Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael

Although Judge Dan Michael has spoken to the Midtown Republican Club before, he was called upon to introduce himself at the forum for judges in April.

“Right now I have waiting in Juvenile court, 21 murder cases, 2 first degree; and 2 rape and aggravated assault cases. It’s a different world,” said Juvenile Court Magistrate Dan Michael.

It might be daunting or depressing for some, but Judge Michael, who first took the bench in 2001, left private industry to do this. “I do it because it’s increasingly important for people to work with their community. I have spent my whole legal career in juvenile court. It has taken up 200% of my time ever since I took the bench.”

Michael explains that Judge Person appointed him to the bench and Judge Turner put him to work for abused and neglected children. He has seen 1,000 cases of termination of parental rights; 4,900 trials in one year and cleared 70,000 cases this past year.

Since he was appointed and not elected, this will be Judge Michael’s first election. You can find more about him via a search on this site. His opponent is Tarik Sugarmon. Here’s what his website says of him and one of his biggest cases:

One of his most important cases led to a change in the city’s election format. In 1990, Dr. Talib-Karim Muhammad filed a voting rights law suit in federal court against the city of Memphis. The U. S. Justice Department and the following activists joined in as parties to the suit: Art Gilliam, Randy Wade, Gwen Sneed, Reverends Bill Atkins, Leo LaSimba Gray, and Melvin Wade. When City Council members could not agree on the response to the suit, Attorney Sugarmon was hired to represent Council members Dr. James Ford, Reverend Kenneth T. Whalum, Sr., and Shepperson A. Wilburn, Jr. When these three defendants admitted to the charges in the complaint, the suit was quickly settled. The resulting consent order eliminated the runoff provision in at-large positions and redrew the City Council election format to its current district and super district format, thus avoiding expensive and divisive litigation. Less than a year later, Memphians elected the city’s first African American mayor, Dr. W. W. Herenton, and its first racially-balanced City Council.

In 1998, Mayor Herenton appointed attorney Tarik B. Sugarmon to Division Two of the Memphis Municipal Court, and he has been re-elected to two full terms since then. Now, after thirty years of service to Memphis and Shelby County as a criminal attorney, county defender, and judge, he seeks your support in helping him to protect the rights of our most precious but at-risk citizens–our children.

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