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Gov. Rick Snyder appoints judges to 9th Circuit and 8th District courts in Kalamazoo County

Editor's Note: Downloadable headshots available at links below. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Chief Judge Paul J. Bridenstine to the 9th Circuit Court and Christopher Haenicke to the 8th District Court.

Bridentine currently serves as chief judge of the 8th District Court and is being replaced by Haenicke. Bridenstine is replacing Judge J. Richardson Johnson who resigned from the 9th District Court.

“Chief Judge Bridenstine has an exemplary record of service on the District Court, which I am confident will continue in his new role on the Circuit Court,” Snyder said. “Chris Haenicke is an outstanding attorney who will be an asset to the District Court.”

Bridenstine served on the 8th District Court bench since 2000.  He is an instructor at Western Michigan University where he teaches political science and has also taught at Davenport College.  Bridenstine worked with the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office from 1992 to 2000 as an assistant prosecuting attorney. He began his career as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court after earning a degree from the University of Detroit in 1991.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Haenicke is vice president at Greenleaf Trust, where he worked for 13 years.  He was also in private practice for nine years. Haenicke is a member of the Oshtemo Township Citizen Ad Hoc Police Protection Committee and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Oshtemo, the Southwest Michigan Professionals Network, the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, and other various community organizations.  He earned a degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1993 and also has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University.

Both appointees must seek election in November 2016 to serve the remaining portions of their terms.