Oakland County (6th) Circuit Court Judge Non-incumbent

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Lorie Savin

  • Candidate picture

    Victoria Valentine

Social Media

Biographical Information

List all courts and agencies in which you are currently admitted to practice.

Describe your previous legal experience, listing the names of your previous employers and any areas of the law in which you specialize. What percentage of your practice is civil? Criminal?

How often do you to appear before the court to which you seek election?

Describe your three most recent trials/cases and list the names of the presiding judge and opposing counsel in each.

Describe any pro bono legal services you have provided in the last 5 years.

Have you ever been admonished, reprimanded, suspended or otherwise disciplined by attorney or judicial disciplinary authorities in Michigan or any other jurisdiction? If yes, provide details.

Please list organizations or political action committees that have endorsed your candidacy or asked their members to donate to your campaign.

What factors would you consider in deciding what sentence to hand down in a criminal case?

If you observed a party in your courtroom being poorly represented by counsel, how would you address the situation?

Under what circumstances, if any, would you feel obligated to disclose to opposing counsel that a lawyer appearing before you had donated to your election campaign?

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

City of residence West Bloomfield
Age 46
Family Spouse: Adam Larky; Children: Elizabeth (17) and Abigail (13)
Education Wayne State University Law School, JD (1995); University of Michigan, BA in Political Science and Sociology (1992); Southfield-Lathrup Senior High School (1988)
Vehicles owned My household members own a Ford Escape, Chevrolet Cruze, and a GMC Acadia.
Professional Experience For more than 13 years I have been a Referee with the Oakland County Circuit Court’s Family Division, where I manage a caseload of over 3,200 family law cases. I conduct hearings in the same manner as a judge, use mediation skills to help settle cases, and enforce the court’s orders. Previously, I primarily practiced family law with a small law firm, a legal aid organization, and a non-profit that represented abused and neglected children in court.
Political Experience I have not run for or served in public office previously. Prior to my current employment, I volunteered with a variety of political campaigns.
Race/ethnicity I am Caucasian.
Campaign Website
Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan, U.S. District Court - Western District of Michigan, U.S. District Court - Western District of Missouri
My 20+ year legal career has focused on family court matters. I represented parties, including children, in every type of case that ordinarily comes before a family division judge. I was a Guardian ad Litem for abused/neglected children at Jackson County CASA. At Legal Aid of Western Missouri and Mooney & Gilboe, I represented clients in divorce, custody, personal protection, and abuse/neglect cases, mediated divorces, and conducted trainings on the topics of domestic violence and alternative dispute resolution. While at the law firm I also represented clients in real estate transactions, estate planning, Social Security appeals, employment law, and minor traffic offenses.
I spend 100% of my time in the Oakland County Circuit Court. I am a Referee with the Oakland County Circuit Court’s Family Division, and act in a capacity similar to a judge. I make recommendations based on the evidence presented at hearings, and those recommendations become the Court’s orders unless a party files a timely appeal.
I have not represented a party in a trial or case in the past 13 years because I am on staff with the Court. I conduct hearings on a daily basis where I am the judicial officer. I am currently assigned to work with Judge Jeffery Matis and Judge Karen McDonald.
The Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct (MCJC) limits the outside activities of Referees. Therefore, I am unable to engage in pro bono legal work while serving as a Referee. I feel strongly about the importance of providing legal assistance to those in need, which is why I worked for legal aid and a non-profit organization representing children for several years. Given the restrictions I have under the MCJC, the focus of my community service has been related to professional organizations, my children’s school community and athletic organizations, and Jewish communal organizations.
No, I have not been the subject of any of these actions.
11th District Democrats, 14th District Democrats, Northville Democratic Club, Greater Royal Oak Democratic Club, Waterford Democratic Club, West Bloomfield - Lakes Area Democrats, Democrats of West Oakland County, Oakland County Democratic Party (“Highly Qualified” rating), Michigan NOW PAC, Michigan AFL-CIO Oakland County, Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council (“Eminently Qualified” rating), Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 1076 (LiUNA!), Operating Engineers Local 324, United Steelworkers Local 1299
The three most important factors in deciding a criminal sentence are: 1. The nature of the crime, including its severity, whether it involved a person as a victim, and whether it involved violence. 2. Information from the presentencing investigation report to get a whole picture of the defendant, including prior criminal, mental health and substance abuse history, in order to determine an effective sentence to minimize the risk of recidivism. 3. The victim’s statement.
I would speak with the attorneys in chambers to determine what the problem is because often there is a reasonable explanation. If it would help, I would suggest the attorneys agree to adjourn the matter for a brief period to ensure that the hearing presented quality information in order to reach the most informed decision possible. I would also clearly state my expectations about what would need to be done prior to the next court date so that this problem does not recur. If an attorney appears to be generally ineffective, I have on occasion suggested to the attorney that they consider getting co-counsel or politely suggest a mentor.
I would voluntarily disclose to opposing counsel if an attorney appeared before me that sat on my campaign committee when I take the bench. This is required under the MCJC for incumbent judges during their re-election campaigns. An attorney’s contribution or support of my campaign will not affect his/her treatment in my courtroom.
I have never been charged with any offense.
I have never filed for bankruptcy.
City of residence Bloomfield Township
Age 44
Family Married 22 years. Three children ages 12, 10, 9.
Education Central Michigan University; University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Juris Doctor
Vehicles owned I do not own a vehicle, I lease a GM. My husband owns a Jeep.
Professional Experience Practicing attorney for 17 years. Oakland County Prosecutors Office, Domestic Violence Unit (intern). Wayne County Circuit Court Judicial Research Attorney for a judge with a civil docket and family docket. Valentine & Associates, PC, Partner. I have served as a Mentor, Discovery Facilitator, Early Intervention Conference Volunteer and Guardian ad litem (GAL) in Oakland County. I am a Case Evaluator in Wayne and Oakland County Circuit Court and Oakland County District Court. I am appointed by the Court and by parties to served as an Umpire. I am President-Elect of the Oakland County Bar Association. Past Chair of the Oakland County Circuit Court Committee. Re-appointed and serving 15 years on the State Bar of Michigan Civil Procure and Courts Committee.
Political Experience This is a non-partisan race.
Race/ethnicity Italian and Polish.
Campaign Website
Incumbent? false
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Michigan Administrative Hearing System. All State of Michigan District Courts, Circuit Courts, Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. Federally, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
While a law student I received the Urban Law Clinic Book Award, where I conducted my first criminal trial. I interned in the Oakland County Prosecutors Office, Domestic Violence Unit. I worked for a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge for five years, the judge had a civil docket and family docket. I practice in both Domestic and International forums. In July, I was Published in the Michigan State International Law Review. I am heavily involved in civil litigation and sales representative law. I have been an expert contributor for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Approximately 95% of my practice is civil; 5% criminal. I am also President Elect of the Oakland County Bar Association.
I appear in the Oakland County Circuit Court an average of approximately once bi-weekly. This is especially true when files are in active litigation in the court and there are appearances for filings, status conferences, motion calls, hearings, case evaluation and other litigation practices. I also appear as a discovery facilitator for the court and a case evaluator for the court. I was recently appointed by the Court to sit as an Umpire in two separate cases.
Alleged breach of contract against two Chinese foreign entities. The case also involved disputed jurisdiction. United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan & United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Federal District Judge Murphy.

