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Attorney David M. Moss discusses long-time advisory role at Downtown Boxing Gym as founder Khali Sweeney vies for CNN’s Hero of the Year for championing Detroit youth

Attorney David M. Moss discusses long-time advisory role at Downtown Boxing Gym as founder Khali Sweeney vies for CNN’s Hero of the Year for championing Detroit youth

‘Being a member of the legal profession brings with it both privilege and responsibility’

Media contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466; barbara@eafocus.com

Southfield, Mich. —Nov. 27, 2017— It’s proving to be a banner year for attorney David. M. Moss, founding partner of Moss & Colella, P.C., a law firm representing clients in the areas of personal injury and civil rights.

First, the firm has been commemorating the 20th anniversary of its formation; in 1997, Moss joined with A. Vince Colella to establish what they hoped would be a different kind of personal injury law firm. That has happened, with Moss developing specialty areas in railroad, trucking and medical malpractice and Colella developing expertise in the modern era of civil rights, gross negligence and governmental immunity cases. Moss has argued in front of the Michigan Supreme Court and both attorneys are mentoring three associate attorneys in the firm.

The second celebration for Moss takes him beyond the law–sort of. Around the same time Moss was forming his law firm, he was asked to advocate for a young woman who lost her father as a pre-teen. Supporting her journey through high school and providing counsel and advocacy through college and beyond, Moss, who has two children of his own, was pleased to play a small part in her successful transition to adulthood. Her name is Jessica Hauser and she’s been the Executive Director of Downtown Boxing Gym in Detroit since 2010.  

Established in 2007, Downtown Boxing Gym is the brainchild of Detroit native Khali Sweeney, who wanted the gym to serve as a safe haven for youth in Detroit to gather and focus on academics first and boxing second. Today, the gym’s mission is: Books Before Boxing, transforming lives through education, mentorship, enrichment, community service and the discipline of boxing. It serves 156 students with 850 on the waiting list and has a 100% high school graduation rate for ten straight years. In recognition of his efforts, Sweeney is now one of ten national finalists for CNN’s “Hero of the Year.” Voting for the finalists is open through December 12, 2017.

Moss’ affiliation with the Downtown Boxing Gym goes back several years. Hauser approached Moss in 2012, introducing Sweeney and seeking legal advice to help the nonprofit organization grow. Moss then helped establish the Downtown Boxing Gym’s original board of directors, serving as one of the first official members and gathering executives from international and local powerhouse organizations to serve. He continues his efforts with the gym to this day.

“Khali Sweeney’s national recognition as a CNN finalist for Hero of the Year is a gift to the organization and a testament to how committed he is in his vision for Detroit youth,” Moss said. “It may sound cliché, but I knew him when–and it’s been a highlight of my career to have played even a small role in helping strengthen the Downtown Boxing Gym and its mission.”

Moss says he’s learned through his own law firm and his 30+ years as an attorney that being a member of the legal profession brings with it both privilege and responsibility.

“Attorneys are frequently in a position to make a positive impact on the community, whether directly or indirectly, and I think we have a responsibility to do so,” Moss said. “We understand the importance of the law in securing and protecting individual and organizational rights, we have connections to people of influence who can support and further a community initiative, and we have the financial means and leadership experience to support an organization like Downtown Boxing Gym in expanding its outreach to kids who need it most.”

To make a donation in support of the Downtown Boxing Gym, visit the website.

About Moss & Colella

Established in 1997, Moss & Colella represents the victims of personal injury, civil rights violations, discrimination and wrongful death.   The firm is recognized as a leader in complex tort litigation, including excess and deadly force, jail death, sexual abuse and harassment, auto and truck accidents, and other serious injury and wrongful death claims.   To learn more about the firm and its diverse areas of practice, visit the Moss & Colella website.

Michigan Supreme Court declines to grant governmental immunity to teacher in high school shop class injury case

Michigan Supreme Court declines to grant governmental immunity to teacher in high school shop class injury case

Court of Appeals opinion stands; gross negligence lawsuit against Michigan public school teacher may proceed to a jury trial

Southfield, Mich. —Nov. 2, 2017— A. Vince Colella, a civil rights and personal injury attorney at Moss & Colella, P.C., announced the Michigan Supreme Court has declined to grant governmental immunity to a Mid-Michigan public school teacher in the governmental gross negligence case, Bellinger v Kram. The Michigan Supreme Court decision means the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling from May 2017, allowing the firm to proceed with a lawsuit on behalf of the student, stands.

