SEPTEMBER 8, 1982
CHIEF JUSTICE COLEMAN: I’m happy today to welcome all of you to a special session of the Michigan Supreme Court. We have set aside this time on September 8, 1982, for celebrating its past. I anticipate also some introspection concerning what we have learned from the lives and writings of respected members of our bench, for application to the goals and the future of the Court.
Now this particular moment in our Court’s history brings with it two special personal reasons beyond that which is inherent, I think, in the occasion. Although I did not know Emerson Boyles, I have known and found dear to me over the years his daughter, Mary Crouse, and her wonderful family.
Mary and her husband, Heinie, as I think most of us know him, have lived part of the time in Spain and part in Ingham County during the past few years. So our paths haven’t crossed as often as I would like. But I think friends are friends forever, and so that doesn’t make a lot of difference.
Emerson Boyles was loved and respected by his family, and I’m sure he would be very proud of all of them today.
My other special reason for rejoicing is that my good friend of many years, and former colleague who served this Court with great distinction, Lawrence B. LINDEMER, is present, admittedly with some reluctance. For he’s somewhat shy, and a man of principled humility. But that aside, he is here. He left an indelible mark of reason and scholarship, laced with good humor, upon our Court. He presently serves as Vice President and General Counsel of Consumers Power Company, and continues his active participation in promoting the well-being of Michigan.
I believe that we have present, in addition to our bench, which I’ll introduce to you in a moment, a former justice of this Court, Paul Adams. I don’t see him, but he said he’d be here. If he comes in we’ll recognize him later. But I would like all of you to know the people up here. For those of you who may not, to my left are Justice RYAN, Justice LEVIN, Justice KAVANAGH, that’s to my left. To my right, over here, are Justice MOODY, and my good friend Justice FITZGERALD, and Justice WILLIAMS. And I am Chief Justice MARY COLEMAN.
I believe there are a few I’d like to recognize before we go further. In addition to Paul Adams, I understand that John Feikens is to be here.
JUSTICE WILLIAMS: Yes, he’s here.
CHIEF JUSTICE COLEMAN: There’s John. I would like to introduce to you the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Michigan of our federal courts. And Robert Danhof, who is the Chief Judge of our Court of Appeals.
Glenn Allen is a very special person today. He’s a judge of our Court of Appeals, and was Justice BOYLES’ first law clerk, as I understand it. So we especially welcome you.
Our former Solicitor General I see there too, Bob Derengoski.
My husband, Judge Creighton Coleman. I couldn’t leave that out.
As you’ve noticed we’re in informal session. I hope all of you can relax and enjoy today.
There’s another special person who is here, I understand, and she is Hazel Bray, who was for many years the secretary of Emerson Boyles. We’re so happy that you could be with us.
Perhaps we’ll have some more here that I will see in the audience, but at this point I do want to introduce Leo Farhat, who today will be wearing two hats, as he often does. He’ll speak on behalf of the State Bar of Michigan at this time. He’s a former State Bar President, and will be speaking representing the present President, Patrick Keating.
LEO FARHAT: Thank you, Madam Chief Justice.
Madam Chief Justice, Justices, Judge Feikens, and members of the one court of justice and distinguished guests:
I take special pleasure in the opportunity to participate in these proceedings, because the portraits to be unveiled today are those of two justices who have played a part in my professional and personal life.
I had the pleasure and privilege of clerking for the late Justice EMERSON R. BOYLES back in 1952. Some have suggested to me that I was the last of his clerks because he couldn’t take any more like me.
I’ve been associated personally, politically, and professionally with former Justice LAWRENCE B. LINDEMER for over 30 years, and in fact succeeded him as a representative of the lawyers in our commissioner district of the State Bar.
As the Court is aware, but others may not know, the tradition of presenting, accepting, and hanging the portraits of the Justices of the Supreme Court of Michigan has roots in the early history of our state. Long before presentation of the portraits of the big four, which now hang in the vestibule of this chamber, it was a custom of friends of a former or late justice to assure that a memorial marking the service of that justice to this state be placed in the halls of the Court in which he served. That tradition, which one day will be marked by the presentation of the portrait of our present Chief Justice, the first woman to grace this bench, continues today after a temporary lapse of some years, because of the interest of this Court and those assigned to assure the continuation of that tradition.
