Judge Wendell A MilesJudge Wendell Alverson Miles was born 17 April 1916 in Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan.  His law education was achieved through Hope College (AB, 1938), University of Wyoming (MA, 1939), and University of Michigan (JD, 1942).[1]

Prior to embarking on his legal career, Judge Miles served in the United States Army Air Corps (1942-1947) and as a professor at Hope College (1948-1953).[2]  In the military, he had achieved the rank of Captain, serving in the Western European theatre.[3]

Judge Miles was the son of 20th Circuit Court Judge Fred Thomas Miles and Dena Del (Alverson) Miles, and a judge serving the same circuit himself during the final four years of the 20th Circuit Court being comprised of both Ottawa and Allegan Counties (1970-1974).[4]

Before serving in that post, Judge Miles had served as Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney (1949-1953) and as United States Attorney, Western District (1953-1960).[5]  Following his brief stint in the 20th Circuit Court, President Nixon appointed Judge Miles to the bench of the Federal District Court, where he served as an active judge from 17 April 1974 to 6 May 1986, having the designation of chief judge from 1979 to 1986.  From 1986 to 2008, he continued to serve that court on “senior status.”[6]  He also served as a judge on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from 1989 to 1996.[7]

In 2002, at 86 years of age, Judge Miles was instrumental in the founding of the Historical Society for the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.[8]  Judge Miles is a 32nd Degree Master Mason and father of three children.[9]

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  1. History of the Sixth Circuit: A Bicentennial Project (Washington, DC: Bicentennial Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1977), 168.
  2. s.v. “Miles, Wendell Alverson,” History of the Federal Judiciary | Federal Judicial Center.
  3. Portraits of Justice: Judges of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan (March 2013), 24.
  4. Ibid.
  5. s.v. “Wendell A Miles,” United States Department of Justice: United States Attorney’s Office (Western District of Michigan).
  6. Patrick E Mears, (Winter 2007), “Honorable Wendell A Miles: Soldier, Prosecutor, Professor, Court Historian, and Judge Extraordinaire,” Stereoscope  5(1): 2.
  7. s.v. “Wendell A Miles,” Judgepedia.
  8. Mears, op. cit., 1.
  9. Portraits of Justice: Judges of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan (March 2013), 24.
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