(Sept. 6, 2018)

Rhoades McKee is pleased to announce that one of its attorneys, Bruce A. Courtade, will receive the 2018 State Bar of Michigan’s Roberts P. Hudson Award at the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 26 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Courtade will share the award with his long-time friend Julie S. Fershtman, an attorney from the east side of the state.

According to the State Bar website, this award “is presented periodically to commend one or more lawyers for their unselfish rendering of outstanding and unique service to and on behalf of the State Bar of Michigan, the legal profession, and the public. It signifies unusual and extraordinary help and assistance to the Bar and the legal profession, which has been given generously, ungrudgingly, and in a spirit of self-sacrifice. It is awarded to that member of the State Bar of Michigan who best exemplifies that which brings honor, esteem, and respect to the legal profession. The Hudson Award is considered the highest award conferred by the State Bar.”

Courtade is being honored for his longstanding commitment to the State Bar and its programs. He has been particularly invested in programs that are directed at better serving and protecting the public. A former State Bar president, Courtade most recently co-chaired (with Ms. Fershtman) the State Bar’s “21st Century Task Force on the Practice of Law.” They were able to develop more than 100 recommendations for how to better serve Bar members and the public.

With this selection, Courtade becomes the first attorney in State Bar history to receive both the Hudson Award and the John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award. The Cummiskey Award is given to one Michigan lawyer who has made significant pro bono contributions. Courtade received the Cummiskey Award in 1991 in recognition of his efforts to provide free legal service to military families impacted by the Persian Gulf War.

While Courtade is the first Rhoades McKee attorney to receive the Hudson Award, the firm has a long history of local and state Bar service. Bruce Neckers also served as the President to the both the State Bar of Michigan and the Grand Rapids Bar Association. Other Rhoades McKee attorneys, Mark Smith, Michael Walton, and Robert Dugan (deceased), also served as Presidents of the Grand Rapids Bar Association. Thus, the firm has a well-earned reputation for professional and community service.

Outside of his legal profession, Courtade currently serves on the Board of Directors for Metro Health / University of Michigan Health Hospital and serves on several committees of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as a past board member for both the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology and the University of Michigan’s Advisory Board on Intercollegiate Athletics.

Courtade chairs the firm’s Construction Law Practice Group and focuses his practice in the area of commercial litigation services. He is a Life Member of the Justice Foundation of West Michigan, a Member of the Litigation Counsel of America, a State Bar of Michigan Foundation Fellow, a Member of Builders Exchange of West Michigan, and a member of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids.






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