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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Appointments Made to Oakland County Circuit Court

Honorable Hala Jarbou
When Oakland Circuit Judge Lisa Gorcyca was first elected in 2008, and assigned to a courtroom with a general docket, the Oakland County Prosecutor dispatched Hala Jarbou to manage the criminal case calls in that courtroom. Judge Gorcyca was greatly assisted in running efficient criminal calls each week due to assistant prosecutor Jarbou's style, presence and knowledge of the criminal law and its procedure.

During her stint as Judge Gorcyca's docket prosecutor, we here at the Law Blogger observed a prepared, knowledgeable and personable lawyer. Ms. Jarbou left the Oakland County Prosecutor's office several years ago to work the drug-crime prosecution unit in U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade's office in Detroit.

All of this bodes well for Governor Rick Snyder's appointments of Ms. Jarbou and Garan Lucow attorney Jeffrey Matis to fill the vacancies on the Oakland County Circuit Court. These individuals are already listed on the Oakland County Circuit Court's page of the judgepedia web site.

Judge Rudy Nichols retired after 25-years on the bench and Judge Colleen O'Brien recently was appointed by Governor Snyder to the Michigan Court of Appeals. When these vacancies open-up, the veteran judges have the option of moving into the general jurisdiction docket from the family court or vice versa.

Normally, we see the migration of judges from the family court to the general jurisdiction docket and suspect it is due to the burn-out that occurs among family court professionals.

Veteran Judge Cheryl Mathews has indicated her desire to leave the family court to take over Judge Nichols' docket. Whether Judge Gorcyca, also a veteran judge with seniority, will do likewise, and step into Judge O'Brien's docket remains to be seen as she has yet to make-up her mind on the issue.

Therefore, at least one of the new appointees will become a family court judge. Depending on Judge Gorcyca's final decision, both of the new judges could be seated on the family court.

For his part, Jeffery Mattis becomes one of the few civil litigators appointed to the Oakland County Circuit Court bench. We here at the Law Blogger always find it refreshing to have lawyers that tried cases become the newest judges on one of Michigan's most active courts.

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