NOVEMBER 2019 
November 2019 Newsletter Headlines
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
November - 
Employee Highlight of the Month
Deidra Gilbert - Information Specialist II Family Domestic

Q. How many years have you been employed with the Court?
A. Thirty years January 2, 2020
Q. Do you have any skills or talents that most people don't know about?
A. My special skill is roller skating. I've been skating since grade school.
Q. If you could be anywhere other than here right this minute, where would you be?
A. I would be in Hawaii relaxing by the ocean.
Q. Who do you admire, and why?
A. I admire my mother because she's the most loving, caring, and spiritual person I know.
Q. Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me...
A. Relaxing and watching movies.
Q. What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
A. My knowledge, personality, and honesty.
Q. Name three words that describe you.
A. I am hardworking, trustworthy, and punctual.
Q. What are you happiest doing when you're not working?
A. Shopping, shopping, and more shopping.
Q. What is your personal motto?
A. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Q. What are some causes you care about?
A. I don't have specific causes, but I am passionate about the youth and elderly. I prefer to touch the needs of people directly.
Q. What is an enjoyable part of your job?
A. I enjoy assisting the public.
Q. What are some career highlights?
A. During my 30 year career with Wayne County Third Circuit Court, I have experienced many highlights. However, the ones that standout the most are those cases, where I was able to produce quality results in the best interest of the court (the children) and the public we serve, in kind.
Q. What is your dream job?
A. My dream job would be to practice law.
Q. What college/university did you go to?
A. I attended Oakland Community and Walsh College.
Q. What's a little known fact that you are willing to share?
A. The little known fact that I'm willing to share is I'm a GREAT aunt to my many nieces and nephews.

National Center for State Courts' 2020 Civics Education Essay Contest is NOW OPEN! The prizes are BIGGER (nearly $3K in cash) and the questions focus on a timely topic - #VOTING. SHARE with students, teachers & other educators. #NCSC2020Contest


The Third Circuit Court Diversity and Inclusion Team's Mission Statement: 
"We appreciate our common connection and respect our diverse and unique human experiences. We move forward as an inclusive organization as we provide accessible and equal justice."
The Court's Diversity & Inclusion Team strives to ensure the values of its diverse bench, staff, and court users are acknowledged and reflected in our delivery of service as well as our work environment.
In that spirit, the team creates and shares a monthly list of various holidays and observations along with some celebration suggestions. We invite our work community and the community at large to contribute.
December 2019

Winter Solstice - December 21 @ 
11:19 p.m. EST
Hanukkah - December 22-30
Christmas Day - December 25
Kwanzaa - December 26

Day In Court    

Yellow Stripes

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The Armistice of November 11, 1918 ended the fighting on land, sea, and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany.
A year later, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson addressed the nation: "To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations."
In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation calling for the observance of November 11 as Armistice Day and the soldiers who served in World War I were recognized with ceremonies.
Throughout history, there have been more challenges to the world order and threats against peace, and brave women and men have answered the call to defend our great nation and the principles and values of our country.
Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 and all soldiers were celebrated.
We continue to recognize each year on November 11th all those who have served in the armed forces.
During this season of Thanksgiving we give thanks for a bounty of blessings. Freedom is sometimes overlooked as we have been accustomed to it as an everyday norm. But it is only because of the brave women and men who serve that we enjoy freedom and all it offers. Therefore, let's give thanks for freedom and all of those who have served in our armed forces.
Chief Judge Kenny's message of gratitude to Veterans employed at Third Circuit Court bears repeating: "Our Court thanks all staff members who have served our country in the military. We thank you for your service and sacrifice. We also thank the veteran's families who supported and encouraged our veterans during their time of service."
Thank you Judge Ulysses W. Boykin, Ron G. Buchanan, Josef Funchess, Alena Lawrence, Judge Craig S. Strong, Andree J. Tarrant, and Priscilla Ann Wells.

The Third Circuit Court's Historical Society had an opportunity to ensure the records of the history, included her story.
The Historical Society nominated the Honorable Lucile A. Watts to Michigan Woman's Hall of Fame. Judge Watts was the first African American woman elected to a circuit court. She was elected in 1980 to the Third Circuit Court where she served for 14 years.
Watts' story:
Historical Committee members Judge Muriel Hughes, Judge Sharon Finch, and Court Administrator Zenell Brown drafted the narrative and solicited input from those like Hon. Cynthia D. Stephens and Hon. Milton Mack for insights to the amazing first. The records from the Burton Historical Collection and a Michigan Bar Journal article written by attorney Jehan Crump helped round out the picture. Judge Watts was a civil rights advocate, a lifelong supporter of causes dedicated to uplifting women and children, and a recognized judicial leader and teacher.
The Michigan Women Forward inducted into 2019 Michigan Women's Hall of Fame: Dr. Vernice Anthony Davis, Dr. Terry Blackhawk, Gilda Jacobs, Margaret Kirchner Stevenson, Martha Baldwin, and Hon. Lucile A. Watts.
Executive Court Administrator Brown attended, along with Chief Judge Denise Page Hood of the United States District Court - Eastern District, Judge Cynthia D. Stephens of the Michigan Court of Appeals, and Merrick Malone (Judge Watt's nephew.)
Judge Watts now has her place in history. #Her-Story is now History.


