Read why the best defense lawyers are members of the Michigan Defense Trail Counsel.

I joined the MDTC to stay abreast of the latest legal issues and trends that affect the defense bar. The MDTC has provided valuable continuing education and resources to further advance my knowledge and skills as a defense attorney. It has further provided me the opportunity to network with my peers. Let me know if this is what you are looking for or if you have any changes.

Terence P. Durkin

Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook

I joined MDTC many years ago at the behest of my mentor and partner John L. Collins, who was on the founding Board of Directors.  It was a great decision; one that benefited me over the years.  Educational programs are timely and top notch, and opportunities to network with Judges and outstanding defense attorneys, is priceless.  I especially appreciated the chance to serve on the Board and to spend time with attorneys that I hold in the highest regard.  MDTC has grown over the years and has become the major player for legal defense practitioners.

Webb A. Smith

Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC

I joined MDTC about one year ago to gain connections in the trial defense community and take over the regional chair position for David Carbajal at my firm.  I quickly learned that MDTC offers so much more than an opportunity for professional connections.  Not only is MDTC a fantastic resource for all legal issues spanning from recommendations for experts to updates in various legal fields, but MDTC’s organizational culture and membership immediately made me feel like a welcome and valued addition.  The seminars that MDTC offers throughout the year provide the type of insight and real-world application that are often missing in similar CLE seminars.  I especially enjoyed working with membership to create a fun and exciting program for the 2017 Winter Meeting. It is clear that while MDTC continues to grow, it has established itself as one of the best legal organizations in Michigan for defense attorneys and the legal community as a whole.

Robert Jordan

O’Neill, Wallace and Doyle, P.C.

Having been part of the MDTC since its establishment I am happy to see it’s continuation in bringing together and supporting some of the finest lawyers in our state in their ongoing professional efforts to most effectively represent the interests of their clients.

James Lozier

Dickinson Wright PLLC

I came to the MDTC mid-career, and have found a welcoming home here. Most of my professional organization experience focuses on the specific type of law that I practice (labor and employment) or the locale in which I work (Detroit). The MDTC has expanded those boundaries, bringing me together with attorneys practicing in a wide range of fields, from all over Michigan. We are bound, though, by our desire to provide the highest quality legal services to our business clients, and the MDTC helps us achieve that goal, though its seminars, webinars, and publications.

Deborah Brouwer

Nemeth Law PC

I find MDTC membership value because of the articles that I can read and this assists me and keeping up with legislative and case law developments. I have often found information about experts that is very useful and I’m willing to share my insights with other members of MDTC. I have been a member for over 30 years and it is a very useful bar group.

Daniel Beyers

I’ve been a member of the MDTC for most of my career.  The newsletter alone is worth the price of membership.  The many seminars I have attended over the years have all delivered a lot of substance and are a great networking opportunity.  The MDTC has a truly statewide membership.

Daniel P. Steele

The Steele Firm

I became a member of the MDTC shortly after I began my practice. The membership allowed me to meet, in a social setting, many of the judges who I had or would soon appear before. It also gave me an opportunity to meet (then) senior lawyers who had a lot of experience in front of those same judges. Listening to the lawyers explain what they did and why helped me in my practice then and still does today. It saddens me to not see more younger lawyers involved in the organization. I know that attending MDTC meetings will make them better lawyers. I think it made me one.

Brian Einhorn

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC

I’ve been involved in MDTC since I first started practicing law. At that /me, I appreciated the opportunities to get to know – and learn from – older and more experienced attorneys. Those experiences were very formative to me, and getting to know my colleagues gave me the confidence that I needed as a young attorney to argue mo/ons, participate in depositions, and to grow in my career. I learned a great deal from them and even now, I s/ll have handouts from MDTC conferences and seminars in file folders in my desk!

At this point in my career, I s/ll appreciate the opportunities to get together and spend /me with colleagues. But I also I appreciate the MDCT’s tireless efforts to keep us all updated. Whether it’s by email, newsletter, webinar, or email, MDTC over the years has distinguished itself – in my mind at least! – as being a reliable and helpful source of information on new developments in the law, both in my practice area and across the defense bar. I make /me to read the Michigan Defense Quarterly and the E-Newsletters not only because they’re valuable, but because I know that they’ve been thoughtfully written, carefully edited, and produced by experts in the respective fields.

Randall A. Juip

Foley Baron Metzger & Juip PLLC

I was lucky to have joined a firm that supported and encouraged bar involvement. Over the years, I have been involved in the SBM, the OCBA, the MDTC, the ADTC, and the IADC, among others. My involvement with the MDTC started when I was a younger lawyer, and included attendance at the annual “up north” gatherings, where I had the opportunity to meet other lawyers with similar practices, in a setting where we could learn from each other and develop relationships. Today many of my good friends are fellow lawyers I have met along the way, (on both sides of the “V”). I would encourage all younger and newer attorneys to get involved in MDTC and other organizations. To those who say, “I haven’t got the time”, my advice would be: you really don’t have time to miss out on the opportunities that are out there for folks willing to invest a little time in their career.

