Cranmer and McNeill Newly Appointed, Nussbaumer and Gracey Reappointed to Appellate

Governor Rick Snyder acted in June to fill four vacancies in the Appellate Defender Commission, the governing body for the State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) and Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS). All will serve four-year terms on the seven-member Commission, a statutorily-created statewide body.

New to the Commission are Thomas Cranmer and Thomas McNeill, both recommended to the Governor by the Michigan Supreme Court. Cranmer, a former President of the State Bar of Michigan, is a Principal and Managing Director of Miller Canfield, Michigan’s largest law firm. With more than 35 years of courtroom experience, Mr. Cranmer’s practice focuses largely on white-collar criminal defense, complex commercial litigation and arbitration/facilitation matters. Over the years, he has repeatedly been recognized as one of Michigan’s leading trial lawyers. McNeill, President-Elect of the Federal Bar Association (Eastern District), is Practice Manager of the Commercial Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Department of Dickinson Wright, the state’s fourth-largest law firm. Mr. McNeill has represented a large number of prominent companies and firms in securities and ERISA class actions, SEC investigations, and other business matters. Having tried 34 cases to verdict or award, he has compiled a record of winning 33 of those cases.

Reappointed to the Commission as a State Bar of Michigan appointee is Judith Gracey, a prominent attorney with a diversified practice that includes defense of state and federal criminal defendants, centered in her Sylvan Lake office. A former president of the Oakland County Bar Association, Ms. Gracey has served on the State Bar of Michigan’s Criminal Justice Task Force and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. John Nussbaumer, also reappointed as a State Bar appointee, is Associate Dean at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, directing its Auburn Hills campus. A former assistant defender at SADO, Dean Nussbaumer is a Michigan Supreme Court appointee to the Michigan Criminal Procedure Rules Committee, a member of the ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, served as reporter to both Michigan and 6th Circuit criminal jury instruction committees, and was an initiator of Cooley’s Innocence Project.

Dean Nussbaumer was elected to serve as Chair of the Appellate Defender Commission, with Thomas Cranmer elected as Vice-Chair, at the Commission’s meeting on June 15, 2011. In addition to Commissioners Gracey and McNeill, the Commission includes the Hon. John T. Hammond, Douglas J. Messing, and the Rev. Carlyle Stewart, III.

Contact: Secretary to the Appellate Commission