In the big picture

Goodman portrait presented in circuit courtroom

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Former Circuit Court Judge Charles Goodman and his wife, Christine, stand beneath his portrait in the Houghton County circuit courtroom. The Copper Country Bar Association held a ceremony honoring Goodman Friday.

HOUGHTON — The portraits hanging on the back wall of the Houghton County Courthouse form a chain of judicial history going back more than 70 years.

The latest link was added Friday afternoon, when former 12th Circuit Court Judge Charles Goodman was presented with his official portrait. Copies will be displayed in the circuit courtrooms of Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw counties.

The Copper Country Bar Association held a ceremony in the courtroom Friday honoring Goodman, who retired at the end of April.

“He’s a very thorough, serious judge, who loved the law, it’s clear, and that was evident in how he treated every case and every person in front of him, from the defendants to the various parties and attorneys,” said CCBA Vice President Cameron Herrington.

Goodman had served as chief judge of the 12th Circuit Court since 2009. Prior to that, he had been a judge for the family and probate courts for the 12th Circuit. He began his legal career in 1976 as a practicing attorney.

Houghton County Probate Court Judge Fraser Strome said Goodman had been his appointed mentor when he joined the bench, and had continued to have great experiences with him inside and outside the courtroom. This fall, they’re both teaching at Michigan Technological University.

“On Monday night, I told my class that he’ll be covering for me, and I told my students that you’ll get to hear from my ultimate mentor in the law,” he said.

Strome also read statements from other judges who couldn’t attend Friday’s ceremony, including new Circuit Court Judge Brittany Bulleit.

“As I was recently appointed to the bench, I’m continually looking to the wisdom and actions of Judge Goodman to mold the type of judge I hope to be,” she said in her letter. “Thank you for always being there for me.”

Goodman said he continues to stay in touch with colleagues and friends he made during his legal career. Driving by the courthouse each day, he said, there’s still a part of him that says “Wouldn’t mind doing that myself.”

He thanked his fellow members of the legal community for coming. He said the court system is in good hands.

“This position isn’t about the person who’s on the bench,” he said. “It’s about the court. And it’s about justice. And it’s about fairness. And so we all pass through. Fraser’s day will come and it will end, just as mine did. Brittany, she’s brand new, but her day will come and it will end. And the only important thing is that the court functions as it’s supposed to, being an arena of fairness and justice and impartiality.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today