Bruce A. Courtade, of Grand Rapids, has been sworn in as the 78th president of the State Bar of Michigan.
Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. officiated at the Sept. 20 ceremony. The swearing-in took place in conjunction with the SBM Annual Meeting at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.
Mr. Courtade is a shareholder with Rhoades McKee, PC, in Grand Rapids, where he practices in the areas of commercial litigation and construction law.
Also sworn in as officers for 2012-2013 were President-Elect Brian D. Einhorn, of Southfield; Vice-President Thomas C. Rombach, of New Baltimore; Secretary Lori A. Buiteweg, of Ann Arbor; and Treasurer Lawrence P. Nolan, of Eaton Rapids.
Mr. Courtade will lead an organization of over 42,000 members that works to improve the administration of justice, promotes the legal profession, and builds public understanding of our legal system. Mr. Courtade has been involved in State Bar work for over a decade and has served on many of its committees and groups. He was chair of the State Bar Representative Assembly in the 2000-2001 Bar year. He was elected to the SBM Board of Commissioners in 2004 and has served as treasurer, secretary, vice president, and president-elect. He is also a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, a panelist for the Attorney Discipline Board, and received the State Bar’s John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award in 1991.
During his presidential year, Mr. Courtade said he hopes to stress the importance of educating the public regarding the rule of law and our justice system.
“Unless people understand the importance of our courts and justice system, they will not understand the threat posed to our way of life by the underfunding of our third branch of government, or the serious damage to our society when ‘equal access to justice’ is not a reality, and not even an aspiration, but simply something that sounds good in a speech or looks good on a bumper sticker,” he said.
Mr. Courtade received both his undergraduate degree (1984) and his law degree (1988) from The University of Michigan. He resides in Grand Rapids with his wife, Jenny, and his daughter, Jessica.