James E. Brenner Named as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “Lawyers of the Year”

Jan 9, 2008

FARMINGTON HILLS , MI Attorney James E. Brenner , of Clark Hill PLC’s Detroit office, was recently recognized as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “Lawyers of the Year” for 2007.

Nominated by his peers, colleagues, associates or the editorial staff of Michigan Lawyers Weekly , Brenner is one of only 12 attorneys honored with this distinction from nearly 40,000 practitioners in Michigan.

Lawyers of the Year are chosen based on their achievements throughout the past year, including winning important cases; involving themselves in matters raising challenging issues within the profession or community; and furthering the profession’s commitment to the rule of law and concept of justice. An editorial panel from Michigan Lawyers Weekl y makes the final selection for the attorneys honored with this distinction.

“Over the last year, these attorneys have made great strides for and within the legal community,” said Lynn Ingram, publisher and editor-in-chief for Michigan Lawyers Weekly. “As laws and cases become more complex, it is important to recognize the people who are making a difference for the clients they represent and contributing to the advancement of the profession.”

Brenner is a corporate defense attorney and head of Clark Hill’s appellate practice group, specializing in insurance, commercial and benefits law. However, Brenner also works on pro bono cases for the defense of death row inmates in states still utilizing the death penalty as punishment for crimes.

He began his work in 1989 and has advocated for two defendants in the final stages of their respective appeals processes and had been denied adequate assistance of counsel. In a case taking 17 years to go through the appellate process, Brenner saved the man’s life by introducing important information the defendant’s appointed counsel failed to present.

Brenner has begun work on his third case this year, combing through 37 boxes of files to establish the facts. The case involves a Tennessee gang member accused first of shooting a 12-year-old girl during a gunfight, as well as having involvement in the execution-style murder of two rival gang members. Like his past cases, Brenner assumes this case will linger for several years.

“There are rewards in this kind of work – sparing somebody’s life who should not be put to death and helping make sure the legal system works properly,” Brenner said.

Brenner earned degrees from the University of Michigan Law School, Wayne State University and the University of Detroit. He holds memberships with the American Arbitration Association; Catholic Lawyers Society; Michigan Civil Right Commission and Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services.

He is a resident of Beverly Hills, Mich.

Michigan Lawyers Weekly

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, founded in 1986, is the premier weekly publication for the legal profession in the stat of Michigan. The publication is written for attorneys, judges and all those within the legal profession in the state and is used as a tool to enlighten those within the legal profession of changes to court rules, verdict & settlement reports, discipline matters and all other news vital to attorneys in the state. Michigan Lawyers Weekly is available online at http://www.milawyersweekly.com.