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.


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 bench.  Each Team also has several "Masters" who typically have more than 20 years of practice.  A Team also includes "Barristers," with at least 6 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 facilitate a practical, engaging program.  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. 


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

The theme for  last season (January - 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. 

The 2015-2016 season theme is "Skills Building".  Four of the five programs will be facilitated hands-on skills building formats.  The season kickoff party is November 17 at Judge Kirsten Frank Kelly's home.  Monthly programs will run January - May, 2016. 


2015-2016 IOC Leadership

Inn Chancellor:  Hon. Kirsten Frank Kelly

Inn President:  Michael Coakley

Inn Organizing Committee:  Donn Fresard, Christopher Gura, Scott Hamilton, Sarah Harwood, Timothy Howlett, Stacy Johnson, Elizabeth Jolliffe, Frances Rosinski, David Winter, Kim Yourchock

Inn Administrator:  Colleen Lees, administrative assistant to Judge Kirsten Frank Kelly

2015-2015 Team Leaders, Training Programs & Dates

Team 1 - Judge Charles Hegarty, Damages. Tues. Jan. 19.

Team 2 - Judge Lita Popke, Settlement Conferences.  Mon. Feb. 15.

Team 3 - Judge Edward Ewell, Experts.  Mon. March 21.

Team 4 - Judge Thomas Cameron, Difficult Conversations.  Mon. April 18.

Team 5 - Judge Muriel Hughes, Depositions.  Mon. May 16.

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