November 22, 2010
Michigan Soldier, Law School Graduate Stationed in Kuwait to be Sworn in as an Attorney on Nov. 24 via Live Video-Conference
Christopher Horvath of Lansing to take dual oath while stationed 6,300 miles away
A recent Cooley Law School graduate and new groom who arrived in Kuwait five days ago, will be sworn in as a new attorney on Wednesday via a live videoconference by two judges who are working together to make the occasion possible.
The live videoconference, arranged by the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the Michigan Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and the Michigan Army National Guard will make it possible for 26-year-old Army Sgt. Christopher Horvath, now 6,300 miles away, to be admitted to practice law in Michigan and the U.S. District Court for the Western District, a federal court, at the same time.
Chief Judge William Murphy, Michigan Court of Appeals, will administer the attorney's oath for admission to practice law in Michigan, followed immediately by Chief Judge Paul Maloney, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at the Michigan National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing. Sgt. Horvath’s wife, Dena, a third-year Cooley student, and many family members, will attend the ceremony.
"Chris is putting his life on the line for our country; arranging for this special ceremony is the least we can do to show our appreciation for his service," said Heather Spielmaker, director of Cooley's Service to Soldiers: Legal Assistance Program and the law school's Center for Ethics, Service and Professionalism. "This dual swearing-in ceremony represents the line Sgt. Horvath walks between state and federal responsibilities; he served Michigan prior to his deployment orders, and now is an active duty U.S. Army soldier."
Sgt. Horvath graduated from Cooley's Lansing campus in May, married Dena in June, took the bar exam in July, received notification of his bar passage in October, and left for a 12-month tour of duty in Kuwait on Nov. 15. Sgt. Horvath’s deployment orders precluded his participation in a traditional swearing-in ceremony with his graduating class.
Attending the ceremony will be Jules Fiani, an attorney and a friend of Horvath’s, who will move for Sgt. Horvath's admission to practice law in Michigan courts, a traditional part of the swearing-in ceremony. Also present will be Nelson Miller, dean of Cooley’s Grand Rapids campus, who will move for Sgt. Horvath's admission to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, several Cooley staff and fellow classmates, and representatives of the Michigan National Guard.
Following the ceremony, the videoconference will continue so that Horvath’s family and friends can visit with him.
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation. Founded in 1972, the private, non-profit law school operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Today, Cooley Law School has nearly 14,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September. Additional information about Cooley can be found at cooley.edu.