Neuhard leaves SADO

James R. Neuhard, longtime director of the State Appellate Defender’s Office and 2009 Michigan Lawyers Weekly Lawyer of the Year resigned and retired on Jan. 4. Deputy Chief Dawn Van Hoek will serve as acting director.

From the State Appellate Defender’s Office:

The Appellate Defender Commission accepted on January 4, 2011, the resignation and retirement of James R. Neuhard, Director of the State Appellate Defender Office (SADO). Mr. Neuhard directed the statewide office, which provides appellate representation to indigent criminal appellants, since September 6, 1974. SADO has been recognized as one of the nation’s premier public defense offices, receiving the prestigious Clara Foltz Award from the ABA in 2009. Mr. Neuhard has received numerous awards based on his leadership, including the Michigan Lawyers Weekly recognition as “Lawyer of the Year” in 2009.

“We wish Jim well in his retirement, and thank him for his inspired leadership, and many years of service to the State of Michigan and clients of SADO,” said Donald Martin, Chair of the Appellate Defender Commission. The Commission appointed Dawn Van Hoek, SADO’s Chief Deputy, to serve as Acting Director pending a decision on Mr. Neuhard’s permanent replacement. The Commission is a statutory body comprised of Governor’s appointees, overseeing both SADO and the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System.

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