Negligence Law Section e-Newsletter
Issue 4 Volume 2 Winter 2012

Thomas W. Waun
Waun & Parillo PLLC

I hope everyone enjoyed their recent Holidays. Many of you have set goals for your law practices in the upcoming year.Our Council also has set some goals as well andI want toshare one with you.

One of the Council's functions is to participate in the legislative process when issues involving our section are involved. An issue that the Council has unanimously agreed to address this year involves case solicitation by "cappers" or "runners" through access to and use of police reports. An excellent article on this issue was written by Carol Lundberg entitled "Ambulance Chasing" In The Digital Age, in the 6/1/12 edition of Michigan Lawyer's Weekly. It can be found by searching "Michigan Lawyer's Weekly Ambulance Chasing"

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Justice-Elect Bridget Mary McCormack 4th Annual Hon. Kaye Tertzag Tribute Dinner

The 2013 recipient of the Purple Sport Coat Award is Michigan Supreme Court Justice-Elect Bridget Mary McCormack. The Honorable David J. Allen will present the award. All are confident that Judge Tertzag is pleased that that his name will honor such an accomplished legal scholar, a defender of the innocent and domestic violence, and now a Michigan Supreme Court Justice. We're also confident Kaye is looking down with that infamous smile knowing that Justice Zahra, his long time friend, and who served with him on the Wayne County Circuit Court, will be the keynote speaker.

As those of you that attended the first three dinners know, this annual event is a refreshing break from the usual political event. There is no politics, just attorneys and friends of all political views coming together to honor what is best about and among our profession.

Please send this invitation to others, in all areas of practice, or better yet, buy a table (best deal of the year) and invite them to join you; tickets are only $40.00 and include dinner and an open bar.

Attendees are encouraged to wear purple to the event (The Purple Coat Award). Those wearing purple will be entered into a drawing for a door prize. Dinner will be held at the Park Place Banquet Hall in Dearborn from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Park Place is located at the corner of Park and Outer Drive, just south of Michigan Avenue.

Checks should be made payable to: Tertzag Tribute Dinner, LLC and sent to 997 Henrietta, Birmingham, MI 48009. Spouses and/or significant others are welcome.

Negligence Lawyer? There's an app for that. The proliferation and suitability of Apple's iPad in litigation practice.

Our boutique medical negligence firm is one of the many that has added the Apple iPad to its lawyers' set of tools. The iPad has invaded litigation to become a common sight in client interviews, depositions, motion hearings, and trials. With the right combination of software and accessories (especially a wireless keyboard), many lawyers have found the iPad to be a suitable laptop replacement. And for good reason. The iPad is light, thin and has an elegant form factor. It combines simplicity and ease of use with a brilliant display and exceptional battery life.

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Goethel Engelhardt
Stephen Goethel
Chad D. Engelhardt
About the authors
Stephen Goethel and Chad D. Engelhardt are partners at Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC in Ann Arbor and founding members of the Center for Medical Truth and Justice. They focus their practice on the prosecution of complex medical malpractice, catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims. They have a state-wide practice and handle select cases around the country. More information can be found at their website:

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

Responding To The Reservation Of Rights Letter

Hal O. Carroll

The path to coverage seldom runs smooth, especially when it's the most important. The greater the injury, the greater the damages and the greater the risk to the insurance company. Which means the greater the risk of getting the "reservation of rights" letter. These are just as annoying as those "21-day" letters from the Court of Appeals saying you messed up and better fix it within three weeks . . .

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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.

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

Negligence Section End of Session Review

Todd Tennis

The Legislature finished the 2011-2012 session with a flurry of legislation as they adjourned on December 14. The headlines were filled for a week with massive changes to Michigan laws relating to labor, taxation, concealed weapons and health insurance. Here are some highlights of issues the Negligence Section was involved in over the 2011-2012 session.

Things that Passed

Medical Malpractice Legislation

In 2011, the only legislation to move dealing with medical malpractice was Senate Bill 53, dubbed the "I'm Sorry" legislation. Sponsored by Senator Marleau (R-Lake Orion), the bill passed with the support of the Negligence Law Section. It is now PA 21 of 2011 . . .

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Handling your First Home Modifications Case

I handled my first home modification case shortly after I started practicing. My client was a six-year-old wheelchair dependent paraplegic. Before we started planning the modifications, I met my client and his family at their home. Watching him gingerly wheel around the cramped hallways, I was eager to get him the space he needed as soon as possible. Naively, I thought I submit a bill for the work, and the insurer would cut a check. The process, of course, was not that simple. Here are some tips I learned while handling this case. As you'll see, the following is not intended to be a comprehensive review of home modifications benefits, rather, these are just some tips for an attorney handling his or her first home mods case . . .

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Alison Faith Tomak is an automobile accident litigatTomakion attorney. She helps people injured in auto accidents who are being treated unfairly by large corporations and insurance companies in Michigan. She can be reached at or (248) 353-7575.

Spring Meeting Info
Save the Date!


Cabo San Lucas, April 20-24, 2013

The Negligence Law Section is offering a package that includes:

  • Roundtrip air on Delta Airlines
  • 5 days and 4 nights at the Wonderful Barcel Los Cabos Palace
  • Hotel tax
  • Welcome Cocktail Party
  • Morning Seminar with Breakfast

2013 Sponsors

Beth Cannon Weaver
Legal Copy Services, Inc.

Lauren Bienenstock
Bienenstock Court Reporting & Video

Mark M. Bello
Lawsuit Financial Corporation

Daniel P. Makarski
Secrest, Wardle, Lynch, Hampton, Truex & Morley PC

Mark R. Vogel
Ringler Associates

Patrick Dunleavy
Dunleavy & Associates

In This Issue
Message from Chair
Insurance Coverage Advisor
Legislative Update

State Bar of Michigan Negligence Council

Thomas W. Waun
Waun & Parillo PLLC

Steven B. Galbraith
Galbraith, Delie & James PC

Jody L. Aaron
McKeen & Associates PC

Michael R. Janes
Martin, Bacon & Martin PC

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

Jennifer M. Grieco
Neuman Anderson PC

Ven Johnson
Johnson Law

Anne L. Randall
Portnoy & Roth PC

Robert M. Raitt
Michigan Auto Law

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

Paul J. Manion
Rutledge, Manion, Rabaut, Terry & Thomas PC

Brian D. Einhorn
Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff PC

Todd N. Tennis, Lansing

Anne L. Randall
Michael J. Sullivan

Madelyne Lawry

Advertise in this publication—contact Madelyne Lawry, Advertising Information
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