The following article appeared on the State Bar of Michigan website on June 23, 2023. You can view the original article here

State Bar of MI Election 2023

State Bar of Michigan announces 2023 election results

Two newly elected attorneys will join the Board of Commissioners and four incumbents also won re-election in the 2023 State Bar of Michigan elections.

The newly elected commissioners are:

  • Ponce D. Clay was elected to serve District H, representing Lenawee, Monroe, and Wayne counties. Clay is the current president of the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association and serves on the State Bar of Michigan’s Unauthorized Practice of law Committee. He is founder and managing attorney with Clay Law PLC, focusing on real estate transactions, probate estate administration, Veterans’ law, landlord tenant, and business development
  • Joshua A. Lerner was elected to serve District I, representing Oakland County. Lerner is a member of the Representative Assembly, panelist for the Attorney Discipline Board, former chair of the Young Lawyers Section, and former member of the Board of Commissioners. He is a partner in the firm of Cohen Lerner & Rabinovitz, focusing on civil litigation including personal injury law, medical provider collections, business, and commercial litigation.
Ponce Clay and Joshua Lerner

Re-elected commissioners are:

  • David C. Anderson was re-elected in a contested race to serve District I, representing Oakland County.
  • Hon. B. Chris Christenson was re-elected in an uncontested race to serve District B, representing Bay, Genesee, Iosco, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, Saginaw, and Tuscola counties.
  • Robert Easterly was re-elected in an uncontested race to serve District E, representing Barry, Clinton Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Livingston, and Shiawassee counties.
  • Hon. David A. Perkins was re-elected in a contested race to serve District H, representing Lenawee, Monroe, and Wayne counties.

The Board of Commissioners provides oversight to the State Bar on finance, public policy, professional standards, member services, and communications. All will serve three-year terms expiring in September 2026.

The election also included representatives to the Judicial Tenure Commission, Representative Assembly, and the Young Lawyers Section Executive Council.

Judicial Tenure Commission

The Judicial Tenure Commission is a constitutionally created body that promotes the integrity of the judicial process and preserves public confidence in the courts.

  • James W. Burdick won a contested election to serve a three-year term on the Judicial Tenure Commission from Jan. 1, 2024, to Dec. 31, 2026.

SBM Representative Assembly

The 150-member Representative Assembly was created in 1972 to increase the proportion of members who actively participate in the State Bar Policy; it serves as the final policy-making body for the State Bar of Michigan.

There were no contested races. The elected representatives are:

  • 2nd Circuit – Berrien County: Amber D. Peters
  • 3rd Circuit – Wayne County: Richard M. Soranno, Detroit; LaKena T. Crespo, Detroit; Lisa W. Timmons, Detroit; Dawn S. Lee-Cotton, Detroit; Macie D.A. Tuiasosopo Gaines, Grosse Pointe; Kimberley A. Ward, Detroit; Shanika A. Owens, Detroit
  • 6th Circuit – Oakland County: Dennis M. Flessland, Huntington Woods; Michael J. Blau, Farmington; Tracey L. Lee, West Bloomfield; Mary A. Bowen, Troy; Jennifer A. Cupples, Berkley; and Ryanne E. Rizzo, Birmingham
  • 9th Circuit – Kalamazoo County: Donald L. R. Roberts, Kalamazoo
  • 10th Circuit – Saginaw County: Jennifer A. Jones, Saginaw
  • 11th Circuit – Alger, Luce, Mackinaw, and Schoolcraft counties: Chad W. Peltier, Newberry
  • 17th Circuit – Kent: County: Jonathan J. Paasch, Grand Rapids; and Natasha L. Rao, Grand Rapids
  • 18th Circuit – Bay County: Stephan M. Gaus, Bay City
  • 19th Circuit –Benzie and Manistee counties: Lesya N. Dull, Manistee
  • 20th Circuit – Ottawa County: Anna C. White, Holland
  • 21st Circuit – Isabella County: Becky J. Bolles, Mt. Pleasant
  • 22nd Circuit – Washtenaw County: Mark W. Jane, Ann Arbor
  • 24th Circuit – Sanilac County: Matthew C. Lozen, Sandusky
  • 25th Circuit – Marquette County: Hon. Karl A. Weber, Marquette
  • 30th Circuit – Ingham County: Nicole A. Evans, East Lansing
  • 37th Circuit – Calhoun County: Lee D. Graham, Battle Creek
  • 50th Circuit – Chippewa County: Robert L. Stratton III, Sault Ste. Marie
  • 57th Circuit – Emmett County: Christina L. DeMoore, Petoskey

SBM Young Lawyers Section Executive Council

The Young Lawyers Executive Council governs the members of the Young Lawyers Section, the State Bar's largest sections. The section provides education, information, and analysis about issues of concern through meetings, seminars, public service programs, and newsletters. The section has won numerous awards for its public service and educational programs.

There were no contested races for the seats, which are two-year terms expiring in 2025. The elected executive council members are:

  • Darnell T. Barton, Fawzeih H. Daher, and Aaron J. Hall won an uncontested election in District 1, representing Macomb and Wayne counties.
  • Isra K. Khuja, Alexander P. Sheldon-Smith, Kayla M. Toma, and Jessica D. Warfield won uncontested elections in District 2, representing Oakland County.
  • Jacob Eccleston won an uncontested election in District 3, representing all counties except Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne.