Plunkett Cooney attorney Ruggirello named ‘Up & Coming Lawyer’

DATE: November 8, 2019

CONTACT: John Cornwell (248) 901-4008

Bloomfield Hills, MI — November 8, 2019 — Plunkett Cooney insurance coverage attorney, Nicole C. Ruggirello, was recently named to the 2019 Class of “Up & Coming Lawyers” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly (MLW), an industry publication serving the state’s legal community.

Members of the MLW editorial staff reviewed numerous “Up & Coming Lawyer” nominations. Particular emphasis is placed on legal accomplishments and community involvement within each nominee’s first 10 years of practice. After the nomination review process was completed, 30 honorees were selected. Each will be interviewed for a special section in the legal industry publication’s Dec. 9 edition. Honorees will also be saluted by the newspaper and members of the state’s legal community during an “Up & Coming Lawyers Award Luncheon” on Dec. 5 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

A member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, Nicole represents several major property and casualty insurance companies in coverage cases throughout the Midwest. Her coverage work includes handling environmental contamination, construction defect and high-exposure product liability claims.

Admitted to practice in Wisconsin and in the state and federal courts in Michigan and Illinois, Ruggirello received both her law and undergraduate degrees, magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 2011 and 2008, respectively.

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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 is a leading provider of business and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 140 attorneys in seven 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. 

For more information about Nicole C. Ruggirello receiving the MLW “Up & Coming Lawyer” honor, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development  John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

DSHRM is proud to congratulate Ms. Dandridge Floyd on her Crain’s Detroit 40 under 40 recognition

Dandridge Floyd, 37

Assistant Superintendent of Human Relations and Labor Relations, Oakland Schools

Throughout Dandridge Floyd’s careers — whether as a social worker, attorney or assistant superintendent of Oakland Schools — making change has always been a center point.

When United Way pitched a framework to Oakland Schools for a countywide breakfast program to address poor nutrition as a way to improve academic achievement, Floyd — who experienced food insecurity growing up — knew firsthand the powerful impact it could have.

To secure the needed funds, Floyd led a team that earned support from all 28 local districts to finance the program — despite the fact that a majority of them would see no benefit.

“The local districts were phenomenal,” Floyd said. “The biggest surprise was how quickly it happened. Education is a democratic system and democracy can be very slow, but this happened in six to seven months. That showed how committed people were to making sure the students of Oakland County have everything they need to be successful.”

In a county where over 7,000 children suffer from hunger, and only two in five eligible students access a school breakfast, Floyd said a common misperception is that “Oakland County is rich.”

“That makes this program all the more important, because if that is the bias or the thought process people have about Oakland County, then these kids would have never gotten help.”

In a groundbreaking public/nonprofit partnership between the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, Oakland Schools and United Way, Oakland County is Better with Breakfast was born.

“I’m impacting lives now,” Floyd said. “I know the effect food insecurity had on me and my peers growing up, and this was an opportunity to make a change that I wish an adult could have made for me.”

Photography by Jacob Lewkow for Crain’s

Stanczyk elected to ALFA Board of Directors

DATE:  October 29, 2019 

CONTACT:  John E. Cornwell (248) 901-4008

Stanczyk elected to Board of Directors of international organization

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – October 29, 2019 – Matthew J. Stanczyk, a partner of Plunkett Cooney – one of the Midwest’s oldest and most accomplished law firms – was recently elected to the Board of Directors of ALFA International.

Stanczyk was elected to the three-year term at the conclusion of the ALFA Attorney Business Meeting in Chicago on Oct. 24. The board consists of 16 member-firm attorneys from the United States and around the world who together ensure proper governance of the organization.

The selection process includes peer nomination to a nominating committee that then selects individuals for the open board positions (typically four). The nominating committee then submits the names to the board of directors for approval. Following board review and approval, the candidates are submitted to the membership, which includes members from across the world, which casts their votes at ALFA’s annual business meeting to finalize the election process.

“My election to the board is an honor and a privilege,” said Stanczyk, who was also recently selected to serve as Chair of ALFA International’s Product Liability & Complex Torts Practice Group. “I look forward to working with this group of remarkable attorneys and ALFA management and collaborating with them to capitalize on opportunities for the organization and to address challenges in our profession.”

Founded in 1980, ALFA International is the premier network of independent law firms in the world with 150 member firms. ALFA’s 80 U.S. firms maintain offices in 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, and the consortium’s 70 international firms are located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Mexico and South America.