When Justice LINDEMER took the robe on June 2, 1975, then Chief Justice THOMAS GILES KAVANAGH said in part, “I welcome you, Justice LINDEMER, to membership on this Court. Each of us brings to his appointed tasks the talents and gifts that God gives us. When one becomes a member of a collegial court such as this, the Court itself becomes a new entity. For as in a chemical compound, the change of one element changes the compound. We welcome Justice LINDEMER to our bench, confident that this new entity, this new Court, will coalesce and develop into a new even better instrument of service to the people.” And so, your Honors, it is against that backdrop, remembering that human factors make up the formula of justice, that we of the State Bar of Michigan are pleased to participate in this event. We hope that these memorials will remind those interested in justice that while the Court speaks through collective decisions, it is the individuals of the Court who create the collegial wisdom and justice. It is each of those justices who bring to the bench unique qualities of his or her heredity, family and social environment, education, training, experience, discipline, and sense of principle and fairness.
These portraits are a reminder that long after the decisions which they write or join, each will be remembered personally, and individually, for the attributes which he brought to the bench and displayed on it. It is fitting that we remember two individuals who will meet the test of time, and who will merit the respect in which they are held today. Thank you.
CHIEF JUSTICE COLEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Farhat. We’re fortunate to have in our midst today a friend of many years of Emerson R. Boyles, a widely admired, outstanding attorney himself. I’m happy to ask Archie Fraser to approach the podium, and to share with us and with posterity, for all that’s said today will appear in the annals of our Court for all time, to share with us his personal knowledge of the man, the late Emerson R. Boyles. Mr. Fraser?
ARCHIE FRASER: Thank you very much. Madam Chief Justice, Justices, Mrs. Mary Crouse, Henry Crouse, children, Barney, John, and Edward, and the grandchildren, the family:
Justice BOYLES, the man we come to pay tribute to today, served not only as a member of this body, but as its Chief Justice in 1943 [and in 1950]. It’s often been said of men, I won’t include women, I’ll say men of my age, octogenarian, that many live in the past. I hope that I am not in that category, because having been married some 57 years to this beautiful and lovely lady who accompanies me here today with some six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren the oldest aged 13, I can’t afford to live in the past. I’ve got to live now. And I’ve got to think about them and the future, and the time that is allocated to me.
In going through the material that I wanted to assemble, my good wife told me to be sure and stay on target, it’s Justice BOYLES’ day. I know you’ll be thinking about a lot of things, a lot of people, a lot of events, but stay on track.
I’m delighted to have been invited by the Chief Justice, and the family, the daughter of this distinguished colleague of yours, and share in the presentation of the portrait of him to this Court, to be displayed along with his contemporaries, and those who went before him.
As an aside which isn’t in my notes, I think that we look at pictures and many times we do no know the people. I, like yourself, look at Justice CARR, and I remember him, the big, lumbering, easygoing fine man who I met when he was a circuit judge. I’m so pleased and honored to be a part of this presentation ceremony because I admired Emerson Richard BOYLES as a man. As a public official. As a lawyer. As a jurist. His devotion to his profession, to his friends, to his community, to his state, and to his nation. And his particular devotion to people. And I emphasize “people”: of all walks of life, whatever their beliefs, political or otherwise, whatever ethnic or religious backgrounds they may have had, he put in perspective their welfare and good; those to whom he applied his interests, his talents, and his warm heart in all that came before him, or in which he had something to do. Truly you can say of him, “No man is an island.”
Not long ago I had the distinct honor and privilege of being invited by Chief Justice COLEMAN and the family of the late Attorney General, former Justice, and Chief Justice of this Court, the Honorable JOHN R. DETHMERS, to participate in the presentation of his portrait to this Court. It was a most enjoyable experience and privilege because I had known Justice DETHMERS since the 1920’s. And by fate, so to speak, became State Public Administrator upon my return from military service in 1946, appointed by the late jurist, a member of this Court, Harry F. Kelly, and Attorney General Dethmers. Our interests, of course, went beyond that during the years, mostly on church and civic matters, and our wives together shared in these particular interests. And I said then, that although I had appeared before this Court on many occasions, as counsel for individuals, business, labor, corporate interests, civil, criminal, even the State of Michigan on a number of occasions, and its agencies, I felt that occasion was going to be my last, being as it was that I had virtually retired because of family illness. But today here again I am back, happy indeed once more to participate in this most significant occasion.
