Attorneys Joel T. Finnell and Stephen H. Sinas of Sinas Dramis Law Firm, and Katherine L. Marcuz of the State Appellate Defender Office were recipients of the WMU-Cooley Law Review’s Distinguished Brief Award.
The WMU-Cooley Law Review recognized attorneys who authored the most scholarly briefs filed with the Michigan Supreme Court in 2018. The honors were presented during the Law Review’s 34th annual Distinguished Brief Award ceremony at the Country Club of Lansing on July 24. During the ceremony, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Megan Cavanagh presented the keynote address.
Pictured (left-right) Amia Banks, WMU-Cooley Law Review executive symposium editor; WMU-Cooley Law Review Distinguished Brief recipients, attorney Katherine L. Marcuz, State Appellate Defender Office; attorneys Joel T. Finnell and Stephen H. Sinas, Sinas Dramis Law Firm; and WMU-Cooley Professor and Law Review adviser Mark Cooney.
During her remarks, Cavanagh spoke about how uncertainty can limit an attorney and the importance of pushing the boundaries while practicing law.
“In my opinion, embracing uncertainty doesn't mean leaving things to chance, embracing uncertainty means taking chances, with your writing and with your presentation at oral arguments,” said Cavanagh. “Don’t just play it safe, jump in and wade into an issue. Push on the boundaries. Be willing to admit limitations and weak points in your argument and then still be able to explain how you're going to win, or why your client should win nevertheless.”
Sinas and Finnell were recognized for their brief filed in Home Owners Ins Co, et al v Richard Jankowski, et al, while Marcuz was honored for her brief presented to Michigan’s Supreme Court in People v. Thorpe.