich, Vanessa McCamant, John Mucha, Dale Robinson, Angela Emmerling Shapiro, Carson Tucker and Paul Vance--are committed to delivering value to our members, continuing our legacy and enhancing our reputation within the legal community.

Our depth extends to our Regional Chairs in Flint (Barbara Hunyady), Grand Rapids (Charles Pike), Lansing (Mike Pattwell), Marquette (Jeremy Pickens), Saginaw (Drew Jordan), Southeast Michigan (Joe Richotte) and Traverse City (Matthew Cross), as well as to our Section and Committee Chairs (Robyn Brooks, Victoria Convertino, Mike Cook, Daniel Cortez, Graham Crabtree, Terry Durkin, Gary Eller, Jeremiah Fanslau, Daniel Ferris, Fred Fresard, Amber Girbach, Clifford Hammond, Catherine Hart, Kim Hillock, John Hohmeier, Nicholas Huguelet, Barbara Hunyady, Thomas Isaacs, Drew Jordan, Lee Khachaturian, Kevin Lesperance, Kari Melkonian, Brian Moore, Thaddeus Morgan, John Mucha, Robert Murkowski, Ridley Nimmo, David Ottenwess, Olivia Paglia, Mike Pattwell, Samantha Pattwell, Anthony Pignotti, Nathan Scherbarth, Tony Taweel and Beth Wittmann), all of whom are dedicated to providing unparalleled educational and networking opportunities for our membership. More about our Sections, Committees and regional events can be found on our website at and on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Yogi Berra also intoned that “if you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” That’s certainly not the case for the coming year, as much is already in place thanks to the planning of our leadership teams. Just a few highlights:

• Our Board Meeting on September 21, 2017 at the Holiday Inn Express in Okemos with special guest Hon. Clinton Canady III of the Ingham County Circuit Court.

• Presentation of the MDTC and MAJ Respected Advocate Awards on September 27, 2017 at the State Bar of Michigan Meeting in Detroit. Each year the MDTC and MAJ present these awards to recognize and honor the respective defense and plaintiff’s bar recipients’ successful representation of clients and adherence to the highest standards of ethics. This year’s recipients are MDTC member J. Brian MacDonald and MAJ member Ven Johnson.

• Our Past Presidents Dinner on November 9, 2017 at the Sheraton in Novi.

• Our 2017 Winter Meeting, “Law Practice—The Next Generation—Navigating Emerging Trends Changing the Practice of Law,” on November 10, 2017 at the Sheraton in Novi.

• Our Annual Golf Outing on September 8, 2017 at the Mystic Creek Golf Club in Milford.

• Our second annual Legal Excellence Awards event at the Gem Theater in Detroit on March 8, 2018. In addition to presenting the Excellence in Defense Award, the Golden Gavel Award and the Judicial Award, we will present John Jacobs with the inaugural John P. Jacobs Appellate Advocacy Award. We welcome and solicit your nominations for the Excellence in Defense, Golden Gavel and Judicial Awards by October 2, 2017.

• Our Future Planning Meeting at the Detroit Crowne Plaza Riverfront on February 2-3, 2018.

• Our Southeast Region Reception at the Firebird Tavern in Detroit on February 2, 2018.

• Our Board Meeting at the Detroit Crowne Plaza Riverfront on February 3, 2018 with a Michigan Supreme Court Justice to be invited.

• Our Board Meeting at the Holiday Inn Express in Okemos on April 19, 2018 with a member of the Michigan judiciary to be invited.

• Our Annual Meeting at the Soaring Eagle Resort in Mt. Pleasant on May 10-11, 2018.

• Publishing our MDTC Quarterly and e-Newsletters with timely and informative articles as well as fun facts about our members and spotlights on the judiciary.

• Authoring our highly respected amicus briefs to the Michigan Supreme Court.

• Our continued social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Yogi Berra further said that “you can observe a lot by just watching” and I am grateful to have learned the ropes from my accomplished predecessor, Hilary Ballentine. Hilary’s vision, insights and dedication have been instrumental in ensuring the continued success of the MDTC. I look forward to continuing that success and adding to our depth when meeting and working with our members during the coming year.

Categories: Volume 8-1

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