Massaron to receive Michigan Bar Appellate Section’s Lifetime Achievement Award

The State Bar of Michigan’s Appellate Practice Section recently announced that it has selected Plunkett Cooney partner Mary Massaron as the recipient of its 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award will be presented to Massaron during the 2022 Appellate Bench Bar Conference next May. Anne Argiroff, who chairs the Appellate Practice Section, said Massaron was selected because of her tireless efforts to support the section and to improve appellate advocacy in Michigan.

“You continue to provide the standard to which we, as appellate attorneys, aspire: meticulous and zealous advocacy, an innate understanding of the law and its effects, and outstanding professional leadership,” Argiroff wrote in her award notification letter to Massaron. “This is most appropriate in light of your decades of work as co-chair of the Michigan Bench Bar Conference Foundation. Your involvement with the Conference, as well as other state and national organizations, has been instrumental in improving the appellate justice system and facilitating the relationships between the bench and bar.”

Massaron, one of Plunkett Cooney’s most accomplished appellate attorneys, will add the SBM Appellate Section Lifetime Achievement Award to a long list of other honors. She is a former president of DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar and the first woman president of Lawyers for Civil Justice. A member of the prestigious American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and American Law Institute, Massaron is also a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Amicus Curiae Briefs, a five-member committee that oversees preparation of ABA briefs for filing in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The list of Massaron’s appellate victories is long and distinguished, including an award-winning brief in Nexteer Automotive Group v. Mando America Corp in 2018. Cooley Law Review presented Massaron with its Distinguished Brief Award for her efforts in this case. She has also received distinguished service awards from the Michigan Municipal League in 2003 and Marygrove College in 2004, as well as the Leaders in the Law Award from Michigan Lawyers Weekly in 2009. Additionally, Massaron received the 2020 Al Cortese Award for outstanding contributions to the cause of civil justice, which was presented to her by Lawyers for Civil Justice.

With over 100 appeals as lead attorney before the U.S. Circuit Court for the Sixth Circuit, Massaron’s list of published cases in state appellate courts is equally as long and distinguished. She is admitted to almost every federal circuit court of appeals and has handled matters before the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth circuits. She has also handled cases in Alabama, California, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Ohio courts, as well as in the Tribal Court of Appeals.

Massaron, who has exclusively practiced in the area of appellate law for over 30 years, is perennially recognized by Best Lawyers in America for appellate law and has been repeatedly acknowledged as one of the top 100 lawyers, top 50 business lawyers, top 25 women business lawyers, top 50 female lawyers, and top appellate law practitioners by Michigan Super Lawyers. She was recognized as the Best Lawyers 2017 and 2021 Appellate Practice “Lawyer of the Year” for attorneys practicing in Bloomfield Hills. Dbusiness magazine has named Massaron its top appellate lawyer for the past five years.

Plunkett Cooney, one of the oldest and largest law firms in the nation, is one of only a few Midwest law firms with a dedicated team of appellate attorneys. The members of the Appellate Law Practice Group are responsible for over 1,500 cases decided by state and federal appellate courts, including all Michigan appellate courts, the Ohio Supreme Court, the Indiana appellate courts, the California Court of Appeals, and numerous federal circuit courts of appeal.

Plunkett Cooney’s appellate attorneys are routinely retained to handle cutting edge appeals involving issues of first impression or to seek reversal of large adverse judgments. They have also prepared numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of firm clients for filing in state and federal courts.

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 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana and Columbus, Ohio. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms.

For more information about Mary Massaron’s State Bar of Michigan Lifetime Achievement Award, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, John Cornwell, at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

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Massaron selected as LCJ’s 2021 Cortese Award recipient

Plunkett Cooney appellate attorney Mary Massaron was recently selected by the executive committee of the Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ) to receive its 2021 Al Cortese Award.

