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Anthony F. Caffrey III, a partner with the law firm Cardelli Lanfear, PC, has been recognized with a 2014 Distinguished Brief Award from the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review. The co-authors of the article, R. Carl Lanfear, Jr., and Paul Kittinger, were also recognized.

Caffrey received this year’s award for his authorship of an application for leave to appeal in Sholberg v Truman, a case submitted in the 2013-14 term to the Michigan Supreme Court. The plaintiff, Terri Sholberg, suffered fatal injuries when her car automobile struck a horse owned by Daniel Truman. Although Daniel Truman had owned and operated a farm for decades, his brother and sister-in-law—Robert and Marilyn Truman--had title ownership to the farm. At issue was whether the decedent’s estate could sue the Trumans for a nuisance that was created solely by Daniel Truman, and on property that was exclusively possessed and controlled by Daniel Truman. Cardelli Lanfear persuaded the trial court to grant summary disposition, but the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed on the basis that ownership of real property alone justified potential liability for any nuisance arising therefrom. The issue briefed to the Michigan Supreme Court was whether a mere owner of property could be liable for a nuisance that was created by another that was in exclusive possession and control of the property. The Supreme Court ordered oral argument on the application and ultimately reversed the Michigan Court of Appeals, reinstating summary disposition on the nuisance cause of action. (Sholberg v Truman, Mich; NW2d /No. 146725).

The 2014 edition of the Distinguished Brief Award is the 29th installment of the award. The award is given in recognition of the most scholarly briefs filed before the Michigan Supreme Court as determined by a panel of jurists. The briefs are evaluated on the basis of seven criteria: (1) Question presented; (2) Point headings; (3) Statement of the case; (4) Argument and analysis; (5) Style; (6) Mechanics; and (7) Best overall brief. The award recognizes not only substantive arguments, but presentation.

Attorney Caffrey is Cardelli Lanfear’s partner focusing on appellate and major writing projects for litigation at all levels. He has participated in more than 100 appeals. Before joining the firm, Attorney Caffrey clerked for Judge Owens in the Michigan Court of Appeals and was a prehearing attorney in Grand Rapids. He has been recognized by Michigan Super Lawyers for his appellate and litigation work.

Attorney Lanfear is a partner and trial attorney for Cardelli Lanfear. Attorney Lanfear has had successful defense verdicts in more than 30 jury trials. Attorney Kittinger is a senior associate for Cardelli Lanfear, specializing in all aspects of litigation.

For more information about Cardelli Lanfear, please visit the International Society of Primerus Law Firms (Primerus).

Cardelli Lanfear Attorneys Receive 2014 Distinguished Brief Award - Press Release