Six Intellectual Property Attorneys Join Dickinson Wright Ann Arbor Office

ANN ARBOR – February 6, 2020 – Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Jim Cleland, Gerlinde (Linda) Nattler, Steven Oberholtzer, and Michael Spink have joined the firm’s Ann Arbor office as Members. Keith Weiss, Ph.D. has joined the firm as Of Counsel and Sungwook (Sung) Lee has joined as an Associate.

“We are excited to welcome Jim, Linda, Steven, Michael, Keith, and Sung to the firm’s intellectual property team,” says Philip Rettig, Division Director of Dickinson Wright’s Intellectual Property Practice. “As businesses and the marketplace continue to change, our clients need lawyers who can help protect their intellectual property assets both domestically and abroad. The addition of these six extraordinary lawyers deepens the strength of Dickinson Wright’s national intellectual property practice.”

James Cleland (Member) litigates patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition cases in a broad range of technologies including the automotive, chemical, materials science, mechanical, electrical and medical device arts, and assists his clients with counseling, opinion and licensing work in those same areas. He brings substantial first chair experience in both federal district courts and the Patent Trial and Appeals Board, including trials, IPRs, preliminary injunction hearings, Markman hearings summary judgment proceedings and all aspects of fact and expert witness discovery. Mr. Cleland is a member of the Michigan Intellectual Property Inn of Court, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association Legal Task Force, the Federal Bar Association, the American and Michigan Intellectual Property Law Associations, and the Washtenaw County Bar Association. He is recognized as a leader in his field by IAM Patent 1000 and Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Mr. Cleland received his B.S. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Gerlinde (Linda) Nattler (Member) has many years of international in-house patent prosecution experience and knows how important it is to view patent applications in the context of a client’s business and technology. While working in Europe, she was admitted to practice before the European Patent Office. The knowledge of different standards applied by different patent offices helps her draft patent applications that withstand international as well as domestic challenges. Ms. Nattler is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Vereinigung von Fachleuten des Gewerblichen Rechtsschutzes (VPP). She is recognized as a leader in her field by Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars and was named a “Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Ms. Nattler received her University Diploma from Universität Bayreuth and her J.D. from Thomas Cooley Law School.

Steven Oberholtzer (Member) focuses his practice on the development and implementation of corporate intellectual property policies, intellectual asset management, litigation, and technology licensing. He has decades of experience representing clients in the automotive industry, including current responsibility for the worldwide intellectual property issues of multiple automotive suppliers. He is familiar with a range of mechanical and electromechanical disciplines, including medical devices, lasers, fiber optics, optical devices and heavy industrial equipment. He is a member of the Michigan Intellectual Property Lawyers Association. He is recognized as a leader in his field as Lawyer of the Year for Ann Arbor in Patent Law by Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, IAM Patent 1000, DBusiness Top Lawyers, and IP Stars, and is recognized with the highest rating of “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Oberholtzer received his B.S. from General Motors Institute (Kettering University) and his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University.

Michael Spink (Member) helps clients effectively manage their intellectual assets, including in-house policies and procedures, procurement, licensing and opinions. He is skilled in portfolio management and support, including performing portfolio classification, mapping and analysis. By linking intellectual asset strategies to business and product strategies, his clients enhance intellectual property protection while reducing risk. He has extensive experience in complex transactions involving intellectual property, including due diligence, acquisition, disposition, and bankruptcy issues. Mr. Spink was recently Co-Chair of the Licensing Executives Society Michigan Chapter, and is a Certified Licensing Professional. He was awarded a position in the IAM 300 by his peers as a leading intellectual property strategist and Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, and the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association. Mr. Spink received his B.S. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School.

Keith Weiss, Ph.D. (Of Counsel) has more than two decades experience in corporate research and development in material science, inorganic chemistry, and polymer science, leading him to be listed as an inventor on more than 30 U.S. patents. He has substantial experience with advanced materials, applications, and equipment used in multiple global industries, including automotive, aerospace, coatings, plastics, medical devices, and microelectronic fabrication. His experience also includes the integration of IP processes with R&D, marketing, and quality operations, as well as obtaining government funding for R&D initiatives and establishing joint R&D programs. Dr. Weiss focuses his practice towards patent prosecution, technology licensing, portfolio development/management, and trade secret analysis. He received his B.S. from Clemson University, his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Florida, and his J.D. from the Thomas Cooley Law School.

