Edward H. Pappas of Bloomfield Hills has been sworn in as the 74th president of the State Bar of Michigan. He is a partner and client service director at Dickinson Wright PLLC—one of the largest law firms in Michigan.
Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford W. Taylor officiated at the Sept. 18 ceremony. The swearing-in took place in conjunction with the State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn. Also sworn as officers for 2008-2009 were President-Elect, Charles R. Toy of Lansing, Vice-President, W. Anthony Jenkins of Detroit, Secretary Julie I. Fershtman of Farmington Hills and Treasurer Bruce A. Courtade of Grand Rapids.
Mr. Pappas will lead an organization of 40,000 members. He has devoted much time and energy to State Bar work and has been on the SBM Board of Commissioners since 1999. He is the statewide chair of the Access to Justice Campaign, a partnership of the State Bar, the Michigan State Bar Foundation, and civil and legal aid programs in Michigan that works to raise funds to improve access to justice for low-income people with civil legal needs. Pappas has also been a commissioner liaison to many sections and committees of the Bar. He actively served in the Business Law Section and is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation Sections of the Bar.
Mr. Pappas has been with Dickinson Wright for the past 35 years and has significant litigation, trial, and appellate experience in all types of commercial litigation. He has also arbitrated and mediated all types of civil law suits. He frequently speaks and writes on these issues. He has co-authored a book—Michigan Business Torts (ICLE 2nd edition), as well as numerous articles.
Other career highlights include serving as president of the Oakland County Bar Association (1997-'98); master of the Oakland County Bar Inn of Court (1998-2004); chair, Michigan Attorney Discipline Board hearing panel (1987-present); and president of the Oakland Livingston Legal Aid (1985-1987).
He also belongs to a dozen professional organizations and is a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and the Litigation Counsel of America, the Michigan State Bar Foundation, the American Bar Foundation, and the Oakland Bar Foundation. He has also served as a trustee for the Oakland Mediation Center and Oakland Community College, and held various leadership positions in the Village of Franklin, where he lives.
Mr. Pappas has an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Michigan (1969) and a J. D. from the University of Michigan Law School (1973). He and his wife, Laurie, have two sons.
The State Bar of Michigan was established in 1935. All practicing Michigan attorneys and judges must be active members in good standing. The purpose of the State Bar, as set forth by the Michigan Supreme Court, is to "aid in promoting improvements in the administration of justice and advancements in jurisprudence, in improving relations between the legal profession and the public, and in promoting the interests of the legal profession in this state."