Judge David M. Murkowski was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 1979 he graduated cum laude from Marquette University, where he was awarded the university’s Outstanding Student Service Award and the Polanki College Achievement Scholarship. In 1979 Judge Murkowski was also inducted into the National Jesuit Honor Society. He attended Western Michigan University’ s Thomas M. Cooley Law School and was an honor roll graduate in 1983.
Judge Murkowski served as law clerk to the Michigan House of Representatives Civil Rights Committee and worked as a solo practitioner in Grand Rapids until 1993, when he joined the law firm of Dilley & Dilley. He specialized in criminal defense, juvenile neglect and delinquency and probate law, and served as managing partner of Dilley & Dilley, Murkowski & Goller until 2006 when he was appointed to the Kent County Probate bench to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Janet A. Haynes.
In December of 2007, the Michigan Supreme Court appointed Judge Murkowski to serve as the Chief Judge of the Kent County Probate Court commencing January 1, 2008.
Judge Murkowski currently serves as the President of the Michigan Probate Judges Association and as a member of the Judicial Council of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He has previously served as council member of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Kent County Family and Children’s Coordinating Council. Judge Murkowski has lectured for the Michigan Judicial Institute, ICLE’s Probate and Estate Planning Institute, the Michigan Probate Judges Association and the Grand Rapids Bar Association . Judge Murkowski is a chapter author of Michigan Probate Litigation: A Guide to Contested Litigation, 211d Ed., a contributor to the Michigan Probate Benchbook, associate editor of Inter-Com, a journal publication of the Michigan Probate Judges Association, and was a contributor to the drafting of the Michigan Trust Code. In 2014, Judge Murkowski was the recipient of the Judicial Contributions in Law and Aging Award by Elder Law of Michigan, was selected as a Leader in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, and was elected as a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.
Mission Statement – The mission of the Kent County Probate Court is to provide an accessible and person-centered venue to secure the peaceful and sound resolution of matters, where every individual is treated with dignity and respect.
The Probate Court is a trial court of statutory jurisdiction in Michigan. It has exclusive jurisdiction over matters relating to: the estates of decedents; trusts; guardianships of developmentally disabled persons, legally incapacitated adults, and minors; conservatorships for protected adults and minors, protective orders; accounts of other fiduciaries; and petitions for hospitalization of mentally ill persons. The Probate Court also has jurisdiction over a myriad of other types of civil actions, in particular where an estate, trust, fiduciary or ward is a party. By the nature of the matters within its jurisdiction, the Probate Court is primarily concerned with the protection of incapacitated individuals and their assets and the proper transfer of assets at death.