Sungwook (Sung) Lee (Associate) has experience in various aspects of patent practice including patent application preparation, patent prosecution and patent litigation. His practice focuses on mechanical and electromechanical structures such as automotive components, power systems, semiconductors, medical devices, and office products. He previously served as a U.S. patent attorney in Germany and has worked with the European patent system in addition to the United States patent system. With the knowledge and experience of different patent systems, he can help his clients apply their patent in both the United States and internationally. Mr. Lee is a member of the Korean Intellectual Property Professionals in Europe (KIPEU) and the Association of Korean-American Professionals in the Automotive Industry (KPAI). He received his B.S. from KAIST, his M.S. from the University of Michigan, and his J.D. from Wayne State University Law School.

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About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 475 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has 18 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 11 other domestic offices in Austin and El Paso, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canadian office is located in Toronto.

Dickinson Wright offers our clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise and business acumen. As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management controls and security processes for our commercial transactions. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially-oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited for their expertise and experience by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.

Katheryne L. Zelenock Elected to the Midwest Real Estate News Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame

TROY, Mich., – February 6, 2020 – Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Attorney Katheryne L. Zelenock has been elected to the Midwest Real Estate News “2019 Real Estate Hall of Fame”.

The Midwest Real Estate News “2019 Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame” features more than 90 commercial real estate professionals from across the Midwest and represents the best that the industry has to offer. To view the complete list, please click here.

Ms. Zelenock is a Member and Chair of the firm’s Real Estate Finance practice. In her practice, she leads a team that closes commercial and multifamily mortgage loans across the country on behalf of leading national lenders as well as smaller regional and local banks, including multifamily and manufactured housing community loans originated for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. She is also experienced in matters related to troubled properties and owners, and the modification, restructuring and workout of financing arrangements, including related litigation and due diligence.

Ms. Zelenock is a member of the American Bar Association, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association of America, Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Oakland County Bar Association. She is a Fellow and elected member of the Board of Regents of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys. She is recognized as a leader in her field by Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Legal 500, Michigan Super Lawyers, and DBusiness magazine. She was named a “Woman Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity and named a “Notable Woman in Real Estate” by Crain’s Detroit Business. Ms. Zelenock received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.
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About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 475 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has 18 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 11 other domestic offices in Austin and El Paso, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canadian office is located in Toronto.

Dickinson Wright offers our clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise and business acumen. As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management controls and security processes for our commercial transactions. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially-oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited for their expertise and experience by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.

Butzel Long attorney Claudia Rast reappointed to ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Claudia Rast has been reappointed to serve on the American Bar Association (ABA) Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. To date, she has served six one-year terms since this Task Force was created in 2012.

Task Force members are charged with examining risks posed by criminals, terrorists and nations that seek to steal personal and financial information, disrupt critical infrastructure, and wage cyberwar.

In 2017, Rast co-authored a chapter to the second edition of The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook. Her current ABA book project, for which she is a co-author, is due to be published in early 2020 and is entitled, Cyber Incident Response Handbook: A Resource for Attorneys, Law Firms, and Business Professionals.

Rast, who serves as Butzel Long’s Intellectual Property Practice Department Chair, blends her expertise in law, business, and science to assist companies in their strategic use of technology, counseling clients in the areas of privacy, cybersecurity, data theft, intellectual property licensing and registration, and the forensic preservation and analysis of electronically stored information.

With the rise of cyber events in recent years, her background in forensics, IT environments and security has proved invaluable in working with clients to both defend against and respond to pervasive cyber attacks and to conduct cybersecurity awareness and response training sessions.

Similarly, over the past several years, she has worked within both the IT entrepreneur community and the automotive supplier network to negotiate contracts covering innovative technologies associated with autonomous and connected vehicles, to address security, privacy, IP ownership, and new and potential regulations.

Rast is an experienced environmental lawyer, focusing on alternative energy and sustainability practices, including work on the development of a global Rule of Law Index for environment and energy with the World Justice Project. This past May she moderated an environmental rule of law panel in the Netherlands at The Hague sponsored by the World Justice Forum.

She is a frequent national speaker on matters ranging from cybersecurity, privacy, data breach, eDiscovery, and social media. In addition, she has published numerous articles including an online course for CPE credit.

Her memberships include the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, where she has been involved in the leadership of the Section since 1999, including Chair of the Section in 2008-2009, Ann Arbor’s New Enterprise Forum Board of Directors (2008-2017), the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Board of Directors (2008-2013), ICLE’s Technology Training Advisory Board (1998-2017), and the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan Board of Directors (2017-present). In 2001, she was the only lawyer named as a Technology Industry Leader in Crain’s Detroit Business, and in 2003 the Ann Arbor Chapter of American Women in Computing named her as one of twenty “Top Michigan Women in Computing.” In 2015, she was named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a “Leader in the Law.”

