Grand Rapids Bar and WMU-Cooley Host Annual Law Day Event
WMU-Cooley Law School partnered with the Grand Rapids Bar Association during this year’s Law Day event. During the program, the law school announced that James Redford, former Kent County Circuit Court judge, is this year’s recipient of the Marion Hilligan Public Service Award. In addition to the award, a panel discussion was held regarding “Miranda rights.”
WMU-Cooley Associate Dean Nelson Miller offered comments regarding Redford’s selection to receive the Marion Hilligan Award, which is named after WMU-Cooley Grand Rapids campus’ former associate dean Marion Hilligan who passed away in 2007 after an extended illness. Miller recognized Redford for his service as a judge for the Kent County Circuit Court from 2002-2014, and for his recent appointment by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as director of the state’s Veterans Affairs Agency.
During his presentation Miller said, “Redford began his public-service career in the military, Navy branch, taking risks and making sacrifices in the nation’s defense that too few lawyers can claim, and for a period of 28 years. His accomplishments are only brief highlights of a very much more distinguished public-service career.”
Among the panelists discussing “Miranda rights,” were Tonya Krause-Phelan, professor, WMU-Cooley; Tim McMorrow, former chief appellate attorney, Kent County Prosecutor’s Office; and David Dodge, attorney, Dodge and Dodge.
During the discussion, panelists discussed how juveniles and individuals with special challenges are disproportionately affected by current interrogation technique, known as the “Reed technique,” and how many people succumb to confessing to crimes that they didn't commit from its use. Krause-Phelan encouraged the adoption of the “peace technique,” a technique widely used in Europe, which she describes as letting the person talk.
About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.