Maintain the Character of Our Court
The vast majority of people that walk in to our court have a positive experience. They are treated with respect and cases are handled smoothly and efficiently. It's these qualities that make East Lansing 54B District Court my favorite among the many courts I've practiced in.
District Court truly serves as "the people's court," because it's the court most people are likely to have interactions with - for minor infractions, parking tickets, small claims, and small civil suits. The credibility of the entire judicial system depends on how people are treated when they go to court. In East Lansing, it is important that we maintain this quality and character for both residents and visitors to our community.
Represent the Values of Our Community in the Courtroom
In an East Lansing court room, you're going to be treated like a real person, and you're going to be listened to. Everyone that leaves our courtrooms should feel like they were treated with respect, dignity, and fairness, regardless of the outcome of their case.
East Lansing Judges are renowned for doing a stellar job addressing the underlying causes of criminal cases while ensuring victims are heard and have fair recourse through the Veteran's court and other treatment courts.
As our next district court judge, I will continue this tradition of service in the values of our community.
Experience Shapes a Judge
I have experience on both sides of almost every kind of case brought in that court - criminal, landlord/ tenant, and civil. I haven't been on both sides of traffic and parking tickets, but I have been there once or twice as a driver!
Experience matters because you know the law and you know what it's like to stand before the court in that person's shoes. Anyone who goes to law school and becomes a judge knows the law. The best judges I have appeared in front of have an extra quality - they can empathize with parties on both sides, which makes them fair.
The best preparation for empathy is representing unsympathetic people - people accused of crimes, tenants who haven't paid their rent, and others who are on the wrong side of a lawsuit or have to go to court to right an injustice. Handling those cases requires you to dig deep in the law, and it teaches you to reach beyond your own experience to ensure that your client's situation is understood.