Michael J. Sullivan

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC

I joined the MDTC in August 2015, when I was asked to be the editor for Michigan Defense Quarterly. I accepted the invitation and haven’t looked back. Working on the Quarterly has been an extremely rewarding experience. It exposes me to a variety of practice areas and keeps me up to date on the most current and pressing legal issues. Attending board and future-planning meetings has given me a perspective on how a top-notch organization is run. The MDTC is truly a statewide organization. And I’ve benefitted greatly from that reach, meeting attorneys who, as an appellate specialist, I wouldn’t otherwise meet. Like all organizations, it is what you make of it. So I encourage all defense attorneys to take full advantage of the opportunities that the MDTC provides, particularly by writing an article for the Quarterly!

Michael J. Cook

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC

I am an MDTC member because it offers me an opportunity to network with civil litigators and access to well-researched and comprehensive legal updates. My experience has been very positive.  The membership if very collegial and professional, and the legal updates and events are always informative.

Jeremy Pickens

O'Dea Nordeen Burink & Pickens PC

I joined the MDTC during my first year of practice at the behest of my mentor, Joshua K. Richardson, who served as Vice President. Having attended law school out-of-state, the MDTC has been an invaluable resource in helping me meet members of the bench and bar. I rely on the relationships I have developed with members of the MDTC, as well as the timely and extremely relevant educational resources published by the MDTC every day in my practice.

Emory D. Moore, Jr.

McDermott Will and Emery LLP

I became a member of the MDTC in order to network and have stayed a member because of the great educational seminars which are put on each year. I have participated in invaluable seminars on hot topics for defense attorneys and had the pleasure of serving on the Board. The education and access the MDTC provides to its members is unparalleled in the defense bar. The MDTC organization is dedicated to promoting the stature and experience of its members through comradery, education, resources and exposure. My involvement has been invaluable to me and my firm and is the perfect addition to any defense lawyer’s repertoire to be successful in the defense of professionals, businesses and citizens in all areas of the law. It also has the best golf outing of any organization! 

Dale A. Robinson

Rutledge Manion Rabaut Terry & Thomas PC

As a member of the MDTC for over two decades and a past Board member, I would encourage all defense practitioners to strongly consider membership in the MDTC— and that certainly includes those who practice primarily in northern Michigan, as I do. Of course, membership comes with many benefits, including the regular seminars and E-newsletters to keep up on the ever-changing legal field, but I have found that the greatest benefit of being a member is simply getting to know other members. Whenever I need advice on a particular plaintiff’s expert, or have a question on some arcanity of the law, or just need a place to take a deposition or to hold a meeting downstate, I call upon the friends I have made with the MDTC. Without those connections, practicing law would be considerably more difficult, and who needs to make this line of work any more problematic than it already is? And getting involved with MDTC leadership, such as becoming a Board member, is an even better way to cement long-term professional relationships and friendships. Like anything, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.

Alan J. Couture

Atkinson Petruska Kozma, Hart & Couture, PC

I have found MDTC to be an exceptional resource for a variety of litigation-related materials and opinions among defense counsel. From expert info and transcripts, to what to expect in front of certain Judges, and general litigation strategy, I find the organization and its members to be a valuable source of information that is not otherwise so readily available.

Matthew T. Wise

Foley & Mansfield


Which is what happens when you join this organization!

Stephen B. Foley

Stephen B. Foley PC

I’ve been a member since the inception and treasurer the close friends I have been blessed with from this organization. MDTC has always fostered civility and competence in discovery and trial.

Joseph M. Fordney


I was a board member from 200 to 2004 and President for 2003-2004. in 2012, I received the Presidents Award, for testimony in Lansing opposing proposed legislation for Medical Malpractice Physician Courts, and the “physician’s judgment” defense. Here is my (long) submission about benefits of membership in MDTC.

Among the many benefits of membership in MDTC are the friendships and networking gained with civil litigation attorneys throughout the state of Michigan. Whenever I encountered a judge or opposing counsel in jurisdictions outside my area, I could phone, text or Email one of my fellow MDTC members and get their insights into the peccadilloes of judges, and trustworthiness or perfidy of opponents.

In handling complex litigation for the defense, we trial lawyers both male and female readily identify with Shakespeare’s o` quoted phrase from Henry V, “We few, we happy few, we Band of Brothers.” Except now we’d surely say “We Band of Siblings.”

Band of Brothers was the title given the documentary film about Captain Dick Winters and Easy company of the 506th parachute infantry during WWII. Many years after their service, Dick Winters recounted the following exchange between Sgt. Mike Ranney and a grand child.

The grandson asked, “Grampa were you a hero in the war?”
To which he responded, “No, but I served in the company of heroes.”

That’s precisely how I feel about my fellow “siblings” from MDTC, whom I consider heroes. I too, am proud to have served in their company.

James W. Bodary


I first became a member very early on in my career to meet new people and to attend MDTC’s seminars at a discount. I was a little nervous that the more experienced attorneys would pay no attention to a young lawyer like me. I was wrong. The members were very inviting, and I ended up making life-long friends. I even served on the board until I termed out. The camaraderie is amazing, and the members provide a wealth of experience that I can tap into. This was especially important when I moved in-house and was the only attorney on staff. I have learned not only from MDTC’s seminars, but from the members; not just about the law, but about being an attorney.

