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Judiciary

Elizabeth Pollard Hines, Chief Judge

Elizabeth Pollard Hines was elected to the 15th Judicial District Court bench in 1992.  She was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court as Chief Judge and is the former Presiding Judge of the District Court Division of the Washtenaw County Trial Court when all courts in the county were unified.  She presides over traffic and criminal cases including a specialized domestic violence docket.  Judge Hines helped create and launch "Street Outreach Court", a community project of the Washtenaw County criminal justice system and advocates for the homeless.

Judge Hines received her Bachelors of Art, with honor, from the University of Michigan in 1974, and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan College of Law in 1977. 

Hines Photo

In 1987, Judge Hines was appointed first Chair of Ann Arbor's Domestic Violence Coordinating Board.  She represented her colleagues on the Executive Committee managing a Judicial Oversight Demonstration Initiative (JODI) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women from 1999 to 2004, one of three sites in the country selected to see what works best in cases of domestic violence.  She helps train new judges on domestic violence through the Michigan Judicial Institute.  She was appointed to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Children's Justice and the Governor's Task Force on Batterer Intervention Standards.  She was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure to review rules of criminal procedure used by all Michigan courts.  She currently serves on the State Planning Body, addressing legal services in Michigan, was a member of the Access to Justice Committee of the Michigan State Bar's Judicial Crossroads Task Force, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court to serve on the SOS (Solutions on Self-Help) Task Force, looking for ways to better accommodate self-represented litigants.  She is a member of the National Domestic Violence Court Technical Assistance Consultancy Team for the Center for Court Innovation and the National Center for State Court's Advisory Committee for it's Problem-Solving Justice Toolkit.

Elected to the Board of Governor's of the American Judges Association (AJA), Judge Hines is currently Co-Chair fo the AJA Domestic Violence Committee, past Chair of the AJA Access to Justice Committee, and a member of the AJA Executive Committee.  She is active in her community and has received numerous awards including the "Patriot Award" from the Washtenaw County Bar Association, and the "2008 Distinguished Service Award" from the National Center for State Courts.  In 2011, she was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts.  In August of 2011, she was awarded the first annual "Judicial Excellence Award" by the Michigan District Judges Association. 

Judge Hines is a member of the State Bar Association, the Washtenaw County Bar Association, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, the American Judges Association, and the Michigan District Judges Association.   

Christopher Easthope, Chief Judge Pro Tempore

Christopher Easthope was elected to the 15th Judicial District Court bench for the term beginning January 1, 2009.  He presides over criminal and traffic cases.  In October 2012, Judge Easthope started the Washtenaw County Veteran's Treatment Court to serve the particularized needs of the increasing Veteran population appearing in criminal courts.  Veteran's Court works to help coordinate mental health and substance abuse services as well as housing and other family needs while holding the participant accountable for their actions. 

Judge Easthope received his Bachelors of Art in 1990 from Western Michigan University and his Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1995.  

Before being elected, Judge Easthope served the citizens of Ann Arbor as a member of City Council and as the Mayor Pro Tem from 2000-2008.  He also operated the Law Office of Christopher Easthope.  He  formerly practiced law for the firms of Hamilton, MacDonald & Simpson and Roberts & Freatman.

Easthope Photo

 Judge Easthope is a member of the State Bar Association, the Washtenaw County Bar Association, the Michigan District Judges Association and the American Judges Association where he is a member of the Board of Governor's.

 

Joseph F. Burke, Judge 

Joseph F. Burke was appointed to the 15th Judicial District Court bench by Governor Rick Snyder on February 15, 2012.  He presides over landlord-tenant, general civil and drunk driving cases as well as the specialized Sobriety Court docket. 

Judge Burke received his Bachelors of Art in 1978 from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.  He attended Thomas M. Cooley Law School and was awarded his Juris Doctor degree in 1982.  He has also completed advanced training from the National College of District Attorneys in the areas of computer forensics and the use of technology in courts.

Judge Burke has lived and worked in Ann Arbor his entire legal career.  From 1982 to 1986 he was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Washtenaw County Prosecutor William F. Delhey.  In 1986, he entered private practice at the long-established law firm of Burke & Rennell, P.C.  In 1993, he returned to the Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorneys Office when Prosecutor Brian L. Mackie appointed him Chief Assistant, the position he held until March 2012 when he left to join the 15th Judicial District Court bench.

Burke photo

 

Judge Burke has served several local non-profit organizations as a board member, including Neighborhood Senior Services, Humane Society Of Huron Valley (past president), the Washtenaw Council on Alcoholism (past president) and Dawn Farm.  He is the current president of the Washtenaw Community Concert Band. 

Judge Burke is a member of the State Bar Association, the American Judges Association and the Michigan District Judges Association.

M. Colleen Currie, Magistrate

M. Colleen Currie was appointed to the 15th Judicial District Court bench by Chief Judge Julie Creal in mid July 2008.

Magistrate Currie obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature with distinction from the University of Michigan in 1990 and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1994.

Prior to her appointment, she held the position of Judicial Attorney to Judge Timothy P. Connors of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court from 1998 to 2008.

Magistrate Currie was a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin from 1994 to 2004 when she voluntarily resigned her membership.  She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Washtenaw County Bar Association, the Women's Association of Michigan and the Michigan Association of District Court Magistrates.

Mattson Photo
Magistrate Currie has been admitted to practice law in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  She has served on the Board of Directors for the Eastern Michigan University Legal Resource Center since the fall of 2008, as its secretary from December 2009 to December 2010 and its president from December 2010 to present.  She also serves as a committee member for the State Bar of Michigan District G Committee for Character and Fitness and as the editor of the Washtenaw County Bar Association's publication Res Ipsa Loquitur.

 

 


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