Biographies Of Commission Members And Staff

 

 

 

RICHARD D. McLELLAN

 

 

Richard D. McLellan, is Chairman of the Michigan Law Revision Commission, a position he has filled since 1986 following his appointment as a public member of the Commission in 1985.

 

Mr. McLellan is a lawyer with the law firm of Dykema Gossett PLLC and serves as the Member-in-charge of the firmís Lansing Office and as the leader of the firmís Government Policy & Practice Group.† He is responsible for the firm's public policy, administrative law and lobbying practices in Lansing, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

 

Mr. McLellan started his career as an administrative assistant to Governor William G. Milliken and as director of the Michigan Office of Drug Abuse.

 

Following the 1990 Michigan elections, McLellan was named Transition Director to then Governor-elect John Engler.† In that capacity, he assisted in the formation of Governor Englerís Administration and conducted a review of state programs.† He has also been appointed by the Governor as Chairman of the Corrections Commission, a member of the Michigan Export Development Authority, a member of the Michigan International Trade Authority, a member of the Library of Michigan Board of Trustees and a member of the Michigan Jobs Commission.

 

During the administration of President Gerald Ford, he served as an advisor to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration as a member of the National Advisory Food and Drug Committee of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

 

In 1990, Mr. McLellan was appointed by President George Bush as a Presidential Observer to the elections in the Peopleís Republic of Bulgaria.† The elections were the first free elections in the country following 45 years of Communist rule.† In 1996, he again acted as an observer for the Bulgarian national elections.† And again in February, 1999, he acted as an observer for the Nigerian national elections with the International Republican Institute.

 

Mr. McLellan is a member of the Board of Governors of the Cranbrook Institute of Science, one of Michiganís leading science museums.† He helped establish and served for 10 years as president of the Library of Michigan Foundation.† He helped establish and served as both President and Chairman of the Michigan Japan Foundation, the private foundation providing funding for the Japan Center for Michigan Universities.† He serves on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Information Technology Network.

 

Mr. McLellan serves as member of the Board of Trustees of Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law.

 

Mr. McLellan is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Oxford Foundation and the Cornerstone Foundation.

 

McLellan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mercantile & General Life Reassurance Company of America and a Trustee of JNL Trust established by the Jackson National Life Insurance Company.† He is also Chairman of the Michigan Competitive Telecommunications Providers Association and in early 2000 was named Chairman of the Information Technology Association of Michigan.

 

He is a graduate of the Michigan State University Honors College and the University of Michigan Law School.† He has served as an adjunct professor of international studies at Michigan State University.

 

 

ANTHONY DEREZINSKI

 

 

Mr. Derezinski is Vice Chairman of the Michigan Law Revision Commission, a position he has filled since May 1986 following his appointment as a public member of the Commission in January of that year.†

 

Mr. Derezinski is Director of Government Relations for the Michigan Association of School Boards.† He also serves as an adjunct professor of law at The University of Michigan Law School and at the Department of Education Administration of Michigan State University, and previously was a visiting professor of law at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

 

He is a graduate of Muskegon Catholic Central High School, Marquette University, the University of Michigan Law School (Juris Doctor degree), and Harvard Law School (Master of Laws degree). He is married and resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.†

 

Mr. Derezinski is a Democrat and served as State Senator from 1975 to 1978. He was a member of the Board of Regents of Eastern Michigan University for 14 years and currently serves on the Committee of Visitors of the University of Michigan Law School.† He also is a member of the Boards of Arbor Hospice and Home Care and the Center for the Education of Women in Ann Arbor.

 

He served as a Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the United States Navy from 1968 to 1971 and as a military judge in the Republic of Vietnam. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Derezinski Post 7729, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Michigan and National Councils of School Attorneys, and the American Bar Association.

GEORGE E. WARD

 

 

Mr. Ward is a public member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission and has served since his appointment in August 1994.

 

Mr. Ward was the Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Wayne County in the administration of the Honorable John D. OíHair.† Prior to that, he was a clerk to a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and in private civil practice for twenty years in the City of Detroit.† He recently returned to private practice in Detroit.

 

He is a graduate of Sts. Peter and Paul High School, Saginaw, the University of Detroit, and the University of Michigan Law School.† He is married and the father of five children.

 

Mr. Ward is an Adjunct Professor of State and Local Government and Franchise Law at the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University; a member of the Boards of Directors of Wayne Center, Wayne County Catholic Social Services and Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services; past President of the Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers; a former member and President of the Board of Control of Saginaw Valley State University; a former commissioner of the State Bar of Michigan; and a former commissioner and President of the Wayne County Home Rule Charter Commission.

 

 

WILLIAM C. WHITBECK

 

 

Judge William C. Whitbeck is a public member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission and has served since his appointment in January 2000.

