Gov. Rick Snyder makes reappointments to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission

Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the reappointments of Thomas Boyd of Mason, Nancy J. Diehl of Detroit, James Fisher of Grand Rapids, and Gary Walker of Marquette to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission.

The commission was created to improve legal representation for low-income, criminal defendants. In October 2011, Gov. Snyder issued Executive Order 2011-12, establishing the initial Indigent Defense Advisory Commission, responsible for recommending improvements to the state’s legal system. These recommendations served as the basis for legislation to address this need as well as calling for the 15-member Indigent Defense Commission that the governor signed into law in July 2013.

“Each of the individuals being reappointed has a great deal of experience working in the state’s legal system,” Snyder said. “I am confident they will continue to make recommendations that maintain and improve Michigan’s legal system.”

Boyd was appointed to the 55th District Court in 2005, elected to the position in 2006 and re-elected in 2008 and 2014. He currently serves on the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission and previously served as assistant attorney general to Frank Kelley. Judge Boyd holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from the James Madison College at Michigan State University and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. He will continue to be the nominee of the Michigan District Judges Association.

Diehl retired from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in 2009, where she served as trial division chief. She founded and directed the Child Abuse Unit and the Child and Family Abuse Bureau. Diehl received Western Michigan University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009, Wayne County Council Against Family Violence Spirit Award in 2009 and the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Jean King Leadership Award in 2006. Diehl holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and general business from Western Michigan University and a law degree from Wayne State University. She will continue to be the nominee of the State Bar of Michigan.

Fisher is of counsel at Dickinson Wright and served as an attorney with Law Weathers, where his primary practice areas are arbitration and mediation. He also is a director of Hastings City Bank. He previously served as chief judge of Barry County Circuit Court and chaired the initial Indigent Defense Advisory Commission. Fisher holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from General Motors Institute and a law degree from Wayne State University. He will continue to be the nominee of the Michigan Judges Association.

Walker previously served as the prosecuting attorney for Marquette County for more than 35 years. He formerly served as the president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and as chair of the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council.  Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from Michigan State University and a law degree from the University of Michigan. He will continue to be the nominee of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and represent former prosecuting attorneys or former assistant county prosecuting attorneys.

Members will serve four-year terms expiring April 1, 2022.

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