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Honorable Brian MacKenzie

Biography

Judge Brian MacKenzie is an award winning judicial educator who retired from the bench after almost twenty-seven years of service. After leaving the bench he helped to create the Justice Speakers Institute where he is now a partner and Chief Financial Officer.

He has been honored by the Foundation for the Improvement of Justice with the Paul H. Chapman medal, for significant contributions to the American Criminal Justice System and by the American Judges Association for significant contributions to judicial education. 

Judge MacKenzie served as the President of the American Judges Association from 2014 to 2015. From 2008 to 2010 Judge MacKenzie was the American Bar Association/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Judicial Fellow. He received his Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School in 1974.

Judge MacKenzie has written and lectured throughout the world on issues including procedural fairness, veterans treatment courts, domestic violence, drug treatment courts, alcohol/drug testing, and high visibility cases.  Among other entities he has presented for American University,  the National Judicial  College,  the National Association of Drug Court Professionals,  the American Judges Association, the American Bar Association, the National Traffic Safety Administration, and the National Association of Court Managers.  Recently, he was invited to observe the conference on the new treaty between the European Union and Turkey involving Syrian refugees, in Istanbul Turkey.

He is the co-editor of the book, “Michigan Criminal Procedure”.  He is also the author of the American Judges Association’s position paper entitled “Procedural Fairness: The Key to Drug Treatment Courts”.

Judge MacKenzie is married to Karen MacKenzie. He has three children; Kate, David and Breanna and five grandsons, Daniel, Raymond, Henry, Zachary and Lucas.

Areas of Expertise

  1.  The Effect of Procedural Fairness in a Drug Treatment Court
  2. Alcohol and Drug Testing
  3. Veterans Treatment Courts
  4. Domestic Violence Causes and Solutions
  5. Creating a DWI/Drug Court
  6. Civil Negligence / Vicarious Liability 
  7. Drug Treatment Courts – What Actually Works
  8. Teamwork and Team Building in the Courts
  9. Right to Counsel
  10. Evidence Based Sentencing
  11. Alcohol/Drugs and Criminal Behavior
  12. Differential Case Management
  13.  Media and the High Visibility Case
  14. Driving while Impaired
  15. Technology and Probation
  16. Leadership and Community Relations
  17. Judicial Stress

