BURTON — Two candidates are seeking the 67th District Court judgeship in Burton in the Nov. 3 election.
Jessica Hammon, appointed to serve as the 67th District Court Judge in Burton following the departure of Judge Mark Latchana earlier this year, will be challenged for her seat by Attorney Dawn Weier.
Here’s what the candidates had to say in response to the View’s questionnaire:
Jessica J. Hammon, Age: 39
Education: Atherton High School, University of Michigan- Flint, Ave Maria School of Law and Certified Civil Mediator
Accomplishments: Current Judge, 67th District Court, 2nd Division; 12 years of experience in the practice of criminal, abuse & neglect, family and civil law prior to taking the bench.
Experienced in practicing law at every level of the Genesee County Court
System: District Court, Circuit Court, and Probate Court.
Past President of the Genesee County Bar Association, current chair of the Community Action Committee.
Prior managing attorney of Attorneys for Indigent Mothers, PLLC and the Law Offices of Jessica J. Hammon, PLLC.
Prior attorney for the Genesee County Adolescent Recovery Court.
GCBA Brian M. Barkey Community Service Award, 2020.
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan Pro-Bono Attorney of the Year, 2019.
State Bar of Michigan 2019 Pro Bono Honor Roll.
What are your goals for the court and community? Specialty Courts — The continued implementation of specialty courts is critical to helping many in our community learn the skills necessary as they work towards being productive members of society and ensure they do not commit similar crimes in the future. I’ve worked in multiple specialty courts and I’m committed to expanding these programs in Genesee County. Issues such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol use, and mental health have seen dramatic reductions when specialty courts are utilized innovatively and comprehensively.
Greater Accessibility to Our Courts — Everyone should have full access to our legal system. This includes continuing the use of Zoom and other digital means to help increase transparency in the courtroom and hold court officials accountable to the public. I will also continue fighting to ensure our local Burton and Davison courthouses remain open, so our residents do not have to drive to Flint for needed services.
Crimes against our most vulnerable: Crimes against children, individuals who abuse and exploit our elderly, and those who commit animal cruelty must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Having specialized in criminal and civil abuse and neglect cases for many years, I have seen terrible atrocities targeting these vulnerable populations. These cases require extensive experience to make sure all appropriate laws are being applied and followed, and justice rendered.
From working in both district and circuit court (taking part in hundreds of hearings, preliminary exams, and trials), to running two successful law firms, to logging hundreds of hours of pro-bono work, I believe I have the unique qualifications and experience needed to serve our community, and would be honored to continue serving each of you as your Judge.
Dawn M. Weier, 45 years old
Education: Bentley Senior High School with Honors — 1993; University of Michigan-Flint; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with Honors — 1997; University of Detroit-Mercy, Juris Doctorate — 2001 Accomplishments.
Accomplishments: I worked my way through undergraduate school and law school. I worked for a local law firm for more than 10 years and then started my own law office. I was able to build a successful law practice as a single mother raising three children.
I have been an attorney for almost 19 years. During that time, I have practiced in State Court and Federal Court. I have substantial civil and criminal law experience and I am well-versed as a trial lawyer. I have handled appeals in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court and the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
For almost 19 years, I have handled every type of case a lawyer can litigate in District Court. I am currently on the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission’s arraignment team for the 67th District Court where I have represented hundreds of defendants at felony and misdemeanor arraignments, extradition hearings and misdemeanor criminal cases through trial, if necessary. Prior to being on the MIDC arraignment team, I was on the felony court appointed list for Genesee County where I represented hundreds of indigent defendants in felony cases.
What are your goals for the court and community? If elected, I intend to work closely with everyone involved in the District Court, including support staff, to ensure that it runs efficiently for the community. I will work with law enforcement to make sure warrants are properly issued to maintain the safety of our community. I will treat all that come before me with fairness, respect and dignity.
The Genesee County View will run more candidate profiles next week for the various races through the county.