I grasp this opportunity to express my personal regard, my esteem, friendship, and recognition of the great legal talents of this exceptionally fine gentleman, one who gave so much of himself to this Court, and to all he served so well, before and upon occupying the seat on this bench.
To me, Justice BOYLES exemplified honesty, integrity, professionalism, morality, ethics, complete application to the tasks at hand, yet retaining compassion and an open mind and understanding for those whose views and interest on occasion varied from his own.
Justice BOYLES was born in Chester Township, Eaton County, on June 29, 1881. He was the valedictorian of his high school class, and he went off to the University of Michigan, graduating and receiving a law degree in 1903.
That same year he was admitted to practice, and he established that practice in Charlotte, over in Eaton County, Michigan.
Then in 1912, as happened so many times to young lawyers, he became prosecuting attorney of the county. He served in that capacity for some four years, and then, after that stint, he went into practice. He became the city attorney of Charlotte. That position he occupied for a number of years. And then he became Eaton County Probate Judge. He must have loved that too, because he wrote a probate manual which perhaps may be, most likely is, familiar to the Chief Justice. He served as probate judge from 1921 to 1927. In that year he resigned to become Deputy Attorney General, under then Attorney General William Potter, later Justice and Chief Justice of this Court, a man who became an outstanding and influential member of the Court. When Attorney General Potter was appointed to the Supreme Court in February of 1928 by then Governor Fred Green, Assistant Attorney General Wilber M. Brucker was named Attorney General. But Mr. Brucker, recognizing the valuable services of Emerson Boyles, kept him on as Deputy Attorney General.
In 1931 when Mr. Brucker became Governor, he chose a Detroit man, quite well known I’m sure to several members of the bench, Paul W. Vorhies, as his Attorney General. And Paul Vorhies also retained Emerson Boyles as his Deputy Attorney General.
In 1933 the political climate changed, and William Comstock became Governor. You will remember that Mr. Patrick O’Brien became the Attorney General, and Gerald, his son, the deputy. So Mr. Boyles returned to private practice, but not for long, because Frank Fitzgerald of Grand Ledge became Governor in 1935. He had been Secretary of State from 1931 to November, 1934, when he resigned the post to campaign for Governor. He immediately appointed Emerson Boyles a member of the Michigan Public Utilities Commission, a position he occupied from 1935 to 1936. As a corollary, it happened at that time that I had more carrier cases and appeared before him and always found him to be a good listener.
Frank Murphy, Recorder’s Court Judge, and former Mayor of Detroit, a man I knew very well, became Governor in 1937, and Raymond Starr was appointed to the office of Attorney General. He later became a distinguished member of this bench.
Frank Fitzgerald came back in 1939 and he named Emerson Boyles as his legal advisor. But unfortunately, Governor Fitzgerald died in office on March 16, 1939, and Luren D. Dickinson, who many may remember, became Governor. He had been Lieutenant Governor. And he continued Boyles as legal advisor.
But by fate, Justice POTTER died, and, on August 8, 1040, Governor Dickinson selected Mr. Boyles to fill the vacancy of Justice POTTER.
In November of that year, he was elected to fill the balance of the term, and in 1943 he was elected to a full term, then for another term after that. He was Chief Justice in 1943 [and in 1950].
He served well. He served with honor, and with distinction. He had a profound respect and feeling for the law. He was one who recognized the separation of powers, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. In his writings you would be able to discern that very clearly.
He sought to settle rather than to confuse, to clarify and to interpret rather than to enact. He sought equity to resolve differences under the law as the law was written.
Briefly, in the few moments left, let me say I met Justice BOYLES in 1931. Unexpectedly, out of the plant of Ford and into the office of the Governor I came as secretary of the Detroit office in 1931 under Wilber Brucker. Then began the friendship with Justice EMERSON BOYLES.
Every time I came to Lansing, I found time to sit and talk with him at his desk outside the Attorney General’s office. The justices who were sitting when I finally accomplished law school and night school in 1934 were names perhaps that will mean much to the older folks, Potter, Nelson Sharpe, North, Fead, Wiest, Butzel, Bushnell, and Edward Sharpe. And they sat at my first appearance of 1935 before this honorable Court. Others followed.