Selected Presentations

  • Presenter, “Procedural Fairness in a Drug Treatment Court” Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals, Chattanooga, Tennessee 2016
  • Presenter, “Gaming the test: Preventing defendants from manipulating drug tests” Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals, Chattanooga, Tennessee 2016
  • Presenter, “Negligent Entrustment” CEI Fleet Safety Conference, Schaumburg Illinois 2016
  • Facilitator, “Right to Counsel National Consortium Second Annual Meeting” Justice Department Washington DC 2016
  • Facilitator, “Judges R2C Roundtable” American University Washington DC 2016
  • Presenter, “What Does My Urine Screen Result Really Tell Me?” The Commission on VASAP Portsmouth Virginia 2016
  • Co-presenter, “The Nuts and Bolts of Drug Testing” National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Anaheim California 2016
  • Presenter, “Drug Court Standards and On-Site Testing: the Value of Automation” National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Anaheim California 2016
  • Invited observer, “International symposium on the Syrian refugee crisis” Istanbul Turkey 2016
  • Presenter “Procedural Fairness In Specialty Treatment Courts” Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals, Grand Rapids Michigan 2016
  • Presenter, “Drug Testing Standards” Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals, Grand Rapids Michigan 2016
  • Presenter, “Technology and Probation” Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 2015
  • Presenter, “Building a Veterans Treatment Court Team” Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 2015
  • Faculty plenary session “The Latest and Greatest News and Material on Procedural Fairness” American Judges Association Seattle Washington 2015
  • Co-presenter “Drugged Driving”, Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, Austin Texas 2015
  • Presenter, Drug Use and Drug Testing, Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals, Novi Michigan, 2015
  • Presenter, Veterans Courts, American Judges Association, Las Vegas Nevada 2014
  • Presenter, Appropriate Sanctions and Incentives for Participants with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders, Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, East Lansing Michigan 2014
  • Panelist, Appropriate Response to Co-Occurring Disorders in the Adult Drug Court Participant, Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals East Lansing Michigan 2014
  • Presenter, Veterans who drive Drunk, American Bar Association, Traffic Court Seminar, Chicago Ill. 2014
  • Presenter, Why Veterans Treatment Court? Vet Court Con Washington D.C. 2013
  • Presenter, Veterans Treatment Courts, Constitutional and Legal Issues, Vet Court Con Washington D.C. 2013
  • Panelist, Wedding Civil Courts and the VTC Model, Vet Court Con Washington D.C. 2013
  • Instructor, The Media in Sex Offender Cases, National Judicial College, Webinar 2013
  • Instructor, Impaired Driving, National Judicial College, Webinar 2013
  • Faculty, Handling the High Visibility Case, American Judges Association, Kona Hawaii, 2013
  • Instructor, The need for Veteran Treatment Courts, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Association of Drug Court Professional, Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, National Judicial College, Webinar 2013
  • Faculty, How do ethically talk to the media about your Drug Court, National Association of Drug Court Professionals Washington Harbor Maryland 2013
  • Instructor, Using Technology to Supervise Defendants, American Bar Association, Webinar, 2013
  • Faculty, Telling your Drug Court Story to the Media, Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, East Lansing Michigan, 2013
  • Faculty, Using Technology to Supervise Defendants, American Judges Association, New Orleans Louisiana, 2012
  • Faculty, How to talk to the Press, Louisiana Judicial College, Destin Florida, 2012
  • Faculty, Driving Them to Sobriety: The Mechanics of Creating and Operating a DWI/Drug Court, a Skills Building Workshop, National Association of Drug Court Professionals Nashville Tennessee, 2012
  • Panelist, Veterans Treatment Court Forum, Annual Conference of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Nashville Tennessee, 2012
  • Faculty, Michigan’s New Veterans Treatment Court Statute, Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, East Lansing Michigan 2012
  • Faculty, Telling your Drug Court Story to the Media, Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, East Lansing Michigan 2012
  • Faculty, Co-facilitated Strategic Planning Retreat, Illinois Association of Drug Court Professionals, Starved Rock State Park Illinois 2011
  • Presenter, Driving Them to Sobriety: The Mechanics of Creating and Operating a DWI/Drug Court, a Skills Building Workshop, National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Washington DC 2011
  • Panelist, Veterans Treatment Court Summit, A Skills Building Workshop, National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Washington DC 2011 National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Washington DC 2011
  • Presenter, Emerging Constitutional Issues, The Second Amendment, American Judges Association, San Diego California, 2011
  • Presenter, The Ten Key Components of a Veterans Treatment Court, Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals East Lansing MI. 2011.
  • Faculty, Building a Sobriety Court Team Probation Officer DUI Seminar, Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies, University of Illinois East Peoria Il. 2011
  • Panelist, Evidence-Based Pretrial Release Decisions, Judicial Symposium, Michigan Judicial Institute Lansing Mi. 2011
  • Presenter,   Discovery and Confrontation Issues Involving Breath Testing, American Judges Association Denver 2010
  • Presenter, The American Judges Association Website, a Tour, American Judges Association Denver Co. 2010
  • Presenter, DWI Court a primer, Traffic Issues in the 21st Century National Judicial College Arizona Segment Tempe Az. 2010
  • Presenter, Driving Them to Sobriety: The Mechanics of Creating and Operating a DWI/Drug Court, American Bar Association Annual Meeting San Francisco Ca. 2010
  • Panelist, Veterans Treatment Court Forum, Annual Conference of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Boston Ma. 2010
  • Presenter, Mock Drunk Driving Trial, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington D.C. 2010
  • Panelist, Questions about criminal traffic issues National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Region 9, San Diego California 2010
  • Panelist, Questions about criminal traffic issues National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington D. 2010
  • Presenter, Dealing with the media, how do talk to the media about your drug court, Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals East Lansing 2010
  • Presenter, Mock Drunk Driving Trial, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington D.C. 2010