US Court of Appeals Panel: Judges Batchelder, White and Gibbons. Opposing Counsel: Matthew Allen, Daniel Rustmann.

Arbitration matter. Dispute for accounting and damages. Opposing counsel Keefe Brooks. Arbitrator Edward Pappas.

Michigan Administrative Hearing System, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Wage and hour dispute. Judge Cohen.
I serve as a mentor to the Pro Bono Mentor Match program. This program has a two-tier-path to pro bono service. The Pro Bono Mentor Match program is an outreach to the legal community that partners with the Family Law Assistance Project and Legal Aid & Defender Association. The program engages new lawyers to participate in pro bono work and the Mentors assist to provide guidance and assistance to the new lawyer for the benefit of both, the new lawyer and the pro bono client. The mentors are attorneys who have been in practice seven or more years.
Oakland County Democratic Party, Oakland County Republic Party, 11th Cong. Mich. Dems, AFPD, PAC, Atlas Oil, PAC, Bricklayers, Building and Construction Trades, Carpenters, Plumbers, IBEW, Int'l Union, Security * Police * Fire Professionals of America, Iron Workers, Michigan Allied for Retired Americans, Michigan Association of Justice, Michigan Maritime Trades Port, AFL-CIO, Oakland County Democratic Black Caucus, Operative Plasters’ and Cement Masons’ Int'l, Pipefitters 636, Roofers, Royal Oak Dems, Sheet Metal Workers, Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Teamsters, Walled Lake Police (POAM), W. Bloomfield Republicans, & UAW-- Law Firm PACs not listed & names abbreviated bc of space.
The nature of the offense, the ability to rehabilitate, and the need to protect society.
I would ask for a side-bar with the lawyer and offer the lawyer resources for assistance so he or she may get the support and education needed to properly represent the client. Early intervention and attention to the representation is important. I may recommend supervision to properly ensure efficient representation. Status and pretrial conferences would be used to monitor the performance and effectiveness of the lawyer. I believe, however, that it would be inappropriate to directly communicate with the client of the unprepared or ineffective lawyer.
While campaign donations are a matter of public record, I would disclose contributions over $1000 in order to ensure transparency.
Yes, 23 years ago, in 1993, I received an alcohol related offense (OUIL) which resulted in 2 years non-reporting probation.