Hard-working Alum and Former Police Officer Now Enforces the Law from the Bench

Richard Caretti ND'71 graduated from Wayne State University in 1975. Since then, he’s been traveling a very robust legal-career road: first stop was as a Detroit cop while pursuing a law degree. His road-trip now includes a current stint that sees him presiding over the civil and criminal division of the Macomb County Circuit Court in Mt. Clemens, Mich.
His other stops along the way include 23 years of private law practice with firms Dickinson-Wright and then with his own firm, Strobl, Cunningham, Caretti and Sharp. He also once served as chief judge of the Macomb County 16th Circuit Court, part of a truly stellar judicial journey.
But he reserves a special shoutout for one of his first stops in life. . . the one on 20254 Kelly Road in Harper Woods—Notre Dame High School.
“My time at Notre Dame taught me the value of hard work,” Caretti, who graduated in 1971, said. “This work ethic prepared me well to complete a rather grueling schedule of work as a Detroit police officer while attending both WSU and the Detroit College of Law, where I received my J.D. The excellent curriculum as well as the tremendous teachers at Notre Dame also contributed greatly, I believe, to my academic success and to my career success.”
As a young man, he says he was pretty much convinced, even in high school, that his future was law. “While at Notre Dame I took the usual aptitude tests, and my test scores revealed that I apparently had strong verbal and communication skills,” Caretti recalls. “This led me to the conclusion that I wanted to become an attorney.”
Others at Notre Dame also noticed his legal leanings.
“I remember discussing my high school aptitude scores with Fr. Saunders, who I had for English and who also was my counselor,” Caretti remembers. “Fr. Saunders agreed with the results and encouraged me to pursue a career in the law.”
Even though his busy schedule doesn’t leave much room for anything other than enforcing or interpreting the law, Caretti nonetheless believes it’s important to stay connected to the extracurricular community at large. And connected he is, with active memberships in the Michigan Judges Association, Macomb County Bar Association, Michigan State University Alumni Association, Detroit Athletic Club, the Italian American Bar Association, and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.
Back on the subject of Notre Dame, Caretti expresses sadness and regret that his alma mater closed (in 2005), but he still has “extremely fond” memories of his four years at the school. “I really do believe my time at Notre Dame prepared me well for my career path and whatever success I have achieved thus far. And I also forged many strong friendships while there, some of which persist to this day.”

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org.