Rast is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.S., Natural Resources) and cum laude graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Detroit Law Review. In 2014, she successfully completed the four-week online program, “Tackling the Challenges of Big Data,” developed and taught by the faculty of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in collaboration with MIT Professional Education.

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing and Shanghai. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter @butzel_long or : https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Plunkett Cooney Partner to Moderate ABA Panel on Land Use

Partner Mary Massaron of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, will moderate a panel of guest speakers at the American Bar Association’s (ABA) 32nd Annual Land Use Institute in downtown Detroit.

Hosted by the ABA’s Section of State and Local Government Law, the Annual Land Use Institute program will take place April 19 and 20 at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. On April 20, Massaron will serve as moderator of “The Land Use Issues Impacting the Fall and Rise of Downtown Detroit” discussion. The panelists include Michael McLauchlan, Vice President for Government Relations of Ilitch Holdings (Detroit); Jared Fleischer, Vice President of Government Relations at Quicken Loans (Detroit); and Maurice D. Cox, Director, Planning & Development Department (Detroit).

Following the discussion, a response panel will be held, featuring former Detroit Mayor Dennis W. Archer and former Miami Beach, Florida Mayor Neisen Kasdin. During this plenary session, the panel will discuss the land use issues and financial tolls that have impacted the city’s fall and rise, and the response panel will engage the presenters with their questions and comments.

The Annual Land Use Institute program is designed to benefit attorneys, professional planners, real estate professionals and government officials involved in land use planning, zoning, permitting, property development, conservation and environmental protection, and related litigation. The program not only addresses and analyzes the government’s efforts to manage land use and development, but it also presents the key issues faced by property owners and developers in obtaining necessary governmental approvals.

Massaron, who previously served as a law clerk to Michigan Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia J. Boyle Massaron, practices in Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills office and has handled literally hundreds of appeals in state and federal appellate courts, including appearances before the Michigan Supreme Court, the Indiana Supreme Court, and the Ohio Supreme Court. She has handled over one hundred cases in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and she appeared in the Second, Third and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Among the significant land use and property development cases that Massaron has handled over the years is Hathcock v County of Wayne, which resulted in a decision overturning decades of precedent and establishing a new test for the government’s right to take private property.

The Best Lawyers in America® (Copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.) has honored Massaron with its “Best Lawyer” title for 12 consecutive years. Michigan Super Lawyers magazine has also honored Massaron for 13 consecutive years, including inclusion among its top 100 attorneys and top 50 women lawyers in Michigan. Her other significant honors include membership in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and designation by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a 2008 “Lawyer of the Year.”

Massaron served as President of the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar from 2012 to 2013. She is past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan, DRI’s Appellate Advocacy Committee, and the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Council of Appellate Lawyers, a division of the Appellate Judges Conference. Massaron also co-chairs the Michigan Appellate Bench Bar Conference Foundation, an organization of Michigan appellate judges and lawyers.

Massaron graduated summa cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1990, receiving numerous academic accolades. She received her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Marygrove College in 1982.


Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of transactional and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 140 attorneys in 11 offices located in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, an international directory of law firms, and it has been ranked as one of the 2018 “Best Law Firms” in the nation by U.S. World News – Best Lawyers® .

For more information about Plunkett Cooney Mary Massaron moderating the upcoming ABA land use presentation, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com

Butzel Long attorney Jennifer Dukarski appointed Co-Chair of the Women in Communication Law Committee in the ABA Forum on Communication Law

Butzel Long attorney Jennifer Dukarski has been appointed Co-Chair of the Women in Communication Law Committee in the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Communication Law. She will remain a member of the Governing Committee for the next three years.

Dukarski focuses her practice at the intersection of technology and communications with an emphasis on emerging and disruptive issues in
traditional and digital media, cybersecurity, infotainment, and connected and autonomous cars.

In her practice, she assists clients in traditional media issues including defamation, privacy, access, the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act issues. She has negotiated contracts for autonomous vehicle components, reviewed contracts involving wireless updates to in-vehicle technology, and has addressed multiple vehicle component recalls. Dukarski has become a national leader in legal issues facing emerging automotive technology and is the leader of Butzel Long’s connected and autonomous car working group. She also has spearheaded the reporting efforts for two national data breaches and focuses on the threat vectors facing automotive component design.

