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Election for Board of Commissioners—District I Candidate Biographies

Julie Fershtman

Julie Fershtman has been active in state, local, and national bar activities for nearly all of her 20 years as a lawyer. In the State Bar, she currently serves on the Board of Commissioners and is past Chair of the Representative Assembly and the Young Lawyers Section. She was elected a Trustee of the Michigan State Bar Foundation. In the local bar, she is a Director of the Oakland County Bar Association, past Chair of the OCBA Professionalism Committee, and former Inns of Court officer. She received the OCBA’s “Professionalism Award” in 2000. In the ABA, she is a Vice-Chair of the TIPS-Animal Law Committee, was an ABA/YLD national assembly delegate, was named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and was author/presenter of a resolution that became ABA policy. The ABA Barrister Magazine named her one of “21 Young Lawyers Leading Us into the 21st Century,” and Crain’s Detroit Business named her one of “40 Outstanding Business Leaders Under 40.” Her writing and speaking activities include 160 published articles, 2 books, and lectures in 22 states. She is currently Of Counsel to Zausmer, Kaufman, August & Caldwell, P.C., where her practice focuses primarily on business litigation and insurance law.

Incumbent: Eligible for 17 meetings (from 9/12/2003 through 4/7/2006); attended 14 and excused 3.

Donald E. McGinnis Jr.

Donald E. McGinnis Jr. has been a Director of the Oakland County Bar Association for the past 11 years. He will soon finish his term as the current President of the Oakland County Bar Association. Mr. McGinnis has been a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the OCBA since 1973. During his tenure with the OCBA, he has served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Membership Committee, Co-Chair of the Bench Bar Conference, and served on numerous other committees. During his term as President of the OCBA, he has been responsible for re-structuring the Political Action Committee as it relates to the rating of judicial candidates to its new form being the Judicial Candidate Forum. He has also been responsible for involving the OCBA in a joint effort with the County Executive and the Oakland County Circuit and Probate Benches to establish a “lawyers only” line to enter the Courthouse and for the allowance of camera-equipped cellular telephones to be permitted on the premises. He is presently the Chairman of the Act 78 Board of Commissioners for the City of Troy and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Oakland County Community Trust.

Richard J. Siriani

Richard J. Siriani is the sole shareholder of Richard J. Siriani, P.C., in Bingham Farms. He received his Juris Doctor from Detroit College of Law while working fulltime as a law clerk for the Law Firm of Roth & Dean, P.C., and the Southeastern Michigan Counsel of Government. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree and completed post-graduate studies in tax and urban planning from Wayne State University. His practice is limited to estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, and estate planning. He was appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General in the collection division by former Attorney General Frank J. Kelley in April 1990, and still serves in that capacity. He has served on a number of Oakland County Bench Bar conferences. Presently, he is a council member on the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He sits on the following Committees: Practice Management, Specialization and Certification, Uniformity of Practice Committee, and Contested and Uncontested Probate Procedures. After working at the Law Firm of Roth & Dean, P.C., he was employed by the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Treasury as an attorney in the Estate and Gift Tax Section.


Michael Hohauser

Michael Hohauser began his litigation practice in 1974, an MSU and DCL graduate. He has been active in State Bar activities: Secretary, Civil Procedure Committee five years, then as Chairperson; several terms on the Representative Assembly; Chairperson of the Hearings Committee of the Assembly; Underrepresented Groups in the Law Committee; and Hearing Panelist of the Attorney Discipline Board. Michael served as President of the Oakland County Bar Association (June 1999–June 2000), on the Board of Directors and on several committees over the years: Mediation, Circuit Court, Speaker’s Bureau, Diversity, Long-Range Planning, Member Services, Professionalism, and District Court. He is a Fellow of both the State Bar Foundation and the Oakland Bar Foundation. Community activities include: Board of Directors of The Lighthouse of Oakland County, the parent organization of Pontiac Area Transitional Housing, a county-wide service organization for nine years, including two terms as Vice President and one as President. He has also served as Adjunct Professor of Product Liability Law at U of D Mercy, Adjunct Professor of Medical Malpractice at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and guest lecturer for the National Business Institute. Michael and Susan Hohauser married in 1968 and are the parents of grown children.

Incumbent: Eligible for 17 meetings (from 9/12/2003 through 4/7/2006); attended 10 and excused 7.

Thomas R. Warnicke

Tom Warnicke, a 1985 graduate of West Bloomfield High School, 1989 graduate of Michigan State University (B. A. James Madison College), and 1992 graduate of Detroit College of Law (MSU), practices in the areas of business litigation, commission disputes, employment law, and civil rights. In 1992, he founded Warnicke Law Firm,located in Keego Harbor, which has evolved into Warnicke & Wigent, PLLC, a five-attorney firm. His wife, Rosemarie Warnicke, joined the firm in 1999, after serving five years as an Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor. Tom has been actively involved in the Michigan Trial Lawyer’s Association (MTLA) for many years, during which time he has represented numerous indigent clients through the jointly sponsored MTLA-U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Pro Bono Program. He is also very active in the community and currently serves as Vice-President of the Tri-City Business Association, which provides free counseling to businesses and residents of Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake, and Sylvan Lake. Tom, an avid tennis player, has also served many terms as a Board member of the Southeastern Michigan District of the United States Tennis Association.



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