McKeen & Associates PC, Detroit
Detroit attorney Jody Aaron had been teaching special education for a couple of years and loved it, but saw that most of the teachers that had been at it for any significant time didn’t love it. She stated, “I didn’t want to wait until I hated my job. I took the LSAT just to see if I would have an affinity for the subject matter and did well enough that I decided to make the move. I loved law school and luckily fell into a marvelous clerking opportunity with the extraordinary firm of Charfoos & Christensen and from the moment I walked into their shop, I knew that trial law - for plaintiffs - was where I belonged.”
A member since 1988, Aaron said, “I was fortunate to begin my practice with a firm that had a history with the Trial Lawyers and that was actually instrumental in creating and growing the MTLA (now MAJ). Sam Charfoos and his progeny made it very clear to me that our united efforts were vital to the survival of our civil jury system and any semblance of fairness for our clients, who were always the little guy, those who could not even contemplate the battles they were undertaking without our efforts.”
Aaron has been a Sustaining Member for many years and regularly attends and participates in seminars and legislative efforts.
“A few years ago, when I took a position on the newly-formed Women’s Caucus, my level of participation increased dramatically. I have enjoyed the past year as my first year as a member of the Executive Board.”
Aaron is a monthly contributor to Justice PAC. She stated, “There is strength in numbers and there is simply no other group that consistently has our interests and our clients’ interests as a primary concern. The PAC allows the MAJ voice to be heard when it matters.
“Years of legislative and social pressure to dismantle a fair system for victims of professional malpractice has taken its toll on the practice – it’s more difficult and more expensive than ever, but that is why it is so important that we stand strong and continue to work hard for patients and families that have been devastated by medical negligence. The McKeen law firm is distinctive because it is one of a very few firms that has remained devoted almost exclusively to medical malpractice litigation and consistentently doing things the way they should be done. In general, the birth trauma cases are most satisfying because you really are able to ensure a level of lifetime care and make a difference in their quality of life.”
When asked about her most memorable case, Aaron recalls a trial with David W. Christensen in front of a biased judge.
“It was where I came to really understand that the system would not work without trial lawyers like all of us and particularly a masterfully skilled and impeccably prepared trial attorney like David telling our clients’ stories to a box of strangers and expecting justice to come of it.”
Outside of the practice of law, Aaron enjoys spending time with her friends and family, fishing and birdwatching at their cottage in Lewiston, and recently took up wildlife photography.
“I’m quickly becoming that annoying lady with the binoculars and camera shushing you so you don’t scare away my birds! I also admit to being a Facebook fan – love finding and keeping in touch with old friends, from wherever they have landed.”