– More –

A member of Plunkett Cooney’s Detroit office, Stanczyk serves as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and co-leader of Torts & Litigation Practice Group, which focuses on a range of litigation issues, including product liability, complex torts, general liability, retail liability, and foodservice and hospitality law.

A 1986 graduate of University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a 1983 graduate of the University of Michigan, Stanczyk is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Detroit Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan (Negligence and Consumer Law sections), American Bar Association, DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, among others.

In addition, Stanczyk is the recipient of such professional honors as Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer review rating-AV Preeminent™, the Michigan Super Lawyer designation for his product liability expertise and selection by Dbusiness magazine as a Top Lawyer in the area of product liability.

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 seven 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.

For more information about Matthew Stanczyk serving on the Board of Directors of ALFA International, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

Senior attorney Puricelli joins firm’s employment law group

DATE:  October 22, 2019

 CONTACT:  John E. Cornwell (248) 901-4008

Bloomfield Hills, MI — October 22, 2019 — A former Deputy Commissioner for the city of Detroit Fire Department, senior attorney Sydney R. Puricelli, is now putting out fires on behalf of the labor and employment clients of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and most accomplished law firms.

“Sydney is a great addition to our firm,” said President & CEO Thomas P. Vincent. “Her experience in the public and private sectors makes her exceptionally qualified to provide legal representation to our clients in employment litigation and complex labor disputes.”

A member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, Puricelli has over 15 years of experience in the areas of labor and employment law with particular expertise in labor dispute resolution, contract negotiations, grievance resolution and related arbitration proceedings. She also has extensive experience resolving litigation involving claims of workplace violence, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and whistleblower claims.

Admitted to practice law in Michigan’s state and federal courts, Puricelli is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan.

– More –

Puricelli received her master of laws and law degrees from Wayne State University Law School in 2009 and 2002, respectively. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1999.

Prior to joining the firm, Puricelli worked as assistant corporation counsel in the Labor & Employment Section of the city of Detroit Law Department and as a 2nd Deputy Commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department, where she developed particular expertise working with the city’s fire and EMS unions. Puricelli is a licensed Emergency Medical Technician in the state of Michigan.

The members of Plunkett Cooney’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group provide a full range of employment-related legal services, including human resources counseling, litigation defense representation, alternative dispute resolution, labor law assistance and regulatory compliance review and defense.

 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 seven 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.

For more information about labor and employment law attorney Sydney R. Puricelli joining Plunkett Cooney, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

Ronayne Joins Plunkett Cooney’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group

DATE:  October 9, 2019
CONTACT:  John E. Cornwell (248) 901-4008

 

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – October 9, 2019 – Former Michigan Supreme Court Judicial Law Clerk Louis F. Ronayne, III recently joined Plunkett Cooney’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group.

Ronayne, who previously served as judicial law clerk to Justice Brian K. Zahra, is a member of the Bloomfield Hills office of Plunkett Cooney – one of the Midwest’s oldest and most accomplished law firms.

“Louis is an outstanding attorney, and his background working for the state’s highest court will be invaluable in helping formulate legal arguments and in positioning cases for successful outcomes,” said Plunkett Cooney President & CEO Thomas P. Vincent.

Ronayne will assist clients in complex financial and business disputes and appeals. His litigation practice will include all aspects of commercial liability, including disputes arising under the Uniform Commercial Code.

A 2017 magna cum laude graduate of Michigan State University College of Law, Ronayne is the recipient of several academic honors, including the Walter E. Oberer Scholarship. He also served as executive editor of the law school’s Journal of Business  and Securities Law.

Ronayne received his undergraduate degree, cum laude, in 2014 from Adrian College. He is a licensed real estate professional in Michigan and a member of the State Bar of Michigan.

Plunkett Cooney’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group represents a broad range of clients in litigation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution concerning matters that arise while conducting business. Practice group members have extensive experience in matters involving contract disputes, business torts, real estate disputes, business ownership conflicts, bankruptcy, antitrust claims, corporate compliance issues, tax and finance issues, commercial collections, commercial landlord tenant, civil RICO, ERISA, intellectual property claims and many other areas.

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.

