Press Releases


Trial lawyer association inducts Hakala into Michigan chapter


Plunkett Cooney partner and medical liability trial lawyer Justin J. Hakala was recently inducted as a member of the Michigan chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).   

“It’s a tremendous honor to become a member of ABOTA,” said Hakala, who serves as Co-leader of Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Litigation Practice Group. “This organization has many talented trial attorneys and judges, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue strengthening the standards and reputation of our profession.”

Hakala is one of six attorneys selected by current members to join ABOTA’s Michigan Chapter. Membership is by invitation only and candidates must have at least five years of active experience as trial lawyers, have tried at least 10 civil jury trials to conclusion and possess additional litigation experience. Candidates must also exhibit the virtues of civility, integrity and professionalism as outlined in ABOTA’s Code of Professionalism and Principles of Civility.

Founded in 1958, ABOTA is a national association of highly experienced trial lawyers and judges who are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. ABOTA’s national membership consists of more than 7,300 plaintiff and defense lawyers and judges from 96 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Hakala focuses his practice in the areas of medical malpractice liability and life sciences defense, as well as product liability. He represents physicians, health systems and hospitals in health care litigation and claims of alleged professional liability in cases involving 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.

A partner in the firm's Bloomfield Hills office, Hakala has extensive experience with product liability claims. Notably, he is the author of the definitive Michigan subject matter treatise on the topic, titled: "Product Liability in Michigan."

Hakala has been named to the Best Lawyer in America® Ones to Watch in America list for medical malpractice law and product liability litigation and by Michigan Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in the area of medical malpractice. He was also selected this year by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of their 2022 Go-To Medical Malpractice Lawyers. Hakala is a member of the Antitrust, Franchising, and Trade Regulation Section of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar and ALFA International’s Product Liability & Complex Torts Practice Group Steering Committee.

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, as well as in 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 it was recently named a “Best Law Firm” nationally in 11 practice areas as determined by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in 2022.

For more information about Justin Hakala joining the Michigan chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Practice Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or

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