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New 41-B District Court judge talks about his next legal foray

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published May 15, 2019

 Jacob Femminineo Jr.

Jacob Femminineo Jr.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Judge Jacob Femminineo Jr. has been part of legal circles for nearly three decades.

He was officially sworn in May 1 as the newest judge in 41-B District Court in Clinton Township. He replaces Judge Linda Davis, who left the judgeship April 1 to focus her efforts on Families Against Narcotics.

On April 29, Femminineo, of Mount Clemens, received a call from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who officially appointed him as Davis’ replacement.

“Jacob Femminineo is a qualified professional with a wealth of education and experience,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I have full confidence that he will perform his responsibilities with thoroughness, dignity and respect for all.”

The judge received his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree in public administration from Wayne State University, and his Juris Doctor degree from the Detroit College of Law.

He formerly worked with his brother as managing partner of Femminineo Attorneys PLLC, and is also an adjunct political science professor at Macomb Community College.

“I think I’m extremely well-qualified for this spot,” he said.

Femminineo said he received endorsement letters from Mount Clemens Mayor Barb Dempsey, Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon and Harrison Township Supervisor Kenneth Verkest.

In terms of replacing Davis, Femminineo said he has known her since before he even started practicing law. He is “excited” to take over responsibilities related to 41-B’s drug/sobriety court program, which helps addicts find sobriety and start new chapters in their lives.

Femminineo also knows he has “big shoes to fill.”

“I’ve always had the greatest respect for (Davis),” he said. “Before she was a judge, she was a prosecutor. And she was a fantastic prosecutor. … It’s very difficult to replace Linda Davis.”

The newest 41-B judge already realizes the court is a busy one. He hopes to improve operations in terms of opening up the court to be more transparent and “user-friendly.”

“I want the court to seem like it’s part of the community, that someone wants to go to it not because something bad is happening to them, but (because) you’ll get some kind of community support with what’s going on with your situation,” Femminineo said.

For him, the main underlying aspect of being a judge involves fairness.

“It needs to be realized all the time,” he said. “There will be always be fairness in my court.”

Femminineo’s appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires at noon Jan. 1, 2021. If he desires to seek a full six-year term, he would be required to run for reelection in November 2020.