Saturday, August 13, 2011

"On the Bench: The Next Phase"

Chief Judge ~ Re-election ~ Retirement

     After his gubernatorial appointment to the bench in 1977,
     and his successful run for election the following year,
     Judge C.H. Mullen began the next phase as judge of the
     Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


      -Photograph by Jerry Campbell,
       Kalamazoo Gazette, March 27, 1985


                                                                  -Kalamazoo Gazette, November 30, 1979

           Judge Mullen was elected chief judge in 1979, and began his first term on January 1, 1980.
           He served in that capacity for two terms (four years).

           In the fall of 1980, Judge Mullen took a course at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.

      Judge C.H. Mullen, standing far right, with fellow judicial college students ~ casual in his blue jeans!

     "... Classes very intensive, high caliber and stimulating.  Start at 8 a.m. on the button, go 'til 12,
       with 10 minute breaks each hour.  We eat on a veranda at noon... Back to classes at 1 p.m., and
       continue 'til 5 p.m... Judges from all over the U.S. and half a dozen countries.  A few duds, but
       generally of quite high caliber.  Quite impressed..."  -C.H.'s letter to Alice, September 22, 1980.                                                          

             Stories from Judge Mullen's courtroom were often reported in the Kalamazoo Gazette...

                                 Interview marking Judge Mullen's fifth anniversary on the bench,
                                 by Mike Gallagher, Staff Writer, Kalamazoo Gazette, November 15, 1982.

                                                                 -By Mike Gallagher, Kalamazoo Gazette Staff Writer, 1984


After his chief judgeship ended on January 1, 1984, Judge Mullen was faced with a re-election
campaign that same year.  He had good support from the community.

                      -Letter from Al and Tenho Connable in support of C.H.'s re-election to the bench.


                               Montage of Judge Mullen's 1984 re-election campaign advertising.
                               He was re-elected for another six-year term.


                       Snapshot of Judge Mullen in the office of attorney William Kriekard, 1987.

                    A compendium of headlines/articles from the Kalamazoo Gazette appear below
                    in the August 7th blog posting entitled "Making Headlines"  The Kalamazoo
                    Gazette Gets the Story.  Scroll down the page to read this posting.  It is a good
                    sampling of the types of cases he had,  and tells about his work on behalf of
                    the courts during his decade on the bench.


C.H. made the difficult decision to retire from the bench in 1987,  prior to the expiration of his second
term.  His tenure as circuit court judge was one of the most rewarding periods in his life, and the
culmination of a life of service to the community.

                                              -Kalamazoo Gazette Editorial, March 18, 1987
                                                             (click on article to enlarge)

Mullen's career was carefully followed by many in Kalamazoo, and he was often quoted in Gazette
articles and editorials.  His Midwestern plainspokenness and humorous turns of phrase when dealing
with repeat offenders, deadbeat dads, and drug dealers were notable, and quotable.  He did much to
improve the workings of the courts in Kalamazoo County, and was a treasured colleague and mentor.


Let the tributes begin!  The Kalamazoo County Bar Association gave Judge Mullen a testimonial
dinner on November 4, 1987 at the Kalamazoo Hilton Inn main ballroom.  400 people attended.
Legal luminaries from Kalamazoo County were there to pay tribute, along with community leaders,
old friends, neighbors, and family members.  After cocktails and dinner, the assembled throng enjoyed
speeches and stories, with Judge Richard A. Enslen acting as Master of Ceremonies.

                   The man of the hour, and seasoned public speaker in his own right, gave a speech.

   This memorable evening made headlines, and a Gazette feature article appeared on November 5, 1987.

        Reverend Dave McShane, left, partially obscured; Judge Richard Enslen and Judge C.H. Mullen

     "The testimonial, a program of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, was organized by local
       attorney Kenneth Miller, who was Mullen's first law clerk and recalled that Mullen sponsored his
       admission to the bar.  'He started out just the way he ended up', Miller said, speaking of the warmth,
       humor and optimism that have characterized Mullen's life and resisted the potentially hardening
       effect of a legal career... Asked about his philosophy in life, the judge said:  'I guess it doesn't cost
       anything to be kind to other people.  I guess, basically, that's the whole foundation to my life.
       There aren't very many of us going to be president, walk on the moon or do great things.  But there's
       something each of us can do to brighten the corner we're in.'"    -Al Jones, Gazette Staff Writer


        Thank you from Jim Gilmore, in the October/November, 1987 issue of ENCORE Magazine, p.5

                 Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce Resolution, adopted on August 28, 1987.

                                        Letter from President Ronald Reagan, March 25, 1987. 

 Portrait of Judge C.H. & Alice Mullen
by Don Rice, for ENCORE Magazine
October/November, 1987, page 6.
Feature article:
   C.H. Mullen, "a real people person"



        In late-1987, Judge Mullen returned to legal work, "of counsel" to the law firm of Fox, Thompson,
        Morris, Stover & O'Connor, from 1987-1996.    

C.H. Mullen was a President of the Michigan Retired Judges Association, and also served as board
member of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association.

    Snapshot of C.H. taken at the Kalamazoo County District Court Consolidation luncheon at 
    Brook Lodge, Augusta, Michigan, 1997 or '98.  Judge Mullen had worked on court consolidation
    during his tenure on the bench. 

         Guest umpires for a baseball game at Hyames Field at Western Michigan University, 9/11/89.   
         Left to right:  Ben Brot, Richard Enslen, C.H. Mullen, James Gregart, Tom Edmonds.    

         Umpires James Gregart, Richard Enslen, C.H. Mullen, Tom Edmonds with his back to the camera.

                                                    Feature article in ENCORE Magazine,
                                               October/November, 1987, Volume 15, Issue 2

Remembering Judge Mullen

"Making Headlines"  The Kalamazoo Gazette Gets the Story

"Jelly Bean Justice"  A Tradition Continues

"Brighten the Corner Where You Are"  C.H.'s Party Piece ~ Philosophy of Life

"They Called Him C.H."  History ~ Photographs ~ Memorabilia

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