Plunkett Cooney attorneys among Michigan ‘Super Lawyers’

Michigan Super Lawyers magazine recently named 18 attorneys from Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, to its 2019 list of “Super Lawyers.”

For the thirteenth consecutive year, Plunkett Cooney appellate attorney Mary Massaron has received special recognition by the magazine with its inclusion of her among the state’s top 50 women lawyers. Massaron is one of the firm’s most experienced appellate attorneys and serves as co-leader of Plunkett Cooney’s Class Action & Mass Tort Practice Group.

Below is a list of Plunkett Cooney’s partners who have received the 2019 Michigan Super Lawyer designation:

Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills office members:

• Michael P. Ashcraft, Jr. – Professional Liability: Defense
• Douglas C. Bernstein – Bankruptcy
• Charles W. Browning – Insurance Coverage
• Henry B. Cooney – Civil Litigation Defense
• Jeffrey C. Gerish – Appellate
• Robert G. Kamenec – Appellate
• Mark S. Kopson – Health Care
• Anthony J. Rusciano – Business Litigation
• Scott H. Sirich – Construction Litigation

Plunkett Cooney’s Detroit office members:

• Jennifer Andreou – Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice
• Laurel F. McGiffert – Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice
• Stanley A. Prokop – Insurance Coverage
• Mary Catherine Rentz – Insurance Coverage
• Matthew J. Stanczyk – Personal Injury Defense: Products

Plunkett Cooney’s East Lansing office member:

• David K. Otis – Government

Plunkett Cooney’s Flint office member:

• Audrey J. Forbush – Government

Plunkett Cooney’s Petoskey office member:

• Jerome A. Galante – Personal Injury Defense: Products

Super Lawyers features a patented selection process involving three steps: (1) creation of a candidate pool; (2) evaluation of candidates by the research department; and (3) peer evaluation by practice area. Those named to the annual list represent only five percent of the state’s licensed practitioners.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of business and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 140 attorneys in eight Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. The firm was also selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year and as one of its 2019 Cool Places to Work in Michigan.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney’s 2019 Michigan Super Lawyers,” contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

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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

Plunkett Cooney attorneys contribute to young lawyers’ practice guide

A comprehensive book that guides young defense lawyers through their earlier years of practice was recently published by the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar (DRI) and features a chapter co-authored by Plunkett Cooney attorneys Mary Massaron and Olivia M. Paglia.

Targeted to associates and law clerks who are beginning their practice, the book, titled: “A Young Lawyer’s Guide to Defense Practice,” provides practical guidance and insights into virtually every area of trial practice and procedure. The Guide also addresses such important considerations as ethics and life in a law firm. Massaron and Paglia co-authored the chapter on persuasive writing.

“This was a tremendous opportunity for us to be involved in a resource that can help law clerks and new associates get their careers off to a successful start,” said Massaron, who serves as Appellate Law Practice Group Leader at Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s largest and most accomplished law firms. “The book is an insider’s guide that will give attorneys the foundation onto which they can solidly build their practice.”

The 27-chapter book provides tips on law firm life, ethics and conflicts, defending a claim, expert witnesses, discovery, evidence at trial, and various litigation topics, including motion practice, voir dire, opening statements and closing arguments, arguing motions and appeals, and writing an appellate brief.

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 is also a former chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Amicus Curiae Briefs, a five-member committee that oversees preparation of ABA briefs for filing in the U.S. Supreme Court.

An active member of the DRI, the organization has named an award after Massaron, who has built a reputation as a mentor to new lawyers. The “Mary Massaron Award for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession” is conferred on someone each year at the DRI’s Women in the Law Seminar who has made significant efforts to advance women in the legal profession.

A member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, Olivia Paglia concentrates her practice in the area of insurance law. She routinely represents several major property and casualty insurance companies in coverage cases throughout the Midwest. Her coverage work includes handling a variety of issues, including environmental contamination, construction defect and high-exposure product liability claims.

Paglia is a member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association (DMBA), the DMBA American Inns of Court, the Women Lawyers Association and the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Plunkett Cooney is one of the few Midwest law firms 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.

Plunkett Cooney is recognized as one of the nation’s leading law firms for insurance coverage litigation. Several members of the firm’s Insurance Law Practice Group have been awarded the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. In addition to their litigation expertise, Plunkett Cooney attorneys work with their clients to develop new insurance products and to address emergent theories of legal liability.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs 150 attorneys in nine Michigan cities and one each 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.

For more information about the contributions of Massaron and Paglia to the DRI’s Young Lawyers Guide, contact Plunkett Cooney’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.