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History and Traditions

Charles W. Joiner

Charles W. Joiner was a member of the University of Michigan Law School faculty from 1947 to 1968.  

Charles W. Joiner served as professor of law at the University of Michigan, 1947-1968. During that time he served as Associate Dean from 1960-1965, and as Acting Dean from September 1965 through June 1966. He was dean of the Wayne State Law School, 1968-1972, and U.S. district judge, 1972-1988.

Joiner was born 1916 in Maquoketa, IA. He received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Iowa in 1937 and 1939 respectively. After wartime service and five years of private practice he joined the University of Michigan faculty as assistant professor in 1947. He was promoted to associate professor in 1950 and professor in 1953. He served as associate dean of the Law School in 1960-1965 and as acting dean from September 1965 through June 1966. In 1967, Joiner chaired the university's sesquicentennial celebration.

As teacher and scholar Joiner devoted himself primarily to civil procedure and trial practice. He authored or co-authored six books on these subjects. He pioneered one of the first simulated litigation courses in the country, using films of accidents from various angles to prepare witnesses for testifying in moot court exercises. He also helped organize the annual Advocacy Institute.

Joiner left the Law School in 1968 to become dean of the Wayne State University Law School. He was nominated by Richard M. Nixon on April 25, 1972, to a position on the U. S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, to a seat vacated by Talbot Smith. He was confirmed by the Senate on June 8, 1972, and was sworn in June 9, 1972. Joiner assumed senior judge status on August 15, 1984.

Joiner was a major figure in the legal profession at both the regional and national levels. He was co-director of the research and drafting committee of the Michigan Constitutional Convention of 1961-1962 and president of the State Bar in 1970-1971. Beginning in 1973 he served as a Commissioner on Uniform State Laws. In 1977-1978 he served as chairman of the American Bar Foundation. He also chaired the American Bar Association's committee on specialization in 1952-1956 and its section on individual rights and responsibilities in 1976-1977. For many years Joiner had a principal hand in drafting rules of evidence and procedure for the federal and state courts.


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