St. Cloud attorney Michael Ford will become the first local lawyer to lead the Minnesota State Bar Association when he’s elected Monday at the group’s annual convention in Duluth.Ford, who has been president-elect for the past year, will take over as president July 1. The Monday vote is largely a formality, but it marks a first for the St. Cloud area.“Obviously I’m personally gratified that I’ve gotten this opportunity,” Ford said. “As far as the area, St. Cloud and the whole Seventh Judicial District has always been important for the bar association. I see it as a continuation of the tradition that the (local) bar association carries with it.”St. Cloud attorney Richard Quinlivan previously was in line to become president of the state bar association, but an accident involving his son caused him to withdraw as an officer before he became president. The state bar association was formed in 1983.Access for all to the judicial system, maintaining a fair and impartial judiciary free from partisan politics and influence, and fair funding of the whole judicial system are top priorities for his presidency, Ford said.Ford has served on the commission that interviews judicial candidates and makes recommendations to the governor to fill judgeships.He is a partner and shareholder at Quinlivan & Hughes.Mike Ford is a 1970 graduate of St. John’s University ROTC Program and spent almost five years on active duty (1970 - 73, 82nd Airborne Division and 1973 - 75, 6th Ordinance Battalion, Republic of Korea) and twelve years in the Army Reserve (205th Infantry Brigade and 13th Psychological Operations Battalion).
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