Daily Briefs

Michelle Czapski appointed to National Foundation for Judicial Excellence board of directors

Bodman PLC attorney Michelle Thurber Czapski has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (NFJE), a non-profit organization that provides meaningful support and continuing legal education for state court appellate judges from across the United States.

The Foundation’s mission is to address legal policy issues affecting the law and civil justice system through a number of different avenues including frequent publication of scholarly works, hosting an annual judicial symposium each summer, and engaging in other efforts to enhance and ensure judicial excellence and fairness. Their mission includes assuring that appellate judges receive balanced opportunities for professional growth, which can be lacking in state court systems.

Czapski is chair of Bodman’s Insurance Practice Group and a member of the firm’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Group. She has over twenty-five years of experience representing major corporate clients in litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including complex litigation and class actions. She is master of the bench of the Detroit Bar Association’s chapter of the American Inn of Court and a member of State Bar of Michigan Litigation Section Council. Czapski has been listed in Michigan Super Lawyers since 2009 under Business Litigation, Class Action/Mass Torts, and Insurance Coverage and is listed in Benchmark Litigation as one of the Top 250 Women litigation attorneys in the United States.


No prison for woman who stole $176,000 from Social Security

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit woman who looted the Social Security system for nearly 30 years has been sentenced to a halfway house for stealing $176,000.

Linda Pesenecker’s mother died in 1986, but she never informed the government. Her mother’s Social Security payments were mailed or flowed into their bank account until 2013.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office asked for 18 months in prison Tuesday, noting that Pesenecker forged her mother’s signature on a letter when investigators asked about her health.

Prison sentences are uncommon in Social Security cases. Pesenecker got a break from Judge Bernard Friedman. She’ll spend six months in a halfway house with opportunities to leave during the day to work.

She blames her decisions on financial problems and years of trying to stay drug-free.