Kingsley receives MJA’s Hilda Gage Award for Judicial Excellence

Judge James Kingsley

Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge James Kingsley

Judge James Kingsley of the 37th Circuit Court in Calhoun County is the 2012 recipient of the Michigan Judges Association’s Hilda Gage Award for Judicial Excellence.

“Judge Kingsley has exemplified, without lapse, the high standards of professional conduct and scholarship we ask all in our profession to aspire to,” said former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Alton Davis.

Kingsley, a Calhoun county circuit judge since 1982, served as the court’s chief judge from 1984 to 1993.

Kingsley’s colleague and current Chief Judge, Hon. Allen L. Garbrecht, said, “Judge Kingsley – by his words and his actions – has shown me how an outstanding trial judge should act on the bench, off the bench, and in the community. I have been blessed to be his colleague.”

Kingsley’s service to the legal community and the community-at-large includes lecturing and consulting for the Michigan Judicial Institute, lecturing for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education and lecturing at Albion College.

Albion College president Dr. Donna M. Randall noted that Judge Kingsley’s “capacity to understand the depth and nuances of politics is exceptional. Equally impressive is his ability to frame the issues in ways that students understand.”

She also noted that he was well rounded, as evidenced by his membership in the Albion College Athletic Hall of Fame.

The award is named in honor of the late Judge Hilda Gage, who served on the Court of Appeals and the Oakland County Circuit Court.

Recipients are current and former circuit court and Court of Appeals judges who have excelled in trial and docket management, legal scholarship, and contributions to the profession and the community.

The award also honors judges who serve their profession and their communities with integrity, skill, and courage.

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MJA seeks nominations for Hilda Gage Judicial Excellence Award

Judge Hilda Gage

Judge Hilda Gage, the inspiration for the MJA’s Hilda Gage Judicial Excellence Award.

Do you know a current or former circuit court or Court of Appeals judge worthy of recognition for an outstanding legal career?

The president of the Michigan Judges Association, Judge Timothy Hicks, wants to hear from you.

The MJA is accepting nominations for its third annual Hilda Gage Judicial Excellence Award. The award recognizes current or former Circuit or Court of Appeals Judges who have demonstrated exemplary service by excelling in trial and docket management, legal scholarship and contributions to the profession and the community.

The award is named in honor of the late Judge Hilda Gage. Gage served with honor on the Court of Appeals and Oakland Circuit Bench before passing away in 2010. She was renowned for her courage and scholarship. She was the first female President of MJA and the first woman to chair the Judicial Tenure Commission.

Past recipients of the Hilda Gage Judicial Excellence Award include the Hon. J. Richardson Johnson, of the Ninth Circuit Court in Kalamazoo, and the Hon. James Ryan, formerly of the Third Circuit Court in Wayne County, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hicks said that MJA seeks nominees who follow in Judge Gage’s footsteps by “serving their state and their communities with integrity, skill, and courage every day.”

Nominations are due by July 20. Here’s a nominating form and instructions or give Hicks a call at (231) 724-6337.

MJA announces 2012 officers

Muskegon County Circuit Court Judge Timothy G. Hicks will preside as president of the Michigan Judges Association for 2012.

Hicks was a teacher before beginning his legal career in 1983. He practiced law for 13 years before his appointment to the bench in 1996. Hicks is a former chief judge of the Muskegon circuit and teaches classes for the Michigan Judicial Institute. Hicks has served on the MJA’s executive committee since 1998.

Joining Hicks in MJA’s 2012 leadership positions:

  • President Elect: Judge Lita Masini Popke, Wayne County
  • Vice-President: Judge Stephen D. Gorsalitz, Kalamazoo County
  • Secretary: Judge Paul E. Hamre, Van Buren County
  • Treasurer: Judge Colleen A. O’Brien, Oakland County