Cary S. McGehee is a Founding Partner of Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni & Rivers
Cary has specialized in employment and civil rights litigation for 25 years, since graduating magna cum laude from the Detroit College of Law in 1989. She has successfully litigated and tried numerous civil rights cases resulting in favorable settlements and verdicts for her clients in the state and federal courts, including discrimination cases based on age, national origin, sex, race and disability, cases alleging retaliation and sexual, racial and national origin harassment, violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act and Whistle Blowers Protection Act, and prisoner rights cases. Cary is also a member of the Flint Water Class Action Litigation team which is currently litigating multiple class action lawsuits in federal and state court.
Cary was selected a 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America; has received the highest rating possible, AV, from Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review national Legal Directory; and, since 2006 has been rated as one of the top employment lawyers in Michigan in Michigan Super Lawyer. In relation to her work as one of the trial attorneys in Neal v. Michigan Department of Corrections- a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 500 female prisoners in Michigan who had been sexually assaulted by male prison guards- she was awarded: The prestigious national award of Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Public Justice Foundation (2008) in honor of her outstanding contribution to the public interest; the Lawyers for the People Award by the National Lawyers Guild (2008) in recognition of extraordinary commitment to uphold human, civil, and constitutional rights, and; the Wade Hampton McCree Jr. Award (2009) for the advancement of social justice awarded by the Federal Bar Association.
- Cary was named Chair of the Local Rules Advisory Committee of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on June 6, 2017, for a one-year term.
- Cary was elected Fellow by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, recognizing her sustained contribution to the field of labor and employment law and her high standards of integrity, professionalism and character, June 2012.
- Cary is current Chair of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR), serves on the Employment Law Committee for the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ), and the Advisory Boards of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Opportunity Resource Fund. She previously served on the Executive Board of the MAJ and the Board of Trustees of the Michigan Interfaith Trust Fund.
- In association with her work with MCHR, Cary helped organize and lead the 2013 and 2016 Freedom Tour where MCHR took 35 high school students on a two-week journey through southern states and visited key historic sites of the civil rights movement. It was an extraordinary opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the civil rights movement, to learn the history, to study and embody nonviolence, to build community and inspire our future social justice and civil rights leaders.
- Cary was elected to the Michigan State College of Law Board of Trustees in December, 2013.
- Cary is a frequent lecturer at seminars conducted by the Institute for Continuing Education (ICLE) and the MAJ. Cary is the author of a chapter in the ICLE Michigan Civil Procedure manual on “Proofs at Trial” and of two chapters in ICLE’s Michigan Courtroom Evidence Annotated on “Witnesses” and “Opinions and Expert Testimony”.
- Cary graduated from Bowling Green University where she received an athletic scholarship to play women’s varsity basketball. Following college, Cary played women’s professional basketball for the Women’s American Basketball Association as a team member on the Dallas Diamond National Championship Team.
- Cary was named to the prestigious “Women in the Law” list by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for 2012.
Listen to Cary’s Interview with NPR’s All Things Considered “Are Juveniles Too Young to Know Right from Wrong?”