Southfield-based Collins, Einhorn, Farrell ( announced that attorney Kari L. Melkonian has joined the firm's general liability practice group. Recently admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, she will focus her practice on the defense of general liability claims.

In 2008, Melkonian earned her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She also earned a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Oakland University.

Melkonian comes to Collins Einhorn from the Oakland County Circuit Court where she served as judicial staff attorney to Judge Martha D. Anderson. In this position, she was involved in researching and writing opinions on various civil, criminal and domestic relations matters. In 2010, Melkonian received the Oakland County Circuit Court MVP Award, given to employees nominated by their colleagues as recognition for exceptional work performance. She also earned the 10-Year Service Award from Oakland County for her public service.

Melkonian is actively involved with the Oakland County Bar Association. She is currently an associate member of the OCBA Inn of Court, a member of its Board of Directors Nominating Committee and the Criminal and Family Law Committees. Melkonian is the immediate past-chair of the Criminal Law Committee. She is also a fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation.

Additionally, Melkonian held court clerk positions with the Oakland County Probate Court-Family Division under Judge Linda S. Hallmark and Oakland County Probate Court under Judge Barry M. Grant (retired).

In addition to her law practice, Melkonian serves in an adjunct faculty member role as a family law and research and writing professor at Baker College in Auburn Hills.

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Attorney Ellisse S. Thompson recently joined the Tort & Litigation and Transportation Law practice groups of Plunkett Cooney.

The members of Plunkett Cooney's Tort & Litigation Practice Group focus on the defense of civil litigation, including motor vehicle negligence, liquor liability, product liability, toxic torts and premises liability, including slip and falls, trip and falls and open and obvious dangers. Members of the practice group have handled literally thousands of cases to successful conclusion, and they have significant trial experience at all levels of the state and federal court systems.

Plunkett Cooney's Transportation Practice Group includes a team of attorneys each providing specific expertise in this multi-faceted area of practice. Its attorneys have successfully handled matters involving catastrophic personal injury accidents, property damage litigation, cargo claims, Michigan No Fault Act claims, contractual dispute resolution, insurance coverage disputes, regulatory compliance and transactional work.

A member of the firm's Detroit office, Thompson focuses her litigation practice primarily in the areas of motor vehicle negligence and no-fault law. Additionally, Thompson's practice includes trucking liability, ski area liability, governmental law, environmental law, construction law and workers' compensation matters.

Thompson is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Michigan. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and the American Inn of Court.

Prior to graduation from law school, Thompson worked for the firm as a research clerk. She also served as a judicial intern for U.S. District Court Judge Nancy G. Edmunds, Eastern District of Michigan.

Thompson received her law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2013. She received her undergraduate degree from Wayne State University in 2007.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Kathleen Lang has been elected to the Board of Governors for the International Society of Barristers.

The International Society of Barristers was created in 1965 and is dedicated to preserving trial by jury, the adversary system and an independent judiciary. The Society's membership consists of Fellows from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as well as Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Lang is the firm's director of Strategic Development and a member of the firm's Detroit office. With more than 25 years of experience, she has successfully represented clients in business litigation, class actions, intellectual property litigation, as well as environmental and personal injury defense. Lang has tried and arbitrated cases in federal and state forums throughout the United States and abroad, and counsels clients in litigation avoidance and pre-litigation strategy.

Lang is a frequent lecturer and author of civil litigation topics and litigation skill, and is involved in leadership roles in many state and national bar organizations, and trial lawyer honorary societies. She received her B.A. from Michigan State University and her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

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Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss Partner Shirley Kaigler was honored as a "2014 Leader in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly during a recent luncheon and ceremony at the Detroit Troy Marriott. Jaffe CEO Bill Sider made the announcement.

Selected from statewide nominations, Kaigler was recognized as one of 30 attorneys who have changed the law, expanded access to justice and improved the legal profession and the communities that they serve.

Kaigler is an active member of the Estate, Wealth Planning and Probate Practice Group, and has experience in the areas of gift, estate and tax planning for all size estates. A member of several legal and estate planning organizations, Kaigler also served as president of the D. Augustus Straker Bar Foundation.

In addition to this achievement, Kaigler has also received multiple Super Lawyer, Best Lawyer, and DBusiness Top Lawyer awards. In 2010, Michigan Lawyers Weekly also named Kaigler a "Woman in the Law" honoree.

Kaigler is also a member of several civic and community groups, including the Detroit Institute of Arts Tannahill Society--Estate Planning Council; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Planned Giving Endowment Program of Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan--Legal Financial Network Group; Legacy Associates Foundation; Black United Fund of Michigan Inc.; Links, Inc. Greater Wayne County Chapter; Southfield Community Foundation and the Council of Michigan Foundation.

Kaigler received her bachelor's degree with distinction from Wayne State University, and earned her law degrees from the University of Michigan Law School and Wayne State University Law School.

Published: Mon, Mar 31, 2014