A self-titled “recovering engineer,” Dukarski serves as Counsel to the OESA’s Product Development Council and has spoken on First Amendment issues ranging from newsgathering in the digital age to the impact of the FBI iPhone strategy. She has been a panelist at the North American International Auto Show for the last two years, covering a broad variety of legal concerns focused on the autonomous and connected car. She has appeared on several television programs, including Autoline and AutoBeat, and in many print interviews (including CIO Magazine, PC World, Bridge Magazine, Computer World and Automotive News) discussing emerging technology and its related legal issues.

Prior to joining Butzel, she gained automotive manufacturing and design experience as a result of high-level quality management and engineering positions. She has worked extensively on successful automotive product launches, managing vendors and Tier One manufacturing facilities. A Six Sigma Master Black Belt, she applies her experience to create innovative approaches to the protection of IP assets and disruptive technology.

Dukarski has experience with field recalls and was a representative to the University of Michigan’s CIREN (Crash Injury Research & Engineering Network) and UMPIRE (University of Michigan Program for Injury Research and Education). Working as a design engineer, she received multiple Record of Invention Awards for contributions to patents and trade secrets.
Last year, she was named a “2016 Honoree for Michigan Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. She also is among Michigan Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” and DBusiness “Top Lawyers.” She is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She serves as a Working Group member with IEEE PAR 1912 (Privacy and Security Architecture for Consumer Wireless Devices) which is focused on setting standards for privacy and security protocols. She also coaches and mentors’ women engineers.

Moreover, Dukarski is an adjunct professor in the Paralegal Program, Intellectual Property, at Baker College.

She is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2010). She’s also a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy College of Engineering and Science, (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, summa cum laude, 1996).


About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Dickinson Wright Chairman Emeritus Dennis Archer Receives the American Bar Association’s Highest Honor

On Saturday, August 6, 2016, Dickinson Wright Chairman Emeritus Dennis W. Archer accepted the ABA Medal, the highest honor given by the American Bar Association. He received the ABA Medal during the General Assembly of the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

“I am indeed, humbled and deeply honored,” Mr. Archer said. “Whenever the ABA Medal has been awarded, I have felt that those who were awarded the medal were outstanding legal giants and worthy of receiving the highest award that the ABA can bestow upon a lawyer or judge. So when Paulette Brown let me know I would receive the award, I did all that I could to contain my emotions because it is such a unique and high honor.”

“All Dickinson Wright attorneys and staff members, past and present, congratulate Dennis Archer on receiving the ABA medal, a justly deserved honor,” William T. Burgess, CEO of Dickinson Wright said. “His long and illustrious career as a practicing lawyer, state Supreme Court justice, two-term mayor of Detroit, Chairman of our Firm, and first African-American president of ABA, is unequaled by today’s or any other standards. He has served as a mentor and role model for countless young lawyers. The admiration and respect of his peers has been earned by his commitment, resolve, vision and breadth of accomplishment.”

The ABA Medal recognizes exceptionally distinguished service by a lawyer or lawyers to the cause of American jurisprudence and is given only in years when the ABA Board of Governors determines a nominee has provided exceptional and distinguished service to the law and the legal profession. Among previous recipients are legendary justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Felix Frankfurter, Thurgood Marshall, William J. Brennan, Jr., and Sandra Day O’Connor. Other recipients include Oliver Hill, Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski; human rights activist Father Robert Drinan; co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William H. Gates, Sr.; and prominent attorneys David Boies and Theodore Olson.

Mr. Archer is Chairman Emeritus of Dickinson Wright PLLC. He served two four-year terms as mayor of the City of Detroit (1994-2001) and earned national and international respect for his success in changing Detroit’s image and direction. He is past president of the American Bar Association, breaking the color barrier as the first African-American ABA president in 2003, and has been active in several bar associations, eventually serving as president of the State Bar of Michigan, the Wolverine Bar Association and the National Bar Association. In addition to his service to the legal profession, Mr. Archer serves on the Board of TopBuild (BLD), a publicly-traded company headquartered in Daytona Beach and has served on numerous charitable and civic boards, including the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan.

To read more about Mr. Archer’s acceptance of the ABA Medal, please click here.

About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 400 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has seventeen offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and ten other domestic offices in Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn. (2); Las Vegas, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Reno, Nev.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canada office is located in Toronto.

As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, the firm offers clients a distinctive combination of superb client service and exceptional quality. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially-oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.