  • Presenter, Creating an effective state drug court association Anaheim California 2009
  • Presenter, the American Bar Association’ Judicial Fellowship program Washington D. C. 2009
  • Presenter, Building a sobriety court team, Lifesavers, Conference, Nashville Tennessee 2009
  • Presenter, Judicial Ethics, Lifesavers Conference, Nashville Tennessee 2009
  • Opening remarks, Plenary Session, Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals Lansing Michigan 2008
  • Presenter, Keeping your Drug Court Alive, Annual Conference of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Washington D.C. 2007
  • Presenter, Plenary session, Long Term Strategies for Domestic Violence Dockets, Annual Conference of Batterer Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan Troy Michigan 2007
  • Presenter, Old Dog New Tricks, Improving Your Current Domestic Violence Program, Annual Conference of Batterer Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan Troy Michigan 2007
  • Presenter, Drug Courts, Avoiding the Quicksand; Ethical Considerations for Judges and other Drug Court Team Members, Annual Conference Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, Lansing Michigan 2007.
  • Presenter, Drug Courts, What’s in it for You, Annual Conference Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, Lansing Michigan 2006.
  • Presenter, Avoiding the Quicksand; Ethical Considerations for Drug Court Judges, Annual Conference Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, Lansing Michigan 2006.
  • Presenter, Domestic Violence Prevention, a Community Approach, New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence Fifth Annual Conference, Albuquerque New Mexico 2005.
  • Presenter, Michigan’s new Drug Court laws, Annual Conference Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, Lansing Michigan 2005.
  • Presenter, Introduction to Michigan Law & Procedure for the Media, Hall of Justice Lansing Michigan 2004.
  • Presenter, Creating non profit corporations to support drug courts, Annual Conference Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, Lansing Michigan 2004
  • Presenter, Innovative Ideas in Sentencing, American Judges Association Annual Meeting, Montreal Quebec Canada 2003.
  • Presenter, DUI Drug Courts – 9th Annual Adult Drug Court Training Conference, Reno Nevada 2003.
  • Panelist, Creating a Sobriety court – Annual Conference Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, Lansing Michigan 2003
  • Panelist, Striking the Right Balance: Prisons, Drug Treatment, and the Michigan Ballot Initiative – a debate on the issues, State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting, Prisons and Corrections Section, Grand Rapids Michigan 2002.
  • Presenter, Domestic Violence Prevention, a Community Approach, Batter Intervention Services of Michigan, 7th Annual Conference, Dearborn Michigan 2002.
  • Presenter, Operating a Sobriety Court, Michigan Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, 20th Annual Conference, Flint Michigan 2002.
  • Faculty, Trial Court Performance Standards and The Town Hall Meeting Project, New Judges School, Michigan Judicial Institute, Lansing Michigan 2001.
  • Panelist, Starting a Sobriety Court, Annual Conference of the Michigan District Judges Association, Traverse City Michigan 2001.
  • Faculty, Building Community Support for Drug Courts, Annual Conference of the Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, Lansing Michigan 2001.
  • Faculty, Town Hall Meetings and Trial Court Performance Standards, Institute of Judicial Education of Georgia, Brasstown Valley State Park Georgia 2000.
  • Presenter, Judicial Outreach, American Judges Association, Kansas City Missouri 2000.
  • Faculty, Domestic Violence Specialty Course, Institute of Judicial Education of Georgia, Columbus Georgia 2000.
  • Facilitator, Statewide Initiatives on Court and Community Collaboration: A Leadership Forum, National Center for State Courts, American Judges Association, National Association for Court Management, Denver Colorado 2000.
  • Faculty, Domestic Violence Specialty Course, Institute of Judicial Education of Georgia, St. Simons Island Georgia 1999.
  • Faculty, The Town Hall Meeting Project, New Judges School, Michigan Judicial Institute, Lansing Michigan 1999.
  • Keynote, Domestic Violence Prevention, a Community Approach, The Nexus of Community Policing and Domestic Violence, Michigan Regional Community Policing Institute at Michigan State University Lansing Michigan 1999.
  • Faculty, Conducting the Preliminary Exam, Oakland County Bar Association Criminal Section, West Bloomfield Michigan 1999.
  • Faculty, Domestic Violence Specialty Course, Institute of Judicial Education of Georgia, Sea Island Georgia 1998.
  • Faculty, Family Violence-Homicide Prevention Seminar sponsored by Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council Traverse City Michigan 1998.
  • Faculty, Best Practices, Sentencing and sanctioning of Drunk Drivers, the Impact Weekend Program, American Probation and Parole Association, Orlando Florida 1998.
  • Faculty, Cutting edge programs: The Tobacco Alcohol Prevention Project, Third Annual Michigan Traffic Safety Summit, Lansing Michigan 1998.
  • Faculty, Youth at Risk Project First Step, sponsored by Eastern Michigan University Department of Interdisciplinary Technology, Public Safety Administration 1997.
  • Faculty, Domestic Violence Specialty Course, Institute of Judicial Education of Georgia, Sea Island Georgia 1997.
  • Faculty, Impact Weekend and its effect of alcohol and recidivism, Conference of the International Community Corrections Association, Cleveland Ohio1997.
  • Panelist, Expediting the Domestic Violence Case, Annual Conference of the Michigan District Judges Association Mancelona Michigan 1996.
  • Faculty, Domestic Violence Prevention, National Conference of Pre-Trial Services, Atlanta Georgia 1995.
  • Moderator, Alternatives to Incarceration Panel, Annual Conference of the Michigan District Judges Association Traverse City Michigan 1995.
  • Faculty, Family Violence-Homicide Prevention Seminar sponsored by Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council Lansing Michigan 1995.
  • Keynote, Mid-Michigan conference to Prevent Domestic Violence sponsored by Relief After Violent Encounters St Johns Michigan 1995.
  • Faculty, Summit One, the first annual conference on domestic violence sponsored by the Michigan Coordinating Council to Prevent Domestic Violence Troy Michigan 1994.
  • Participant, Leon Jaworski Symposium on teaching about the Constitutional and Bill of Rights sponsored by the American Bar Association Special Committee on Youth Education for Citizenship and The Smithsonian Institution Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Washington D.C 1994.
  • Faculty, An Overview of the Defense in 42 USC 1983 Litigation, presented by the State Bar of Michigan, The Federal Bar Association, and the Institute of Continuing Legal Education Detroit Michigan 1987.

