Plunkett Cooney Attorneys Among 2018 ‘Best Lawyers in America’

Thirty one Plunkett Cooney attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the 24rd edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

First published in 1983, Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which lawyers within their own geographic region nominate their peers. These lawyers are not allowed to select nominees from the same area(s) in which they practice. Inclusion in Best Lawyers (Copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC) is considered a singular honor because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed.

In addition to his inclusion on the list this year, Plunkett Cooney attorney David K. Otis is receiving special honors from Best Lawyers. Otis has been named Lansing “Lawyer of the Year” in Municipal Litigation. This designation is given to only a single attorney in each practice area in each community. He has been on the list of The Best Lawyers in America® since 2010.

A member of the firm’s East Lansing office, Otis has represented numerous mid-Michigan municipalities in zoning and land use, employment, civil rights and Whistleblower’s Protection Act litigation. He is a member of the Ingham County Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan’s Public Corporation, Real Property and Corporations, Finance and Business Law sections and the Business Law and Administrative Law sections of the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar.

Below is a list of additional Plunkett Cooney attorneys who have received the 2018 Best Lawyers designation:

Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills, Michigan Best Lawyers:

  • Michael P. Ashcraft (partner) – Legal Malpractice Law
  • Douglas C. Bernstein (partner) – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • William D. Booth (of counsel) – Personal Injury Litigation. Bill has the distinction of being named to the Best Lawyers list for 30 years.
  • Charles W. Browning (partner) – Insurance Law
  • Lawrence R. Donaldson (of counsel) – Professional Malpractice Law
  • Michael A. Fleming (partner) – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Jeffrey C. Gerish (partner) – Appellate Law
  • Gregory Gromek (partner) – Personal Injury Litigation
  • Robert G. Kamenec (partner) – Appellate Practice
  • Mark S. Kopson (partner) – Health Care Law
  • David A. Lerner (partner) – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Mary Massaron (partner) – Appellate Law
  • Saulius K. Mikalonis (senior attorney) – Environmental Law
  • Stanley C. Moore, III (of counsel) – Employment and Labor Law Management
  • Kenneth C. Newa (partner) – Insurance Law
  • Scott H. Sirich (partner) – Construction Law and Litigation
  • Thomas P. Vincent (partner) – Commercial Litigation

Plunkett Cooney’s Columbus, Ohio Best Lawyers:

  • Amelia A. Bower (partner) – Real Estate Litigation
  • Daniel J. Hurley (senior attorney) – Insurance Law and Personal Injury Litigation
  • Jack S. Levey (senior attorney) – Real Estate Law

Plunkett Cooney’s Detroit, Michigan Best Lawyers:

  • Jennifer Andreou (partner) – Medical Malpractice Law
  • James R. Geroux (partner) – Workers’ Compensation Law
  • Laurel F. McGiffert (partner) – Medical Malpractice Law
  • Claudia D. Orr (senior attorney) – Employment Law
  • Stanley A. Prokop (partner) – Insurance Law
  • Mary Catherine Rentz (partner) – Insurance Law

Plunkett Cooney’s Indianapolis, Indiana Best Lawyer:

  • Stephen J. Peters (partner) – Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law and Construction Litigation

Plunkett Cooney’s Kalamazoo, Michigan Best Lawyers:

  • Michael S. Bogren (partner) – Municipal Law and Litigation
  • Keith A. Peterson (senior attorney) – Banking and Finance Law

Plunkett Cooney’s Petoskey, Michigan Best Lawyer:

  • Jerome A. Galante (partner) – Personal Injury Litigation

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs approximately 140 attorneys in eight Michigan cities; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms and is listed among the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in 2016. Plunkett Cooney has also received numerous awards naming the firm as a top place to work within the legal industry.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney’s 2018 “Best Lawyers in America,” contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;

DisruptHR Detroit

By: Ultimate Software

DisruptHR Detroit is coming to the Garden Theater on Wednesday, September 27th from 6-8 pm.