After I had become State Public Administrator, I met Justice BOYLES in front of the Capitol. And he said, “Archie, we’ve come through a hard case, the Evans Products case.” [Evans Products Co v State Board of Escheats, 307 Mich 506 (1943).] “We had difficulty holding that law constitutional. And they gave it to me so see what I could do with it. And I managed it. But it’s a patchwork quilt of piecemeal legislation. And you’ve got to codify it, so get at it.” We did. We turned our attention to that. It was quite a struggle. There are a great many people whose names will be recognized who participated in it on the opposite side. Judge Howard Carroll was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee at the time, John Levett, and Carlos Jolly, and all the railroads and so forth, but it came to pass that that became law. And I’m sure Justice BOYLES was delighted by the fact that that was done.
And there is another incident showing the capacity and the feelings of Justice BOYLES, and his sensitivity. Representing the Public Service Commission, under Stephen J. Roth, I was in a railroad case. After the arguments were over and we were picking up, I think I was about the last one out, Justice BOYLES came down and shook hands with the attorney on the opposite side. Knowing Justice BOYLES it didn’t bother me, but he thought it might. And he called me over and he said, “I want you to know that I was just asking him how his senior partner is. He’s been a very dear friend of mine for many, many years.” And he wanted to let me know that all was right in the world when he shook hands with the other party.
And then came a case which the Court, I’m sure, sometime will want to look at again. It was the Grand Rapids Motor Coach case [Grand Rapids Motor Coach Co v Public Service Comm, 323 Mich 624 (1949)] involving operations beyond the City of Grand Rapids out to the Township of Wyoming between the certified carrier and one who was not. The law was, let us say, not exactly clear, a little bit foggy. I was representing the Public Service Commission and a group of fine attorneys was representing the local interests. Justice BUTZEL wrote the opinion. He asked me, I remember it well, “Mr. Fraser, if I understand you, do I have to get off the bus at the city limits of Grand Rapids and get onto another bus if I want to go to Wyoming?” “ Yes Sir, your Honor, that’s the law and that’s the way it is.” “ If it’s raining?” “ Yes, your Honor, even if it’s raining.” So I turned to my colleagues and I said, “I think the rain just got us.”
Well, in any event, that case gave rise to Justice DETHMERS’ statement. It’s very interesting. “Even though the Court should be convinced that some other meaning was really intended by the lawmaking power, and even though the literal interpretation should defeat the very purpose of the enactment, still the explicit declaration of the Legislature is the law, and the courts must not depart from it.” It was a dissenting opinion, along with Justices BOYLES and NORTH. But there they held to the law.
And again, in the Evans case, he said, “[i]nstead of seeking for excuses for holding acts of legislative power to be void by reason of their conflict with the Constitution, or with certain supposed fundamental principles of civil liberty, the effort should be to reconcile them, if possible, and not to hold the law invalid unless the opposition between the Constitution and the law be such that the court feels a clear and strong conviction of their incompatibility with each other.” Again, we do not rewrite statutes. Again, there is always a presumption in favor of constitutionality. Lastly, the fundamental rule of construction of statutes is to ascertain and give effect to the intention of the Legislature, and so I learned from this fine gentleman. There were other matters. There were other cases. The Swenson case [Swenson v Employment Security Comm, 340 Mich 430 (1954)] for unemployment compensation in which a Seventh-day Adventist was fired from her job because she refused to work on the Sabbath, Saturday. We went up on that; it was quite a case. We had great company; one of the finest was a man named Leo Pfeffer, one of the outstanding United States constitutional lawyers, representing the American Jewish Congress, from Washington, D.C. We had lawyers representing Jewish councils from Ann Arbor, Flint, Detroit, and elsewhere. We had others come in there. In that case the Court, of which Justice BOYLES was a part, held that a person was entitled to her religious convictions. And denying unemployment compensation because of them was not going to abide in this State of Michigan under this Court.
