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Charles B. Judson: Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, Traverse City
The Brief: University of Detroit, J.D., 1980
Practice Areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Banking and Finance, Bankruptcy, Municipal Law, Real Estate, Tax-exempt Organizations.
Most of the work is contract related, but I try to gear down my practice that week in order to be available if something unplanned comes up. For instance, we’ve had a demonstration or two at the Open Space by different groups, and I’ve had to work out a process with the city so that people can express themselves safely. Every year it’s different.
I view most of my practice as solving problems. Probably one-third has developed to be mediation and that has been very satisfying. I enjoy helping two opposing viewpoints negotiate a solution as opposed to exaggerating the dispute through litigation.
I’m not comfortable taking credit for the commons but I was the first attorney the board retained. I persuaded the board to initiate a default provision in order to protect the project from a bankruptcy by the first developer. When the developer filed bankruptcy a year later we forced the developer and its creditor to release the commons so that the community could move forward with the current development.