Court of Appeals welcomes new member


– Photos by Dave Trumpie

By Roberta M. Gubbins
Legal News

Chief Judge William B. Murphy opened a recent special session of the Michigan Court of Appeals with the traditional ‘all rise’ as the robed appellate judges entered the Michigan Library & Historical Center auditorium to witness the investiture of Appeals Court Judge Mark T. Boonstra.

Once all were seated, master of ceremonies Thomas W. Cranmer, former State Bar of Michigan president, took the podium.

The first speaker was Anthony A. Derezinski, Ann Arbor city councilman, former state senator  and long-time friend of Boonstra.

“You might say that Mark’s first role in public policy was legislative as Mark was part of my staff when I was a new senator and I relied on him and the others for analysis of new laws,” he said. “Now Mark will be applying his outstanding legal skills in full time public service for the people of Michigan.”

Derezinski was followed by Allyn D. Kantor, adjunct professor University of Michigan Law School, who noted that a good judge has a passion for justice and the ability to think and write about the law clearly.

“Mark Boonstra has that ability,” Kantor said.

Other speakers included the Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. and U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ralph B. Guy Jr., for whom Boonstra clerked.

Former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford W. Taylor requested that the Oath of Office be administered.

Boonstra came to the podium, raised his right hand, placed his left hand on the family bible held by his wife Martha Rabaut Boonstra, repeated the Oath of Office and officially became the 80th Judge to serve on the Michigan Court of Appeals.

“The best advice I received after I was appointed judge by Governor Snyder,” said Boonstra, “was from Cliff Taylor who told me I should ‘not turn around and look behind me when some said ‘judge.’ After being on the bench for about six months, I no longer turn around when I hear ‘judge.’

“I learned from Judge Guy,” Boonstra said, “that a judge should be courteous, respectful of all, of good temperament, modest and humble.”

Boonstra, a Republican, said he believed “that the role of judges is not to make law and I promise to abide by that rule of law principal — to follow the law, rather than tinker with it.

“I am honored and privileged to be here today and would like to thank all those you helped make this day possible,” he said in conclusion.