Julie Fershtman and SBM Delegation to Tour Upper Peninsula Oct. 3-5


Julie I. Fershtman, the new president of the State Bar of Michigan, will lead a contingent of SBM leaders on a tour of the Upper Peninsula legal community Monday–Wednesday, Oct. 3–5.

The annual tour gives U.P. bar associations, the media, and the public an opportunity to meet the person leading the State Bar during its 77th year. The tour will include stops in Sault Ste. Marie, Escanaba, Menominee, Iron Mountain, Ironwood, Houghton/Hancock, and Marquette.

Ms. Fershtman, who was sworn in as SBM president Sept. 15 in Dearborn, is the fifth woman to lead the State Bar. A shareholder with Foster Swift Collins and Smith PC in Farmington Hills, she practices commercial litigation, insurance defense and coverage, and equine law, for which she is nationally known. She has successfully tried cases before juries in 4 states and has been admitted as pro hac vice counsel in state and federal courts in 12 jurisdictions. A frequent writer and speaker, she has authored over 200 published articles and three books—the third was published by the ABA in 2009. Ms. Fershtman also lectures frequently on topics such as liability, insurance and risk management at seminars and conferences nationwide.

As the leader of the State Bar—an organization of over 41,500 members, Ms. Fershtman will work to improve the administration of justice, promote the legal profession, and build public understanding of our legal system.

Ms. Fershtman will be accompanied on the tour by the newly elected State Bar Representative Assembly Chair, Stephen J. Gobbo. Since March of 2008, Mr. Gobbo has served as director of the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs' Bureau of Commercial Services legal affairs division. He was designated state cemetery commissioner in June of 2008. Prior to working with the Bureau of Commercial Services, he served as administrative and chief financial officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Other members of the SBM delegation are SBM Executive Director Janet Welch, SBM Commissioner Jim Erhart, and SBM Director of External Development Candace Crowley.