New Isabella County Trial Court judge ready for the challenge


A Mount Pleasant native is set to take on the bench.

Eric Janes was appointed to the Isabella County Trial Courts bench by Gov. Rick Snyder to replace former Judge William Rush after he retired in August. Janes was sworn in as judge on Dec. 20 in Lansing.

"The timing was right and the opportunity was right," Janes said. "I've thoroughly enjoyed private practice. It was a good fit to take the bench at the time."

Snyder said in a news release that Janes is highly qualified and he is confident Janes will serve residents well as judge.

A graduate of Michigan State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Janes earned his juris doctor degree in 1988 and has been a general practice attorney since 1991.

He started his career as an attorney for Martin, Bacon & Martin in Mount Clemens, where he worked for three years. He practiced in Mount Pleasant for the next 22 years with Janes, Backus & Janes.

Janes is a member of the Isabella County Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan. His practice areas included banking and collections, family law, adoptions, divorce, custody, estate planning and probate and commercial litigation.

Working with several college students during his years in Mount Pleasant, Janes also served as an adjunct faculty member at Central Michigan University.

"I've always enjoyed working with students," he said. "I know some of the issues and challenges they're confronted with."

Expecting a "semi-heavy" caseload, Jane said he will be busy throughout his judgeship. He predicts that some cases will be from CMU students, but said he looked forward to the majority being community members.

Janes, Backus & Janes, PC said they are happy for Janes and know he's going to do well in the new position with the community.

"He's going to do good things," the firm said in a joint statement.

Bob Backus, who is a partner at Janes, Backus & Janes, PC., was in the office with Janes when he was told the news.

“I think Eric is an excellent candidate given his background in Isabella County,” Backus said in a previous interview. “He’s a very honest, loyal and dedicated person. I’m going to miss him.”

Janes has already started taking on a few cases, but still expects his days to be packed as he navigates the halls of the Isabella County Trial Courthouse.

"It's a fairly heavy case load," he said. "It's a busy court"


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