High court honors retiring administrator


State Court Administrator Carl L. Gromek of Lansing, who is retiring this year, was honored recently by the Michigan Supreme Court as “an exemplary public servant and consummate leader.”

In a resolution signed by the seven justices, the court noted that Gromek “has been entrusted with the highest management positions in the Michigan justice system, signifying the courts’ great respect for him and his abilities.”

Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr., observed that: “With Carl Gromek, it is not enough to say that he is a great administrator; he is a great leader. In the history of our state courts, no other person has filled so many management positions of the highest trust and responsibility.”

Although he served the judicial branch for many years, Young said, “Gromek never lost his private sector perspective, emphasizing fiscal responsibility, efficiency, and quality.

“Carl has never stopped pursuing the better way,” the chief justice said. “He encouraged and pushed his colleagues to produce the best possible work, but he never asked more of them than he demanded of himself.

“Thanks in part to his vision and advocacy, the future of our judicial branch is this: smaller, streamlined, better services, tax dollars saved.”

Gromek was also recognized by Gov. Rick Snyder.

In a letter dated last Wednesday, Snyder praised Gromek as a “great administrator and a highly respected person among your peers, community, and the state of Michigan … You have truly impacted the administration of our justice system.”

The legislature, at the same time,  issued a special tribute to Gromek.

The court appointed Gromek to head the State Court Administrative Office, the administrative arm of the Michigan Supreme Court, in 2004.

In that aposition, Gromek oversaw administration of Michigan’s 246 trial courts.

His responsibilities included supervising SCAO’s four regional offices and all divisions of SCAO, including the Friend of the Court Bureau, Child Welfare Services, Office of Dispute Resolution, Judicial Information Systems and Michigan Judicial Institute.

Gromek also served as Supreme Court Chief of Staff from 2001 to 2010, supervising the Court’s operational activities, including the Clerk’s Office, Commissioners’ Office, and offices of Human Resources, Finance, Security, and Public Information. He was the first person ever to serve as both Chief of Staff and State Court Administrator.

From 1998 to 2001, Gromek served as chief clerk and research director of the Michigan Court of Appeals, where he was responsible for a staff of 80 research attorneys.

He also directed the Court of Appeals Clerk’s offices, which processed over 7,000 filings each year. From 1988 to 1998, Gromek was the Court of Appeals’ Research Director.

From 1976 to 1988, Gromek was the managing partner of the Detroit law firm of Gromek, Bendure & Thomas.

He was responsible for personnel, systems, and client development of the 12-attorney firm. From 1974 to 1976, Gromek was a research attorney and judicial clerk at the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Gromek’s publications include the Michigan Appellate Handbook, a 500-page manual recognized as the state’s leading authority on appellate practice.

He has served as an instructor for numerous organizations and law schools, including the State Bar of Michigan, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, University of Detroit Mercy Law School, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and Michigan State University Detroit College of Law.

Gromek received his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy Law School, where he was associate editor of the Law Review and director of the Moot Court Board.

He graduated with a degree in business from Florida State University, where he was an Academic All-American Baseball Player.