For more information about Louis F. Ronayne, III joining the Commercial Litigation Practice Group of Plunkett Cooney, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

American Society of Employers (ASE) Announces the Michigan HR Executives of the Year for 2019

Media Contact: Heather Nezich, ASE, 248.223.8040
hnezich@aseonline.org

 

Livonia, Mich. —October 3, 2019 — American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, is pleased to announce the honorees for its annual Michigan HR Executive of the Year for 2019.  Through a nomination process overseen by ASE, candidates are selected in four categories and recognized for their admirable work that distinguishes them in the field of Human Resource Management.  The 2019 winners are:

  • Kathleen (Kathie) Patterson, Chief Human Resources Officer, Ally Financial

(For-profit Organization – Large Employer)

  • Sara Van Wagoner, Vice President of Corporate Growth Strategies, Edcor

(For-profit Organization – Small Employer)

  • Laurita Thomas, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, University of Michigan

(Non-profit Organization – Large Employer)

  • Andrew McKinnon, Director, Human Resources and Labor Relations, Macomb County

(Non-profit Organization – Small Employer)

“The honorees continue to impress me each year, and this year is no exception.  The dedication to the HR profession is prevalent in each of the 2019 HR Executives of the Year,” stated Mary E. Corrado, ASE President & CEO.  “We look forward to celebrating their achievements at the Annual Summit on November 7th.”

The 2019 Michigan HR Executives of the Year will receive their awards at ASE’s 16th Annual Summit, which celebrates not only the honorees but also the pivotal role of the HR profession in Michigan’s business and non-profit communities. ASE will also celebrate and recognize its members that have been with ASE for 50+ years.

The ASE Annual Summit will be held Thursday, November 7th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Detroit Athletic Club. The event will feature a keynote presentation by Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner at Economic Leadership, LLC, who will speak about 10 trends that will impact every employer in the future.  Ted has 38 years of experience in directing local and regional economic development and workforce development programs and later as CEO of a leading economic policy thinktank.

ASE’s 2019 Annual Summit is open to both ASE members and non-members. Tickets are $99 per person, $539 for groups of six, and $639 for groups of eight. The evening includes networking, cocktails, small plates, and dessert. To purchase tickets or for registration information, please call 248-223-8006 or visit the ASE website.

 

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization

American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit employer association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for HR information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.

Top 4 Employee Background Check Practices

         

DATE: October 3, 2019
CONTACT:  Dan Klimek  (888) 817-8282

 

Identify Why Your Organization Needs to Conduct Background Checks

This is probably the easiest and most obvious question an employer can ask themselves.  If you are reading this, you are likely considering screening your applicants at a certain stage in the hiring process.  Every company goes through this at some point, no matter how large or small.  This is attributed to a number of things, not the least of which includes protecting your firm from a bad and costly hiring decision, the duty to protect current employees, the need to protect company data and resources, and the need to ensure the integrity of your candidates.  It is understandable in today’s day and age that anyone with employees would want to know about past behaviors that can lead to future problems.  Thankfully background screening has become commonplace for most employers.  Unfortunately, bad hires count on a number of employers who do not screen their hires and hire strictly on how they feel about an applicant, creating potential problems down the road.

What Do You Want to Know About Your Applicants?

I’ll bet if you are calling around to background check companies, you have never been asked this question in these terms.

If you stop to think; “what are we concerned about in our applicant’s background”, you will likely come up with the answer to this one.

What matters about an applicant’s background that would prevent you from making an offer?

For some industries, this question is easily answered by regulation specific to who can perform certain professional roles.  Your industry may have these types of guidelines in place, and if so, a qualified background screening company should be able to match you with the exact searches you need (in this case, skip to number 4!).  Most industries don’t have specific background check guidelines and therefore it is up to the employer (you) to identify what you want to know about an applicant before hiring them.  There are many options for employers to choose from; and so, to name a few of the most commonly requested searches, we have pasted this handy list below:

  • Criminal Convictions
    • Sex Offender History
  • County Level Criminal Convictions
  • Local Level Misdemeanor Convictions
  • Driving Records
  • Credit History
  • Identity Verification (Name, DOB, SSN and Prior Addresses)
  • Education Verification
  • Prior Employment Verification
  • Federal Court Records Search
  • Bankruptcy Court Search
  • Industry Specific Professional Licensing and Violations
  • US Terror Watchlist
  • Reference Interviews

Keeping in mind that this list is not all-inclusive and that there are many additional options available, it is important that along with having an idea of what you do want to know about an applicant, you should consider the information you may not want to know.  By this, we simply mean, what type of records are you willing to overlook on any applicant.  It is specific to note that this should be applied to any applicant to avoid hiring bias.  If there are records that would not prevent your firm from hiring someone, we can help steer you clear of searches that might reveal that information.  For example, if your applicant will never have access to a company car and has no job requirements to drive while employed, you may not select to see his or her driving record.  The same applies to credit history searches and bankruptcy records.  If these things would never disqualify someone from working for you, it may be best to leave those out of your background check.

