Spotlight On: MAACS Roster Attorney Mitch Foster Selected for 2015 Barbara R. Levine Award

The Michigan Appellate Defender Commission has selected Mitchel T. Foster as the recipient of the fourth Barbara R. Levine Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy.  The award is given annually to an attorney on the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS) roster who demonstrates extraordinary commitment on behalf of appellate assigned clients and the criminal justice system.

Mr. Foster has been a member of the MAACS roster from 1993-1995 and 2005-present, and has accepted appellate assignments from nearly every circuit court in the state.  He consistently maintains the highest standards for appellate advocacy, client-centered representation, and professionalism.  He has obtained new trials, resentencing hearings, and other relief for dozens of appointed clients over the years.

Mr. Foster has been an invaluable asset to the MAACS organization as well.  He has been a frequent presenter to the MAACS roster on the nuts-and-bolts of handling assigned appeals, as well as the more technical aspects of satisfying the minimum standards.  He has also played an integral role in ongoing reform efforts at MAACS.  At significant personal expense, he volunteered to litigate an important attorney fee dispute in the Court of Appeals, and he worked closely with MAACS’s new Appellate Investigation Project (AIP) on its first case, which led to the development of an investigation protocol that will benefit untold future cases.

The award is named for Barbara R. Levine, who worked tirelessly with the Appellate Defender Commission to create MAACS in 1987, and served as the first MAACS Administrator until July 9, 1999.  Since then, Ms. Levine has been actively involved in advocacy on behalf of prisoners in Michigan and nationwide.

by Bradley Hall
Michigan Appellate
Assigned Counsel System (MAACS)