Disrupt is an information exchange designed to energize, inform, and empower executives, business leaders and people in the HR field.

Events have happened around the country for years, and this is the first event in Detroit. The event itself is a group of 12 speakers talking on topics around talent, culture, technology, and other employee-related topics that disrupt the HR world.

The catch? Each talk is only 5 minutes with slides rotating every 15 seconds. It’s fast-moving and a lot of fun. The speakers were just announced for the first event:

  • Travis Furlow – Paperclip Thinking: How many ways can we…
  • Greg Modd – No Excuses, Just Results
  • Shenandoah Chefalo – Building a Resilient Workforce
  • Steve Lowisz – The Drift & Shift
  • James Reid – HR from a Legal Perspective: Stories better than fiction
  • Christie Hecht – Confessions of a Millennial
  • Susan Bailey – Go ahead…Don’t take care of your employees
  • Nicholas Larche – Your Employer Has Seen You Naked
  • Jasmine Burns – Who Said Sales and Recruiting Aren’t the Same
  • Susan West – Stop the Havoc!
  • Patrick Wright – True Intelligence vs. A.I.
  • Rita Fields – When Your Emperor Has No Clothes

Interested in attending? Tickets now on sale: or

Interested in sponsoring? Contact Christie Hecht – 248.229.5125 or

DSHRM Gives Back

Early on Saturday, July 22nd members of DSHRM served breakfast at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen on Conner in Detroit. This event was sponsored by the Community and Government Affairs Committee. It was wonderful to be part of something so important. The staff and patrons were a delight to work with.

Special thank you to all our volunteers pictured below: Allyson Bakewell, Carrie Bryant, Christine Miska, Naomi Taylor, Krista Hurst, Ola Salako, Steve Goodrich, Valerie Murphy-Goodrich, Hannah Costello and Dave Lievens.

Please join us on Saturday, September 16th at the Forgotten Harvest Farm in Fenton. You may call Hannah Costello at 586-222-1363 for more information. #DSHRM

American Society of Employers (ASE) announces job fair for veterans and individuals with disabilities on August 24 in Southfield

Media Contacts: Heather Nezich, ASE, 248.223.8040,

Livonia, Mich. —July 24, 2017 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, will co-host a Veteran’s Job Fair on Thursday, August 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Southfield Pavilion.  In addition, resume and interviewing workshops will be available starting at 8:00 a.m.

Joining ASE as co-hosts are the Michigan Industry Liaison Group (MILG), Detroit VA Healthcare System, Southfield Veterans’ Commission, Oakland County Michigan Works, and Michigan Rehabilitation Services. New Horizons and TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants are event sponsors.   Cooper Standard, Federal Mogul, Kelly Services, and Nexteer are contributing sponsors.

The job fair is open to all, but is targeted to military veterans, individuals with disabilities, and their families.  The event is free to both employers and job seekers.

ASE President and CEO, Mary E. Corrado, made the announcement and stated, “This event has been very successful for past participating employers and candidates.  It’s a great venue for onsite hiring opportunities.  With the focus on veterans and individuals with disabilities, two underserved populations, our goal is to ensure that doors are open and welcoming for these two communities.”

The Southfield Pavilion is located at 26000 Evergreen Rd Southfield, MI 48076.  Registration for employers can be found on the ASE website.  Participants interested in attending can visit the MILG website for additional information or to register (not mandatory).

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

The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade 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 information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at

2017 NAAAHR- State of Michigan Midwest Regional Conference Tickets Available

When: Friday, September 29, 2017 from 8:00- 4:00 p.m.

Where: Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport- 800 Merriman Rd. Romulus, MI 48174

The National Association of African Americans in Human Resources Midwest Region Invites You To The 2017 Midwest Regional Conference. Get ready to learn from the greatest collection of skilled Human Resource practitioners ever assembled under one roof!  “It doesn’t get better than this!”