Reception for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Third Circuit Court accepted the Delta's invitation to discuss community engagement.

Third Circuit Court attorneys, judges, referees, and administrators answered the call for volunteers at the MentorJet held October 2nd at the Wayne State University Law School (WSU Law). MentorJet is a "speed mentoring" opportunity for law students created by the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) in 2010. It's mentoring in format akin to speed dating.   MentorJet offers law students one-on-one access to a diverse group of lawyers and judges for short, informal career-related discussions.
Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny welcomed all of the attendees aboard the MentorJet and the speed mentoring took off after that. Several attorneys and judges like Hon. Edward Ewell were in the familiar surroundings on the WSU Law Campus to enjoy this unique and interesting way to share their experiences with numerous students.
All aboard the WSU Law MentorJet flight gave the experience high ratings and there were many quotable moments. Judge Mariam Bazzi described the experience as "such a wonderful opportunity connecting and talking to our future generation of lawyers. I look forward to crossing paths with them in the future and seeing how their careers flourish." Referee Viola King shared how important it is for attorneys and judges to be a part of mentoring events as "the legal community governs itself and because of that we are charged with modeling and encouraging each other."
The student attendees learned about the internship and various career opportunities with the Court. The Third Circuit Court employs attorneys in traditional roles such as law clerks, referees, and general counsel. But Friend of the Court Erin Lincoln and Executive Court Administrator Zenell Brown are both WSU Law Alumni and attorneys.
Chief Judge Pro Tem Patricia Fresard warns attorneys and judges who receive an invitation to MentorJet not to pass it up. "It is a genuinely rewarding experience. It is an opportunity to positively impact the future practitioners, share experiences, and enjoy discourse."   MentorJet promises a first class trip.
Tammi Palmer said, "I really enjoyed sharing my experiences with the law students. Many I spoke with did not know there were careers for lawyers that did not involve trial work. I would have loved to have access to this type of program when I was a law student."
Thank you to all of the attorney and judge volunteers: Amy Barnard; Honorable Mariam Bazzi; Mark Bendure; Honorable Karen Braxton; Ana Campos; Peter Cavanaugh; Veneshia Cezil; Erin Cobane; Brian Einhorn; Honorable Edward Ewell, Jr.; Sean Fraser; Donn Fresard; Honorable Patricia Fresard; Robert Goldman; Hadi Harp; Honorable Denise Page Hood; Honorable Noah Hood; Thomas James; Loren Khogali; Viola King; Karen Liddle; Erin Lincoln; Jordan Lindsey; Maria Mannarino; Tammi Palmer; Honorable James Plakas; Antoinette Star Porter; Richard Smart, III; Alexandra Stan; Lora Weingarden; Honorable Betty Widgeon; Stephanie Witucki; Kimberly Yourchock; and Fran Yturri.
Thank you to Detroit Bar Association, the Wayne County Family Bar Association, Wayne State University Law School and its Women's Lawyers Caucus, and the National Association of Women Judges District 7, led by 29th Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge Pro Tem Michelle Rick.
Click to enjoy pictures from the WSU Law MentorJet.
15Th Annual Criminal Justice Exposition 
On Thursday October 24, 2019, The Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan Criminal Division participated in the 15Th Annual Criminal Justice Exposition hosted by the Criminology & Criminal Justice Department at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
The Court met with students from the Criminology & Criminal Justice Bachelor of Arts program, as well as Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice to offer internships with the Criminal Division.
Hon. Annette M. Berry, JD is on the faculty. Many of the students we met spoke very highly of her lectures and how this piqued their interest in working for the Third Judicial Circuit's Criminal Division.
The Court's aim is to start admitting students to the Criminal Division as interns for the Summer Semester.

Strategic Plan Team Highlight
Develop Methodology to Evaluate/Expand Specialty Court Programming
The Develop Methodology to Evaluate/Enhance Specialty Court Programming consists of the following team members: Presiding Judge Prentis Edwards, Jr. (Judicial Support), Judge Shannon Walker (Judicial Support), Yvonne Barnett Greene (team lead), Michelle Lowe (FOC/Case Establishment Supervisor), JaVonne Ransom (FOC/Senior Domestic Relations Specialist), Cheryl Terry (Juvenile/STAND Specialty Court Coordinator), and Deborah Nelson (Juvenile/MHC Specialty Court Coordinator).
This Courtwide Project is aligned with Strategic Focus Area (SFA) #5, Access, Services and Programs. In accordance with SFA #5, the Project is focused on increasing the effectiveness of programming for participants and clients by addressing their needs (employment, education, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services) of program participants and clients but also finding additional resources to address any unmet needs. This is why community collaboration is vital to all Specialty Court Programs, as well as seeking additional grant funding opportunities to enhance services where current funding is lacking.
The planned outcome from this Project is to effectively measure how programming affects Quality of Life (employment/education/housing) and Behavior Modification (reduced recidivism, counseling, treatment compliance).
This Project continues to be ongoing.