The Al Cortese Award, which will be presented at the LCJ virtual meeting on May 6 at 5 p.m., recognizes outstanding contributions to the promotion of excellence and fairness in the civil justice system. The award is named in honor of Alfred W. Cortese, Jr., whose tenacious pursuit of balance and fairness in the civil justice system made a lasting contribution to the way in which civil justice is administered in the United States.

Massaron was selected in recognition of her work with establishing the LCJ’s Amicus Committee and program, and for her work on advocacy, including the amicus briefs she wrote, titled: “In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation.”

This brief asked the appellate court to issue a writ of mandamus to correct the lower court’s rulings because they were inconsistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and, therefore, violated the fundamental principles required for a court operating under the rule of law. This is an enormously important ruling, not only for this high-stakes Multi-District Litigation (MDL), but also because it holds that MDLs must comply with the rules just like in any other case – a position the LCJ has been advocating strongly as part of its Rules4MDLs project.

Massaron is one Plunkett Cooney’s most accomplished appellate attorneys with over 400 appeals to her credit, approximately 50 of which are published decisions. She is a past president of DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, and she has the distinction of being inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Appellate Attorneys. Massaron is a past chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Amicus Briefs, and she is perennially identified as a top appellate attorney in Michigan by Martindale-Hubbell, Best Lawyers in America and other leading peer review organizations.

Over the last 20 years, Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers have been lead counsel in more than 1,500 cases decided by state and federal appellate courts, including all Michigan appellate courts, the Ohio Supreme Court, the Indiana appellate courts, the California Court of Appeals, and numerous federal circuit courts of appeal. The firm’s lawyers have argued cases before the Michigan Supreme Court during each term since 1988. Collectively, they provide appellate expertise in a range of litigation from class actions to product liability to municipal law.

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 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell and Crain’s Detroit Business named the firm its inaugural Law Firm of the Year.

For more information about Mary Massaron receiving the LCJ 2021 Al Cortese Award, contact Plunkett Cooney’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

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Crain’s Detroit Business names Massaron Notable Woman in Law

Plunkett Cooney appellate attorney Mary Massaron was recently named by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of Michigan’s 2021 Notable Women in Law.

“Mary’s selection by Crain’s for this honor is a testament to her more than 30 years in practice as one of the state’s top appellate attorneys,” said Plunkett Cooney’s President and CEO Thomas P. Vincent. “Mary has built a national reputation for excellence, and we are extremely proud that she has been named among this year’s class of notable women in the law.”

Massaron, along with 46 other female attorneys and judges, were selected to the 2021 class for their work in establishing legal precedents, for relentlessly pursuing justice and for winning big cases on behalf of their clients. Winners were also selected for their efforts to mentor the next generation of women in law and for their philanthropic endeavors. Winners were featured in an April 19 special section of Crain’s Detroit Business.

Massaron was nominated for her extensive career in the area of appellate law practice, her successful and award-winning amicus brief writing, her leadership positions with national legal organizations (serving as president of the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar and Lawyers for Civil Justice), and for mentoring the firm’s younger appellate attorneys.

Massaron is one of Plunkett Cooney’s most accomplished appellate attorneys with over 400 appeals to her credit, approximately 50 of which are published decisions. She has the distinction of being inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Appellate Attorneys. Massaron is a past chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Amicus Briefs, and she is perennially identified as a top appellate attorney in Michigan by Martindale-Hubbell, Best Lawyers in America and other leading peer review organizations.

Over the last 30 years, Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers have been lead counsel in more than 1,500 cases decided by state and federal appellate courts, including all Michigan appellate courts, the Ohio Supreme Court, the Indiana appellate courts, the California Court of Appeals, and numerous federal circuit courts of appeal. The firm’s lawyers have argued cases before the Michigan Supreme Court during each term since 1988. Collectively, they provide appellate expertise in a range of litigation from class actions to product liability to municipal law.

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 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell and Crain’s Detroit Business named the firm its inaugural Law Firm of the Year.

For more information about Mary Massaron as one of Crain’s Notable Women in Law, contact Plunkett Cooney’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

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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.