Conference Lineup:

Our Keynote Speakers will be:

Kristi Stepp, Head of Human Resources Thermal Systems North America for Valeo: Are your HR skills stale?’ Why you need to freshen them up?

Dr. Rita Fields, Professor of Management at Madonna University

  • Other Presenters and Workshop Titles: Ovell Barbee, Senior VP of HR at Spectrum Health: Leveraging Change: The Key to Mobilizing Your Workforce
  • Nicole Webb-Elder, Director of Human Resources at Ford Direct: The Credible HR Business Partner
  • Terry Denise Faison, Manager of Labor Strategy & Negotiations Planning for Ford Motor Company: Building High Performing Teams
  • Kimberlea Dungy: Enhancing New Employee Engagement
  • Debra Williams, Executive Vice President of Right Management and President, Detroit Society for Human Resources Management: New Rules: What Got Us Here Won’t Get Us There
  • Dr. Ernest Betts, Dean of Multicultural Business Programs for the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University: Developing Global Executives for Emerging Markets
  • Veretta Nix, Director of Human Resources for Zingerman’s Community of Businesses: Succession Planning: Build Leaders for the Change Ahead
  • Esther Jackson, Project Manager for the City of Detroit: HR Today: Time for a Prison Break
  • David Turner, VP of Human Resources at Eastern Michigan University: Creating an Intentional & Purposeful Communication Strategy
  • Cassandra Harvey, VP of Talent Management for the Neighborhood Service Organization: Painting the Elephant in the Room
  • Annette Avery, CEO of Avery 360 Consulting: Working with You is killing me: Building collaborative partnerships in the workplace.
  • Dr. Lisa Wicker, President and CEO of Linwick & Associates, LLC: A Call to Action for Strategic HR: Career Development Capability Model
  • Dr. Robynne Sherrill, Vice President, Global Talent Management & Development, Dawn Food Products: Driving/Enculturation of Change Management Practices
  • Dr. Iris Ware, Chief Learning Officer for the City of Detroit: The 5 C’s of Human Resource Success
  • Kimika Garrett, Director of Human Resources at DUO Security: People Business Partner
  • Kelly Jackson, Director of Human Resources for the OHM Advisors engineering and architectural service firm: The 5 Compliance Steps for HR professionals
  • Dr. Dawn Stewart, Executive Director of Starr Commonwealth: HR Challenges in the Non-Profit Sector
  • Dr. Tia Lewis, Human Resource & Labor Relations Generalist for the City of Flint : Public Sector Recruiting and Hiring Practices
  • Cynthia Wells, Vice President for Human Resources at DESTACO: Career Management in the Real World
  • John Randle, Director Of Human Resources for the City of Farmington Hills: Increasing Minority Presence in Public Sector Employees
  • Camille Bryant, Executive Director of Human Resources at GE Digital : HR’s Role in Leading Change with Authenticity and Transparency
  • Tish King, Principal Consultant at Summit HR Consulting, LLC: Leading in Volatile Times: Are You Prepared for the Unpredictable?

Register Today!

Hotel Accommodations

The National Association of African Americans in Human Resources welcomes The Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport as our host hotel.

Book Your Hotel Now!

Hotel accommodations can be booked now at a group discounted rate until September 14th. Secure your hotel stay now by logging on to

Thank You To Our Partners!




American Society of Employers (ASE) Releases 2017/2018 Policies and Benefits Survey Results

Livonia, Mich. —July 17, 2017 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, released the organization’s 2017/2018 Policies and Benefits Survey results.  The surveys contain both national and Michigan data.  The findings were released by Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE.

“Employers are increasingly challenged with developing workplaces that effectively attract, retain and motivate the best talent.  This resource is one of the more comprehensive tools available for employers to ensure that their benefits, practices, and policies are relevant in today’s market,” stated Mary Corrado, President & CEO of the American Society of Employers.

