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Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to the Bench


March 19, 2021 



Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to the Bench 


LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointments of Cori E. Barkman to the 29th Circuit Court of Clinton and Gratiot Counties and Jennifer E. Deegan to the 57th Circuit Court of Emmet County.  


"I am honored to appoint Cori Barkman and Jennifer Deegan, two extraordinary women, to the bench here in Michigan," said Governor Whitmer. "Their extensive experience and records of service will strengthen our judicial system and I know they will faithfully uphold the rule of law and ensure justice for all." 


29th Circuit Court of Clinton and Gratiot Counties  


Cori E. Barkman currently serves as First Assistant Attorney General in the Michigan Department of Corrections Division of the Attorney General's OfficeIn her role, Ms. Barkman oversees a team of lawyers and support staff who practice in the federal and state courts across Michigan and handle a wide variety of cases. She previously served as an administrative law judge at the St. Louis Correctional Facility and as a senior litigation attorney in the Attorney General's Office.  


Ms. Barkman holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and earned her Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University Law School. She is the Michigan co-chair of the National Association of Women Judges, a life member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, and member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, the Western District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and the Ingham County Bar Association. She lives in DeWitt with her husband Russell and their two middle school aged children. 


"I am thrilled to receive this appointment so that I may serve the citizens of Clinton and Gratiot Counties," said Barkman. "I know that when a litigant appears in court, it is because they have experienced a difficulty that needs resolution. I pledge that I will put in the work to deeply understand the issues and circumstances surrounding each case so that I may make sound decisions that serve justice and bring closure and resolution to the parties." 


This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o'clock noon on January 1, 2023, after Judge Michelle Rick was elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals. If Ms. Barkman wishes to seek a full six-year term, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2022.  


57th Circuit Court of Emmet County 


Jennifer E. Deegan is currently a partner with Nelson, Deegan, Forster & Stikovich, PC. In her practice, Ms. Deegan practices family and criminal law and previously served as an assistant prosecuting attorney and practiced in the juvenile court systemShe previously worked as an attorney with Stroup Meengs, PC and as the owner of the Law Office of Jennifer E. Deegan, PLLC. Ms. Deegan has also served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Charlevoix County, Wayne County, and Sanilac County.  


Ms. Deegan holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the James Madison College of Michigan State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. She is the president of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Community Foundation and a member of the executive committee of the Charlevoix-Emmet County Bar Association, the Top of the Mitt chapter of the Women Lawyers of Michigan, and the League of Women Voters. Jennifer lives in Harbor Springs with her husband Jack, and their children, Ella, Jackson, and Teddy. 


"I am humbled to receive this appointment," said Deegan. "It is a great honor to serve our community and I am excited for this next phase of my legal career. Integrity, respect for the law and respect for others have always been the cornerstone of my legal practice and I will continue those ideals on the bench. I thank Governor Whitmer for this opportunity." 


This appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at twelve o'clock noon on January 1, 2023, after Judge Charles W. Johnson stepped down effective January 1, 2021. If Ms. Deegan wishes to serve the remainder of Judge Johnson's term, expiring January 1, 2025, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2022.  


Judicial appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.