These were legacies that came from Justice BOYLES. And let me conclude with a letter he wrote to his three grandsons. What a tribute to him, his daughter, his son-in-law, their children. Here indeed was the epitaph of the man for whom I have such high regard; I am glad to have had the moment today to speak of him again. Because when the pictures are there, there will be many who will not know. The words, of course will vanish. But this, January 1, 1956: “Reflections from the life of an old man to his grandsons, Ed, John and Barney. Of all the things in life, the three faiths are the most powerful. One, faith in God. Two, faith in the future. Three, faith in yourself. One, without faith in God we’re like a ship without a harbor, drifting about on an unknown sea. Two, faith in the future means believing that everything will turn out all right some time. It means right in the end will prevail. Three, without faith you cannot win. Best wishes for a happy New Year, Grandpa.” Thank you very much.
CHIEF JUSTICE COLEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Fraser, that was beautiful. Something for us all to think about.
I’d like now to call on Mary Crouse to introduce her family first, if you’d do that. We’d like to have them stand up so we can see them.
MRS. CROUSE: Thank you, Mary. It certainly is an honor for all of us and our family to be here in front of all these distinguished gentlemen and lady, an old friend. I’d like to introduce my family. My husband, Henry. Our oldest son, Ed, Edward, and his wife, Patty. Patty is the daughter of Les Butler. He used to work with my father in the Governor’s office. Greg, who’s just graduated from college, needs a job. And Jeff, who’s struggling at the University of Michigan, but doing very well. And our middle son, John, an architect. His wife, Corey. Their daughter Kelly, daughter Cindy. Lisa’ s not here. And our youngest son, Barney, who’s selling computers. He’s a musician, but he’s selling computers. And his wife, Norma. And that’s Greta, and there are others present, but this is our immediate family.
And we thank Mr. Fraser for his remarks. We thank all of you very much. Mr. DuMont, who is the artist who painted the portrait from photographs and from our memories; and Mr. Clinton [court officer]. I’m very happy to present this portrait to the State of Michigan.
CHIEF JUSTICE COLEMAN: Thank you.
(At which time the portrait was unveiled.)
CHIEF JUSTICE COLEMAN: Wonderful. Thank you so much. We are very pleased to receive the portrait for the State of Michigan, and it will be a great addition to the history and tradition of our Court. We are very happy to have seen your family. I’ve known some of them, and darling grandchildren handsome grandchildren I guess I should say, and beautiful ones. We’re very happy to have all of you with us.
I think we’re going to turn the pages of history a little bit here, and skip on to 1975 when LAWRENCE B. LINDEMER joined the Supreme Court. And Mr. Farhat, whom I’ve introduced before, will put on his other hat and speak from some of his personal knowledge of Larry LINDEMER.
MR. FARHAT: Madame Chief Justice, Justices, Judge Feikens, members of the one court of justice, and distinguished guests. Unaccustomed as I am to viewing photographs in public buildings, except for those displayed on bulleting boards at the post office, I’m somewhat at a loss to explain my presence here, except that Justice LINDEMER asked me to make a brief, he said very brief, statement about him at this unveiling, as a representative of the State Bar of Michigan. I found several momentous opinions that he wrote on double jeopardy, and effective assistance of counsel, but his tenure on this Court was almost as short as my tenure as a clerk. Until I was asked to participate today, I never really attempted to analyze my feelings about him. And when I did, I felt I had unveiled for myself the character of this man.
My words in describing Justice LINDEMER are not original. But they are accurate, and they are shared by those who know him, whether or not they share his political or professional beliefs and philosophy. Those words are “integrity”, “insight”, ”adherence to principle”, and love and respect for the administration of justice, and the law and its impact on the people that he swore to serve as both lawyer and judge.
Subsequent speakers, particularly Mr. Swift, will trace Justice LINDEMER’S years through his court years. But I want to stress those years when as a lawyer he sought to serve without public acclaim, without any expectation of recognition or compensation, to serve his state and profession and thereby serve the cause of justice. I’d like to outline some of his activities in the Bar.