Plunkett Cooney attorneys contribute to ABA civil rights book

Plunkett Cooney attorneys contribute to ABA civil rights book

Bloomfield Hills, MI — October 16, 2015 — The fourth edition of a popular American Bar Association (ABA) book on civil rights law was recently released and includes important contributions by three attorneys from Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms.

Mary Massaron, a partner and the Appellate Law Practice Group Leader at Plunkett Cooney, served as co-editor of the book, which examines civil rights laws and the federal statute 42 USC § 1983. Also contributing three chapters to “Sword and Shield: A Practical Approach to Section 1983 Litigation” are Plunkett Cooney partner Michael S. Bogren, attorney Rhonda R. Stowers and Massaron. Attorney Edwin P. Voss, Jr. also serves as co-editor.

“This treatise offers a practical resource for those handling civil rights cases at the trial and appellate levels,” said Massaron. “Past editions have been regularly cited by parties to litigation as a persuasive authority in support of their position on appeal.”

Sword and Shield offers a comprehensive review of the fundamentals and procedures of 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 litigation in state and federal courts and contains expert analysis regarding every issue that might be faced in such cases. Bogren, a member of Plunkett Cooney’s Board of Directors and Governmental Law Practice Group, wrote two chapters, including Chapter 4: “Municipal Liability Under 42 USC 1983” and Chapter 5: “Attorneys’ Fees in Section 1983 Litigation.” Massaron and Stowers authored Chapter 6: “The Constitutional Rights of Public Employees.”

42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights – commonly referred to as the Civil Rights Act, is a federal statute that allows lawsuits to be brought by people alleging that their rights protected by the U.S. Constitution or federal statutes have been violated by state or local governments or government agents.

Fully updated since the Third Edition was published in 2006, the 550-page book provides advice from the nation’s leading authorities on civil rights on this technically difficult and ever-evolving area of law. It includes a discussion of municipal liability under Section 1983, including police misconduct claims (i.e., police search and seizure rules), the constitutional rights of public employees, land use and the expanded rights of property owners, students’ constitutional rights in public school settings and individual immunity defenses. It also offers a roadmap for procedural issues that arise in civil rights litigation.

A member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, Massaron served as President of the DRI in 2012 to 2013. She is a past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan, DRI’s Appellate Advocacy Committee, and the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Council of Appellate Lawyers, a division of the Appellate Judges Conference. A member of the prestigious American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, Massaron co-chairs the Michigan Appellate Bench Bar Conference Foundation, an organization of Michigan appellate judges and lawyers. She has an extensive appellate practice on behalf of public and private clients including in state and federal courts around the country.

Bogren, who is the managing partner of Plunkett Cooney’s Kalamazoo office, has extensive experience representing municipalities in both state and federal courts in civil rights cases, police liability claims, first amendment law, due process claims, Open Meetings Act claims, FOIA claims, zoning matters and employment litigation. He is a member of the Kalamazoo County and American bar associations, as well as the Public Corporation Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Bogren is also a member of the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the Association of Governmental Risk Pools and the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar.

An attorney in the firm’s Flint office, Stowers focuses her practice in the areas of general litigation, governmental law and title insurance law. Her governmental law practice includes advising and defending municipalities on a wide range of topics, including the Freedom of Information Act, the Open Meetings Act, federal and state constitutions, civil rights, zoning law, charter amendments, ordinance drafting, and employment-related issues. Stowers is a member of the Genesee County Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys.

Plunkett Cooney is one of the few law firms in the Midwest with a dedicated team of appellate attorneys,
who routinely handle cutting-edge appeals involving issues of first impression and seek to reverse adverse judgments. In addition to representation before state and federal appellate courts, the firm’s appellate attorneys provide a broad range of specialized services, including counsel during trial designed to optimally position cases for possible appeal.

Attorneys in the firm’s Governmental Law Practice Group have handled virtually every issue that can be brought against municipalities and municipal officials at the trial court level. Member of this practice group have represented over 600 municipalities in litigation involving police misconduct, excessive force, alleged First Amendment violations, employment discrimination, slip/trip/fall claims, motor vehicle accidents, among other areas. They also counsel public-sector clients in numerous areas of municipal law, including ordinances, zoning law, employee handbooks, labor negotiations, real estate transactions, contracts and leases, as well as other matters.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs over 150 attorneys in nine Michigan cities and in Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm, which provides a range of transactional and litigation services, has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. Plunkett Cooney has also received numerous honors as one of southeast Michigan’s top workplaces.

For more information about the firm’s contributions to the ABA’s Sword & Shield book, contact Plunkett Cooney’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.