Negligence Law Section e-Newsletter
Issue 5 Volume 1 Fall 2013

Steven Galbraith

Galbraith"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

Lewis Carroll—Alice in Wonderland

Greetings from your new Chair:

I am honored to serve as your Chair, having been a Council Member since 2005; eight rewarding years. My election is unique as I am the first chair whose spouse also served as chair (Linda, 1998-99). Your Council has many plans and creative ideas as to what we need to do in the next year, and I promise to work hard to get where we need to get to. We are, principally, a service organization dedicated to advancing the needs and promoting the ideals of negligence lawyers. You, as our section members, can help by offering suggestions and advice. Please feel free to contact me at or any member of the Council.

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Judicial Elections and Dark Money

Steven B. Galbraith

Andrews You have probably seen the SBM letter from President Bruce A. Courtade and Executive Director Janet Welch to the Secretary of State regarding judicial campaign financing. If not, see it below to view the letter.

The SBM asked the Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson, to answer a relevant and important question:

"In light of Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life (2007), Caperton v. Massey Coal Company (2009), and Citizens United v. FEC (2010), must all payments for communications referring to judicial candidates be considered "expenditures" for purposes of the MCFA, and thus reportable to the Secretary of State, regardless of whether such payments entail express advocacy or its functional equivalent?"

For the reasons stated above, the State Bar strongly believes the answer to that question should be "Yes."

The topic of financing judicial elections erupted secondary to a long history of the increasing cost of elections and resulted in the creation of the Michigan Judicial Selection Task Force. The Task Force made seven recommendations, including suggestions for Campaign Finance Reform, and the committee's report released in April of 2012 can be reviewed below.

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Policies and Philosophies

Hal O. Carroll

Tort lawyers are often the "first responders" to coverage issues, because coverage issues so often arise out of tort actions. The tort plaintiff's lawyer advises the newly minted defendant to hand the complaint (or forward the demand letter) to defendant's insurance company. Or the tort defendant's own attorney passes it to the insurer.

The second drama then begins. Is there coverage or not? Who will pay for the defense of the tort action? This is where it's important to be aware of the differences between tort law and insurance law. Insurance law is contract law, and there is more than a different set of rules (contract versus tort) in play. There are different approaches to the questions, as well, and it can be hard to shift from one to the other.

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Hal Carroll is a founder and the first chair of the Insurance and Indemnity Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He represents insureds and policyholders in insurance coverage disputes. He is a chapter author of Michigan Insurance Law and Practice, published by ICLE, and has lectured and written many articles in the areas of insurance coverage and indemnity. His website is and he can be reached at or (734) 645-1404.

The Respected Advocate Award 2013 Recipients

Every year MDTC and MAJ each present a "Respected Advocate Award." The MDTC annually gives the award to a member of the plaintiff's bar for the purpose of recognizing and honoring the individual's history of successful representation of clients and adherence to the highest standards of ethics. The MAJ does the same annually for a defense practitioner. In so doing, we promote mutual respect and civility.

Steven B. Galbraith & Jesse M. Reither, 2013 Respected Advocate Award Recipients
Jesse M. Reiter, Norm Tucker, Steven B. Galbraith, Tim Diemer
  MAJ Recipients MDTC Recipients
1997 George Googaisan J. P. O'Leary
1998 Paul Rosen Edmond M Brady
1999 Dave Christensen Robert Siemion
2000 Edwin Jakeway Richard G. Ward
2001 Kathleen Bogas Walter P. Griffin
2002 Loren Gray Daniel P. Makarski
2003 Sherwin Schreier Roger Smith
2004 Timothy J. Donovan Donald Ducey
2005 Elizabeth L. Gleicher Paula L. Cole
2006 William N. Kritselis William Hurley
2007 Wayne Miller Pete Dunlap
2008 Norm Tucker Bruce Bigler
2009 William F. Mills William W. Jack Jr
2010 Mark Granzatto Paul Manion
2011 Thomas J. Evans Paul Lazar
2012 Katherine Smith Kennedy Laurel F. McGiffert
2013 Jesse M. Reiter Steven B. Galbraith

The Michigan Association for Justice in cooperation with The Michigan Defense Trial Counsel offer their membership and the public this first time opportunity to purchase: Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law in Michigan 2011 Edition

New Officer: Treasurer
Ven R. Johnson, Johnson Law, PLC

Ven Johnson earned his undergraduate degree at JohnsonKalamazoo College in Kalamzoo, Michigan in 1983. He received his Juris Doctor at the University of Detroit School of Law in 1986, served as a law clerk for a sports and entertainment law firm in Detroit, and was an intern to the late Michigan Court of Appeals Judge John Shephard. He was a member of the School's mock trial team. In 1986 Ven passed the Michigan Bar on his first attempt and has been fighting for the legal rights of his clients ever since.

