Attorney to be honored at Tertzag Tribute Dinner Feb. 25

DEARBORN — Detroit attorney Dana Nessel will be honored at the seventh annual Tertzag Tribute Dinner from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Park Place Banquet Hall, 23400 Park.

Tickets are $40 and can be obtained by mailing a check — made payable to Tertzag Tribute Dinner, LLC — to 421 Berwyn, Birmingham, MI, 48009. Tickets include dinner and open bar.

The dinner is a tribute to former Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Kaye Tertzag, who died Feb. 4, 2009, of bile duct cancer, “having established a great legacy of integrity and service to the state of Michigan, as well as a great example of love and devotion to his family and legion of friends,” according to a press release.

Nessel will receive the Purple Sport Coat Award — in recognition of Tertzag’s hallmark colorful jackets — from last year’s recipient Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Ed Ewell.

Other past Purple Sport Coat Award winners include retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge James Rashid, attorney Joseph Lujan and Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Allen.

Nessel is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School. She spent more than a decade working as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Wayne County, serving much of her tenure in special assignment units. Nessel specialized in domestic homicides, child physical and sexual abuse cases, and investigations into police shootings and in-custody deaths of civilians.

She is managing partner at Nessel and Kessel in Detroit, where she specializes in criminal defense and family law.

She assembled the team of attorneys who initiated the DeBoer v. Snyder case in 2012, challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex second party adoption. DeBoer was later consolidated with its affiliated Sixth Circuit cases into the Obergefell v. Hodges case, the landmark case that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Nessel exemplifies Tertzag’s motto: Be Prompt. Be Prepared. Be Polite.

United States District Court Judge Sean Cox will be the keynote speaker. Cox and Tertzag were friends and served together as circuit court judges.
Cox is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Detroit College of Law. He was a partner with the law firm Cummings, McClorey, Davis and Acho prior to his appointment to the Wayne County Circuit Court. He also served as a visiting judge for the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Cox was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by President George W. Bush on June 12, 2006 and immediately assumed duty.

The evening will end with the Sambuca toast, a tradition started at Tertzag’s memorial by his daughter, Kara Tertzag Lividini.

All attendees who wear purple will be entered into a drawing for a door prize.

For questions or more information, call Lividini at 313-645-9511 or email her at