History of Skinner Professional Law Corp. of Bay City, MI

The law firm of Butterfield and Penzien hired David R. Skinner as a 1966 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Both Ira W. Butterfield and Eugene C. Penzien were graduates of UM Law School, and both were brilliant and highly respected attorneys. They became outstanding mentors to Skinner as he transitioned into practice.

Ira, the son of George Butterfield, a pre-eminent authority on Michigan Indians, had been in practice for more than 30 years when Skinner was hired, and had been the prosecuting attorney for Bay County.

Penzien grew up in Lapeer, Mich., and moved to Bay City when his father, Carl, a funeral director, purchased Vallendar Funeral Home in Bay City. After graduation from Bay City Central High School, Gene Penzien attended UM and UM Law School.

When Michigan created the district court system, Ira ran for and was elected judge, leaving Skinner in practice with Gene. Two years later, Gene became Bay County prosecutor. He later served as a Bay County circuit judge until retirement.

In 1968, the law firm of Skinner, Miner and Gustafson was formed. Around this time, Skinner took referral of the case of Wilson v. Beebe, which, nine years later, resulted in a verdict of $6.2 million.

In 2000, Staci M. Richards joined Skinner in practice, having just ended a clerkship with the Honorable Fred Borchard in Saginaw County Circuit Court. 

Skinner Professional Law Corp. is in a riverfront contemporary law center on the Saginaw River, adjacent to the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern Division of the Eastern District of Michigan, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Education. It is in downtown Bay City with ample parking and offices on the ground level, and easily accessible to the physically handicapped.



Skinner Professional Law Corp.

701 E. South Union  •  Bay City, MI 48707-0098
Phone: (989) 893-5547  •  Fax: (989) 893-5549
Toll Free: (888) WHIZLAW or (888) 944-9529