New Council Members:

Phillip C. Korovesis, Butzel Long

KorovesisPhillip C. Korovesis is a shareholder practicing in Butzel Long's Detroit office. He is a graduate of Wayne State University (B.S., with distinction, 1984; J.D., cum laude, 1987). He is also a graduate of Leadership Oakland, Class XVIII, and has been recognized by Michigan Super Lawyers (Business Litigation).

Wolfgang Mueller, Olsman, Mueller, Wallace MacKenzie

Wolfgang Mueller has been licensed as an attorney since Mueller1990. Prior to that time, he was an automotive engineer for Chrysler Corporation, where he was involved in the design and development of automotive restraint systems.

Mr. Mueller holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Mechanical Engineering. He has a national products liability practice and has litigated cases in many states, focusing primarily on automobile crashworthiness. His practice is also focused on wrongful conviction and police misconduct cases, and on construction site accident litigation.

Chad D. Engelhardt, Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

Chad is a trial attorney that takes pride in representing Engelhardtinjured people against insurance companies, hospitals and big companies. He fights to promote safety for all Michigan citizens by standing up for accountability and responsibility. His involvement in numerous cases has resulted in millions of dollars being recovered for his clients.

Robert J. Buchanan, Buchanan & Buchanan

Recognized by "The Best Lawyers in America", "Super Lawyers", and Martindale-Hubbel's Preeminent Lawyers

Commissioner, State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners

Executive Board of Michigan Association for Justice

Michigan Lawyers Weekly wants to hear about your verdicts & settlements. Please submit recent civil cases (within the past six months) where you prevailed—whether in a jury verdict or a settlement—so they may publish them. Questions about Lawyers Weekly's Verdicts and Settlements policy may be directed to the editor at (800) 678-5297 or

Legislative Update

Todd Tennis

The Michigan Legislature returned from summer recess with a bang as the highly contentious Medicaid Expansion issue took center stage. After a harried two weeks, the Michigan Senate finally got enough Republican votes (eight of them) to pass Medicaid expansion with the bare minimum of 20 votes. Senate changes to the bill were relatively minimal and the bill easily won House concurrence. However, the bill will not take immediate effect, given that the Senate fell two votes short of the 26 votes needed to be sure that individuals between 100-133% of poverty could receive benefits starting January 1. The end of March will be the "start" date, assuming that the waivers required by the legislation are approved by the feds by that time.

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Spring Meeting 2014
May 2-5
Las Vegas
Palms Hotel


In This Issue
Message from Chair
Insurance Coverage Advisor
Legislative Update

State Bar of Michigan Negligence Council

Steven B. Galbraith
Galbraith, Delie & James PC

Jody L. Aaron
McKeen & Associates PC

Michael R. Janes
Martin, Bacon & Martin PC

Ven Johnson
Johnson Law

Thomas R. Behm
Gruel Mills Nims & Pylman LLP

Mark Bernstein
Bernstein Law Firm

James R. Bradley
Secrest Wardle

Megan Cavanagh
Garan Lucow Miller PC

Ronald F. DeNardis
DeNardis & Miller PC

Chad D. Engelhardt
Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

Jennifer M. Grieco
Neuman Anderson PC

Phillip C. Korovesis
Butzel Long

Robert M. Raitt
Michigan Auto Law

Michael J. Sullivan
Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff PC

Wolfgang Mueller
Olsman, Mueller, Wallace, MacKenzie

Thomas W. Waun
Waun & Parillo, PLLC

Robert J. Buchanan
Buchanan & Buchanan

Madelyne Lawry

Advertise in this publication—contact Madelyne Lawry, Advertising Information
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