Judge Dodge ‘exemplifies the true meaning of public service’

Published 9:20 am Thursday, April 14, 2016

I write to congratulate your publication’s recent editorial applauding the Cass County Courts and acknowledging the announcement of the impending retirement of Judge Michael E. Dodge.

My longtime friend and colleague, Judge Dodge, exemplifies the true meaning of public service.

I had the privilege of working for Dodge as an assistant prosecuting attorney when I first began my practice of law in Dowagiac in 1973.

Upon the conclusion of his current term as circuit judge, he will have served the citizens of Cass County for more than 40 years — first as an assistant prosecuting attorney, then as the first full time Cass County elected prosecuting attorney, judge of the probate court, and, since 1982, as circuit judge.

Throughout his tenure, he has brought honor and distinction to those positions. As the senior serving judge in southwestern Michigan, his tenure has been characterized by fidelity to the highest standards of ethical behavior. Lawyers, litigants, jurors — and all who have come into contact with the court system before Dodge — have been treated with courtesy and respect. His demonstrated intellect and commitment to the rule of law have ensured fairness and impartiality in dispensing justice.

The strength and quality of those who have served as circuit judge of Cass County is demonstrated by the remarkable fact that there have only been five circuit judges to serve the county since 1924 — Glenn Warner, from 1924-48; Carl D. Mosier, from 1949-1960; David Anderson Jr., from 1961-1968; James E. Hoff, from 1969-82; and Dodge, from 1982 through the present. Upon the completion of his term, Dodge will have served almost 34 years as circuit judge.

Cass County and its citizens have been indeed the beneficiaries of these public servants, who have honored the principle of equal justice under the law.

Dodge, in continuing the tradition of his predecessors, has earned the respect and affection of the citizenry and is deserving of our heartfelt thanks for an outstanding career of public service.


Edward R. Schmidt,

Fishers, Indiana