Judge Carol Kuhnke was elected by the voters of Washtenaw County in 2012 and took the bench on January 1, 2013. She was appointed by the Supreme Court to be the Chief Judge of the Washtenaw County Trial Court effective January 1, 2019. She also serves as the Presiding Judge of the Civil/Criminal Division. She holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and history of art from the University of Michigan, and a juris doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Judge Carol Kuhnke as an attorney in private practice, worked in large and small firms before founding the law firm of Davis and Kuhnke, PC in 1997. She worked in civil litigation for a total of 19 years before becoming a judge.
Judge Kuhnke has been active in numerous legal and community organizations. She belongs to the Michigan Association for Justice, the Women Lawyers Association, Washtenaw Association for Justice, American Constitution Society, and NAACP Ann Arbor branch.
Before taking the bench, Judge Kuhnke served on the Washtenaw County Board of Election Canvassers. She served 13 years on the Zoning Board of Appeals for the City of Ann Arbor, six years as the chair, and upon taking the bench she was proclaimed Retired Emeritus Chair by Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje.
Judge Kuhnke currently hears civil, criminal and parental waiver cases.