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Q:   Does the State Bar of Michigan discipline lawyers and judges?

No.  That is the work of the Attorney Grievance CommissionAttorney Discipline Board, and the Judicial Tenure Commission, all of which work independently of the State Bar.

Q:  Does the State Bar of Michigan establish pay levels for Michigan's state court judges? 

A:  No.  That is the work of the State Officers Compensation Commission 

Q:  How did you get elected to be President of the State Bar of Michigan?

A:  The State Bar Board of Commissioners elects officers each year.  Members of the State Bar elect its Commissioners, although the Board of Commissioners also includes individuals appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court as At-Large members.  The board also includes the Representative Assembly Chair, Vice-Chair and Clerk.  The Young Lawyers Section Chair, Chair-Elect, and Immediate Past Chair serve with us, as well. 

For me, before I was elected to become a State Bar officer, I was elected to serve on the Board by members of State Bar of Michigan District I.  Before then, I served two terms on the Board while Chair, Chair-Elect, and immediate past Chair of the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section (1994-1997), and while Chair, Vice-Chair, and Clerk of the State Bar Representative Assembly (1999-2002).

Q:  Are you on the State Bar of Michigan's payroll during your term of service as President?

Answer:  No.  This is a volunteer job.   I thank my law firm and my clients for tolerating the time I spend away from the office while on State Bar business.  The State Bar does reimburse me for certain expenses, however.

Q:  Will you continue serving on the State Bar's governing board after your presidency ends?

Answer:  No.  The by-laws allow for no ex-officio seat on the Board of Commissioners.  I do, though, hope to continue working on bar-related matters and will continue actively supporting the Bar's Access to Justice Fund.


Julie I. Fershtman, Esq.• Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC • 28411 Northwestern Hwy. • Ste. 500 • Southfield, MI 48034
Direct Line: (248) 785-4731 • E-mail:

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