Identify and Document the Information You Want to Know

Once you have a pretty good idea of what you do and don’t want to know about your applicants, it is a smart idea to document that list for a couple of reasons.  First off, you will want to have it handy when you do select a background screening company, so you can best articulate which searches you want to be included and which you don’t.  This brings up the topic of packages.

Clear and simple; if a background check company insists on a package of searches that they have pre-made; don’t buy.

This is your hiring process and you can decide what is to be included and what isn’t.  A qualified company may have suggestions based on experience or your local area, but at the end of the day, these searches are for people you will be hiring and working with.  Also, by documenting these searches and the criteria you will use to hire, you can help ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws and create a fair and even hiring process that is applied across the board for applicants in equal roles.

Selecting a Qualified Background Check Company

What do we know so far?

  • Pre-made packages are not helpful for most employers, and background checks should be designed for each individual employer, with the specific details about what they want to know about an applicant.
  • There are a lot of search options available to an employer and consulting an expert can help.
  • You as the employer are in control of the information that goes into your background checks.
  • Compliance includes creating a background check that applies to all applicants for a specific role

What else makes for a qualified partner to screen your applicants?

Most importantly for any employer to know is that creating a compliant background check to deploy during your hiring process is a smart way to help reduce hiring risks.  This process is very commonplace and with a good background check firm to partner with, you can ensure that you are obtaining the very specific information that is important to your individual organization to know before you make hiring decisions.

Dan Klimek

Dan is a Background Investigator with Background Check Central, a specialized employee screening and corporate investigation agency with global reach, based in Metro-Detroit. For information about Background Check Central’s services or for a complete bio of our team, please visit www.BackgroundCheckCentral.com or call directly at 888-817-8282

Stanczyk Chairs International Product Liabilty, Complex Torts Practice Group

Plunkett Cooney

DATE:  October 1, 2019
CONTACT:  John E. Cornwell (248) 901-4008

 

Stanczyk_EnvBLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – October 1, 2019 – Matthew J. Stanczyk, a partner of Plunkett Cooney – one of the Midwest’s oldest and most accomplished law firms – recently became Chair of ALFA International’s Product Liability & Complex Torts (PL&CT) Practice Group.

A member of the firm’s Board of Directors, Stanczyk assumed the PL&CT Chair position at the conclusion of the group’s seminar in Marana, Arizona on Sept. 25-27. His term will expire in the fall of 2021.

“I’m extremely proud that my ALFA colleagues have trusted me with this leadership position,” said Stanczyk, who is a member of Plunkett Cooney’s Detroit office. “We have an outstanding group that is focused on educating clients about these complex areas of litigation and to making a difference for the defense bar.”

The members of ALFA’s PL&CT Practice Group focus on the areas of general business counseling, litigation, mediation and arbitration, lobbying and legislation, product recalls and hearings, regulatory and licensing issues, warnings and labels, standards setting, public relations and media management, and trade association relations.

Founded in 1980, ALFA International is the premier network of independent law firms in the world with 150 member firms. ALFA’s 80 U.S. firms maintain offices in 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, and the consortium’s 70 international firms are located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Mexico and South America.

In addition to his involvement in ALFA International, Stanczyk serves as co-leader of Plunkett Cooney’s Tort & Litigation Practice Group, which focuses on a range of litigation issues, including product liability, complex torts, general liability, retail liability and foodservice and hospitality law.

A 1986 graduate of University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a 1983 graduate of the University of Michigan, Stanczyk is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Detroit Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan (Negligence and Consumer Law sections), American Bar Association, DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, among others.

In addition, Stanczyk is the recipient of such professional honors as Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer review rating-AV Preeminent™, the Michigan Super Lawyer designation for product liability and selection by Dbusiness magazine as a Top Lawyer in product liability.

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.

For more information about Matthew Stanczyk as chair of ALFA International’s PL&CT Practice Group, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.