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MSU College of Law

MSU Law Honors TPI Founding Director John Pirich

Michigan State University College of Law honored John Pirich, founding director of the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute, at a well-attended breakfast reception on April 17.

PirichProfessor Pirich this year stepped down as director of the Trial Practice Institute, a position he held since the program’s creation 14 years ago. He also teaches courses in the rigorous, two-year certificate program, one of the most comprehensive trial practice programs in the country.

“We celebrate and thank John for the extraordinary work he has done and continues to do for the Trial Practice Institute,” said Dean Joan Howarth. “TPI is an incredibly important program—not just here in the building, but one to be emulated nationally.”

“I know I speak for all of us today when I say thank you for being a true mentor and for guiding us to success,” said Veronica Valentine McNally, ’04, director of trial advocacy and Pirich’s former student. “We are, without a doubt, better people because you were our professor. You have created a legacy in this program that will last for decades to come. It is an honor to follow in your footsteps.”

Pirich is a partner at Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn, where he represents clients in insurance negotiations and coverage disputes, environmental permitting, compliance and administrative requirements, and commercial litigation. He was an assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan for three years and a member of a large regional law firm before joining Honigman. Pirich is an extremely experienced litigator, regularly arguing cases in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. He has been honored as “Lawyer of the Year” in The Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Law (2014), Lansing Corporate Law (2013), and Lansing Government Relations (2012). In 2012, he was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder as chair of the State of Michigan Board of Ethics after 11 years as a member.

The Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute at MSU College of Law blends legal theory with hands-on legal training and emphasizes important ethical considerations involved in trial litigation. The Institute was established in partnership with Geoffrey Fieger, a nationally renowned trial attorney and 1979 Law College graduate.

Last updated: May 15, 2014

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