Deborah F. O'Brien is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University/Detroit College of Law and has been a partner in the law firm of Ihrie O'Brien for more than 30 years. A lawyer with diverse experience ranging from municipal to entertainment law, her practice has been devoted primarily to family law matters over the last two decades. She has successfully handled high profile and complex divorces, custody, appeals, and other family law related matters, and has regularly been appointed to serve as mediator and parenting coordinator by judges in circuit court family divisions.
Ms. O'Brien has also been a speaker and recent panel member in family law seminars, including the annual statewide ICLE seminar. She currently serves as co-chair of the Family Law Section of the Macomb County Bar Association, and has actually served in that capacity intermittently for many years. In association with such duties, she has been a contributing writer to the Bar Briefs and other magazines and periodicals. Ms. O'Brien is also a director of the Macomb Bar Foundation, an organization devoted to legal education of the public at large.
A long time member of the Macomb County Bar Association, Ms. O'Brien has been a recipient of the association's annual Civility Award given to a peer-selected attorney whose conduct demonstrates high integrity in the legal process, including unusually good communication and negotiation skills in highly conflicted legal settings, such as divorce litigation. She maintains the highest ratings (AV) with Martindale Hubbell and has also been named as a life-time attorney member of the National Registry of the Who's Who. Over the years, Ms. O'Brien has been designated in Business Detroit and other publications as a top attorney in the area and family law arena. She has appeared on numerous television and radio shows in a legal capacity, and in conjunction therewith, Oprah Winfrey's Harper Studios in Chicago made a movie regarding one of her famous cases which greatly affected the development of Michigan's stalking laws.
Recognized for her charity and pro bono work, Ms. O'Brien was also honored with the March of Dimes Woman Citizen of the Year designation for the Southeastern Michigan Chapter in Macomb County, Michigan. Concomitantly, she was recognized by the State of Michigan legislature for her outstanding philanthropic efforts. However, Ms. O'Brien has been most honored to serve as master of ceremonies and television parade announcer for the largest Memorial Day Parade in the state for the past 27 years, an event which pays tribute to the fallen heroes of the United States Armed Forces.
In addition to her status as a workaholic attorney, Ms. O'Brien has enjoyed assisting in the burgeoning entertainment career of her daughter.
- Michigan, 1983
- Detroit College of Law, Detroit, Michigan
- University of Michigan, Michigan