JJ has been a practicing trial attorney for more than twenty years, handling a wide range of litigation matters. JJ graduated early (2 ½ years) and 2nd in his class at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law. There, he served as the Articles Editor for the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Journal. He previously worked for the Michigan Court of Appeals as a staff attorney, and as a trial attorney at a commercial law firm. JJ founded his firm in 1999. Since that time, JJ has earned an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been voted by his peers as a SuperLawyer in employment and employee benefits law. He is referred cases from lawyers throughout the United States to handle the interests of their clients. His primer on ERISA law and benefits, entitled Hitting You When You Least Expect It: A Basic Guide to ERISA for Non-ERISA Lawyers is one of the top searched internet documents discussing employee benefits claims. In 2018, he coauthored Refining Wilkins: A 20-Year Look at the Recurring Factors Used in the Sixth Circuit’s Resolution of Disability Claims Under ERISA Section 502(a)(1)(B), WMU-Cooley Law (2018).
JJ’s professional organizations and distinctions include:
Currently, a Member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the State Bar of Arizona.
JJ is also a Past-Member of the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners; Past-Member, Executive Council, Young Lawyers Division, American Bar Association (ABA); Past-Chairperson, State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section; Member, American Bar Association Litigation Section, Member, State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Section; Member, ABA Labor and Employment Section, ABA Committee Member, Employment Rights and Responsibilities, ABA Committee Member, ERISA and Employee Benefits Litigation; Pro Bono Mediator, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. JJ has been admitted to the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation and the Fellows of the Michigan Bar Foundation. Both groups limit members to less than 1% of the profession. In 2010, JJ was awarded the State Bar of Michigan’s Champion of Justice award for his work in securing healthcare benefits for children with autism. In 2011, JJ was awarded the Thomas P. Moore Award for Leadership in Philanthropy from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
JJ has served as a partner with the Detroit Cornerstone Schools Program and served on advisory boards for Matrix Human Services, the Center for Faith and Action, and the University of Detroit Jesuit High School Alumni Board. He was President of the Marquette University Alumni Club of Detroit from 2002 through 2010. JJ also served as Vice-Chairman of the Foundation Board of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Currently, he is on the Presidential Leadership Committee for Detroit Cristo-Rey High School and serves as the fiduciary for a scholarship fund at Marquette University.