The Michigan Court of Appeals decision, in denying governmental immunity to the teacher, found there was substantial evidence from which a jury could find in favor of the student, including testimony from the student that she was pressured to use the saw by her teacher, that she had requested assistance from the teacher but had been rejected, and that the teacher had advised her that the saw guards were optional and only necessary for insurance inspections.

“Typically, the defense of government immunity excludes most claims from trial or litigation and bars a large number of claims, so this is a huge win for the young victim in this case,” Colella said. “This decision by the Michigan Supreme Court will allow the student to pursue her claims at trial, where a jury will rightly decide the issue of liability.”

The jury trial in Bellinger v Kram is expected to take place in spring 2018.

About Moss & Colella

Established in 1997, Moss & Colella represents the victims of personal injury, civil rights violations, discrimination and wrongful death.   The firm is recognized as a leader in complex tort litigation, including excess and deadly force, jail death, sexual abuse and harassment, auto and truck accidents, and other serious injury and wrongful death claims.   To learn more about the firm and its diverse areas of practice, visit the Moss & Colella website.

Michigan Attorney Seeks Updates to 53-year-old Government Immunity Act for Public School Employees

Michigan Attorney Seeks Updates to 53-year-old Government Immunity Act for Public School Employees

Attorney says government immunity inhibits teachers from sharing behavioral information with parents; wants legislative changes to potentially help save students’ lives

Media contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466; barbara@eafocus.com

Southfield, Mich. —Oct. 17, 2017— Requesting that serious consideration be given to updating the 1964 Act that protects Michigan government workers and public school employees from gross negligence torts, A. Vince Colella, a civil rights and personal injury attorney and partner with Moss & Colella, P.C., says the Act no longer meets the needs of children who are bullied, have ongoing mental health issues, or are experiencing or acting on suicidal thoughts.

Gross negligence refers to actions that show substantial disregard for safety precautions and singular disregard for the clear risks of harm. Government immunity is the exception for public employees and their designees that may exempt them from gross negligence claims.

“By its very nature, the K-12 school setting has always posed challenges to kids’ physical and emotional health. However, the advent and growing use of cell phones, texting and social apps have increased the dangers for many children and teachers who witness troubling behaviors such as crying or acting out, and may say nothing because there are no repercussions to not doing so,” Colella said. “The overwhelming majority of teachers and school staff want to protect and nurture students, but those who fail to act to potentially save a child’s life need to be held accountable – and government immunity doesn’t always allow for that.”

As one example, Colella referred to a Haslett, Michigan, sixth grader who took his life in October 2016 by stepping in front of a train after school. Despite crying fitfully throughout the school day, and teacher acknowledgements that he wasn’t acting like himself, no one called the boy’s parents to notify them of his troubling behavior.

“A phone call in this case could have saved a life. The teachers and administration claimed that they were bound by confidentiality agreements not to say anything. Apparently maintaining a confidence trumps the health and welfare of a student. That’s not right and it doesn’t have to be law,” Colella said.

To take action, Colella says citizens should contact their state representative or senator.  

An experienced litigator in government immunity cases, Colella is currently representing a former Genesee County high school student who seriously and permanently injured her hand in October 2014 after following her shop teacher’s advice that the use of a blade guard was optional when using the classroom saw. The teacher said the blade guard was only necessary when an insurance inspector was present.

On May 25, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals said government immunity doesn’t apply in this lawsuit (Bellinger v Kram) and that a jury should decide whether the student’s injuries were the result of the teacher’s gross negligence.  The jury trial is expected to take place this fall.  

About Moss & Colella

Established in 1997, Moss & Colella represents the victims of personal injury, civil rights violations, discrimination and wrongful death.  The firm is recognized as a leader in complex tort litigation, including excess and deadly force, jail death, sexual abuse and harassment, auto and truck accidents, and other serious injury and wrongful death claims.  To learn more about the firm and its diverse areas of practice, visit the Moss & Colella website.