From 1965 through 1967, he was a member of the State Bar Committee on Legislation. From 1958 to 1961, he was a member of the State Bar Committee on Cooperation with the Inter-American Bar Association. From 1967 to 1968, he was a member of the State Bar Special Committee on Judicial Conference. From 1966 to 1967, he was a member of the Advisory Committee of Law Deans. In 1971 and 1972, and again in 1977 through 1981, he was a member of the Scope and Correlation Committee of the State Bar. From 1966 to 1968, he was a member of the State Bar Committee on the Interrelationship Among the Public, the Bench, and the Bar. From 1968 to the present, he has been a member of the State Bar Committee on Judicial Selection and Qualifications, serving as a co-chairman of that committee for the years 1970 to 1975, and again in 1978 and 1979. And from 1963 to 1970 he served on the Board of Commissioners of the State Bar of Michigan.
As I indicated, Mr. Swift will follow me with details of Justice LINDEMER’S more public life. But the sum and substance of all of it, as far as I’ve interpreted it, is loyal service to the law. To paraphrase the words of Justice JAMES RYAN, on the occasion of the unveiling of the portrait of former Chief Justice THOMAS E. BRENNAN, and I want to quote partly, “our children and their children will be reminded not only of Justice LINDEMER’S immense personal contribution, which has been and will be detailed today, but as well, of that period of this Court’s service to the people of this state during which he served”. Thank you for the privilege of participating in this happy event.
CHIEF JUSTICE COLEMAN: And again, thank you, Mr. Farhat. You have been a friend of Larry’s for many years, and a very important part of his life, which is some of my early knowledge of him too, but of which I won’t tell you. He says I can’t with Creighton here.
Prior to becoming a member of the Supreme Court bench, however, Larry practiced law before the bench. We’re fortunate to have with us one of Larry’s former partners, Theodore W. Swift, better known as Ted. He will give us an insight into that facet of the multi-faceted life which is Larry LINDEMER’s.
MR. THEODORE SWIFT: Madam Chief Justice, distinguished Justices, Judge Feikens, Judge DANHOF, Judge ALLEN, distinguished guests: Let me briefly review the distinguished career of Lawrence B. LINDEMER, who was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1921. After a two-year tenure at Hamilton College in New York, he transferred to the University of Michigan, one of the great affections of his life.
In that same period, 1940 and 1941, he embarked on two of the other great loves of his life. He married Rebecca Mead Gale, his beloved wife of 41 years, and he established residency in the Village of Stockbridge, County of Ingham. Both his wife and the place have remained pivotal to his being.
LINDEMER graduate from the University of Michigan in 1943, and proceeded to the United States Air Forces as a second lieutenant. He returned to the University of Michigan, obtained his law degree, sired two sons, Lawrence B., Jr., and David, and entered practice in 1948.
He soon experienced the first of his many calls to public service. Indeed, for those of us who are privileged or have been privileged to practice with him, and also ordered to inherit his frequently abandoned and unkempt files, it seemed that every time a political bell sounded, he was off and running, if not for himself, then for some friend or candidate whose cause he espoused.
Larry served as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Ingham County in 1949 and 1950. His slashing style appealed to the voters, and he became a member of the Michigan House of Representatives in 1951.
Often running ahead of his time, LINDEMER’s legislative career was cut short by a cruel and unexpected blow in 1952.
The voters simply refused to re-elect him.
He then moved to Washington for two years of service on the Hoover Commission, circa 1953 to 1955. While preparing that important study on governmental reorganization Larry became a friend and aide to former President Herbert Hoover. It was also while in Washington that Richard B. Foster of Lansing persuaded Larry to abandon the whirl of the Capitol for the lures of Lansing and Stockbridge. Recruiting was more informal in those days. Foster’s persuasive abilities bode well for all of us who were later to meet Larry, and bode well for the people of the State of Michigan.
Larry joined the then firm of Foster, Foster and Campbell in 1955. During the following 20 years that he spent with that firm and its successor entities, he devoted an entire 12 years to the practice of law.
Two years after joining the law firm, LINDEMER became Republican State Chairman, a post in which he served from 1957 to 1961. In 1964, as I recall, he took another sabbatical to serve as Midwest Campaign Director for Mr. Nelson Rockefeller, a longtime friend, in his campaign for President.
In 1966, Larry was the Republican candidate for Michigan Attorney General. From 1968 to 1975, a very tempestuous and troubled time for this state and nation, he served as a regent of the University of Michigan. Although he would deny it, I am sure, I am certain that it was his service to that University during that period that was instrumental in guiding the U of M through the troubled waters with wisdom and relative peace. From 1962 to 1970, as Brother Farhat has already mentioned, he served as Commissioner of the State Bar of Michigan.
