Nine alumni of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School are among 30 attorneys honored Dec. 4, 2014, by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as “Up and Coming Lawyers for 2014.” This prestigious award is given to young attorneys who have been in practice for less than 10 years and have already made their mark on the profession with their leadership, professional accomplishments, and activities in professional organizations. WMU-Cooley graduates selected for the honor were:
Joseph A. Bellanca, of Hertz Schram PC, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, specializes in entertainment law. He is active in the entertainment community and is a partner in the artist management and event production company, Grand Circus Media. Joseph is a 2008 graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School.
Daniel J. Broxup, of Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones PLC, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, practices securities law, business and commercial litigation, civil litigation, and immigration law. He is a member of the Emerging Leaders Advisory Council to the board of the Special Olympics of Michigan. Daniel is a 2009 magna cum laude graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School.
Nathan A. Dodson, is a shareholder with Garan Lucow Miller PC, in Detroit, Michigan. He focuses his practice on premises liability and auto negligence defense, casino litigation, and sports & recreation law litigation. Nathan is a 2005 cum laude graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School.
Chad D. Engelhardt, of Goethel Engelhardt PLLC, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, focuses his practice on medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury. He has volunteered as a guardian ad litem for Oakland County Probate Court and Oakland County Circuit Court Family Division, as well as the Lakeshore Legal Clinic (Family Law Assistance) and Making Meals Happen. He was named to the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 40 under 40 in 2012, and to that group’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Michigan in 2013. Super Lawyers named him a Michigan Rising Star 2010-2012, a Super Lawyer in 2013, and to its Top 50 Consumer Lawyers in Michigan list in 2014. In addition, the New York Times named Chad to its Top Young Attorneys in Michigan 2010-2013, Detroit Business Magazine named him as a Top Lawyer in medical malpractice, personal injury, and professional liability in 2011 and 2013, and the Michigan Association for Justice named him a Pace Setter in 2013. Chad is a 2005 magna cum laude graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School.
Nicholas F.X. Gumina, of Eardley Law Offices PC, in Rockford, Michigan, , focuses his practice on complex legal and medical malpractice litigation, employment and civil rights matters. He is a 2010 magna cum laude graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School.
Raymond A. Harris, of Bernick, Radner & Ouellette PC, in Lansing, Michigan, focuses his practice on Medicaid, disability and elder law; estate planning, probate and trust administration, probate litigation, guardianships and conservatorships. He is a member of the board of trustees for the Lansing Educational Advancement Foundation, and the boards of directors for Elder Law of Michigan, the RJ Scheffell Memorial Toys Project, and Fenner Nature Center. He also serves as the treasurer for the Toys Project and Fenner organizations. Raymond is a 2007 cum laude graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School.
Ryan C. Plecha, of Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein PLLC, of Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein PLLC, in Birmingham, Michigan, focuses his practice on civil litigation and complex commercial litigation, estate planning, and bankruptcy. He was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2013 and 2014. Ryan is a 2008 magna cum laude graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School.
Robert A. Welch Jr., an associate principal with Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook, in Detroit, Michigan, focuses his practice on birth trauma and medical malpractice litigation. Robert was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2012 and 2013. He is a 2009 graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School.
Jesse L. Young, of Sommers Schwartz PC, in Southfield, Michigan, is a member of the firm’s complex litigation group. He manages the day to day operations of the firm’s national wage and hour practice, and focuses primarily on federal and state wage and hour claims. He became a member of the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors in 2012, and was named 2011 Volunteer of the Year by that organization. Jesse has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star (Michigan) 2012-present. He is a 2009 cum laude graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School.
The Cooley alumni, along with law school alumni from Wayne State University Law School (7), Michigan State University (6), University of Michigan (4), University of Detroit (3), and Valparaiso (1) were honored at a special luncheon at the Detroit Marriott in Troy, Michigan.