Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2020
Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to the Bench
Whitmer announces appointments to the 55th, 67th, and 97th District Courts
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today appointed Richard L. Hillman to the 55th District Court of Ingham County, Jessica J. Hammon to the 67th District Court of Genesee County, and Nicholas J. Daavettila to the 97th District Court of Houghton County.
“Richard, Jessica, and Nicholas have strong backgrounds and a wide range of professional experiences, making them exceptional choices to serve Michigan residents,” Whitmer said. “These appointees will be sure to uphold a model of justice and integrity while performing their new duties on the bench.”
55th District Court – Ingham County
Richard L. Hillman is currently an attorney and shareholder with Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C., where he has spent over 20 years specializing in municipal law, criminal defense, driver’s license appeals, and landlord-tenant law. He also serves as the city prosecutor for the Cities of Fenton and DeWitt. Prior to his current firm, he was a shareholder with McGinty, Jakubiak, Frankland & Hitch, P.C. Hillman has also served as a judicial clerk for the 30th Circuit Court and a law clerk for Dan Doneth Attorney at Law and Mueller Law Office.
Mr. Hillman is a member of the East Lansing Knights of Columbus and the St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John’s Catholic Parish. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University. Mr. Hillman lives in Meridian Township with his wife Teresa.
"I am extremely humbled and grateful to Governor Whitmer for entrusting me with the privilege to serve my community as district court judge,” Hillman said. “I will do my level best to carry out my duties with fairness and respect for all."
This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2021, after Judge Thomas P. Boyd stepped down. If Hillman wishes to seek a full six-year term, he would be required to run for reelection in November of 2020.
67th District Court – Genesee County
Jessica J. Hammon is a private practice attorney in Flint where she practices family, child welfare, and juvenile criminal law. She is also a managing partner with Attorneys for Indigent Defense, PLLC, a firm that provides defense for indigent mothers involved in the child welfare system. Ms. Hammon is the immediate past president of the Genesee County Bar Association and a member of the Board of Directors.
Ms. Hammon volunteers her time as a mediator for the Community Resolution Center and as a trauma-informed yoga instructor with the non-profit organization, Youth Arts: Unlocked. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint and a Juris Doctor degree from the Ave Maria School of Law. Ms. Hammon lives in Burton with her husband Elliot.
“I am grateful to the Governor for this opportunity,” Hammon said. “I have strived throughout my career to represent my clients and my community with the utmost respect for people and the law. This is a difficult time in our society, I am proud to be called to serve in this capacity.”
This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2021, after Judge Mark W. Latchana was appointed to the 7th Circuit Court. If Hammon wishes to serve the remainder of Judge Latchana’s term, expiring January 1, 2023, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2020.
97th District Court – Houghton County
Nicholas J. Daavettila is a private practice attorney in Houghton where he handles a variety of cases including criminal law, child protective proceedings, family law, and probate estates. He is also the director and secretary of Tri-County Public Defenders, a non-profit corporation for Houghton, Baraga and Keweenaw Counties. Mr. Daavettila previously worked as an attorney with Tercha & Daavettila, PLLC and as a law clerk for Tercha & Daavettila, P.C. while attending law school.
Mr. Daavettila is a member of the Houghton County Revolving Loan Fund Board. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics from Michigan Technological University and a Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University Law School. Mr. Daavettila lives in Tamarack City with his wife Kristine.
“I am humbled and honored to have been chosen by Governor Whitmer to serve the citizens of Houghton County as district court judge,” Daavettila said. “I am committed to faithfully upholding the duties of judicial office fairly and impartially and look forward to the challenges ahead."
This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2021, after Judge Mark A. Wisti stepped down. If Daavettila wishes to seek a full six-year term, he would be required to run for reelection in November of 2020.
Judicial appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.