Grand Rapids city attorney resigns


Catherine Mish. Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

The attorney for the city of Grand Rapids has announced her resignation.

Catherine Mish has accepted an of-counsel position with the Grand Rapids office of the law firm Dickinson Wright

She will transition from city employment to private practice in April.

The Grand Rapids City Commission said it will “address the procedure” for appointing a lawyer to serve in the position soon.

The commission appointed Mish to the role in 2008.

“It has been a privilege to serve with the able staff in the city of Grand Rapids Department of Law for the past thirteen-and-a-half years and to serve as city attorney for the past eight years,” Mish said.

Mish said she's particularly proud of successfully defending the legality of the voter-initiated City Charter amendment to decriminalize marijuana in the city and successfully winning the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by an “open carry” advocate who was briefly stopped by Grand Rapids police officers. 

“Catherine has been a tireless advocate and defender of the city of Grand Rapids,” Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said. “We appreciate her professional advice, diligent work and strong belief in the city and its people.”

Mish background

Mish began her legal career in Grand Rapids with the law firm of Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey in the area of civil litigation.

She then spent several years working in the Michigan appellate court system, serving as a law clerk for a Michigan Supreme Court justice and a Michigan Court of Appeals judge.

Mish then joined the Grand Rapids City Attorney’s Office, where she spent more than five years as an assistant city attorney assigned to civil litigation, prior to her appointment to city attorney.

She is a summa cum laude graduate of Hillsdale College with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science. She obtained her law degree at Wayne State University Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif.

Mish currently serves on the Michigan Municipal League/Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys board, Michigan Municipal League/Legal Defense Fund board, as past president of State Bar of Michigan/Public Corporations Law Section Council board and Legal Assistance Center board.

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