The 2017/2018 National Policies and Benefits Survey contains information from 1,595 participating organizations from across the United States.  The Michigan Policies and Benefits Survey contains information from 166 participating organizations from across the State of Michigan.  All organizations answered 333 questions about their human resource policies and employee benefit offerings.  The majority of respondents have an employment size of 500 or less employees.

Survey highlights:

  • Nearly 40% (nationally – 38%, Michigan – 37%) of respondents attach a wellness incentive to their medical plan with approximately two thirds (nationally – 66%, Michigan – 67%) offering a reduction in employee premiums as an incentive.
  • Domestic partner benefits continue to increase in popularity. Participants currently offering benefits increased to approximately 41% nationally compared to only 31% here in Michigan, which is up from 38% and 26% respectively in the 2015/2016 survey.
  • 96% of national respondents offer life insurance with approximately 95% paying the full premium amount. In Michigan nearly 99% of respondents offer life insurance with approximately 94% paying the full premium amount.
  • About 83% of national respondents provide short-term disability insurance, which is a slight increase to what was reported in the 2015/2016 surveys. Similar to the 2015/2016 survey, 92% of Michigan respondents provide short-term disability insurance.
  • The average number of paid sick/personal days is 7.4 nationally and 7.0 Michigan, which is similar to the 2015/2016 amount reported.
  • Nationally organizations providing an iPad/Tablet for employee use significantly increased to 33% –up from 27% in 2015/2016. However iPad/Tablet for employee use provided by Michigan employers dropped significantly to 16% –down from 28% in 2015/2016.
  • Both across the nation and here in Michigan 74% of organizations have blocking mechanisms for restricted Internet sites. Instant messaging is on the rise and is now allowed in 50% of organizations nationally and nearly 60% of Michigan organizations, while personal use of the Internet and e-mail use during work hours is allowed by over 55% (nationally – 59%, Michigan – 55%) for office employees. Access to social media sites during work hours is also increasing and is now allowed in approximately 50% (nationally – 47%, Michigan – 54%) of organizations. Over 50% (nationally – 53%, Michigan – 51%) monitor internet and e-mail usage which is a decrease over the prior survey.

Additional data regarding health and welfare benefits, retirement benefits, pay practices, working conditions, paid time off, recruitment practices, and employee relations is available in the full survey available for purchase.  To obtain a complete copy of the 2017/2018 Policies and Benefits Survey, contact Kevin Marrs, Vice President at ASE, 248-223-8025 or

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

The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade 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 information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at

Walsh College to Host a Webinar Focused on Improving Communication Skills on July 24

Strong communication, organization, and preparation are some of the best building blocks for long-term professional success.

While there is no one-size-fits-all mold for starting a business or communicating a message, it is critical for professionals in virtually any field to be able to communicate effectively with today’s tools. A clear understanding of the basics of digital tools, video conferencing, and business communication can take your company to the next level, whether you’re starting your own business or you’re in a non-business role looking for oppo Walsh College will host a complimentary webinar titled, Less is More: Updating Communication Strategies to Engage Audiences, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, July 24. Led by, Jenny Tatsak, Ph.D., chair and professor of Business Communications at Walsh, the webinar will focus on providing entrepreneurs and professionals with non-business backgrounds with the key knowledge, insight, and helpful tips to understanding and improving their style of business communication.

“Many people without a business background do not realize the critical role that communication has throughout every facet of their career,” Dr. Tatsak said.

“This webinar will outline best practices and tips on how to improve your communication style and how to integrate today’s technologies to communicate like a pro.”

Topics include digital presentations, promotional materials, video conferencing, and meeting management.

The webinar is open to everyone; it is particularly valuable to those with an interest in modern communication.

