645 Griswold, Suite 1356

Detroit, MI 48226


313-965-0842 fax



The DMBA Inn of Court 

The DMBA Inn of Court (IOC) strives to promote strong relationships between attorneys in different firms and practice areas, provide mentoring and training opportunities, and foster regular and constructive contacts between the bench and bar.  Based on the English model of legal apprenticeship, the DMBA IOC involves monthly, team-led programs that address issues of law, ethics or practice.


The structure of the DMBA IOC is similar to other models.  The Inn is divided into "Teams," each of which has a member of the State or Federal bench.  Each Team also has several "Masters" who typically have more than 20 years of practice.  A Team also includes "Barristers," with at least 5 years of practice, "Associates," who are newer members of the bar, and "Law Clerks," who are law students and non-attorney legal professionals.  


The Judges and Masters provide strategic guidance, inspiration, coaching and practice pointers to the Barristers, Associates, and Law Clerks.  All members of the Team work together to create and present a thought provoking and engaging program.  Lectures and scripted presentations are discouraged.  The most valuable aspects of the Inn come from the Teams' preparatory and social meetings, as well as the full Inn discussions and social interaction during and following the programs.  All Teams are encouraged to get acquainted as a team early in the Inn season.  The Inn season ends with a summer party at a leader's home. 


Inn members are expected to attend all programs and participate as engaged members, not merely observers, unless an absence is excused in advance. 


Applications for the upcoming season will be available October 9, 2015.  The kickoff party is the week of November 16.  Monthly programs will be January - May.  The season end party will be in June. 

The theme for this past season (Jan. 2015 - June 2015) was "Beyond the Courtroom".  We covered matters ranging from ex parte and social communications with the Courts, to business development ethics, litigation risk analysis, budgets and plans, getting paid for your work, showing your work and public speaking.


2014-2015 IOC Leadership

Inn Judicial Leader:  Hon. Patricia Perez Fresard

Inn Administrator:  Mitzy Sharp Futro

Inn Directors at Large: Ben Jeffers, Elizabeth Jolliffe

Team Judicial Leaders:  Hon. Annette Berry, Hon. Edward Ewell, Hon. Charles Hegarty, Hon. Muriel Hughes, Hon. Kirsten Frank Kelly, Hon. Kathleen Mcdonald, Hon. Lawrence Talon.

2015 Monthly Programs:  6 pm - 7 pm @ Dickinson Wright, 500 Woodward, 40th Floor, Detroit

January 20 - Can I Talk to You?

February 23 - Can I Do This?

March 16 - Success Begins Behind the Scenes

April 20 - Getting Paid For Your Work

May 18 - Putting It In Writing

June 15 - Telling Your Story

July TBD - end of season summer party

Photos below:  Kickoff Meeting & Mixer on December 1, 2014 at the Detroit Beer Company.