On Jan. 14, Plunkett Cooney lost beloved partner and the firm’s first Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Laurel F. McGiffert, who passed away unexpectedly. She was 75.
“Laurel was a tremendous trial attorney and beloved by many clients and colleagues across the state,” said Plunkett Cooney President & CEO Jeff Gerish. “We will also remember Laurel as a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion. We are all better for having had Laurel in our lives. Laurel was as wonderful a person as I and many of us have ever met.”
Before taking on the role as Plunkett Cooney’s DEI Director, McGiffert worked for nearly 40 years as one of Michigan’s most accomplished medical liability and governmental law attorneys. She resolved countless disputes through pre-trial motion practice and routinely won jury trials with her attention to detail, surgical lines of questioning and ability to explain complex medical and legal issues to jurors, who also appreciated her warm smile and calm demeanor.
The list of honors and awards McGiffert won during her years in practice and as a DEI director are voluminous. Some highlights include Savoy magazine’s “2022 Most Influential Black Lawyers” honor, the 2017 Earl J. Cline/Sherwin Schreier Award for Excellence from the Negligence Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, the 2012 Michigan Association for Justice Respected Advocate Award, and induction into the Michigan Lawyers Weekly Hall of Fame in 2021.