Daily Briefs

 The Kitch law firm reaches top 10 ‘ceiling smashers’

The law firm of Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook, headquartered in Detroit, was recently ranked number nine of nearly 400 major U.S. based firms surveyed nationally by Law 360, a Lexis/Nexis Company, for its very high percentage of female attorneys at the partner level. The Kitch firm was the only firm in Michigan to reach the Top 25 Ceiling Smashers list.

Law 360 published the results of its Glass Ceiling Report: 2014, on April 21. The full article, “The 25 Best Law Firms for Female Partners” can be found on their website at www.law360.com/articles/529420/the-25-best-law-firms-for-female-partners.
“We are not surprised by this report because our commitment to diversity and our flexibility to fairly meet individual life circumstances, allows us to retain the best attorneys regardless of gender or background; nevertheless,  we are very appreciative and flattered that our efforts have been so well-recognized” noted Mark Wisniewski, the Kitch firm’s Chairperson.
Susan Zitterman is a senior partner level Kitch firm attorney who is highly regarded for her appellate work in many high profile Michigan cases. She has for many years served on the Kitch firm’s executive board, and observed about the recognition:  “In my more than thirty years with Kitch, our success in achieving legal goals has flowed from our genuine respect for the people that make things work — our clients, our attorneys and our support staff;  my sense is that our success in recruiting and retaining female leaders is a product of  that genuine respect and appreciation there is no glass ceiling here, for anyone. 
 With six Great Lakes Region offices, the Kitch firm is a full-service firm with nearly 100 attorneys.

Judge removed from porch shooting case 

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has removed another judge from a case of a Detroit-area man who fatally shot an unarmed woman last fall on his porch.
Wayne County Circuit Chief Judge Pro Tem Timothy Kenny removed Judge Qiana Lillard on Friday from the case of Theodore Wafer, and another judge will be selected by blind draw. Defense attorneys argued Lillard’s previous employment with the prosecutor's office and associations with employees create an appearance of impropriety.
Kenny cited involvement of one of the prosecutors in Lillard’s re-election campaign.
Wafer shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride at his Dearborn Heights home and is charged with second-degree murder. He believed McBride was trying to break in.
Prosecutors say Wafer should have called police instead of shooting. McBride was drunk and in a car crash three hours earlier.

Ed Rendell to headline MAJ Annual Banquet

 Former governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, will be the keynote speaker at the Michigan Association for Justice’s 69th Annual Banquet. The former governor is currently special counsel at the law firm of Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia. Mr. Rendell is also a frequent contributor to NBC News and MSNBC. 
This year’s banquet will be held at the International Center in Detroit, with the theme focusing on MAJ’s history as being founded in Detroit and working to protect Michigan families and citizens for nearly 70 years.