News and Announcements Archive

Wayne Law names 14th annual Treasure of Detroit honorees

February 17, 2011

DETROIT (Feb. 17, 2011) – Wayne State University Law School is pleased to announce this year’s Treasure of Detroit honorees: James K. Robinson, ’68 (honored posthumously), David M. Hempstead, ’75, and A. Alfred Taubman. Wayne Law alumni, students, faculty and friends will gather at the 14th annual Treasure of Detroit gala to pay tribute to the honorees at 5:30-10:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2011, at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

“We are pleased to honor three public-spirited individuals, each with a strong connection to Wayne Law,” said Wayne Law Dean Robert M. Ackerman. “Jim Robinson — as a private practitioner, a public servant and a law school dean — personified the lawyer in the public interest. David Hempstead is a highly regarded lawyer who always finds time for his community, including Wayne Law. And Al Taubman is a philanthropist whose generosity — and whose interest in education, medicine and the arts — knows no bounds.”

James K. Robinson, ’68, served as a litigation partner at Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft LLP in Washington, D.C., in Cadwalader’s Business Fraud and Complex Litigation Practice. From 1998 through 2001, he was the assistant attorney general of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division. Prior to his appointment as assistant attorney general, he was dean and professor at Wayne Law (1993-98); a partner and litigation department chair at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit, concentrating his practice on complex civil litigation and white collar crime criminal defense (1981-93); and U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan (1977-80). Robinson also was a fellow of the International Society of Barristers, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the American Law Institute. He passed away on Aug. 6, 2010. A memorial service took place in Wayne State University’s Community Arts Auditorium on Aug. 12, 2010.

“There are few lawyers who combined legal acumen with the ability to communicate with judges, opposing counsel and clients like Jim Robinson,” said Wayne Law Professor Peter Henning. “He made practicing law look so easy because he loved every moment of being a lawyer. What impressed me most was that in every position — teacher, dean, private practitioner and government attorney — he did his best to make things right and those around him better. At a time of great cynicism about law schools and lawyers, Jim embodied what is good about legal education and the practice of law. Most importantly, I am blessed that I have been able to call him my friend.”

David M. Hempstead, ’75, is a member at Bodman PLC and vice chair of Bodman’s Executive Committee. He concentrates his practice primarily in the areas of income, estate and gift tax planning for high net worth individuals, estate and trust administration, trust litigation, and charitable trusts and foundations. He is a member of the Probate and Estate Planning and Taxation sections of the State Bar of Michigan, and a member of the Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metro Detroit. His peers have selected him for 18 consecutive years to appear in The Best Lawyers Of America as a leading authority on trusts and estates law. Named one of Southeast Michigan’s “Most Powerful People” in 2010 by Crain’s Detroit Business, Hempstead serves as a board member for the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, Detroit Institute of Arts, Henry Ford Health System, College for Creative Studies, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Matilda Dodge Wilson Fund, Clarence Livingood Fund and the Wayne Law Board of Visitors.

“David Hempstead is a splendid lawyer, leader and person,” said I.W. Winsten, ’79. “I have had the great pleasure of working closely with him on the [Wayne Law] Board of Visitors and have seen firsthand how he deploys his remarkable skills for the benefit of the Wayne Law community. We are most fortunate to be able to call David a Wayne Law graduate and to have the opportunity to honor him for his distinguished career.”

A. Alfred Taubman, real estate developer and philanthropist, is a Detroit native active in numerous businesses and philanthropic initiatives. He is the founder of Taubman Centers Inc. (NYSE:TCO), one of the nation’s leading real estate developers and operators of regional shopping centers, and is the author of the best-selling business memoir Threshold Resistance: The Extraordinary Career of a Luxury Retailing Pioneer. Taubman participates in a wide range of civic, cultural and educational activities, and has established and helped fund a number of centers, schools and programs throughout the country — including Wayne Law’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. Taubman is a member of the Wayne State University Foundation Board. He is a trustee of the College for Creative Studies, serves on the executive committee of Detroit Renaissance, chairs the Building Committee for the Detroit Institute of Arts and is president of the Detroit Arts Commission.

“I am delighted to speak to the over 30 years of deep friendship I have enjoyed with A. Alfred Taubman,” said the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. “He is a man of absolute integrity and one whom I admire tremendously. I will never forget his support and love for Rosa Parks during her most difficult times and also his support for me as the National Chairman of the Bicentennial for the United States Constitution. It is fitting that Wayne State University recognizes this ardent supporter of education whose compassion and genius truly make him an outstanding American citizen.”

This year’s gala, hosted by Wayne Law, the Wayne Law Board of Visitors and the Wayne Law Alumni Association, will feature an alumni reunion reception for all classes beginning at 5:30 p.m., paying special tribute to this year’s featured class: the class of 1970. The event also will feature a silent auction, the awards program and dinner. For more information, please contact Michael Silverstein in the Law School’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (313) 577-9238 or silverstein@wayne.edu.

RSVP for the 2011 Treasure of Detroit at https://specialevents.wayne.edu/treasure2011.

Click here to view past honorees.

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Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.

For more information about Wayne State University Law School, visit law.wayne.edu.