Michigan soldier in Iraq to be sworn in as an attorney July 2 by supreme court's Chief Justice Kelly via live video conferenceLong-distance ceremony for Army Major Miles Gengler of Grand Blanc is cooperative effort of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, National Guard, and Michigan Supreme Court
June 30, 2009
LANSING, MI, June 30, 2009 ? A recent law school graduate serving in Iraq will be sworn in as a new attorney this week ? with over 6,300 miles between him and the chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, who will preside at the swearing-in ceremony.
A live video conference arranged by Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the Supreme Court, and the National Guard will make it possible for Army Major Miles Gengler of Grand Blanc to take the lawyer's oath and be formally admitted as an attorney licensed to practice in Michigan.
Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly of the Michigan Supreme Court will administer the oath while Gengler's family and friends look on; the July 2 ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at the National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, located at 3411 N. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Lansing. The National Guard will provide video conferencing services.
Gengler, a recent Cooley graduate, nearly missed being able to take the bar examination in February 2009. Originally slated to be deployed about 10 days before the exam, he was able to postpone his departure until two days later.
John Nussbaumer, dean of Cooley's Auburn Hills campus, began work on the long-distance ceremony shortly after learning that Gengler had passed the exam.
"I promised Miles that if he passed the bar exam, I would find a way to get him sworn in even though he would still be in Iraq," said Nussbaumer. "Miles is putting his life on the line for our country; arranging for his swearing-in is the least we can do to show our appreciation for his service."
Chief Justice Kelly noted that the lawyer's oath includes a promise to uphold the constitutions of the United States and state of Michigan. "In fact, Major Gengler is already living that promise through his military service," she said. "As an attorney, he will serve the Constitution in a different but no less important way: all attorneys are called to uphold the Constitution's promise of ordered liberty and a nation governed by laws. I feel privileged to take part in his admission to the bar."
Attending the ceremony will be Bloomfield Hills attorney John Stockdale, a friend of Gengler and Cooley graduate, who will move for his admission to the State Bar of Michigan. Family members will include Gengler's wife Heather and their children Hayden, Carson, and Amory; also present will be Dean Nussbaumer, representatives of the National Guard, and Supreme Court staff.
Following the ceremony, the videoconference will continue so that Gengler's family and friends can visit with him.
Media are invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony and may arrive early; please complete set up and be in place no later than 8:45 a.m. Major Gengler, family, and friends will be available for interviews for 15 minutes following the ceremony.
The Michigan National Guard Joint Force Headquarters is located at 3411 N. Martin Luther King Blvd., Lansing (1/2 mile north of Grand River). To enter the complex: The security guard will ask for identification (driver's license). Tell the guard you are attending the swearing-in ceremony at the "MURC," which is the second building once you enter the complex -- drive past the first building on the right (CSMS). The road will curve to the right. Follow it past the pond. The MURC is then to your right; there is a large statue of a serviceman in front of the building. The ceremony will take place in room 219.