In 1975, in what I believe he considers to be his finest public achievement, he became a justice of this high Court, where he served with so many of you for a two-year period. I would trust that I need not tell you who served with him of his contributions to this Court and to the jurisprudence of this state. He loved it here. The challenge, the opportunity to do good. The camaraderie with all of you. I can well imagine that his easy charm captivated you as it has all who have come into contact with him. Larry has had, and still may have, opponents. But his grace, obeisance, and enthusiasm disarm them all, and convert the strongest of opponents to the warmest of friends. He is, after all, without guile.
He now serves one of Michigan’s giant utilities, the Consumers Power Company, as general counsel. He is, I suspect, a perfect choice for a beleaguered company in a troubled time. A fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a current member of the Michigan State Board of Ethics, LINDEMER most recently re-entered public service as chairman of Governor Milliken’s Special Committee on Prison Disturbances.
But lest I embarrass him as I was cautioned not to, let me dwell on his more personal touches. He is proud, for example, of his devotion to Stockbridge, and those of us who have visited Stockbridge, or in the early years who were sent there to handle his law practice, know that he has served it well.
Larry has sung in the choir of the Stockbridge Presbyterian Church for 30 consecutive years.
Another trademark of our honoree is his bow tie. Bow ties must be non-partisan in nature. They appeal obviously to the liberal, Sir, and the conservative. There are others of us who have a preference for the bow, but we’re fearful of wearing them since we are certain to be accused of trying to emulate either Justice WILMAMS or Justice LINDEMER. They have between them usurped the market. In Larry’s defense, however, he inserts a bit more variety in his pattern choices.
But enough of this. What emerges is this pattern: lawyer, prosecutor, legislator, politician, administrator, regent, justice. This is the stuff that dreams are made of.
I must close. In so doing I would stress one final point about this remarkable and versatile human being. He is what he is because he really is enthusiastic about his fellow man. He worships his God with vigor, it is true, but I believe his prime allegiance and love lies with those people with whom he comes in contact.
CHIEF JUSTICE COLEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Swift. I was trying to think of the proper adjective, but I do believe that that is the most different tribute we have had, and I enjoyed it very much.
I’m going to call now on Larry, and I want to say first, though, that a rebuttal isn’t allowed today. But we would be honored if you would introduce your family, and then Larry will present his gift to our Court.
MR. LAWRENCE LINDEMER: Madam Chief Justice, and Justices, and ladies and gentlemen.
I regret that Becky cannot be here today, but she sends her regards to you. My family is abbreviated, but I have my son Larry, and his wife, Louise, and my grandson Larry, and my granddaughter Caroline. Will you all stand up please? We want to present to the state with the reluctance, Madam Chief Justice, of which you are fully aware, the portrait, not because it is the portrait I’m reluctant about, but the subject. And it is really difficult for me to be here, so I guess I’ll just present the portrait and let it go at that. Thank you.
CHIEF JUSTICE COLEMAN: I wanted to say too, that the artist is Sally Ryan, and she is in Ireland. But she sent a very long telegram consisting of about four words, but the whole page was filled with, I guess, from where it came, the addresses, and down at the bottom was the message saying that she was so sorry she couldn’t be here, but thanked us very much.
But we do deeply appreciate these gifts. And in commenting on Larry’s, whom I obviously have known personally, I have seen the portrait before, and I see coming through his warm personality and that good humor that I hope will stand him through the rest of the day. And I think it will identify Justice LINDEMER for the decades that follow, with the nature of the man, the intelligence, the good mind, the good humor for which I remember him on this Court.
Justice BOYLES I had not had the pleasure of knowing personally, but I have seen his portrait too, and have learned to know him through that, and through his family. Mr. DuMont, of course, you have met. And he also painted the portrait of Justice THOMAS M. KAVANAGH, which hangs in our courtroom, so he’s getting to be a court artist, you might say.
We are going to adjourn, and we’re going to go into the outer lobby and have a small reception. I hope you will wait until we can get out of these robes, and we’ll come–I don’t mean wait before you eat or talk to each other, but wait for us before you go, and we will join you out there and speak to you personally.
Thank all of you for being here, and especially those of you who participated.