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May 3, 2013

CONTACT: Kent Love, director of communications, 517-432-6959; kent.love@law.msu.edu

MSU Law Professor Filiatrault Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

East Lansing, MI — Professor Robert M. Filiatrault, ’70, will receive the Honorable George N. Bashara, Jr., Distinguished Alumni Award at the Michigan State University College of Law spring commencement ceremony on Friday, May 10, 2013. The event will be held at the MSU Auditorium at 11 a.m.

Professor Filiatrault earned his Juris Doctor degree from Detroit College of Law in 1970. After graduating, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Fred W. Kaess, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Filiatrault, who teaches Civil Procedure and Evidence, joined the Law College faculty in 1971 after engaging in private practice. He was the long-time faculty advisor to the Moot Court and Advocacy Board and director of Michigan State Law’s externship programs. His article titled The Riddle of Harmless Error in Michigan was published in the summer 2000 issue of Wayne Law Review. In addition, Professor Filiatrault was honored by being selected as a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.

“Professor Filiatrault truly has a gift in the classroom. He approaches the instruction of law in a manner that includes developing personal relationships while engaging his students with meaningful applications of the law,” said Brian Davis, ’10.  “His practical approach to legal concepts, his wonderful sense of humor, and dedication to his students are what make him stand out. To me, there is not another individual more deserving of this award.”

The prestigious and longstanding award was established to recognize outstanding alumni of Detroit College of Law and MSU Law who meet rigorous criteria, including participation in and contribution to alumni affairs, outstanding personal service to the College, personal accomplishments that enhance the reputation of the College, and distinguished service in any field of human endeavor, be it family, community, business, industry, science, or a profession.

Professor Filiatrault is married with three adult daughters. He resides in Metamora, Michigan, with his wife, Mary Helen Christy. An avid sailor, Filiatrault is a past commodore at both the Detroit Boat Club and the Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association. For many years, he was the principal race officer for the Mills Trophy Race hosted by the Toledo Yacht Club. As a member of the Bayview Yacht Club, he continues to participate on the race committee for the club’s annual Port Huron to Mackinac Island race. In addition, Professor Filiatrault was the chief statistician for the Detroit Lions football team for more than 20 years.

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