Our Chapter’s COMMITTEES provide members with various opportunities for continuing education, leadership and networking with practitioners in their practice field and other interests.  Committees are formed when member practitioners find common areas of interest.  Sometimes committees form for just a year or two, others are perennial chapter staples.  Committees are often but not always associated with various areas of law.

SECTIONS:  For ease of management, our chapter organizes our committees that share mission commonality with other committees into sections.  Like our Committee Co-Chairs, our Section leaders are active chapter members with a passion for elevating both bar and bench through that section’s output.   Our current sections, section leaders and encompassed committees are:

Awards  (Adam Wenner)                 Cook-Friedman, Gilman, McCree, Rom Awards Committees

Litigation (Mike Palizzi)                   Appellate, Commercial, Criminal Law Committees

Pro-Bono (Jennifer Newby)            Federal Pro Se Clinic and Pro Bono Committees

Social (VACANT)                               Annual Dinner, Bench Bar Golf Outing, Book Club, Holiday Party Committees

Young Lawyers (Erica Fitzgerald)     New Lawyer Seminar, Motion Day, Rise Committees

Additionally, the chapter works with a representative to the US Courts Committee (Armeen Mistry) who works with the various chapter committees and sections to ensure broadest dissemination of programming information across various other bar organizations, but most especially with the National and Western District of Michigan chapters of the FBA as well as the State Bar Association.

“ONE-OFF PROGRAMS vs COMMITTEES:”  While our committees provide framework for our members to work collaboratively, we welcome the interests of any member that will benefit the membership at large.  Those interested in orchestrating a single educational program for the benefit of our membership should email: for additional guidance. If programming or some other form of output from that individual or small group would benefit a broader cross-section of our chapter’s membership in the future, a committee may be formed as the framework to execute such output.

COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR MEETINGS:  Every other month, our chapter hosts Executive Board / Committee Co-Chair meetings to which all chapter members are invited.  Whether in person or via Zoom, these meetings are a great way to meet colleagues and future friends as together we work to fulfill our mission.

COMMITTEE EVALUATION/RE-EVALUATION:  Again, our chapter recognizes that interests wax and wane, and so our committee structure is dynamic and evaluated annually with the basis of evaluation being how the committee fulfills our chapter chapter’s missions, especially those pertaining to enhancing the professional growth and professional competency of our members.

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTES:  Click on a committee name for information about its activities and leadership.

For additions or corrections made to a committee page, contact

Event submission form can be downloaded HERE FBA EVENT SUBMISSION FORM

Event Co-Sponsorship Policy

AS ADOPTED BY THE CHAPTER EXECUTIVE BOARD ON MARCH 19, 2007 The Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter (“Chapter”) may not sponsor any event hosted, organized or sponsored by a non-Chapter organization (“Event”), unless the Chapter Officers determine in advance that:

  1. The Event will serve a purpose that is consistent with the Chapter’s mission statement;
  2. The Event will not involve promotion or advocacy of a position that is not supported by the Chapter, unless such promotion or advocacy occurs as part of a panel discussion, debate or other multi-position presentation on a particular issue;
  3. The Event will not have, as a predominant purpose, the promotion of a product, service or entity, and the Event will include a specific disclaimer of the Chapter’s explicit or implied endorsement of any products, services or entities featured or promoted at the Event; and
  4. The non-Chapter hosts, organizers and sponsors associated with the Event are all bar associations, academic institutions or governmental entities, or the Event is otherwise in the best interests of the Chapter.

For purposes of this Policy, the meaning of “sponsor,” as used in the first line of this Policy, includes, without limitation, promoting an Event to Chapter members or otherwise; contributing money, service or material to an Event; jointly planning an Event; permitting the Chapter’s name to be associated with an Event; or otherwise being a participant in the production of an Event.

