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Profile

Melissa A. Pode is a member of the firm’s Grand Blanc office and focuses on tort litigation, personal injury, property damage, or commercial liability, including premises liability, construction liability, civil rights, and litigation involving motor vehicle no-fault and negligence claims.

In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, running, and working on her home. Daughter of an engineer, Melissa enjoys learning new crafts and figuring out how to construct things on her own. Any given Saturday morning you can find her lined up for a 5k then winding down at night in the garage tinkering away at her latest project.

Areas of Practice

  • Appellate Practice
  • Insurance Defense
  • No-Fault First Party Automobile Liability
  • Transportation Litigation
  • Trial Practice

Education

  • Western Michigan University
    B.B.A., 2007
  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School
    J.D., cum laude2012

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Michigan (2012)
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (2013)

Employment 

  • Associate at Harvey Kruse (March 2019—present)
  • Associate at Garan Lucow Miller (2016—2019)
  • Attorney at Reizen Law Group (2014—2016)
  • Associate at Law Office of Christopher Trainor & Associates (2013—2014)

Organizations

  • Genesee County Bar Association
  • Detroit Bar Association
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel

Representative Matters

  • In McMann v Auto-Owners, Bay County Circuit Court, we obtained partial summary disposition of the plaintiff’s claims for No-Fault Benefits for an injury to her right knee on the basis that plaintiff failed to give notice of the right knee injury within one year after the accident pursuant to MCL 500.3145.  The plaintiff argued that the reference to plaintiff’s right knee arthritis in her medical history of a physical therapy record related to treatment for her neck complaints was enough to meet the notice requirement of MCL 500.3145.  Plaintiff further argued that the right knee injury was traceable to her reported neck injury.  After oral arguments, plaintiff was given additional time to obtain an affidavit from a treating provider to support the right knee being traceable to the reported neck injury.  After failing to obtain an affidavit that would trace the right knee complaints to the reported neck injury, the trial court granted our motion for summary disposition, finding that plaintiff had not presented evidence to support notice of the right knee injury was given within one year after the accident.
  • In Montague v Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences, Wayne County Circuit Court, we obtained a voluntary dismissal on the morning the matter was set to hear our motion for summary disposition on plaintiff’s negligence claims against the school arising out of a slip-and-fall accident.  The plaintiff was a student an alleged that he fell during his gym class due to alleged excessive waxing of the gymnasium floor.  Our client was Public School Academy and constituted a governmental agency under MCL 380.501(1).  Our motion set forth two arguments: 1) Governmental Immunity, and 2) Failure to present evidence of a defective condition of the premises.  The plaintiff attempted to obtain a settlement prior to the motion being called and ultimately agreed to dismiss with prejudice to avoid hearing on the motion after we rejected any settlement demands.
  • In Farm Bureau v National General, Calhoun County Circuit Court, we obtained summary judgement on cross motions filed regarding a claim for declaratory judgement regarding a third-party rights to coverage under a motor vehicle policy that was rescinded as to the policy holder after a material misrepresentation.  The claimant was a pedestrian involved in a bicycle versus motor vehicle accident.  The claimant was a resident relative that the policy holder failed to disclose to National General in his application for insurance just two months prior to the accident.  There was an additional resident not disclosed that was also a licensed driver.  The unlisted residents would have changed the policy premiums had they been disclosed.  National General rescinded the policy and denied the claimant’s No-Fault claim.  The motor vehicle involved was uninsured; therefore, Farm Bureau was assigned by the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan to claimant No-Fault claim.  The two insurance companies sought leave of the trial court to make an equitable determination whether the rescission would apply to the claimant third-party.  Both parties argued, and the trial court applied, the list of factors to consider in such a case set fort by Justice Markman in his concurrence to the ruling in Farm Bureau General Ins. C. of Michigan v AC American Insurance Co.    In applying Justice Markman’s factor to the facts, the trial court agreed with our position that the balance of equities weighed in favor of National General’s rescission as to the third-party claimant.

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