Linderman is a proud member of the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ)

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When attorney Marla Linderman was unfairly accused of sharing a burrito in elementary school, was denied a voice and truth did not win out, she promised herself she would dedicate her life to ensuring that everyone had a voice and that the truth would prevail.

“You might not think that a promise made by a 7-year-old would stick, but this one has always stayed in my heart,” said Linderman.
Linderman has been an MAJ?member for  almost 25 years.

“It matters to stand up for truth.  It matters to stand up for justice.  And it matters the most when the law fails truth and justice. As the Lorax says, ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s Not.’

“MAJ cares and I am proud to be a member,” she said.

A past president of the Washtenaw Association for Justice, she currently serves as Executive Director.  She has served on the MAJ Executive Board for over a decade and served as chair or co-chair of MAJ’s Amicus Committee, Employment and Civil Rights section for about 15 years, MAJ’s Legislative Committee, and has been a membership co-chair for the last three years.  This year she also helped organize MAJ’s Employment Lawyers to be advocates for workers during the pandemic.  

She is also an AAJ member and last year traveled to Washington DC as part of AAJ’s Women’s Caucuses lobby day. And she is a monthly contributor to MAJ’s Justice PAC.

“The cases that have affected me the most are those where, even if prevailed for my client, justice went off the rails and didn’t work right,” she said.

“For example, recently, I had a case where a judge had a full-out temper tantrum in court, on the record, pounding fists and screaming at the parties demanding that they settle their case in front of a full courtroom. I had never been more embarrassed or disappointed in the law.
But it reinvigorated my belief that you can never allow yourself to become jaded or self-important, because when you do, you lose sight of what really matters.

“I’ve had cases where I have literally helped change employment practices that affected hundreds of thousands of employees for the better. I’ve had cases where the employer, after I sued them, came and asked me to represent them and help them do right. I once had a case where I had a 104-degree temperature but I made a city stay open on Christmas Eve finding a place for my client to stay after they illegally evicted her because of her disability. And recently, I had a case where my client was the injured party but was sued for over $750,000. After the first hearing, I convinced the plaintiff to not only dismiss the case, but also to pay my client money.

“But I’d say the most satisfying was a case I took on pro bono in federal court at the summary judgment stage a couple of years ago.
However, as I reviewed the evidence, I realized I could defeat summary judgment. But if I won the motion, I was going to be trying a complex employment case in federal court for free, taking up weeks of my time. I knew I could have written a good brief, made the Court happy and earned some good will points. But I couldn’t stomach the thought. So I wrote the brief to win and I defeated summary judgment.

I convinced the Defendants to offer a lot of money to the Plaintiff—a surprising amount of money for a pro bono case.

“I made no money, but I refused to do less than my best. It’s satisfying to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with who I am.”



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