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Plunkett Cooney partner recognized for scholarly writing


Western Michigan University Cooley Law School (WMU-Cooley Law) recently recognized Plunkett Mary Massaron WMU-Cooley Distingusted Brief AwardCooney partner Mary Massaron for writing one of the most scholarly briefs filed with the Michigan Supreme Court in 2017.

The WMU-Cooley Law Review presented Massaron with the Distinguished Brief Award during its 33rd annual ceremony on July 26 at the Country Club of Lansing. Created to promote excellence in legal writing, she was one of eight attorneys who received the Distinguished Brief Award. Massaron also served as the keynote speaker at the event.

A panel of judges and professors from across Michigan evaluated nominated briefs by using the following seven set criteria: question presented, point headings, statement of case, argument and analysis, style, mechanics and best overall brief.

To be published in an upcoming edition of the WMU-Cooley Law Review, Massaron, along with attorneys John Bursch, Alexandra Wald and Mark Spatz, were recognized for their Nexteer Automotive Group v Mando America Corp brief.

Massaron, who previously served as a law clerk to Michigan Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia J. Boyle, practices in the Bloomfield Hills office of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms. She has handled literally hundreds of appeals in state and federal appellate courts with appearances before the Michigan Supreme Court, the Indiana Supreme Court, and the Ohio Supreme Court. She has handled over one hundred cases in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and she has appeared in the Second, Third and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals. Among the significant land use and property development cases that Massaron has handled over the years is Hathcock v County of Wayne, which resulted in a decision overturning decades of precedent and establishing a new test for the government’s right to take private property in condemnation proceedings.

The Best Lawyers in America® (Copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.) has honored Massaron with its “Best Lawyer” title for 12 consecutive years. Michigan Super Lawyers magazine has also honored Massaron for 13 consecutive years, including inclusion among its top 100 attorneys and top 50 women lawyers in Michigan. Her other significant honors include membership in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and designation by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a 2008 “Lawyer of the Year.”

Massaron previously served as President of the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar from 2012 to 2013. She is past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan, DRI’s Appellate Advocacy Committee, and the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Council of Appellate Lawyers, a division of the Appellate Judges Conference. Massaron also co-chairs the Michigan Appellate Bench Bar Conference Foundation, an organization of Michigan appellate judges and lawyers.

Massaron graduated summa cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1990, receiving numerous academic accolades. She received her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Marygrove College in 1982.

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 150 attorneys in 11 offices located in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, an international directory of law firms, and it has been ranked as one of the 2018 “Best Law Firms” in the nation by U.S. World News – Best Lawyers® .

For more information about Plunkett Cooney Mary Massaron receiving the WMU-Cooley Distinguished Brief Award, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or

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