Selected Articles

  • Judicial Stress” Court Review, the Journal of the American Judges Association Volume 51 Issue 1 2015
  • A Year, A change, and a Challenge” Court Review, the Journal of the American Judges Association Volume 50 Issue 4 2014
  • Veterans Courts” American Bar Association Judicial Division Record, Volume 17 Issue 3, Spring 2014
  • Extrajudicial Speech: “Judicial Ethics in the New Media Age Reynolds Courts and Media Law Journal Volume 2 Issue 2 Spring/summer 2012
  • Michigan Criminal Procedure” Co-Editor The Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Ann Arbor, Michigan 2010
  • District Court Sentencing”, Michigan Criminal Procedure The Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Ann Arbor, Michigan 2010
  • Sobriety Court”. Why Prosecutors Should Support DWI/Drug Courts” The Vehicular Crimes Prosecutor, Spring 2010
  • Driving them to sobriety: The Mechanics of Creating and Operating a   DWI/Drug Court” “Highway to Justice, Spring 2010
  • DWI Courts: The Next Step” Highway to Justice, Summer 2009 
  • Discovering Source Codes: A Survey” Highway to Justice, Spring 2009
  • Protecting Your Court’s Community During the Holidays” Highway To Justice, Winter 2009
  • Something Unexpected – How DWI Court Changed A Judge” The DWI Court Reporter, Volume 1, Issue 4, January 2009
  • All Rise—And Recognize Personal Justice System.” Detroit Free Press May 1, 2008
  • Co-Author, “The Journalist’s Guide to Michigan’s Legal System.” Michigan State Court Administrators Office, 2004.
  • District Courts are Community Courts.” Journal of the State Bar of Michigan, February 2004
  • Beware Drug Leniency, Proposal Would Create Addicts, Not Treat Them.” Detroit Free Press, June 3, 2002
  • Town Hall Meeting Project for Trial Courts Planning Guide.” Michigan State Court Administrators Office, 2000.
  • What Do You Think of Us? The 52-1 District Court Town Hall Meetings.” The Judicial Division Record, Volume 3, Issue 2, Winter 1999.
  • Co-Author, Chapter 5, “Trial Practice and Sentencing.” Michigan Personal Protection Order Practice Manual. State Bar of Michigan, 1997.
  • A Community-Based Approach to Domestic Violence.” The Special Court News, Volume 15, Number 2, Winter 1994.
  • A Coordinated Community Approach to Preventing Domestic Violence.” Journal of the State Bar of Michigan, September 1994.
  • A Day of Court.” Journal of the State Bar of Michigan, April 1993.

Honors and Awards

  • The Paul H. Chapman Medal – for significant contributions to the improvement of justice in America, in the areas of domestic violence, drunk driving and alternative sentencing, by the Foundation for the Improvement of Justice.
  • William G. Schma Achievement Award – for vision, leadership, and commitment to the Drug Treatment Court Movement, MADCP (Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals)
  • United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for victims of Crime – Certificate of Appreciation, in recognition of work on behalf of America’s crime victims.
  • Judge Bob Jones Memorial Award – For significant contributions to judicial education, American Judges Association
  • Heart of Haven Award – for creative efforts to end domestic violence, Haven (Help Against Violence Encounters Now).
  • Judicial Advocate Award – for creative sentencing and unique programs which deter violent crime, The National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children Inc. Metro Detroit Chapter.
  • Michigan State Safety Commission, Safety Award – Group Category for CATCH (Courts Acting Together for the Community at the Holidays), State of Michigan.
  • Certificate of Appreciation for work to stop domestic violence, Domestic Violence Committee State Bar of Michigan.
  • Community Enrichment Award – Domestic Violence Program, AAUW (American Association of University Women) .
  • Tribute – Commitment to end Domestic Violence, HAVEN (Help Against Violent Encounters Now).
  • First Annual Domestic Violence and Treatment Award – for efforts to end Domestic Violence, State of Michigan, Department of Social Services.
Brian MacKenzie
Judge, Retired
Judge MacKenzie is an award winning judicial educator who has written and presented on a broad range of issues including: procedural fairness, veterans treatment courts, domestic violence and court media relations.

Judge MacKenzie Supporting Children in Court with Dog

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