Award Winners

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Each year, WMU-Cooley Law Review recognizes excellence in legal writing presented to the Michigan Supreme Court and honors the authors with its Distinguished Brief Award. Attorneys Joel Finnell and Stephen Sinas, of Sinas Dramis Law Firm in Lansing, received the award for a co-authored brief.

Any brief submitted to the Michigan Supreme Court qualifies for consideration. A panel of judges determines the winner(s) based on seven criteria: the question presented, point headings, statement of case, argument and analysis, style, mechanics, and the best overall brief. The law school selects three winners each year.

Finnell and Sinas were recognized for their co-authored “Richard and Janet Jankowski’s Supplemental Brief” dated August 3, 2018, arguing the couple was eligible for Michigan auto no-fault personal injury protection benefits. The brief was recognized for two of three awards for 2019. The issue was whether the Jankowskis were ineligible to receive Michigan personal protection insurance benefit for an auto accident in Florida while driving their Florida-owned vehicle. The claim was denied because their Florida vehicle was not insured with Michigan auto no-fault insurance. The supplemental brief by Finnell and Sinas confirmed Michigan auto no-fault insurance is only required for vehicles that must be registered in Michigan; the Florida vehicle was not required to be registered in Michigan because it was never driven in Michigan.
 

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