The webinar will also provide a timely look into some of the concepts and topics that will be included in the new Master of Arts in Business degree program, which is now accepting applications for fall 2017. The Master of Arts in Business is a graduate degree that will give you the confidence and practical skills you need to further excel in your career. Find out if you are a match for the Master of Arts in Business or another advanced degree program by taking the “Which Master’s Program is Right for You” quiz.

For more on Walsh webinars or to register, visit

Registration for fall classes begins on Aug. 7. Fall classes begin Sept. 27.rtunities to improve.

Walsh College to Host Admission Day on July 27

Walsh College will host its annual Admission Day on Thursday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at its locations in Troy, Novi, and Clinton Township.

Admissions and academic advisors will be available for one-on-one appointments to discuss Walsh undergraduate and graduate programs, and the admission and transfer process.

At this event you can:

  • Tour the campus.
  • Learn about student services, student life, and organizations.
  • Learn about financial aid options and career services.
  • Waive your admission application fee.
  • Receive on-the-spot admission status.
  • Attend an information session to learn about the new Master of Arts in Business.

“Admission Day is a great opportunity for prospective students who want to learn more about what Walsh has to offer them,” said Angela Boesler, assistant director, recruitment, Walsh College. “Attendees will have the chance to learn about the Walsh College experience, and meet with our advisors about programs and transfer credits, submit an application, and receive their admission status.”

Walsh will waive its $35 application fee for students who enroll during the Admission Day event. Visit the Admission Day webpage for more information and to register.

The event will also feature a special information session on the MA in Business degree program, which starts during the fall 2017 semester. The degree is intended for non-business undergraduates who now have a desire or a need for business knowledge.

Walsh professors Philip Fioravante, Ph.D., and Lee Meadows, Ph.D., will facilitate a discussion from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Troy campus designed to draw students into the business mindset.

Topics for discussion include:

  • What are management essentials?
  • Why is marketing important to an organization’s success?
  • Why is data important?
  • How does finance and accounting keep an organization focused?
  • How does human resources make a difference?
  • How do entrepreneurs identify their stakeholders?

Seating at the MA in Business information session is limited. Register to attend:

July 19th “Webinar: Building Psychologically Healthy Workplaces – A New Business Imperative




Presented by: David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA”

This program is pending for 1.0 recertification credit hours toward PHR®, SPHR® and GPHR® recertification through the HR

Certification Institute through our partnership with the Best and Brightest programs. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at

Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm – Webinar: Building Psychologically Healthy Workplaces – A New Business Imperative presented by David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA

Presentation Description: Successful businesses understand that employee well-being and organizational performance are inextricably linked. This session will explore APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Model as a comprehensive framework for creating work environments where both employees and organizations can thrive. While it’s critical that workplace practices are designed well, based on good scientific evidence, and implemented effectively, equally important is how these programs are perceived by employees. Psychological factors such as autonomy, control and feeling valued also come into play, as well as issues of trust, fairness, and beliefs about the organization’s underlying motivations. This webinar will use data from the American Psychological Association’s recent surveys of the U.S. workforce to explore the impact of these factors on employee health and performance. Additional discussion of work stress, resilience, and emotional health will set the stage for a future where a comprehensive approach to employee well-being drives business results.

Participants Objectives:

  1. Describe the link between healthy workplace practices, employee well-being, and organizational performance.
  2. List the five types of workplace practices that foster a psychologically healthy workplace and examples of each.
  3. Discuss the key factors that can increase the likelihood of positive outcomes and strategies for addressing barriers to successful implementation

Location: ONLINE

Registration (link): Members free (registration required)

$15 advance registration (non-members; become a member)

Michigan  Wellness Council (MWC) is a nonprofit whose mission is to be the trusted resource and connector for workplace wellness collaboration with the vision to improve health through the successful integration of wellness best practices in the workplace through access to quality resources and forums. Michigan  Wellness Council offers regular public group meetings and an annual conference for developing, implementing, and revising worksite wellness programs. Contact: Rita Patel, Director, at 917-913-8394 or .