Press Releases


Hakala named among legal publication’s Go To Lawyers for medical malpractice law


Plunkett Cooney partner Justin J. Hakala was recently named to the 2022 class of Go To Lawyers for medical malpractice law as determined by Michigan Lawyers Weekly (MiLW).

Hakala will be featured, along with 19 other attorneys, in a special section that will appear in the Oct. 31 print and digital editions of MiLW, an industry publication serving the state’s legal community. In its third year, the “Go To Lawyers” program recognizes the top plaintiff and defense lawyers across the state in a given practice area.

Attorneys are selected as a “Go To Lawyer” based on expertise in their field, including how well-versed they are in the nuances of the case law, statutes and regulations clients will encounter. Selection criteria also includes a successful record with cases and/or transactions, high referral rate based on expertise and accomplishments, and creative problem solving that identifies all options for clients. Nominated lawyers are those whose colleagues would refer to a friend or use themselves in that field of expertise.

A member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, Hakala serves as co-leader of Plunkett Cooney's Medical Litigation Practice Group. An accomplished trial attorney, he focuses his practice in the areas of medical malpractice liability and life sciences defense, as well as product liability.

Successfully serving as first-chair in numerous jury trials, Hakala represents physicians, health systems and hospitals in health care litigation and claims of alleged professional liability. These disputes involve birth trauma, cardiac arrest, long term care, missed diagnoses and ophthalmology.

In addition, Hakala has experience with mass tort and sole plaintiff cases involving medical devices and other products. He represents cutting edge life sciences and medical device companies in claims that have far-reaching implications on their technologies and businesses. Also, extensively highly experienced in the area of product liability, he is the author of the definitive Michigan subject matter treatise, titled: "Product Liability in Michigan."

Hakala has also been honored as a Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch in America™ – Defendants: Medical Malpractice Law and Product Liability Litigation since 2019. He was also selected as a Michigan Super Lawyer Rising Star in the area of -medical malpractice. Hakala is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, the DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar and the Steering Committee of ALFA International’s Product Liability & Complex Torts Practice Group.

Admitted to practice in state and federal courts in Michigan, Hakala received his law degree, cum laude, from Wayne State University Law School in 2009. While in law school, he served as assistant editor of the school’s Law Review and as a member of the national moot court team. Hakala received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2004.

Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Litigation Practice Group members handle every type of claim that can be brought against a health care professional or provider. Their experience includes complex and high exposure claims brought in the circuit and federal district courts, as well as representation of health care professionals undergoing investigations by medical boards and the offices of state attorneys general.

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 seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana.

For more information about Justin Hakala’s selection as a 2022 MiLW “Go To” Medical Malpractice Lawyer, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;