Reference from The Ann Arbor News, Saturday August 30th, 1986


The Burke, Ryan, Rennell, Foster and Hood firm was located at 101 W. Liberty Street and was considered to be the oldest continuous law partnerships in Ann Arbor. 


The firm has undergone numerous name changes over the years, however the Burke connection remained strong.  In 1986, Joseph F. Burke left his post as assistant county prosecutor to join the local firm of Burke and Rennell where is father, grandfather and second cousin once practiced.


Founded in 1899 by Martin J. Cavanaugh and William W. Wedemyer, the law partnership has prospered almost from the beginning. Wedemyer was 41 and a U.S. congressman who had been defeated for re-election when he drowned after falling over the railing of a steamship en route to New York from Panama on January 2, 1913.


Theodore Roosevelt was president when Joseph Burke's grandfather, George J. Burke, joined the local firm in 1907. The senior Burke's list of accomplishments fills pages: Washtenaw County prosecuting attorney, charger member and a founder of the Michigan Civil Service Commission, general cousel for the World War II Office of Price Administration and finally a judge in the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal in Germany after the war.  He died in 1950.


Joseph Burke's father, George J. Smith, later a federal judge, was also a member of the company.  In 1949 George Jr. was named by Attorney General Stephen J. Roth to a grand jury staff probing embezzlements in the office of the Washtenaw County treasurer and for more than 20 years Burke was a key member of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.  He died in 1971.


Louis E. Burke, who was a senior member of the Burke law firm when he died in 1975, was actually a second cousin to Joseph F. Burke but was always referred to by the Burke children as "Uncle Louie". (more to come...)

In 2012, Burke and Rennell united with the Saline Legal Group, PLLC and Attorney Jeffery T. Hall to form Burke, Rennell and Hall. The organization brings a breadth of experience and understanding to existing and new clients in the Lenawee, Jackson, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. 

The merger lets clients know that Burke, Rennell and Hall are here for them for the long haul. This is our community, we live here, we work here.  Whether clients need assistance with person or business legal matters, we're here to help. 

Contact and Appointments


Saline Legal Group, PLLC

Attorney Jeffery T. Hall


111 N Ann Arbor St

Saline, MI 48176



Office: (734) 316-2086

Fax:   (734) 316-2128




Business hours

M-F 9:00am - 4:00pm

-or- by appointment


Or use our contact form.

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