 

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Vince Colella named to DBusiness Top Lawyers list

Vince Colella named to DBusiness Top Lawyers list

Southfield, Mich. — September 14, 2017 — A. Vince Colella, a civil rights and personal injury attorney and partner with Moss & Colella, P.C., has been selected by a vote of his peers to be included in DBusiness Magazine’s 2018 list of Top Lawyers, which will be published in the November/December 2017 issue. DBusiness’ Top Lawyers is based on a peer-review survey open to all area lawyers. Thousands of votes were cast honoring excellence in 50 practice areas, including one of Colella’s recognized specialties–personal injury.

As a highly skilled litigation attorney, Colella’s trial experience includes automobile negligence, police brutality and misconduct, premises liability, sexual assault, construction and trucking accidents, insurance disputes, sexual harassment, discrimination and wrongful death. In recent years, Colella has gained a reputation, in particular, for his litigation efforts in gross negligence and civil rights cases. He was recently named a Michigan Super Lawyer by research-driven, peer-influenced rating service Super Lawyers.

Colella is active in the legal profession and has served as a member of the Executive Board of the Michigan Association for Justice (formerly known as the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association) and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Oakland County Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He is certified as a mediator and regularly hears cases for the Oakland County Circuit Court Mediation Program. He received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Michigan State University.

“I am honored to be included among DBusiness’ Top Lawyers and appreciate the support of my peers and acknowledgement of Moss & Colella’s specialized skills in personal injury,” Colella said.

About Moss & Colella

Established in 1997 and celebrating 20 years as a firm in 2017, Moss & Colella represents the victims of personal injury, civil rights violations, discrimination and wrongful death.   The firm is recognized as a leader in complex tort litigation, including excess and deadly force, jail death, sexual abuse and harassment, auto and truck accidents, and other serious injury and wrongful death claims.   To learn more about the firm and its diverse areas of practice, visit www.mosscolella.com.

Founding partners of Moss & Colella named to  Michigan Super Lawyers 2017 list

Founding partners of Moss & Colella named to Michigan Super Lawyers 2017 list

Media contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466; barbara@eafocus.com

 Southfield, Mich. — Sept. 5, 2017 —David M. Moss and A. Vince Colella, civil rights and personal injury attorneys and name partners of Southfield-based Moss & Colella, P.C., have been named to the 2017 Michigan Super Lawyers list. Both attorneys are 100 percent focused on trial litigation and have appeared on the Super Lawyers list multiple times.

Moss represents victims and their families in a variety of injury cases against insurance companies, national corporations, hospitals, municipalities and individual defendants. He has a special focus in railroad law and has litigated hundreds of cases on behalf of injured railroad workers around the country. Known for his trial and negotiation skills, Moss has argued before the Michigan Supreme Court and several Michigan Court of Appeals panels.

Moss is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Oakland County Bar Association. He is licensed to practice in all Michigan State and Federal Courts and is also certified as a Case Evaluator/Mediator. Moss is often selected by other plaintiff’s attorneys to sit as a designated arbitrator on their client’s behalf to resolve complicated cases. He received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and an undergraduate degree in political science and public administration from Western Michigan University.

Colella’s trial experience includes automobile negligence, police brutality and misconduct, premises liability, sexual assault, construction and trucking accidents, insurance disputes, sexual harassment, discrimination and wrongful death. In recent years, Colella has gained a reputation in particular for his litigation efforts in gross negligence and civil rights cases.

Colella has served as a member of the Executive Board of the Michigan Association for Justice (formerly known as the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association) and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Oakland County Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He is certified as a mediator and regularly hears cases for the Oakland County Circuit Court Mediation Program. He received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Michigan State University.

About Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer-influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected using a patented multiphase selection process in which peer nominations are combined with third party research. The mission of Super Lawyers is to bring visibility to those attorneys who exhibit excellence in practice. The Super Lawyers lists are published in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. For more information, go to SuperLawyers.com.

About Moss & Colella

Established in 1997 and celebrating 20 years as a firm in 2017, Moss & Colella represents the victims of personal injury, civil rights violations, discrimination and wrongful death.   The firm is recognized as a leader in complex tort litigation, including excess and deadly force, jail death, sexual abuse and harassment, auto and truck accidents, and other serious injury and wrongful death claims.   To learn more about the firm and its diverse areas of practice, visit www.mosscolella.com.