Press Releases


Plunkett Cooney Promotes 5 to Partners of the Firm


Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, recently named five attorneys as its newest partners.

Danny C. Allen, Howard B. Goldman, Justin J. Hakala, Pamela A. Paige and Matthew J. Zmijewski were recently approved by the firm’s Board of Directors as the firm’s newest shareholders. The promotions are based on the recommendations of the firm’s Shareholder Evaluation Committee members, and the change in status was effective on Jan. 1.

A member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, Allen focuses his practice in the areas of first-party no-fault and third-party motor vehicle negligence. As former house counsel for a major American insurance provider, he has experience handling personal injury protection, uninsured/underinsured motorist, premises liability and bodily injury claims, as well as related appeals.

A member of the State Bar of Michigan, Allen received his law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 2007. He received his master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 2000 and his undergraduate degree from Albion College in 1996.

Goldman, who has over 30 years of experience, joined the firm as a lateral hire in 2021. He focuses his practice on the representation of borrowers, lenders, landlords and tenants in all aspects of real estate transactions. He has particular expertise in all aspects of commercial property transactions, including purchases, financing and sale-leasebacks. Goldman also coordinates with lenders on behalf of his clients regarding COVID-19 issues, and its impact on hospitality and retail properties. 

Admitted to practice law in Michigan, Illinois and New York, Goldman received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1985. He is a member of the Illinois and New York State bar associations and the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He also serves as the Michigan Chair of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys.

Hakala, who is a member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, focuses his practice primarily in the areas of medical malpractice and life sciences defense. He represents physicians, health systems and hospitals in health care litigation, and he defends claims of alleged professional liability in cases involving birth trauma, cardiac arrest, nursing home care, missed diagnoses and ophthalmology. Hakala also has extensive experience handling product liability matters against medical device and other life sciences companies. He is the author of the definitive Michigan subject matter treatise on the topic, titled: "Product Liability in Michigan."

Named a Rising Star in medical malpractice by Michigan Super Lawyers magazine since 2013, Hakala received his law degree, cum laude, from the Wayne State University Law School in 2009. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2004.

A member of the firm’s Indianapolis office, Paige has over 30 years of experience handling state and federal litigation in Indiana, New York, New Jersey and in Washington, D.C. Her practice includes the defense of cases involving trucking and transportation liability, premises liability, insurance coverage, general liability and product liability.

Paige received her law degree from Pace University School of Law in 1989. After graduation, she gained valuable legal experience by serving as a clerk for the Hon. Robert Hamer of the Bergan County Superior Court. She received her undergraduate degree from California State University in 1984.

Zmijewski is a member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office and the Transportation Law Practice Group. His expertise includes the defense of first-party claims and third-party auto negligence matters, as well as cases involving bodily injury and uninsured and under insured motorist claims. He also has extensive experience investigating and resolving fraudulent motor vehicle liability suits.

Zmijewski is a member of several professional organizations, including the Association of Defense Trial Counsel, the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel and the Central Michigan Adjusters Association, as well as the State Bar of Michigan and the Detroit Metropolitan, Oakland County and Macomb County bar associations. Zmijewski graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 2010 and received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 2007.

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 seven 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 and was named a Tier 1 National “Best Law Firms” in 11 practice areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in 2022.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney’s newest shareholders, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;