Oakland Circuit Judge Colleen O’Brien has been named to the Michigan Court of Appeals to replace Judge Pat Donofrio, who has retired. Governor Snyder announced the appointment on Tuesday, September 29, ending any speculation that he might appoint Judge O’Brien to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Judge O’Brien earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law. Before being elected to the bench, she worked in private practice for 17 years, specializing in civil, municipal, criminal, and divorce law. In 1998, Judge O’Brien was elected to the Oakland County Circuit Court bench. She is currently the Presiding Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court Civil/Criminal Division and the Female Adult Treatment Court. Judge O’Brien has also served as the President of the Oakland County Women’s Bar Association, President of the Michigan Judges Association, and Governor’s Appointee to the Indigent Defense Advisory Commission. In addition, Judge O’Brien sat on the advisory board for both the Crossroads for Youth and the Baker College Paralegal Program, and has worked as an adjunct professor at Cooley Law School. In 2012, Judge O’Brien ran for the Michigan Supreme Court with the Republican endorsement, but lost in the general election.