Legal publication names Orr among top ‘Women in the Law’

Plunkett Cooney attorney Claudia D. Orr was recently named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s (MLW) to its 2021 Class of “Women in the Law.”

“This is a tremendous honor for Claudia who is an outstanding employment law attorney,” said Thomas P. Vincent, Plunkett Cooney’s President and CEO. “She represents a range of employers from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. She is also very involved in the southeast Michigan HR community, so this well-deserved on several levels.”

Orr was among 34 women honored at a luncheon on Sept. 9 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy where one member of the 2021 class was also named “Woman of the Year.” MLW, a leading publication serving the state’s legal industry, recognized this year’s honorees in a special section of the newspaper that was distributed yesterday.

The MLW editorial staff selected this year’s honorees because they made outstanding contributions to the practice of law in Michigan and set an example for other lawyers. These women are pioneers and trailblazers, educators and role models. They have shown tremendous leadership and offer a wealth of expertise in diverse areas of the law.

A senior attorney in the firm’s Detroit office, Orr exclusively represents and advises employers in litigation, human resources matters and labor law disputes. These matters include hiring, discipline/discharge, ADA and FMLA leaves, workers’ disability compensation, public policy, unpaid commissions and whistleblower issues and many other areas of employment law.

Dbusiness magazine also named Orr a Top Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law in 2010, 2015 and 2020. Since 2014, she has been listed by Best Lawyers in America as one of the state’s top employment attorneys, and she has received the top peer review rating of AV-Preeminent as awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, an international peer review rating service.

Orr is a member of the Master Lawyers and Employment and Labor Law sections of the State Bar of Michigan, and she serves as a mediation panel member of the Special Employment Panel of Neutral Arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association. A long-time member of Detroit-SHRM, Orr currently serves on its Legal Affairs Committee.

Orr received her law degree from the University of Detroit Law School, summa cum laude, in 1991, and she graduated from the University of Michigan – Dearborn with high distinction in 1986. She is admitted to practice in Michigan’s state and federal courts, as well as the in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is one of the nation’s oldest and largest law firms with approximately 300 employees, including 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, as well as in Chicago, Illinois, 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.

For more information about Claudia Orr receiving the Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Women in the Law” honor, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, John Cornwell, at (248) 901-4008;


Detroit Attorney Testifies before EEOC in Washington, D.C. on Agency’s Quality Control Plan for Investigations and Conciliations

Detroit, Mich. —March 20, 2013— Attorney Linda Burwell, a founding partner of Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C., testified before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Washington, D.C. today as part of a round table public meeting to provide input on the agency’s Quality Control Plan (QCP) for investigations and conciliations. Nemeth Burwell was the only management side law firm in the nation invited to be among the roundtable participant groups, which included employer advocacy groups, associations and one plaintiff’s law firm.

The EEOC’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan establishes a framework for achieving the EEOC’s mission to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination by focusing on strategic law enforcement, education and outreach and efficiently serving the public. The second performance measure of the plan requires the EEOC to approve a QCP, which is currently being developed and is intended to revise the criteria used to measure the quality of agency investigations and conciliations throughout the nation. Key points of Ms. Burwell’s EEOC testimony were:

  • The Quality Control Plan should concentrate its efforts on the intake process and assess the clarity of the charge
  • Vague and ambiguous charges that lack specific detail slow the process, result in unnecessary disputes and confuse the issues
  • The Quality Control Plan should develop indices that measure the overall pace of the investigations.
  • The EEOC must concentrate on improving its communication with employers

A nationally recognized speaker and author on employment law, discrimination prevention and risk management, Ms. Burwell often serves as the legal expert on panels involving employment laws and workplace trends. At Nemeth Burwell, she serves as a litigator, arbitrator and consultant, representing management in all aspects of labor and employment law and EEOC matters. Ms. Burwell’s areas of expertise include wrongful discharge, discrimination, non-competition, harassment, interference with contract, equal pay, retaliation, whistleblowers, wage and hours, unfair labor practices, breach of contract, libel and slander, and invasion of privacy. She also counsels management on collective bargaining agreements, pre-employment, discipline, and pre-termination and post-termination matters.

Ms. Burwell is a board member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) and an ABA Foundation Fellow. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Wayne State University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and is a member of the Michigan, Ohio, Federal, and the United States Supreme Court Bar. She has received numerous honors throughout her legal career and in 2010 was named one of Michigan’s 25 Leaders in the Law by the legal trade publication Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

A transcript of the hearings, including Ms. Burwell’s testimony, will be posted on the EEOC website.

About Nemeth Burwell, P.C: Nemeth Burwell ( specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

Nemeth Burwell Partner Named Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment

Detroit, Mich. —January 29, 2013 —Anne Widlak, a partner at Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C., has been named a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment by American Lawyer Media, a leading provider of news and information to the legal industry, and Martindale-Hubbell™, a highly regarded legal peer review organization. American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell joined forces on this rating effort to highlight the “Top Rated Lawyers” in the February issue of The National Law Journal. Ms. Widlak is included in the listing as a result of achieving the AV Preeminent® peer review rating, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

As a litigator and counselor, Ms. Widlak successfully defends cases in state and federal courts involving a comprehensive array of claims, including workplace harassment; discrimination based on age, disability, sex, race, national origin and other protected categories; retaliation; violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act; wrongful discharge; and intentional interference with an at-will employment relationship.

Active in the legal community, Ms. Widlak has been a volunteer hearing panel member of the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board (ADB) since 1998 and was appointed a panel Chairperson in 2006, a position she continues to hold. The ADB is the adjudicative arm of the Michigan Supreme Court for discharge of its exclusive authority to supervise and discipline Michigan attorneys. The hearing panels conduct trial-level hearings to review evidence in connection with a complaint of ethical misconduct filed against an attorney with the Attorney Grievance Commission. Additionally, Ms. Widlak was the first female chair of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Michigan, serving from 2002 to 2003. She is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), a trial lawyer honorary society comprised of less than one-half of one percent of lawyers in the United States.

Ms. Widlak is the fourth generation of lawyers in her family to have been prominent members of the legal community in the City of Detroit and is the first female in her family to have practiced law in the City as part of that long tradition. She was named one of Michigan’s 25 Leaders in the Law in 2012 by legal trade publication, Michigan Lawyers Weekly and has also been named a Michigan Super Lawyer each year since 2008. She serves as a volunteer attorney at a Detroit warming center for the homeless as part of Project H.E.L.P. (Homeless Experience Legal Protection), which partners with local homeless service programs to offer clinics that provide free legal advice and assistance to homeless individuals.

Ms. Widlak holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English from Georgetown University. She earned her law degree from the Wayne State University School of Law.

Nemeth Burwell ( specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.