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Snyder appoints Barry County judges

Friday, June 17, 2011

Contact: Sara Wurfel
Office: 517-335-6397

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Amy McDowell to the 5th Circuit Court in Barry County and Michael Schipper to the 56-B District Court in Barry County. 

"These individual's extensive trial experience, strong ties to the community and their commitment to the unified court system lead me to conclude that they will make excellent judges and serve Barry County with fairness and impartiality," Snyder said.

McDowell, of Hastings, graduated from Lake Michigan Catholic High School. She received her bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and her law degree from the Valparaiso University School of Law. She spent five and a half years with the Barry County Prosecutor's Office before entering private practice in 2001. She founded her current law firm, McPhillips and McDowell, in 2003.  

McDowell is married to Brian Ellens and they have two children. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge James H. Fisher effective June, 30 and will need to run in November 2012 for the remainder of Fisher's term ending Dec. 31, 2014.

Schipper, of Middleville, graduated from Thornapple-Kellogg High School. He furthered his education at Hope College, earning a bachelor's degree (Phi Beta Kappa) and The Ohio State University, where he earned a law degree. He began his law practice with the Grand Rapids law firm Clary Nantz before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in 1990, where he worked for 20 years with the civil and criminal divisions. He has most recently served as director of compliance for A.D. Maxim & Associates, a health care consulting firm. 

Schipper has been very active in the community, serving as a football coach and chair of the Thornapple Schools bond campaign. He is married to Lori Schipper and they have three children. Schipper fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Gary R. Holman and will serve the remainder of Holman's term through Jan. 1, 2013.