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Governor makes appointments to Military Appeals Tribunal

Thursday, May 31, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed Thomas Bourque, of Ann Arbor, and Michael Distel, of East Grand Rapids, to the Military Appeals Tribunal.  

Created in 1980 and housed within the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Military Appeals Tribunal has appellate jurisdiction to hear and review the records of all court-martial decisions upon petition of an accused military member.


"With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, I am confident that Thomas and Michael will be fair, effective members of the tribunal," said Snyder.


Bourque brings more than 30 years of legal experience and serves as the primary litigator with Eby, Conner, Smillie & Bourque PLLC, a civil litigation practice in Ann Arbor. He has appellate experience in the Court of Appeals in Michigan and Florida, and previously owned and operated the Law Offices of Thomas B. Bourque. Bourque is a former board member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association and regularly volunteers as a judge for moot court trials, mock trials and client counseling competitions at the University of Michigan Law School. He earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Miami University and a law degree from the University of Michigan. Bourque replaces James Naddeo.


Distel is a senior attorney with Bolhouse, Baar & Lefere PC, a statewide legal practice specializing in business law and financial casework. Previously, he worked as a partner with Nantz, Litowich, Smith, Girard & Hamilton PC, where he focused on litigation and dispute resolution for public sector employers and collection services for financial institutions. Distel holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Michigan State University's James Madison College and a law degree from the University of Detroit.  He replaces Thomas Dorwin.


Appointees will serve four-year terms that expire April 16, 2016, and their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.