Allison C. Reuter

Hope Network

I’ve been a member of the MDTC for most of my career. The newsletter alone is worth the price of membership. The many seminars I have attended over the years have all delivered a lot of substance and are a great networking opportunity. The MDTC has a truly statewide membership.

Daniel P. Steele

Law Office of Daniel P. Steele PLLC

MDTC provides up to date and cutting-edge seminars and information for busy practitioners.  Its materials are always helpful and its speakers are recognized experts in their fields.

Joseph Van Horn

Willingham & Cote PC

I am a member of MDTC for several reasons. First, I think it is important to support your local defense bar organization for purposes of having a strong representation nationwide either through DRI or otherwise. Second, I think it is important to network and learn from fellow defense attorneys practicing in the courts you practice. I think the opportunity to connect with those that are coming across the same challenges and brainstorm ways of improving the practice of law from a defense perspective is invaluable.

Erin Behler

Quicken Loans Inc.

“We founded MDTC more than 30 years ago so that we could balance the voice of the plaintiff’s bar and to pool defense resources – amicus briefs, help obtaining and defending expert witnesses, etc. Just the chance to meet twice a year at MDTC meetings should be worth the price of admission. Those reasons remain valid today.”

Jim Kohl

Founding member of MDTC, Past President of MDTC -- 1982-1983

“I became a member of MDTC so I could lead a pub crawl on Mackinaw Island!”

José T. Brown

Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler, PLC

“I have been a member of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel since 1979, principally during my practice with Garan Lucow Miller, P.C. I truly value the benefits I have received and the relationships I have shared as a result of my 36-year membership in the MDTC. In my opinion, over the years the MDTC has been blessed with Executive Directors, officers and administrators, who have worked tirelessly to coordinate and present meaningful and substantive seminars and functions for the membership and bar at large. In my opinion, the MDTC has provided its members with valuable opportunities to network, to attend seminars, and to support our judiciary. In addition, members have been able to share their expertise in many ways, such as by serving as officers, serving as committee chairs and participants, presenting talks, debates, state of the law updates, trial demonstrations, writing articles for newsletters and simply interacting within the MDTC”

“Why be a member of the MDTC?” A good start in answering this question is to consider the impressive state-wide contacts enjoyed by each and every MDTC member. In particular, the MDTC allows a defense bar practitioner to establish links with colleagues who daily face similar challenges in their practice of law, including challenges in the substantive content of the law and as well as in the management of a law office in Michigan, regardless of size. As our profession of defense trial law has become increasingly more complex, demanding, and competitive, the MDTC has served and continues to serve as a practical and valuable resource for its members to address these issues.”

John E. McSorley

Garan Lucow Miller PC

“The MDTC provides unparalleled networking opportunities for members of the defense bar, in addition to excellent seminars, practice updates and other valuable resources. Belonging to the MDTC has fostered professional connections I might not otherwise have, and has given me information that has helped me improve as a lawyer. I strongly recommend membership in the MDTC.”

John Mucha, III

Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler, PLC

“I joined MDTC when it decided to expand its reach to include commercial litigation and have been active ever since. MDTC provides attorneys with great opportunities to network with other attorneys and judges. It also presents interesting and educational programs. If an attorney is interested in joining and becoming active in a great organization with a rich history, this is the one to join.”

Larry Campbell

Dickinson Wright PLLC

“This organization is very unique in that it has no pretense, and as a result, it is able to provide opportunities for personal and professional career advancement without the pressure of proving one’s self. Leadership growth opportunities abound and are stress free as everyone knows that we all have family, firm, and client obligations that come first and foremost. It certainly helps that we have such a strong and capable executive administrative support team backing the organization.

Because of this culture, MDTC provides a setting in which to develop meaningful and true friendships and collegial networks. The educational programs are just the tip of the iceberg of learning through the MDTC. I am a member because MDTC has given me the opportunity to truly learn to be part of a leadership team and a contributor to the advancement of other members. We don’t always get this opportunity in our professional lives at our offices. Achievement is there for the taking in this group and I truly am grateful for the opportunity to be a member and participate, and also to share the benefits with my friends, colleagues, co-workers, and even courts and clients.”

Richard J. Joppich

Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook

“MDTC offers value for its membership dues. I find the Quarterly Newsletter to be a particularly valuable asset for my practice. The Reports in each Quarterly regarding recent legislative developments, court updates, and new case law is insightful to my interests and practice. More often than not, the Articles in the Quarterly Newsletter bring points of interest to my attention, which have application in my practice. As a busy lawyer, anytime I can quickly absorb a new idea or case, then apply it to my practice, is beneficial to my clients and self.”

Steven B. Galbraith

Galbraith, Delie & James PC

“Having been a member of MDTC for over 25 years, I have seen many changes in both the law and the organization. The one thing that has remained constant is the value of the educational and networking opportunities that the MDTC has afforded me. This has been a steadying influence in a career that has spanned 40 plus years. I would recommend membership and it’s benefits to all of the defense bar.”

Tim E. Belanger

Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority