About Us

About the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society

Mission Statement:

About the Michigan Supreme Court Historical SocietyThe Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, collects, preserves, and displays documents, records, and memorabilia relating to the Michigan Supreme Court and the other Courts of Michigan, promotes the study of the history of Michigan’s courts, and seeks to increase public awareness of Michigan’s legal heritage. The Society sponsors and conducts historical research, provides educational materials for students, and sponsors and provides publications, portraits and memorials, special events, and projects consistent with its mission.

There are currently about 450 members. To learn more about membership, including dues structure, click here.


The Society was established in 1988 by (then) Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorothy Comstock Riley, who sought to preserve Court artifacts, collect memorabilia, and inform and educate the students and citizens of Michigan about their state’s judicial history.

Special Events:

The Society hosts portrait presentations, historical exhibits, and membership meetings. In affiliation with the State Bar of Michigan, the Society sponsors the Michigan Legal Milestone Program. Click here to read about some of our recent events.


  • Hon. Dorothy Comstock Riley* – Founder
  • Carl W. Herstein – President
  • Lawrence P. Nolan – Vice President
  • Susan Fairchild – Secretary
  • John P. Jacobs – Treasurer
  • Carrie Sampson – Executive Director


Front row (left to right): Hon. James L. Ryan (MSC 1975-1985), Hon. Mary Beth Kelly (MSC 2011-2015), Hon. Avern Cohn, Society President Carl W. Herstein, Society President Emeritus Charles R. Rutherford, Society Secretary Susan Fairchild, Society Vice President Lawrence P. Nolan, Hon. Denise Langford Morris, Society Treasurer John P. Jacobs.

Back row (left to right): Peter Ellsworth, Jill Wheaton, John Fedynsky, Gregory DeMars, Janet Welch, Bruce Courtade, Mary Massaron, Matthew C. Herstein, Julie Fershtman, and Stephen K. Valentine, Jr.

Not shown: Hon. Fred Borchard, Lori A. Buiteweg, Hon. Alfred Butzbaugh, Hon. Frank J. Kelley, Shenique Moss, Richard D. Reed.


Alan Ackerman
Frederick G. Buesser, Jr.*
Frederick G. Buesser, III*
John S. Clark*
Maura D. Corrigan
John Robert Dethmers*
Michael Franck*
Samuel C. Gardner*
Boyd A. Henderson
Jane K. Souris*
Nathaniel W. Stroup*
Duane L. Tarnacki
John M. Wright*
Clifford W. Taylor
Thomas G. Kavanagh, Jr.
John E. Riecker*
D. Larkin Chenault
George E. Bushnell, Jr.*
Thomas A. McNish*
William R. Peterson*
Roger F. Lane*
Eugene Driker
Andrea Fischer Newman
John W. Fitzgerald*
David L. Porteous
R. Stuart Hoffius*
Prentiss M. Brown, Jr.
John T. Berry
Thomas E. Brennan*
Bruce M. Groom
Leonard D. Givens
David A. Goldman*
Lawrence G. Campbell
Conrad L. Mallett, Jr.
Wendy L. Potts
Scott S. Brinkmeyer
Christine D. Oldani
Eugene D. Mossner
Michael Murray
Patricia J. Boyle*
Wallace D. Riley*
Charles L. Levin
Michael G. Harrison*
Ronald Keefe
John W. Reed*