Mark Metry approved as attorney magistrate in SCS

By: Alyssa Ochss | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published December 4, 2023

 Attorney Magistrate Mark Metry

Attorney Magistrate Mark Metry


ST. CLAIR SHORES — At their Nov. 20 meeting, the St. Clair Shores City Council approved Mark Metry to join the 40th District Court as an attorney magistrate by a 7-0 vote.

Metry served in that role for 22 years before he retired in 2021. The same year, Genevieve Taylor joined the 40th District Court as attorney magistrate. Metry was retired for two years before coming back to be attorney magistrate once again and he’s been an attorney since 1978.

Metry said Taylor has a full practice which is something he could relate to. He said in a phone call that they’ll work together some days.

“It’s a lot more difficult when you have a full practice, so we’ll be complementing each other,” Metry said.

Judges and other staff of the 40th District Court were in attendance at the council meeting to see Metry get appointed.

Metry had his own private practice. He said he started a partnership with his dad and uncle who were both attorneys. When they died, Metry continued the practice with his brother, who was also an attorney. After his brother became a federal judge, his cousin joined him, and so did his son when he got out of law school.

“So one time the Metry, Metry, Metry (firm) was my son and my cousin. Before that, it was my uncle and my dad,” Metry said. “So it’s been a family thing for a long time.”

He said during the meeting that he recently retired from his active practice.

Councilwoman Candice Rusie thanked Metry for wanting to come back.

“You served, it says, in this position from 1998 to 2021,” Rusie said. “So someone with that wealth of knowledge and experience working within not only the court system but our specific court, I think, will be very helpful to the people going through the court.”

His son is still an attorney, and this was brought up at the council meeting. Rusie said she noticed his son was one of the attorneys the court pays and asked if there would be any conflict of interest if he would have to come before the 40th District Court.

“I believe there would not be a conflict,” Metry said during the meeting. “I know Judge Fratarcangeli and Judge Oster are here. But he didn’t have a problem before. And generally, he doesn’t appear in front of me.”

“We will make sure, for scheduling purposes, he will not be scheduled on the days where he was there,” said Andrea Strassburg, administrator of the 40th District Court.

Rusie thanked Strassburg and said she wanted to make sure because they didn’t want to jeopardize their Michigan Indigent Defense Commission funding. Rusie later said in a phone call that the MIDC funding is provided by the state through the court system so that defendants who may not be otherwise able to afford defense counsel can receive counsel.

Councilman Dave Rubello asked if there were any changes Metry has seen in the court system since he’s been gone, and Metry said he has stayed up to date on the law. As far as the courts, he said there haven’t been any big changes.

“There’s a couple areas,” Metry said, adding that there’s now an educational requirement for magistrates and judges.

“So I’ll have to go through that over the next couple years,” Metry said. “But I don’t see any big changes or any big problems.”

Strassburg said there is also a magistrate manual and a summary of updates to review before Metry takes office.

As far as learning goes, Metry said in an interview there are mandatory classes he’s already taken and there’s a manual with the updates. Otherwise, he’s ready to start work.

As an attorney magistrate, Metry said he’ll hear arraignments, landlord tenant pre-trials, traffic matters and other things. He said he also covers small claims court, which are cases without an attorney and judgements under $6,000. He said the district courts usually handle cases such as traffic offenses and minor criminal complaints like retail fraud, and that most people will never go to court beyond the district court.

“I want to make everybody comfortable that comes to court and give them a feeling that it’s not such a bad thing,” Metry said.

He said he’s excited to get back to work and that the 40th District Court is a great place.

“I miss it,” Metry said. “It’s sort of like a family atmosphere over here and they miss me. I mean, as soon as I said I was thinking about coming back, they all said, ‘You have to come back.’”

He said he likes being an attorney magistrate. He later said this time around he wants to focus on helping people with mental health issues.

“I liked helping people,” Metry said. “You could do more as a judicial magistrate or a judge to help people than you can anywhere else. And now with the emphasis on mental health, I think it’s a good thing. So I can try to get people into some mental health help, to some family help, to some sobriety help.”