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Barnhart Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

November 26, 2019

Varnum attorney Bruce Barnhart will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grand Rapids Bar Association and Justice Foundation of West Michigan holiday event in December.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who, through their time, talent and resources, exemplify a commitment to the principles of improving the administration of justice, educating the public about core democratic values and promoting legal services to the disadvantaged.

Barnhart, who practiced family law in West Michigan for more than 50 years, served as chair of the firm’s family law practice and was elected a fellow in the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers prior to his retirement. Throughout his career, he was active in a wide variety of professional and service organizations, including leadership positions for the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and on the board of trustees of the Grand Rapids Bar Association.

Barnhart was nominated for the award by retired Varnum partner Joy Fossel, who now serves as director of litigation for the City of Grand Rapids. Fossel is immediate past president of the Grand Rapids Bar Association.

“I nominated Bruce for his 50+ years of service to his clients and our legal community, and for his unwavering commitment to the promotion of justice and the rule of law,” Fossel said. “Bruce has served as a shining role model for those who’ve chosen to go into family law practice. His influence has been unique and his contributions have paved the way for many years, and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

Now retired, Barnhart remains active in various community and professional organizations. He is the co-founder and past CEO of Reeling and Healing of Midwest, Inc., a nonprofit organization helping breast cancer survivors and he also serves on the board of Porter Hills Foundation.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Barnhart and John D. Tully of Warner Norcross at the Dec. 5 Holiday Mixer set for 5 to 7:30 p.m. at HOME at the B.O.B. The event is free for GRBA members.

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