MDTC announces 2016 award recipients

MDTC, a Michigan association “promoting excellence in civil litigation,” has announced the recipients of its Golden Gavel Young Lawyers and Excellence in Defense awards.

The Award Recipients will be honored during the awards banquet at the MDTC Annual Meeting and Conference, May 13,, to b held at The Atheneum Suite Hotel, 1000 Brush St, Detroit, MI 48226.
The Golden Gavel awards go to:

Amber L. Girbach of Hewson and Van Hellemont in Oak Park, who graduated cum laude from Central Michigan University and received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2009, where she received CALI Awards for the highest grade in Advocacy Legal Writing and Evidence. She worked as an Assistant Public Defender at the Washtenaw Office of Public Defender before joining Hewson and Van Hellemont in 2013.

Paul D. Hudson of Miller Canfield.  Hudson focuses on litigation and dispute resolution, including appeals, criminal defense litigation and international disputes. After graduating from Cornell University, he received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 2006. Active in leadership for both the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan, Hudson was appointed to chair the Sixth Circuit’s Advisory Committee on Rules. He formerly clerked for Hon. Raymond M. Kethledge of the Sixth Circuit.

The Golden Gavel award was first given out in 2005,.

Receiving the MDTC Excellence In Defense awards are:

J. Brian MacDonald, Cline Cline & Griffin PC. The Flint native graduated from John Carroll University and Michigan State University and from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, Texas, School of Law. MacDonald maintains a trial practice which includes areas of personal injury law, professional licensure defense, hospital and medical malpractice defense and workers compensation litigation.

Ralph F. Valitutti of Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook, who co-heads the firm’s birth trauma defense practice and serves as national counsel for insurers and major health systems in birth trauma cases in almost every state. He has been with the firm almost four decades as a litigator, and after many years of successfully defending medical malpractice and product liability cases,  pioneered the development of a process designed to identify those issues which favor the defense and are ignored purposefully, including strategies that seek to bring more of the truth about future damages before jurors.Valitutti has been named a Michigan Super Lawyer every year since 2006, and is a frequent lecturer to a wide variety of groups.

Prior Excellence In Defense award winners include L. Roland Roegge (1997) and William W. Jack, Jr. (2002) of Smith Haughey Rice and Roegge.