Get to Know Emily Thomas

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Emily G. Thomas, a birth injury and medical malpractice attorney at Olsman MacKenzie Peacock & Wallace, PC in Berkley, focuses on aiding clients with special needs and disabilities.

Her first interaction between the law and injury occurred during high school, when her mother became disabled. Prior to college, Thomas assisted traumatic brain injured individuals with financial, healthcare and legal matters. She continued to assist during law school, helping represent clients before administrative law judges in Social Security disability cases.

Following graduation from Wayne State University Law School and admission to the Michigan Bar, Thomas joined a leading medical malpractice firm investigating birth trauma cases. During her years of practice, she has assisted in obtaining numerous multi-million dollar results.

Thomas is chair  of the Professional Negligence Section and a member of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group at the American Association for Justice; chair of the New Lawyers Division at the Michigan Association for Justice; and a New Lawyer member of the Council for the State Bar of Michigan Negligence Section. She is a member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association,Women’s Bar Association, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, and Oakland County Bar Association, where she is past chair of the Medical Legal Committee and a past Associate of the Inn of Court.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News
 
What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? After I won a motion in court, I went to the back of the court, and a person cyelled “Yeah! Great job!” and gave me a high-five. I’m not sure who the person was. I always want to inspire others that my client’s case deserves justice, especially to a jury of my client’s peers – it’s always good to infect others with the enthusiasm I have for what I do for my clients.

What inspired you to enter the field? My mother’s disability after being exposed to toxic mold in her workplace—it was a hard time for my entire family. 

What would surprise people about your job?
The amount of medicine one has to know just as well as the law.

What was  a career Plan B?
To be a professional cellist. 

Can you think of a failure that ultimately became a positive? When I take a deposition I sometimes ask the wrong questions, but sometimes this ends up eliciting a positive and very useful answer. I’m very prepared and always have a plan. But sometimes when the plan fails, good things happen.

Favorite websites:
Brainpickings.org; Gatesnotes.com

What is your happiest childhood memory? Working on a project to build a forgotten planet when I was six. I painted a blue rubber ball to look similar to Earth, and my parents helped me mount it to piece of wood.  I called it ”Planet Oops!”

What do you wish someone would invent?
A way to clone oneself so I can do everything that interests and challenges me.

When you look back into the past, what do you miss most? I had a wonderful childhood. I miss the safety and support, which allowed me to be endlessly curious and take risks.

If you could have witnessed any event in history, what would it be?
Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee negotiating the end of the U.S. Civil War.

What’s the best advice you ever received? You can’t have highs in life without corresponding lows.