District Court Judge David Law poses for a portrait Wednesday, Nov. 3, in his chambers in the 52-1 District Court in Novi. Law was recently recognized with an award from the Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence.

District Court Judge David Law poses for a portrait Wednesday, Nov. 3, in his chambers in the 52-1 District Court in Novi. Law was recently recognized with an award from the Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence.

Photo by Brian Wells


Novi judge with focus on helping domestic violence survivors recognized with award

By: Brian Wells | Novi Note | Published November 10, 2021

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NOVI — A judge in the 52-1 District Court in Novi has been honored with an award from the Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence during a recent ceremony.

Judge David Law received a 2021 Oakland County Domestic Violence Prevention Award. He was nominated by Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Endrit Topalli.

“I have worked closely with Judge Law for five years and have been continually impressed by his understanding of domestic violence dynamics and his compassion toward victims,” Topalli said in a press release. “He takes the time to get the holistic view of the survivor’s situation and has gone above and beyond his role to offer resources and assistance to them.”

“It was nice to have somebody who has worked with me closely, who knows how seriously I take domestic violence cases, be in a position where they could nominate me for an award like this,” Law said.

Long before joining the bench in 2015, Law worked for several years at a law firm. But he found that he wasn’t being given an opportunity to try cases, so he took a position at the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, where he stayed for 6 1/2 years.

From there, Law decided to run for state representative and was elected in 2004. He served on the Judiciary Committee, where he acted as the main sponsor of Jessica’s Law, a law designed to protect potential victims and reduce a sexual offender’s ability to reoffend. In addition, he also was chair of a committee that looked into the Ricky Holland abuse case and the issues that developed out of it.

After serving two terms as state representative, Law decided to run for county prosecutor.

“I truly enjoyed my time in the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office,” Law said. “It was a job I love, and I decided to run for prosecutor.”

Law was successful in the primary in 2008 but didn’t win the general election. Instead, he was hired into the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s Children and Youth Services Division, where he tried cases of child abuse, neglect and sexual assault. He stayed for another 6 1/2 years.

Then one day, he got a call from the governor, asking if he would have an interest in becoming a district court judge in Novi.

“They called and asked me if I’d be interested in taking the position, so I did,” Law said.

 

Helping domestic violence survivors be heard
Since working in the Prosecutor’s Office, Law has seen the effects that domestic violence cases can have on survivors and their families.

That, he said, has always stuck with him.

“Now I sit in a position where I can hold an offender accountable and hopefully allow the survivor’s voice to be heard,” Law said.

Many times, Law will put a defendant on probation so he can monitor how the defendant is doing and allow the defendant an opportunity to participate in counseling.

“The whole goal is to make sure whatever the issue is, that the underlying issue gets addressed … whatever it may be,” Law said.

In an effort to help curb domestic violence, Law started the High Risk Response Team, a collaboration between the court’s probation department, local police departments and domestic violence assistance groups.

The goal of the team is to create an action plan on how better to identify high-risk cases and how the court system should deal with them. Some cases have a concern or high risk that can even lead to a fatality, Law said.

“It’s an ongoing battle every day,” Law said.

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