Litigator relishes challenge of helping those 'wronged'

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News
         
After earning her undergrad degree in psychology, Demetra Arapakis Christos considered entering that field. The law won out.

“Law allows the best of both worlds as you are oftentimes a counselor – and even therapist to your clients,” she notes.

A partner in Foley & Mansfield’s Detroit and Chicago offices, Christos was drawn to a legal career by her desire to help people.

“I always felt that law was a great channel for helping those who have been wronged,” she says.

An experienced commercial and civil litigator with more than a decade of successfully defending businesses and select individuals, Christos focuses her practice on professional liability defense and employment litigation. Specifically, she defends professionals and companies against D&O and E&O claims ranging from simple negligence to complex malpractice.

“I love litigation, I love fighting for a cause I believe in, and my work affords me an opportunity to this,” she says. “When professionals are sued, it takes an incredible toll on the both the individual’s professional and personal life. My job is to minimize the disruption to the professional and the company to the best of my ability.”

Her litigation and trial experience is notable for the defense of professional liability claims, employment claims as well as assisting in numerous product liability trials. She has also served as both local counsel and National Coordinating Counsel for product manufacturers and premise owners, and successfully defended contractors, product manufacturers, suppliers and premise owners in product liability cases.

She has handled select family law cases involving divorce and custody issues, and co-chaired a first-degree murder case that she finds particularly memorable.

“I co-chaired with two of the most renowned criminal defense attorneys in Detroit,” she says. “The case involved a woman accused of smothering her newborn infant. It was an amazing journey and experience and I really believe we did something worthwhile by helping this girl.”

Christos is also a trained mediator.

“I must confess I’m a litigator at heart,” she says.

“My disposition is that I want to achieve the best possible results for my client. Mediation taught me that sometimes meeting in the middle does just that.”

She is committed to giving back to the community and devotes many hours performing pro bono work in various areas of the law. In 2010, she successfully argued a bond motion in a first-degree murder case that had previously been denied five times.

“Being able to defend and make a difference in someone’s life is priceless,” she says.

“This is especially true for someone who would otherwise not be able to afford representation. Our profession gives us the opportunity to do just that – and Foley & Mansfield is extremely supportive in that regard.”

A member of the national Pro Bono Institute, Foley & Mansfield is a signatory to its Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, devoting hundreds of hours annually to pro bono causes across the nation.
Christos also volunteers her time by serving on the Judicial Evaluation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and by serving as a Judge for the annual Moot Court Competition.

She is also is active in American Bar Association Women Rainmakers programs, where she has hosted meetings to help women attorneys hone their business development and negotiation skills.

After receiving her undergrad degree from Wayne State University, Christos earned her J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where she enjoyed the intimate setting.
“Everyone knew everyone else and so it was as if we were a family of sorts,” she says. “The instructors were amazing and I love that the school is rooted in the very heart of Detroit.
“I continue to maintain the relationships from law school.”

Although Christos now makes her home in Chicago, the Southgate native says she is a true Detroiter at heart.

“I love the city and the people, and am a diehard Wings fan,” she says.

“I’m excited that Detroit is making a comeback. I enjoy being able to work out of both offices and maintain my client base in Detroit.”
 

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