Event honors scholarly briefs filed with top court


The WMU-Cooley Law Review recognized eight attorneys who authored the most scholarly briefs filed with the Michigan Supreme Court in 2017. Pictured are (left to right) Steven C. Liedel, Dykema Gossett PLLC; WMU-Cooley Professor and Law Review advisor Mark Cooney; Mary Massaron, Plunkett Cooney; and John J. Bursch, Bursch Law PLLC.

– Photo courtesy of WMU-Cooley

The Western Michigan?University Cooley Law School Law Review recently recognized eight attorneys who authored the most scholarly briefs filed with the Michigan Supreme Court last year.

The honors were presented during the law review’s 33rd annual Distinguished Brief Award ceremony at the Country Club of Lansing.

Attorneys Mary Massaron (Plunkett Cooney), John J. Bursch (Bursch Law), and Alexandrea W. Wald and Mark Spatz (Cohen & Greeser)  were recognized for their brief filed in Nexteer Automotive Group v. Mando America Corp.

Recognized for their brief filed in AFT v. State of Michigan were Dykema Gossett PLLC attorneys Gary P. Gordon, Jason T. Hanselman, W. Alan Wilk, and Steven C. Liedel. 

These briefs were evaluated by a panel of judges and professors from across the state using seven set criteria: question presented, point headings, statement of case, argument and analysis, style, mechanics and best overall brief.

The purpose of the award is to promote excellence in legal writing.

The winning briefs will be published in an upcoming edition of the WMU-Cooley Law Review.

Massaron, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, explained to attendees that ultimate success comes from a combination of deep learning and
judgment and urged students to become active in bar organizations and to write and publish after graduation.

Massaron is a former law clerk to Michigan Supreme Court Justice Patricia J. Boyle and has concentrated her practice in appellate law for almost 30 years.

“One of the great joys of this profession is that you will never stop learning if you are doing your job,” Massaron said. “To be a good lawyer, you need to be a good person with a wide and deep knowledge of human life and the world.

“Pause now and then to appreciate what makes some judges’ and justices’ opinions so elegant and clear. Study how they do it.”



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