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Posted by: Steve Pontoni on Feb 8, 2021

BAKER TRIAL LAWYERS CAUCUS FOUNDED

By Carla Aikens; Carla D. Aikens PC, Detroit

 

              I am proud to announce the launch of the James W. Baker Trial Lawyers Caucus, a group comprised of African-American MAJ members.  We are starting things off with a virtual “kick-off” event in the coming weeks.   For those not familiar with James W. Baker, he was the first African-American President of MAJ from 1968-1969 who left behind a legacy of fighting for justice.

              Following the events of last summer, sparked by nationwide fallout after the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, I approached MAJ President Donna MacKenzie and Executive Director Steve Pontoni to discuss the prospects of starting such a caucus to help MAJ become a more all-encompassing organization that better reflects the diverse clients and communities we serve.  Not surprisingly for anyone who knows them, both Donna and Steve enthusiastically supported this initiative.

              For any MAJ members who are also AAJ members, this new caucus closely aligns with the goals of the AAJ Minority Caucus, including in the areas of education, membership, public service, scholarship, and social events.  We will also work closely to support the initiatives of other affinity caucuses within MAJ, including the Women’s Caucus, of which I am also a member.

              Our hope is that the Caucus will be able to increase recruitment and retention of African-American members of the plaintiffs’ bar of the State of Michigan and also increase dialogue about issues that disproportionately impact us and our diverse clientele. I understand that these issues can be difficult to discuss and navigate, so I have been particularly encouraged by the support from MAJ that I have received.

              I am aware that there were some challenges to starting this Caucus in the past, and I am grateful to everyone who has assisted in getting us to this point, including many AAJ members and staff.  I am always looking to operate as efficiently as possible in everything that I do, so I welcome any questions or comments that you may have about the Caucus and/or its initiatives. 

              Thank you again, and I look forward to working with the entire MAJ membership as a member of this new Caucus.

Posted by: Kristi Warner & Steve Pontoni on Feb 8, 2021

              Blessed are the Advocates

by Kelly Breen (D - Novi)

Committees: Judiciary and Insurance

On January 13, 2021, the elected members of the Michigan House and Senate convened to begin the 101st Michigan Legislature. Seated in the hallowed chamber, I began to digest my historic surroundings and understand my new responsibilities as a freshman legislator. While the pandemic has thwarted some traditional ceremonial aspects of assuming state office, I am honored and thrilled to serve the 38th District. As necessity is the mother of invention, people and organizations found new ways to function, to communicate, and to cope.

              We are lingering in purgatory, waiting for a tipping point in the war on COVID-19 foisted upon our democracy by an outgoing Federal administration. Michiganders are no stranger to the domestic strife seen in recent weeks. In these moments, I am reminded of the importance of advocacy and grateful for those who join a cause greater than themselves. I find comfort knowing in every area of our state’s legal system, there are advocates working towards a brighter tomorrow. Organizations like the Michigan Association for Justice, and the advocates who comprise its membership, will certainly continue to lead the way in finding the solutions that our communities are depending on.

              In the area of workers’ compensation, MAJ advocates are poised to take on the fight for fair job search standards and ensure the people who are injured on the job are treated with the dignity they deserve. Public health advocates, who have valiantly helped to inform and advise our community leaders over the past year, will continue to sound the alarm on how current pandemic has pulled back the veil on a greater inequality that exists in our state and our country.

              There are advocates who have committed themselves to fighting for a more equitable criminal justice system. There are advocates who will continue to be forceful defenders of respectful debate and uphold the values of our constitutional system. There are advocates who will heed the call to support their neighbors’ well-being and be a part something greater than themselves. These advocates continue to make MAJ a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

              2020 has shown us there is never a bad time to become an advocate. Advocates will continue to provide a voice to the masses in our society who go unheard in the halls of power. As former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power once said, “All advocacy is, at its core, an exercise in empathy.” As we begin this new year and this new legislative term, I am proud to bear witness to the empathy of so many of my fellow MAJ members and the brilliant advocacy work that so many people are doing every day. I am honored to be a member of this wonderful organization, and I look forward to working with you all to bring our advocacy to the Michigan House of Representatives this year.

 

Posted by: Nate Pilon on Nov 23, 2020

The Michigan Association for Justice’s number-one goal going into the 2020 Election was to remove the anti-civil justice majority on the Michigan Supreme Court that for nearly a generation had been responsible for some of the most conservative and regressive case law in the country. 

Posted by: Nate Pilon on Oct 22, 2020

Vice President Joe Biden today endorsed Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch for Michigan Supreme Court. 

Posted by: Nate Pilon on Oct 12, 2020

MAJ President Donna MacKenzie today blasted a move by Republicans that would only grant extended unemployment benefits if a package of COVID business immunity bills clears the Senate and is signed by the governor.

Posted by: Nate Pilon on Oct 1, 2020

This year, you have the chance to elect two strong, qualified jurists to the Michigan Supreme Court: Candidate Elizabeth Welch and sitting Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack.

Posted by: Nate Pilon on Oct 1, 2020

Early voting has started, and we need you to help get the word out about Supreme Court candidates Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and Elizabeth Welch, along with all of our endorsed judicial and legislative candidates. Here's how you can help: 

Posted by: Nate Pilon on Sep 10, 2020

The Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) today announced its 2020 candidate general election endorsements for the Michigan House of Representatives and local judicial seats.  

Posted by: Nate Pilon on Sep 10, 2020

The Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) today announced its 2020 general election endorsements. 

Posted by: Nate Pilon on Jul 23, 2020

Health care providers and nursing homes would receive broad immunity protections against potential legal suits dealing with COVID-19 treatment under a bill the Michigan House of Representatives passed yesterday.  


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