Several groups have honored me. I have been named a Michigan Super Lawyer multiple times, have been selected to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and have been named a fellow by the Litigation Counsel of America. I have also served as chair of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Michigan, as co-chair of the Amicus Committee of the Michigan Association for Justice and as past president of the Washtenaw Association for Justice.Additionally, I enjoy doing pro bono work on behalf of environmental causes.
My interest in the law began when I won a fellowship to work for Senator George Mitchell. After a short stint as a policy analyst, I realized that all of the people getting things done were lawyers. That prompted me to go to law school. During law school, I worked for a plaintiff's attorney in Portland, Oregon. This gave me experience that sparked my passion to help people both inside and outside of the courtroom. Over the years, I have dedicated myself to giving clients the best representation available. I am proud that my peers now consider me one of the top attorneys in Michigan.
State Bar of Michigan, 1994 (P 51149)
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 1994
Supreme Court of the United States, 2001
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2004
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, 2004
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2006
Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D.
University of Michigan: M.A., Journalism
University of Michigan: M.S., Natural Resources Policy, Planning, and Management
University of Michigan, B.A., English Literature
It is important for lawyers to participate in professional organizations and activities so that they are informed about everything in the legal landscape that can affect their clients. Here is a summary of my professional honors and activities.
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high- degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The Super Lawyers selection process involves the organization's independent research as well as peer evaluations. I am proud that I have been recognized as a Michigan Super Lawyer for 10 consecutive years.
Leading Lawyers surveys lawyers, asking them which of their peers, and even competitors, they would recommend to others in their locale. Only those lawyers who are most often recommended, and later approved by an advisory board, are selected as Leading Lawyers. I am honored to be one of them.
National Trial Lawyers (NTL)
NTL is an invitation-only organization of the premier trial lawyers from across the country that exemplifies superior qualifications as civil plaintiff or criminal defense lawyers. NTL selects its top 100 lawyers from each state for membership, and I am proud to be selected as an NTL Top 100 Michigan lawyer and as a Top 10 Insurance Bad Faith Trial Lawyer.
Litigation Counsel of America
I am a senior fellow in the LCA, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society with a limited membership composed of top litigators from huge national law firms as well as small practices like mine. I especially appreciate that the LCA sponsors the Diversity Law Institute that is committed to advancing the interests of women and minorities in the legal profession, and supporting initiatives that promote equal access to justice.
Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI)
BIAMI is an association devoted to improving the lives of those affected by brain injury and reducing the incidence of brain injury through advocacy, awareness, education, prevention, research, and support. BIAMI is one of the most effective organizations I have encountered, and I am proud to be a sponsor of BIAMI.
Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ)
MAJ is the primary organization of lawyers fighting for civil justice on behalf of individuals in Michigan courts. In addition to participating in MAJ seminars and events, I co-chair the MAJ Amicus Team, writing briefs on important insurance and litigation issues for our appellate courts. I recently gave a MAJ presentation on dealing with the rescission of insurance coverage. I also give presentations for other lawyers at MAJ seminars.
National Employment Law Association (NELA)
NELA is the national association of lawyers dedicated to advocating equality and justice for American workers. Because many of my cases involve employee benefits, my work frequently intersects with other employment law issues, and NELA provides me with the ability to stay informed on the full range of issues that may affect my clients.
Federal Bar Association (FBA)
Many of my cases involve the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal law that requires me to practice regularly in federal court. The FBA is the premier bar association serving the federal practitioner and judiciary, helping me to stay i informed regarding developments in federal procedures and court nuances.
American Association for Justice (AAJ)
AAJ is a national organization providing trial lawyers with the information, education, and networking that enable us to most effectively and expertly represent our clients. AAJ is dedicated to promoting a fair and effective justice system, and the resources it provides are truly excellent.
Washtenaw County Bar Association (WCBA)
My office is located in Ann Arbor, the county seat of Washtenaw County. The WCBA is a very active association of lawyers who practice in all areas of the law in our local courts. WCBA events allow attorneys to interact with each other, and with our excellent array of judges, outside the courtroom. The WCBA sees its mission as serving the overall community, truly enriching the quality of our judicial system.
National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA)
NACA is an association of lawyers and advocates committed to representing consumer interests in our legal system. Through NACA, I am able to network with other attorneys around the country who help consumers victimized by fraudulent, abusive, and predatory business practices.
AVVO is a national attorney directory and rating service.
Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE)
ICLE is the education provider of the State Bar of Michigan, sponsoring seminars and workshops as well as publishing important treatises of Michigan law. In addition to attending seminars and subscribing as an ICLE partner, I have made presentations on my area of law for ICLE, and I have written a chapter in an ICLE book on tort law that is updated annually.
The clients who come through our doors are our heroes, fighting to protect their worlds in the face of great adversity. We are here to lead them through the legal process so they can safely go on to conquer the challenges ahead.
How We Can Help You
We sue insurance companies. We represent people in state and federal cases throughout Michigan. Our primary practice areas include all types of insurance claims, pension disputes, and Social Security disability. We regularly handle ERISA claims. In fact, other lawyers frequently refer their most difficult cases to us. Nevertheless, our priority is to avoid the need to file a lawsuit, by helping our clients through the insurance claims process from the beginning.
Helping People with Insurance and Disability Disputes
The insurance cases we handle include long term disability, accidental death, life insurance, no-fault automobile insurance, and health coverage disputes. Our clients range from professionals who have lost the ability to perform the sophisticated tasks of their specialized work to distraught family member whose grief is compounded when they learn that their life or accident insurance won't pay after all. People in these situations should not feel that they have to go it alone.
When insurance is provided through employment, and a worker does not have a government job, the claim is likely to be governed by the confusing rules of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). We offer free consultations in the vital early stages of this process. We recently won two important published ERISA decisions in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. We handle these cases at all stages, including extensive litigation.