Press Releases


McGiffert to receive award from State Bar Negligence Law Section


The Negligence Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan has selected Plunkett Cooney partner Laurel F. McGiffert Laurel McGiffert Plunkett Cooney Trial Attorney Detroitas one of Michigan’s top trial attorneys.

The Negligence Law Section will present McGiffert with its prestigious Earl J. Cline / Sherwin Schreier Award for Excellence at the section’s 62nd Annual Past Chairpersons Dinner on Thursday, June 15, at the Detroit Golf Club. The award of excellence is presented annually in recognition of an individual’s superb skill as a justice, judge or attorney in the field of negligence law and dispute resolution.

“Laurel is an outstanding attorney who is very deserving of this award,” said Dennis G. Cowan, President and CEO of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s largest law firms. “It’s certainly a wonderful honor and a tribute to Laurel to be recognized for her exceptional work on behalf of our clients. She loves the practice of law, and it shows each time she enters a courtroom.”

Prior recipients of the award of excellence include former Michigan Supreme Court Justices Michael F. Cavanagh and Marilyn J. Kelly, Chief Judge Robert J. Colombo, Jr. of the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, former Michigan Second District Court of Appeals judge Pat Donofrio and former Plunkett Cooney trial attorney, Frank W. Brochert.

The Negligence Law Section was formed to help preserve the jury system and to promote the fair and just administration of negligence law. The section is committed to advance professional and ethical standards on the part of negligence law practitioners, as well as to preserve and promote trial advocacy skills in the practice.

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, she has extensive experience representing clients involved in Michigan's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system. McGiffert also has the distinction of serving as an independent arbitrator and mediator in ADR hearings. 

A member of Plunkett Cooney’s Detroit office, McGiffert is a founding member of the firm’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 was named among the 2015 “Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. McGiffert also 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 Medical Liability Practice Group is comprised of experienced trial attorneys dedicated to the rigorous defense of all types of medical malpractice lawsuits. Their clients include doctors, pharmacists, chiropractors, dentists, podiatrists, psychologists, psychiatrists, hospitals and their employees, medical clinics, mental health facilities and extended care facilities.

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 approximately 140 attorneys in nine 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 Laurel F. McGiffert receiving the Earl J. Cline / Sherwin Schreier Award for Excellence, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, John Cornwell, at (248) 901-4008;