 

Judge Whitbeck was born on January 17, 1941, in Holland, Michigan, and was raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan.† His undergraduate education was at Northwestern University, where he received a McCormack Scholarship in Journalism.† He received his LL.B. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1966, and was admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1969.

 

Judge Whitbeck has held a variety of positions with the state and federal governments, including serving as Administrative Assistant to Governor George Romney from 1966 to 1969, Special Assistant to Secretary George Romney at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1970, Area Director of the Detroit Area Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1970 to 1973, Director of Policy of the Michigan Public Service Commission from 1973 to 1975 and Counsel to Governor John Engler for Executive Organization/Director of the Office of the State Employer from 1991 to 1993.† He served on the Presidential Transition Team of President-Elect Ronald Reagan in 1980, and as Counsel to the Transition Team of Governor-Elect John Engler in 1990.

 

In private practice, Judge Whitbeck was a partner in the law firm of McLellan, Schlaybaugh & Whitbeck from 1975 to 1982, a partner in the law firm of Dykema, Gossett, Spencer, Goodnow and Trigg from 1982 to 1987, and a partner in the law firm of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn from 1993 to 1997.

 

Judge Whitbeck is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, the Ingham County Bar Association, the Castle Park Association, and the Michigan Historical Commission and serves as the Chair of the Commission.† He is a member of the board of the Michigan Historical Center Foundation and is a Fellow of both the Michigan State Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation.

 

Judge Whitbeck and his wife, Stephanie, reside in downtown Lansing in a 125 year old historic home that they have completely renovated.† They are members of St. Mary Cathedral.

 

Governor John Engler appointed Judge Whitbeck to the Court of Appeals effective October 22, 1997, to a term ending January 1, 1999.† Judge Whitbeck was elected in November of 1998 to a term ending January 1, 2005.† Chief Judge Richard Bandstra designated Judge Whitbeck as Chief Judge Pro Tem of the Court of Appeals effective January 1, 1999.

 

 

BILL BULLARD, JR.

 

 

Mr. Bullard is a legislative member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission and has served on the Commission since July 1996.

 

Mr. Bullard is a Republican State Senator representing the 15th Senatorial District.† He was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1982 and served in that body until his election to the Senate in July 1996.† He is currently Chairman of the Senate Transportation and Tourism Committee, as well as the Senate Financial Services Committee.† Mr. Bullard also serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Hunting, Fishing and Forestry Committee.† He is also the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.† Mr. Bullard is also the only practicing attorney serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

Mr. Bullard is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Detroit College of Law.† He has three children.

 

Mr. Bullard is the recipient of the first annual Legislator of the Year award from the Michigan Townships Association.† He has been recognized by the National Federation of Independent Business with the Guardian Award, the Oakland County School Board Association with the Distinguished Service award, the Michigan Soft Drink Association with the Legislator of the Year award.† In 1999, he was presented with the State Highway Safety Champion award from the Advocates of Highway and Auto Safety.† Mr. Bullard was also recognized by the Michigan Safety Commission in 1999 when they presented him with the State Safety Award.† Mr. Bullard was appointed to the Oakland County Business Roundtable, Transportation and Telecommunications Committee by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.† Mr. Bullard was also recognized for achieving the Michigan Sales Tax Exemption for Rare Coins and Precious Metals by the Industry Council for Tangible Assets.† He was also named Legislator of the Year in 2000 by the Michigan Humane Society, as well as by the National Republican Legislators Association.

 

Mr. Bullard is a member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCIL), the Fraternal Order of Police of Southwest Oakland County, the Oakland County Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan.

 

 

GARY PETERS

 

 

Mr. Peters is a legislative member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission and has served on the Commission since June 1995.

 

Mr. Peters is a Democrat State Senator representing the 14th Senatorial District.† He was elected to the Michigan Senate in November 1994.† He serves as the Minority Vice Chair of the Senate Education, Finance, Judiciary, and Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs Committees, and is a member of the Economic Development, International Trade & Regulatory Affairs Committee.†

 

Prior to being in the Legislature, Mr. Peters was Vice President, Investments, for a major national financial services firm.† He serves as a Securities Arbitrator for the New York Stock Exchange, National Association of Securities Dealers, and the American Arbitration Association.

 

Mr. Peters taught Strategic Management and Business Policy at Oakland University, and was an instructor in the Finance & Business Economics Department at Wayne State University.† His educational credentials include a B.A. from Alma College (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Detroit, and a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School.

 

His previous government experience includes a term on the Rochester Hills City Council where he served as Chair of the Solid Waste Management Committee, Vice Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee, and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Paint Creek Trailways Commission.

 

Mr. Petersí community involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors for Common Cause of Michigan, a member of the Environmental Policy Advisory Committee for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and as Chair of the Air Issues Committee for the Michigan Sierra Club.