Committee Guidelines and Helpful Hints

To Committee Co-Chairs: Thank you for serving as a Committee co-chair for our Chapter. This memo is meant to provide you with some practical tips. It is not meant to be all-inclusive. However, it will give you a framework within which to work. A. GOAL: Practice committees promote education and professionalism within our membership. They also provide a vehicle for members to become personally involved. Your program need not include seminars to be successful. However, you are encouraged to plan at least one program a year which affords your membership an opportunity to meet or participate in a project. B. ROSTERS: Each Committee chair should maintain an up-to-date roster of Committee members. The Executive Director will notify you from time-to-time of new members who have indicated a preference for your committee. C. COORDINATION OF DATES: Please inform our Executive Director of the dates you select for activities. The Executive Director keeps our organization’s master calendar and can alert you to scheduling conflicts. He can post your event information on our website. The Executive Director’s phone number is 248.594.5950 and the FBA’s email address is Email is preferred whenever possible. D. PUBLICITY: The importance of publicity prior to and after an event cannot be overstated. Prior to Your Event: Notice of your committee activities shall be published through all available means including our website, the eBlasts that are sent at the beginning and in the middle of every month; and the newsletter. The Executive Director also can assist you with mailing and email notification of your events as well as the required notification of the Chief Judge of participation by members of the Eastern District of Michigan Judiciary. Please provide our Executive Director with a short summary of your proposed activities for the website. Please provide this information to our webmaster, the newsletter co-chairs and E-Blast coordinators: Mindy Herrmann: Christina Farinola: Andrew Lievense: Linda Hylenski: Joe Richotte: After Your Event: Our newsletter and website are our primary means of impressing upon members and potential members that we are a robust organization serving a diverse bar community. Photographs and follow-up articles of no more than 700 words are encouraged. Please provide this information to the newsletter co-chairs and webmaster. E. FINANCES: Our Chapter’s budget is limited. Therefore, we generally cannot underwrite the cost of events as a matter of course without prior written approval from the Chapter’s president. Any fees you charge should cover all costs and provide for contingencies. Chapter members should always pay less than non-members. Co-sponsoring events with other organizations can increase attendance and decrease costs to the Chapter. At the conclusion of an event, within one week you should please prepare, and forward to the Exe a financial report including statements of revenue (registrations and other funds received), monies, if any, still owed, and receipts of amounts spent. You will be reimbursed for expenses supported by receipts. The Executive Director can also make direct payments to vendors. F. RESERVATIONS: The Executive Director can accept reservations for your programs and the reservations and payment can take place online! Coordinate with him to monitor advance payment by attendees and level of interest in the event. G. USE OF COURTHOUSE FACILITIES: Several seminars and other events have been held at no charge at our local law schools, but Room 115, the Multipurpose/Seminar Room at the Levin Courthouse, is the most convenient and most often used location with seating configurations to accommodate up to about 125 people. It is generally unavailable on Mondays until 1:00 p.m., and all day on Thursdays. There is also a room on the second floor of the courthouse which was formerly used as the judges’ dining room. It accommodates approximately 20 people but does not have a podium and microphone. The use of these rooms is coordinated by Stephanie Miszkowski in the Court Administrator’s Office (313.234.5051/ and Danni in Court Services (313.234.5005/ They will need written confirmation (email is sufficient) of your request including the set up requested for the room (i.e. Classroom seating or tables) and the name ofthe caterer, if appropriate. You are not limited to using these facilities. However, there is no cost if you do chose to do so. Emails to Stephanie and Danni should be cc’d to the Executive Director ONE IMPORTANT CAVEAT/MANDATE/REQUIREMENT: CLEAN UP THE MEETING ROOM AFTER THE EVENT H. VIDEOTAPING AND RECORDING: On occasion, seminars have been recorded by a videographer. The process, however, is expensive if outside contractors are used. It is more practical if you have the equipment (i.e., video camera) and can provide an operator. The Chapter may be able to assist in this regard, so contact the Executive Director if you are interesting in recording the proceedings and/or posting the product on the website. The Chapter should be provided with the original DVD and can provide copies. Again, advance arrangements are absolutely crucial due to the need to obtain permission to clear security. I. REFRESHMENTS: The Executive Director can assist in locating an appropriate caterer. J. LETTERHEAD: The Executive Director can provide you letterhead via email or surface mail. You should not send mailings on firm or personal stationary, though it is acceptable to identify yourself (i.e., John Q. Lawyer, Smith Bar & Estoppel, PC) Thank you for your willingness to be involved! rev 8-2014

Chapter Diversity Policy