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James Alexander

James M. Alexander, Retired Judge, Oakland County (Michigan) Circuit Court


Case Manager
Sarah Nevins
T: 313-209-8851
F: 313-872-1101
150 West Jefferson, Suite 850, Detroit, MI 48226

Biography

James M. Alexander, Retired Judge, Oakland County (Michigan) Circuit Court joins JAMS in Southeast Michigan after nearly 20 years of service to the Oakland County judiciary, including a nine-year tenure on the Family Court, where he served a term as presiding judge. Judge Alexander is one of only five Oakland County jurists to have served on each of the court’s branches in his time on the bench.

Judge Alexander is perhaps best known for his service on the Oakland County’s Business Court, serving on that docket since its inception in 2013. A model for business courts throughout Michigan and the nation, the court strives to enhance party access and the efficiency of dispute resolution mechanisms, working with community stakeholders to refine process improvements.  

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Seven years on the Business Court, averaging 500 cases a year and resolving most short of trial
  • Past Chairman, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, State Bar of Michigan
  • Past Chairman, Detroit Commercial/Construction Advisory Committee and National Trainer, Arbitration and Mediation, American Arbitration Association

Representative Matters

In his time on the Family Court bench, Judge Alexander heard thousands of matters, including those involving the following:

  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Property divisions
  • Child custody and parenting time
  • Categorization of assets
  • Business valuation

On the Business Court, Judge Alexander handled a wide array of litigation, settling most matters short of trial, including the following:

  • Partnership and business dissolutions
  • Shareholder oppression
  • Breach of contract
  • Noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements
  • Commercial real estate, including a (family) business breakup of the largest apartment landlords in Michigan
  • Resolved the breakup of one of the largest accounting/turnaround firms in Michigan
  • Mediated and settled a matter involving a purchase dispute between two of the largest national shopping mall owners where pre-pandemic valuation/changed circumstances were in issue

Memberships

  • Michigan State Bar Association
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American College of Business Court Judges
  • Life Fellow, Oakland County Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation

Unpaid Governmental/Political Appointments

  • Presidential Elector, 1980
  • Member, Michigan Board of State Canvassers, 1991–1998
  • Co-Chair, Oakland County Executive’s Ethics Commission
  • Member, Trial Court Funding Commission, 2018–2019

Community Leadership

  • Past Chairman, Detroit Commercial/Construction Advisory Committee; National Trainer, Arbitration and Mediation; American Arbitration Association
  • Member, President’s Advisory Council, Walsh College
  • Member, Griffin Chair Advisory Board, Central Michigan University
  • Member, Ford Institute Advisory Committee, Albion College
  • Member of the Board, Jewish Vocational Services
  • Member of the Board and Vice President, Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Detroit
  • Chairman, Alternative Disputes Resolution Section and Judicial Council; Member and Committee Vice Chair, Judicial Crossroads Task Force; State Bar of Michigan
  • Co-Chair, Legislative and Civil Law Committees; Treasurer, Vice President and President; Michigan Judges Association
  • Co-Chair, Legislative Committee; Chancellor, Inns of Court; Oakland County Bar Association
  • Chairman, Republican Committee of Oakland County, 1988–1994
  • Member, Federal Judicial Qualifications Committee, 1989–1992

Honors and Awards

  • Frances Avadenka Memorial Award (for Community Service), Oakland County Bar Association
  • Distinguished Public Service Award, Oakland County Bar Association
  • Hilda Gage Award, Michigan Judges Association
  • Call to Justice Award, Elder Law of Michigan
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, St. Clair Butterfly Foundation
  • Judge John N. O’Brien Award, Republican Committee of Oakland County
  • Leader in the Law, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2016
  • Boss of the Year, Oakland County Legal Secretaries Association
  • Finalist, Boss of the Year, WJR-AM Radio Station
  • Top Circuit Judge, DBusiness Magazine, 2019–2020
  • Judge, Oakland County Circuit Court, 2001–2020
    • Family Court, 2001–2010
      • Presiding Judge, 2004–2007
      • Chief Judge Pro Tem, 2005–2009
    • Civil/Criminal Docket, 2011–2013
    • Business Court/Criminal Docket, 2013–2020
      • Chairman, Budget Committee, 2017–2020
  • Director, Governor’s Southeastern Michigan Office, State of Michigan Executive Office, 1999–2001
  • Shareholder; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith; 1991–1999
  • Partner, Law Offices of James Alexander/Papazian & Alexander, 1981–1991
  • Partner; Schreiber, Alexander & Grier; 1978–1981
  • Associate, Liberson & Crystal, 1975–1978
  • Law Clerk and Associate; Liberson, Fink, Feiler, Crystal & Burdick; 1971–1975
  • J.D., University of Detroit School of Law, 1973
  • B.A., Miami (Ohio) University, 1970

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