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Michigan Legal Milestone Honoring Otis Smith


The extraordinary life and career of African American Trailblazer Otis Milton Smith will be the focus of the State Bar of Michigan 31 st Michigan Legal Milestone. Smith was an outstanding leader and lawyer who overcame poverty and prejudice to serve in various prominent positions, including chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission, auditor–general, justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and a vice president and general counsel of the General Motors Corporation.

A dedication ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21 st, 2006 at Willson Park on the campus of the University of Michigan in Flint. A bronze plaque outlining Smith's life and achievements will be unveiled and later installed on campus grounds. Thomas W. Cranmer, president of the State Bar, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Other dignitaries and speakers at the event will include:

  • The Catholic Bishop of Lansing, the Most Reverend Carl F. Mengeling.
  • Olivia P. Maynard, a regent at the University of Michigan.
  • E. Christopher Johnson, General Motors North America vice president and general counsel.
  • Honorable Marilyn Kelly, justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.
  • Hamilton Smith, the brother of Otis Smith.
  • Honorable Dennis W. Archer, chairman, Dickinson Wright; former Mayor of the City of Detroit; past president of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan.

Lunch will be served indoors after the dedication in the Michigan Rooms located nearby. If it rains, the dedication ceremony will also be moved indoors.

The State Bar initiated the Michigan Legal Milestones program in 1986 to recognize significant legal cases, events and personalities in the state's history and to document their significance. The Bar's Public Outreach Committee under the leadership of Miles Postema, is responsible for overseeing the Milestone program.



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State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012
Phone: (517) 346-6300
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