Swearing-In Ceremony For Justice Lawrence B. Lindemer

JUNE 2, 1975

CHIEF JUSTICE THOMAS G. KAVANAGH: This morning we welcome a new justice to membership on this Court, Lawrence B. Lindemer of Stockbridge, Michigan. On behalf of the Court, I wish to acknowledge and welcome Governor Milliken, visiting judges of our courts of Michigan, the wives of the justices of this Court, and the family and friends of Lawrence B. Lindemer. Attorney Richard B. Foster will now address the Court.

 RICHARD B. FOSTER: Mr. Chief Justice, Associate Justices, Governor Milliken, may it please the Court.

I consider this as a pleasant privilege to be able to present to you at these special proceedings your new colleague and associate, the Honorable Lawrence B. Lindemer. I have known the new justice for close to 30 years and for the past 20 years I have been actively associated with him as one of his partners in the practice of the law. I, therefore, have a familiarity with and a knowledge of his talents, his skills, his character, his nature, and his personality. He had an excellent education and legal training and he has been an eminently successful practitioner of the law. He has in addition, as perhaps few other men have, been almost continually involved in the affairs of his community, his profession, and his state upon a voluntary and a public service basis. He has, therefore, by his conduct demonstrated and established that he is a concerned citizen of this state. He has a well-trained legal mind. He is industrious and has the capacity to be effective because of his efforts and he has throughout his career always pursued and followed standards of integrity that have been of the highest nature.

I can also say to you that he is a friendly person, understanding, and compassionate. I think that it is fitting and that perhaps it portends favorably for him and for this Court that this event should occur on a day such as this which, in the words of the poet, are described as “And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days.”

I know that your association with the new justice will be enjoyable and pleasant.

I am confident that he will contribute greatly to the administration of jurisprudence by this Honorable Court and I, therefore, with great pride and pleasure commend him to you.

CHIEF JUSTICE THOMAS G. KAVANAGH: Thank you, Mr. Foster. I think we could give Mr. Foster a hand.
Now, Governor Milliken, would you please administer the oath to JUSTICE LINDEMER.

CRIER: All rise.

GOVERNOR MILLIKEN: Would you repeat after me: I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

JUSTICE LINDEMER: I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

CHIEF JUSTICE THOMAS G. KAVANAGH: Thank you, Governor Milliken. Now, Mrs. Lindemer, would you please assist your husband with his robe.

JUSTICE LINDEMER, do you wish to address the Court?

 JUSTICE LINDEMER: Governor Milliken, CHIEF JUSTICE KAVANAGH, my colleagues on the Court, and distinguished guests. I have stood here before—but it has never been like this. Before proceeding, would the Court permit me to make some introductions.

To those in this room who are not lawyers and judges, you are in a chamber today in the company of some of the finest lawyers and the most erudite judges from both the State and Federal courts in Michigan and I am most honored at their presence here.

To those in this room who are lawyers and judges, I am thrilled that I am joined on this occasion by my father, my wife, my sons and their wives and two of my three grandchildren, my brother and his wife and son, and other relatives. Also in this chamber I see neighbors and friends, and I point out to you that those terms are not mutually exclusive. All of these people have made contributions to my life in one way or another and they honor me by their presence. They are wonderful, and in some instances long-suffering, relatives, neighbors and friends.
Each of us is the product of the combination of heredity and environment. My forebears came from alien soil three or four generations ago. My parents provided a home with love, discipline, and mutual respect. They enabled me to secure a fine education.

And then there is Becky, my wife. I shall be brief because no extension of my remarks could reflect adequately the great debt I owe her for love and forbearance, for inspiration and calm counsel, for joy and steadfastness.

My children and grandchildren provide me with incentive. To them I pray that I shall be able to leave a legacy of honorable service.

Governor Milliken, you have made me most grateful for this appointment. I shall express that gratitude by, to the best of my ability, making certain that you shall have no cause to regret it.

And to the Court. You have greeted me with a deeply appreciated friendliness and offers of help. I join you with humility— a humility which some say is richly deserved. But as you already know, reticence is not one of my more noticeable attributes. I probably will not be alluded to as the shy new boy in the neighborhood. I believe I can make a valuable contribution to this Court and the people of this state. God willing that I stand ready to do. I am at your service, sir.


On behalf of all of the justices, 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.

JUSTICE LINDEMER brings to our bench a fine reputation as a lawyer of the first water. He has served the people and the profession well. We expect the best from him and publicly promise to give him our best so that together we may work for the more effective administration of justice in Michigan. Welcome, JUSTICE LINDEMER.

Now these proceedings will be completed when the Crier adjourns this session. At that time all of you are invited to attend a reception in the foyer which has been prepared by the wives of the justices. To each of them I wish to express the appreciation of the Court for helping to make this a most memorable occasion. Thank you.

CRIER: Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye, the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan now stands adjourned.