FBA presents annual seminar for new lawyers


– Photo by John Meiu

Helping to prepare for the Federal Bar Association’s upcoming New Lawyers Seminar later this month at the federal courthouse are (left to right) Brian Figot, Cathrine Wenger, John Urso, Terri Serra, Grant Gilezan, U.S. District Chief Judge Gerald Rosen, Brian Hartwell, Linda Hylenski, Albert Dib, Mary Margaret O’Donnell and Fred Herrmann.


U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gerald Rosen has announced that the annual New Lawyers Seminar will be held at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Detroit  on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 9-10.

The event will be held in Room 115 of the courthouse, located at 231 W. Lafayette.

Organizers describe the event as a “nuts and bolts” how-to-do-it approach to practice in federal and state courts, designed to assist recent law graduates in understanding the fundamental procedures followed in those courts.

The seminar is co-sponsored by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Federal Bar Association, and the State Bar of Michigan’s Young Lawyers Section

The program is not a prerequisite for an individual to be admitted to practice in the courts, Rosen said, but rather a voluntary educational program which law school graduates are encouraged to attend.

The seminar begins at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, with registration and presentations on federal courts. The program continues on Wednesday, Dec. 10, with state court practice and a luncheon
addressed by Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Virgil Smith.

The faculty of the seminar is made up of experienced attorneys, court personnel, and judges who are well-qualified to present the subjects.

Judges speaking at the seminar on the first day include U.S. District Judges Patrick Duggan, Marianne Battani and Victoria Roberts along with U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Whalen.

Experienced attorneys on the second day include Albert Dib of Dib and Fagan PC, Tim Wittlinger of Clark Hill PLC, Brian Legghio of Law Office of Brian Legghio PC, John Urso of Urso &?Associates PC, and Rich Hewlett of Varnum LLP.  Alan Gershel, administrator of the Grievance Administration, also presents on the ethical practice of law.

Co-chairs for the seminar are attorneys Christine Dowhan-Bailey, Brian Figot, Grant Gilezan, Geneva Halliday, Theresa Serra and Cathrine Wenger.

The cost is $95. Admission includes both days of the seminar, the Dec. 10 luncheon and course materials on a CD-ROM containing form pleadings and memoranda expanding on the topics covered by the speakers. 

A special price of $180 includes the seminar plus membership in the Federal Bar Association (limited to attendees who have been admitted less than five years — a $190 value).

Reservation checks should be made payable to the FBA Eastern District of Michigan Chapter, and mailed to: New Lawyers Seminar, c/o FBA Executive Director, PO Box 20759, Ferndale, MI, 48220. 

Anyone with questions may call Brian D. Figot at 248.594.5950, or e-mail: fbamich@fbamich.org.  On-line registration is also available at www.fbamich.org, under “Events and Activities.”

There also will be a ceremony admitting attorneys to practice in federal court coordinated with this program on Tuesday, Dec. 9,  at 4:15 p.m. in the U.S. Courthouse for all those who have been admitted to the state bar and meet requirements for admission to the bar of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

This is a separate ceremony with a separate admission fee of $226 payable to the Clerk, U.S. District Court.  Additional information is available at www.mied.uscourts.gov.

Although the focus of the program is on recent graduates, those experienced attorneys wishing to attend the seminar are welcome.  Attendance satisfies the federal practice seminar requirement for admission to the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. 

Space is limited to 125 participants; it is suggested that reservations be mailed in early to assure a place.

The FBA Eastern District of Michigan chapter phone number is 248.594.5950.