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Crain's Interviews Lord in UIA Review Story

From Crain's Detroit Weekly January 6, 2017 LANSING --- The state's embattled unemployment agency said Friday it will review all computer-identified claims of benefits fraud --- more than 30,000 --- that until now have not been re-examined after criticism from state auditors and a Michigan congressman that the practice was highly inaccurate. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency said the fraud findings occurred from 2013 to 2015, when it launched an automated system to determine fraudulent claims. The agency hasn't relied solely on a computer system to identify possible fraud cases since August 2015, and now includes staff members in the review process. Jennifer Lord, an attorney with Pitt, McGehee, Palmer & Rivers PC in Royal Oak and the lead attorney said she wants the state to freeze any action that might take money out of the so-called "contingent fund" that includes unemployment funds and put it into the state's general fund until the agency knows for certain whether there are more false allegations of fraud. Senate Bill 1008, which would approve that transfer, is pending on Snyder's desk. Snyder spokeswoman Anna Heaton said the governor has not yet completed a full review of the bill. Lord contends the funds don't belong to state taxpayers and should not be used to balance the budget. She said she is awaiting a date for oral arguments in the Court of Appeals related to a pending class-action lawsuit that could include an estimated 60,000 plaintiffs. The case originated in the Michigan Court of Claims. "I hope it's a step in the right direction," Lord said of Stokes' restructuring plan. "There are clearly still massive, massive problems at the agency." You can read the entire Crain's Detroit Business Story here.

Renowned Attorney Morris Dees Honored by MCHR

Cary McGehee presents Champion of Justice Award to Morris Dees at MCHR annual dinner.[/caption] The Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR) recognized the lifetime efforts of iconic civil rights attorney Morris Dees at its recent annual dinner...

Channing Robinson-Holmes Joins Firm as Attorney

Channing Robinson began working as a law clerk at the firm in October 2015 while she was still in law school. Since that time, she has devoted innumerable hours to the firm’s class actions against Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, as...

UIA Fraud Class-Action Continues to Gain Steam

In September 2015, firm attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit against the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). The complaint alleges that the automated system used for adjudicating unemployment insurance fraud, falsely accused as...

PMP&R Host Flint Water Community Information Meeting

On April 24, 2017, the Flint Water Class Action Legal Team held an informational meeting for the Flint community at Greater Holy Temple Church of God in Christ in Flint. Throughout the night, Flint residents and other attendees spoke with...

NewsChannel 3 Discusses UIA Fraud with Lord

MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Michigan lawmakers are working to figure out how tens of thousands of people on unemployment across Michigan were wrongly accused of fraud. On Monday the House Oversight Committee announced it had created a work group...

Pitt Awarded Distinguished Service Award by State Bar

From Detroit Legal News Michael Pitt has been selected for the 2017 Distinguished Service Award by the State Bar of Michigan's Labor & Employment Section. Pitt is co-founding partner of Royal Oak-based Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers, one of...

The Bridge Looks at UIA Fraud and Cites Lord

From the Bridge - the Center for Michigan February 7, 2917 A few days after a federal judge issued a Jan. 11 order commanding the state to “suspend all collection activity” against thousands of Michigan workers tagged with unemployment fraud,...

Detroit News Covers Pitt Led Flint Suit Against EPA

More than 1,700 Flint-area residents and property owners have filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the “mishandling” of the city’s water crisis in a legal action seeking more than $722.4 million in damages. The...