Warner Norcross attorney to receive two Distinguished Brief Awards


John J. Bursch, a partner with the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, has been recognized with two 2015 Distinguished Brief Awards from the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review.

Bursch received this year s awards for his authorship of briefs in both The Service Source v. DHL and International Union v. Yaw. The Service Source v. DHL was submitted in the 2014-15 term to the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of The Service Source. The case involves a multi-million dollar settlement awarded upon an anticipatory breach of contract. International Union v. Yaw is a Right to Work case that is still in progress. The amicus brief was submitted in the 2014-15 term to the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Bursch served as co-counsel on the brief and presented at oral argument.

Bursch has now received the Distinguished Brief Award six times, more than any other appellate attorney. He is the only attorney to receive the award twice in the same year.

Now celebrating its 30th year, the award is given in recognition of the most scholarly briefs filed before the Michigan Supreme Court as determined by a panel of jurists.  The briefs are evaluated on the basis of: question presented; point headings; statement of the case; argument and analysis; style; mechanics; best overall brief.

Bursch is also a three-time winner of the National Association of Attorneys General Best Brief Award for U.S. Supreme Court litigation. He was named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of its 2014 “Leaders in the Law,” has been named to Best Lawyers in America and as one of the Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers.

Bursch is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers. He is certified as an appellate specialist by the American Institute of Appellate Practice and has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

Bursch teaches and lectures frequently. He has been widely published, most recently in the new edition of the Michigan Appellate Handbook and as the primary author of the Michigan Supreme Court’s Guide to Counsel, the Court’s own publication regarding Supreme Court advocacy. Bursch also contributes regularly to the One Court of Justice Blog, the leading Michigan appellate blog that he launched in 2009.