Legal education and experience
In 1958, Judge Giovan graduated from the University of Detroit having earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree; three years later, he received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. In 1976, former Governor William G. Milliken appointed Giovan to Michigan's Third Judicial Circuit Bench.
Before being appointed to the bench, Judge Giovan was in private practice from 1961-1972; immediately prior to this appointment, he was Judge of Common Pleas Court (1973-1976).
In 1984 and 2000 the Detroit Bar Association awarded Judge Giovan with their Distinguished Service Award.
At the time of his appointment, Judge Giovan made the following statement concerning his priorities as Chief Judge.
"Although I did not seek this position, I am grateful for the confidence that the Michigan Supreme Court has placed in me. Two of my top priorities will be to make the Friend of the Court a more efficient agency and to step up the effort to make the court's jury pools more representative of the population of Wayne County as a whole."
At the time of his ascension, Judge Giovan appointed Judge Kathleen Macdonald to take his place as Chief Judge Pro Tem. He also appointed Judge Edward Ewell, Jr. to the court's criminal division, Judge Richard Skutt to the court's family division and Judge Judy Hartsfield to the court's juvenile division.
Dillon Recall case
Recall fight over Speaker Dillon headed to court
The fight over a recall drive targeting House Speaker Andy Dillon is scheduled to go to court April 18, 2008. Dillon's attorney plans to argue that a group trying to recall the Democratic lawmaker from Wayne County's Redford Township is using petition circulators who aren't from his House district, violating state election law. Wayne County Circuit Judge William Giovan will be asked to issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting the practice.
Recall organizers say it's a sign of desperation because signatures gathered by circulators not from the district couldn't legally be counted anyway. They say that while some people from outside the district are assisting the effort, that doesn't include petition circulators. Dillon is being targeted for possible recall for voting last year to raise the state's income tax rate and extend the sales tax to some services. Recall drive organizers say they plan to submit signatures to election officials on or around May 1.
Officials with the Michigan Democratic Party said Thursday there is no reason to wait to stop what the party considers a violation of state election law.
"It's painfully obvious that these extremists don't have the support in the district to circulate petitions by legal means," Michigan Democratic Party chairman Mark Brewer said in a statement.
Leon Drolet, a Republican and former state lawmaker whose Michigan Taxpayers Alliance group is supporting the recall drive, said the court filing is a sign Dillon supporters are frustrated the recall effort is making progress.
"They are desperate and they need to throw up the long ball here," said Drolet, now a Macomb County commissioner.
Judge rules on Dillon recall
On Friday April 18th, Judge William Giovan ordered that petition circulators cannot use individuals living outside House Speaker Andy Dillion's district. Recall organizers say they aren't using out-of-district circulators. Recall supporters must collect more than 8,700 valid voter signatures by early May to get an election scheduled. Dillon, of Redford Township, is targeted for possible recall because he voted last year to raise state taxes.
Petition language approved
On January 18, 2008, Judge Giovan approved petition language used by the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance in their recall efforts against numerous members of the Michigan legislature, including Speaker of the House Andy Dillon. "Judge Giovan ruled that the recall language was clear, overturning the Wayne County Board of Electors previous ruling which declared that the language was 'unclear.'"He also approved petition language for the recall of State Representative Marc Corriveau (D-Northville) and Ed Gaffney (R-Grosse Pointe).
- ABA Journal, "Retired Chief Judge Will Oversee Effort to Find Any Evidence of Perjury in Lawyer’s Client Files," March 28, 2012
- Detroit Lawyer: Biography
- Pointers lead circuit court
- Pointers lead circuit court
- Martin, Tim, Associated Press, Recall fight over Michigan Speaker Dillon headed to court April 17, 2008
- Judge rules in Dillon Recall Case
- MTA Homepage