Fracassi joins Plunkett Cooney’s Transportation Law Practice Group

Roderick Fracassi, a 17-year veteran of the trucking and logistics industries, recently joined Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, as a senior attorney in its Transportation Law Practice Group.

Fracassi, a member of the firm’s Detroit office, formerly served as chief counsel and assistant secretary of a $3.8 billion, multinational, less-than-truckload division of an American transportation and logistics company. He will focus his practice primarily on servicing the transactional and regulatory needs of the firm’s clients.

“We are fortunate to have Rod as part of our team. His expertise provides an added dimension to the firm’s practice, particularly in the areas of regulatory and transactional law,” said Michael K. Sheehy, co-chair of Plunkett Cooney’s Transportation Law Practice Group Leader.

Fracassi has extensive experience handling commercial transactions, implementing corporate compliance programs, managing litigation and providing counsel on labor and employment issues. He routinely drafts, negotiates and enforces commercial transactions in a range of business capacities, including the areas of sales, licensing, vendor services and procurement. Fracassi has also collaborated with corporate decision-makers to identify and communicate legal risks associated with company transactions.

In addition, Fracassi has handled numerous matters involving mergers and acquisitions, real estate law, intellectual property, risk management and bankruptcy.

Fracassi is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Transportation Lawyer’s Association and the American Trucking Association. In 1994, he simultaneously received his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law and his master’s degree from Wayne State University.

The members of Plunkett Cooney’s Transportation Law Practice Group have served the legal needs of clients in the transportation and trucking industries for decades. In addition to offering comprehensive regulatory and transactional support, the group is one of the Midwest’s most accomplished in the defense of transportation litigation.

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 145 attorneys in nine 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.

For more information about Roderick Fracassi joining Plunkett Cooney’s Transportation Law Practice Group, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or

McGiffert among legal publication’s 2015 ‘Women in the Law’

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI – September 11, 2015 – Laurel F. McGiffert, a partner in the Detroit office of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, was recently selected as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “2015 Women in the Law.”

“Laurel is truly deserving of this award,” said Henry B. Cooney, Plunkett Cooney’s President and CEO. “She’s an outstanding trial attorney and a leader in our firm.”

The honorees were recognized in a special section of Michigan Lawyers Weekly and were honored yesterday at the sixth annual Women in the Law luncheon at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

A Lawyers Weekly editorial panel selected this year’s honorees, considering a number of criteria, including each nominee’s commitment to excellence in the practice of law; inspiration and accomplishment as leaders in the profession; mentorship other women; and significant contribution of time and effort to volunteerism and/or pro bono service.

A senior trial attorney in the public and private sectors, McGiffert concentrates her practice primarily in the areas of medical liability, labor and employment law, municipal law, civil rights and general litigation. In addition to her successful trial practice, McGiffert has extensive experience representing clients involved in Michigan’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system. She also has the distinction of serving as an independent arbitrator and mediator in ADR hearings.

McGiffert is a founding member of Plunkett Cooney’s Diversity Committee and a former member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Her involvement in professional organizations includes the State Bar of Michigan, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the Wolverine Bar Association, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel. McGiffert also serves on the Board of Directors for the Oakland Mediation Center and the Power Company Kids Club.

Listed among the Best Lawyers in America® for Medical Malpractice Law, McGiffert has received Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating-AV Preeminent™ Peer Review rating and she received the Michigan Association for Justice Respected Advocate Award in 2012.

McGiffert received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1980 and her undergraduate degree from Vassar College in 1970.

Plunkett Cooney’s Torts & Litigation Practice focuses on the defense of civil litigation, including claims involving municipal law, construction disputes, employment law, motor vehicle negligence, liquor liability, product liability, toxic torts and premises liability, including slip and falls, trip and falls and open and obvious dangers.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs 150 attorneys in nine Michigan cities, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm, which provides a range of transactional, coverage and litigation services, has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed among the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” for 2015.

For more information about Laurel F. McGiffert’s selection as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “2015 Women in the Law,” contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, John Cornwell, at (248) 901-4008;

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.