Snyder makes appellate court appointments

By Steve Thorpe
Legal News

Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed Michael Riordan to the 1st District and Mark Boonstra to the 3rd District of the Michigan Court of Appeals.

“Mike and Mark both bring tremendous legal experience to the courts,” Snyder said in a statement last Friday.  “These individuals are highly respected by the legal and judicial communities and I am confident they will serve as excellent judges.”

“I’m pleased, proud and delighted with the appointment,” Riordan said.

Riordan has served in a number of federal positions including assistant U.S. attorney since 1998 and for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was also general counsel for the Northwestern Mutual Financial company.

A member of the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners and the Fraternal Order of Police, Riordan also serves as secretary for the University of Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association and as president of the Federal Bar Association. Riordan is also past president of the Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers.

He attended Michigan State University and received his law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He lives in Plymouth.

“I told the governor I was honored and humbled and I would do my best to make this an appointment of which he could be proud,” said Boonstra. “I look at this as a new challenge and a new opportunity. I’ll do the best I can to serve the people of the state of Michigan well. There were a number of excellent candidates and I regret we couldn’t all be appointed.”

Boonstra was a law clerk for Judge Ralph B. Guy of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, and has been senior principal for Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC since 1985.

Boonstra is also chairman of the Washtenaw County Republican Committee. He has served on the Michigan Supreme Court Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions, Michigan Judges Retirement Board, and leadership roles on the Federal Bar Association and the Washtenaw County Bar Association.

He has worked on antitrust and securities law, contract and business tort claims, shareholder and other corporate governance disputes, supplier and distributor relationships, tax, consumer fraud, and food and drug law issues.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and received a master’s degree in economics and his law degree from the University of Michigan. He lives in Dexter.

Riordan fills the vacancy created when Judge Brian Zahra was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court. Boonstra’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Richard Bandstra.

Riordan’s appointment runs through Jan. 1, 2013. He would need to seek election in 2012 for a new term. Boonstra’s appointment runs through Jan. 1, 2013, and he would need to seek election in 2012 for the balance of the term ending in 2014.