Press Releases


Plunkett Cooney attorneys named among ‘Best’ in America 2010


The Best Lawyers in America®, one of the nation’s oldest and most trusted peer-to-peer rating services, has named 14 Plunkett Cooney attorneys to its 2010 roster of top practitioners.   

Nominated by colleagues as standouts in their respective fields, Plunkett Cooney partners Michael P. Ashcraft, Jr.; Michael S. Bogren; William D. Booth; Charles W. Browning; Jerome A. Galante; James R. Geroux; Robert G. Kamenec; Jack S. Levey; Stanley C. Moore, III; Christine D. Oldani; David K. Otis; Mary Massaron Ross; James C. Thomas and D. Jerry Watters were recently notified about their selection as “Best Lawyers.”  As one of the Midwest’s largest full-service law firms, Plunkett Cooney has the distinction of several partners being named to the best lawyers list for 10 or more years, as well as two new attorneys in 2010.

Published biennially since 1983, The Best Lawyers in America is widely regarded as the preeminent credential validation source for the legal profession in the United States. The 16th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®(2009) is based on 2.8 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in the same and related specialties. The list of honorees is compiled by Woodward/White Inc., a professional research company.

New to the list from Plunkett Cooney in 2010 are partners Charles W. Browning and David K. Otis. Browning, who currently serves as co-chair of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group, was selected for his outstanding work in the area of insurance law. He is responsible for managing the firm’s relationships as regional coverage counsel for several major property and casualty insurance companies.

Otis, a member of the firm’s East Lansing office, was nominated in Best Lawyers for his expertise in municipal law. With nearly 30 years of experience, he concentrates his practice in the area of municipal litigation and represents cities, townships and counties in actions involving alleged violations of civil rights, employment disputes, zoning matters and litigation arising from the state and federal Whistleblowers Act, Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act and other statutes.

Partner Michael P. Ashcraft, Jr., who currently serves as the firm’s Professional Liability Practice Group Leader, was selected for his outstanding work in legal malpractice law. Ashcraft concentrates his practice in the defense of attorneys and accountants in malpractice claims both directly and through insurance carriers.

Six members of Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills office have also received the “Best Lawyer” designation, including William D. Booth, who has been included on the list for over 20 years in the area of personal injury litigation. One of the firm’s most accomplished litigators, Booth is a past President of the Oakland County Bar Association, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers.

A 10-year veteran of the “Best Lawyers” list, D. Jerry Watters has been acknowledged once again for his expertise in the area of medical malpractice defense and personal injury litigation. An outstanding trial attorney, Watters has held leadership positions in several organizations, including the Association of Defense Trial Counsel (Past President) and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Nominated for his expertise in appellate law, Bloomfield Hills partner Robert G. Kamenec currently serves as Plunkett Cooney’s Insurance/Professional Liability Department Leader. He is a member of the American Academy of Appellate Attorneys and a past “Lawyer of the Year,” as selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, a leading publication serving the state’s legal industry.

Jerome A. Galante has been honored as a Best Lawyer once again in the category of personal injury litigation. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) and a past president of the IADC Foundation Board. He focuses his practice in the area of construction law and has developed an extensive litigation and trial practice.

Stanley C. Moore III, nominated for his expertise in the areas of labor and employment law, exclusively represents management in union and non-union settings in both the private and public sectors. He is a member of the National Labor Relations Board Region 7 Practice and Procedure Committee, is a former chair of the Oakland County Bar Association Employment Law Committee and is a former council member of the Labor and Employment Law Section Council of the State Bar of Michigan.

James R. Geroux, who is a partner in the firm’s Detroit office, has been named among the Best Lawyers for workers’ compensation defense, the area in which he exclusively represents employers directly and through their insurance providers. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan Workers’ Compensation Section Council, and he is a past National Chairman of ALFA International’s Workers’ Compensation Practice Group National Steering Committee.

Also a partner in the firm’s Detroit office, Christine D. Oldani, has been recognized again on the 2010 “best” lawyers list for her continued excellence in the area of appellate law practice. She is one of Michigan’s most accomplished appellate attorneys with over 100 published decisions to her credit. During her more than 30 years in practice, Oldani, who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Attorneys, has drafted numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of municipal clients. She has also drafted legislation and consulted extensively on legislative issues.

Joining Oldani from the firm’s Detroit office is partner Mary Massaron Ross, who currently serves as the firm’s Appellate Law Practice Group Leader and a member of Plunkett Cooney’s Board of Directors. She has argued numerous appellate cases, which have resulted in more than 50 published decisions. A Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Attorneys, Massaron Ross had the distinction of serving as national director for the Defense Research Institute, which is an international organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation.

An Of Counsel member of Plunkett Cooney’s Detroit Office, James C. Thomas is one of Michigan’s most accomplished criminal defense attorneys and has been included on the Best Lawyers list for his non-white collar and white-collar defense work. He is the 2007 Gilman Award recipient, which is presented annually by the Federal Bar Association, Michigan Chapter to outstanding practitioners in the area of criminal law. He has also received the “Defender of Justice Award” from the National Lawyers Guild and the “Justice for All Award” from the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, an organization for which he currently serves as a member of its board of directors.

Kalamazoo partner Michael S. Bogren, who currently serves as the firm’s Regional Office Department Leader and Secretary-Treasurer of Plunkett Cooney’s Board of Directors, has been recognized by Best Lawyers as a leading Michigan municipal law attorney. He has successfully represented municipalities in both state and federal court in police liability claims, first amendment law, due process claims, Open Meetings Act and FOIA claims, zoning matters, civil rights cases and employment litigation.

Jack S. Levey, a member of the firm’s Columbus, Ohio office, was nominated in Best Lawyers for his expertise in real estate law. With nearly 30 years of experience, he focuses his practice in the areas of real estate, commercial leasing and contracts, business law, construction contracts and finance, and corporate aircraft transactions.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs more than 150 attorneys in nine Michigan cities, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. Plunkett Cooney has also received several awards naming the firm as a top place to work in the legal industry.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney’s 2010 “Best Lawyers in America,” contact the firm’s Practice Development Manager John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008.

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