 

Mr. Peters is also a commissioned officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve.† He is married and has three children.

 

 

JENNIFER M. FAUNCE

 

 

Ms. Faunce is a legislative member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission and has served on the Commission since January 1999.

 

Ms. Faunce is a Republican State Representative representing the 29th House District.† She was first elected to the Michigan House in November 1998.† She is the Chair of the House Criminal Law and Corrections Committee and a member of the House Regulatory Reform; Senior Health, Security and Retirement; and Tax Policy Committees.

 

Ms. Faunce was an Assistant County Prosecutor for Macomb County from January 1992 through 1998, as Chief of the Juvenile Court Division.

 

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Science Pre-Law from Michigan State University and a law degree from the University of Detroit School of Law.† Ms. Faunceís community involvement includes serving on the Macomb Area Council for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and on the Executive Board for Care House.

 

 

LAURA BAIRD

 

 

Ms. Baird is a legislative member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission and has served on the Commission since 1997.

 

Ms. Baird represents Michiganís 70th House District, which consists of East Lansing, Okemos, and part of Haslett, in Ingham County.† She was elected to the House of Representatives in November 1994, reelected to a second term in 1996 and a third term in 1998.† Ms. Baird serves as democratic chair of the Family and Civil Law Committee, democratic chair of the Criminal Law and Corrections Committee and as a member of the Health Policy Committee.

 

Ms. Baird grew up in Northern Michigan, where both her father and grandfather served as Probate Judges in adjacent counties.† She is an attorney having received her B.S. from Western Michigan University and her law degree, with distinction, from Thomas Cooley Law School in 1979.† Ms. Baird is an alumna of the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development and the Flemming Fellows Leadership Institute.

 

Before her election to the Michigan House of Representatives, Ms. Baird represented Meridian Townshipís District 11 as an Ingham County Commissioner.† As a parent of a son with severe disabilities, she has a long history of volunteering in mental health and disability advocacy organizations.† Ms. Baird is past Vice Chair of the Clinton-Eaton-Ingham Community Mental Health Board.† Ms. Baird was chosen 1999 Legislator of the Year by The ARC of Michigan; the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, 1998 Legislator of the Year; and is the recipient of the 1997 Tell It Like It Is Award from the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Michigan. The same year she was also chosen Legislator of the Year by the Association for Childrenís Mental Health.

 

Ms. Baird is an attorney and has her own private law practice, Baird and Zulakis, P.C., located in Okemos, Michigan since 1980 in partnership with her husband, George Zulakis.

 

She is a member of the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines Commission and has been appointed as a National Commissioner on Uniform State Laws.† In addition, Ms. Baird has served on the Midwest Council of State Governments, Committee on Economic Development and Interstate Competition and the Council of State Governments National Legislative Conference, Corrections and Public Safety Task Force.

 

 

DIANNE M. ODROBINA

 

 

Since January 1996, Ms. Odrobina, as the Legislative Council Administrator, has served as the ex-officio member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission.† The following agencies fall under her supervision: Legislative Service Bureau, Library of Michigan, Legislative Council Facilities Agency, Joint Committee on Administrative Rules staff, Legislative Corrections Ombudsman, Michigan Law Revision Commission, Commission on Uniform State Laws, and the Sentencing Commission.† She also serves as a member of the Library of Michigan Board of Trustees and Foundation Board.

 

Ms. Odrobina has served the Michigan Legislature in several capacities since 1991, serving as the Director of the Senate Majority Policy Office from February 1993 to January 1996.† She was previously an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Wayne County, attorney for Macomb County Friend of the Court, and in private practice.†

 

Ms. Odrobina holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Michigan State University, Master of Business Administration from the University of Detroit, and Juris Doctor from Wayne State University.

 

 

 

KEVIN C. KENNEDY

 

 

Mr. Kennedy is the Executive Secretary to the Michigan Law Revision Commission, a position he has filled since December 1995.

 

Mr. Kennedy joined the faculty of Michigan State University - Detroit College of Law in 1987 and has taught courses in civil procedure, conflict of laws, international trade, and international litigation.

 

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Harvard University.† He was a law clerk at the U.S. Court of International Trade, was a private practitioner in Hawaii, and served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.† He is married.

 

Mr. Kennedy is the author of nearly forty law review articles concerning international law, international trade, and civil procedure.† He is the co-author of World Trade Law, a treatise on international trade law.

 

 

GARY GULLIVER

 

 

Mr. Gulliver acts as the liaison between the Michigan Law Revision Commission and the Legislative Service Bureau, a responsibility he has had since May 1984.

 

Mr. Gulliver is currently the Director of Legal Research with the Legislative Service Bureau. He is a graduate of Albion College (with honors) and Wayne State University Law School.† He is married and has four children.

 

Mr. Gulliver is also a Commissioner of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.