Barry J. Goodman has devoted his professional life to keeping courthouse doors open for victims seeking justice.
Always a tireless advocate for his own clients, Goodman sees his responsibility as an attorney in a broader sense as well. He has been very active politically, supporting candidates who share his belief in equal access to justice and taking leadership roles in professional organizations.
A native New Yorker, Goodman knew that he wanted to become a plaintiff’s lawyer from the time he was a child and his father, a postal employee, was injured in a traffic accident while on the job and left him dependent on federal workers compensation for the rest of his life.
“I didn’t think justice was provided to him, I didn’t want that to happen to others, and that was probably the impetus for me to go into law,” he says.
He received a scholarship to attend Bradley University, receiving his undergraduate degree there in 1974. He then attended Stetson University College of Law, got his J.D. there in 1977, and launched his legal career in Florida with a small general-practice firm where he stayed for two years before moving to Michigan.
He worked in two firms, focusing his practice solely on personal-injury cases. On Sunday mornings, he frequently played basketball at the Jewish Community Center, where he befriended another basketball-loving attorney, Gerald H. Acker. The two men began talking about forming their own practice and finally did so in 1993.
The firm’s practice has continued to concentrate on plaintiff’s personal-injury cases and over the years Goodman has recorded some impressive achievements. His biggest outcome occurred in 2001, when his client received a $14.5-million arbitration award to pay for medical and related costs stemming from injuries she received when faulty sub-surface wiring caused a manhole cover to fly up and strike a car in which she was a passenger. He’s also achieved several seven-figure settlements for injured clients.
In addition to his busy practice, Goodman has worked for a number of political candidates who support the civil-justice system. They include working on the finance committees of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Congressman Gary Peters in his quest for the seat of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, who is retiring in 2015.
He has served on the finance committees of Pres. Barack Obama and Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry, served as a delegate to three Democratic National Conventions, and in 2012 was named to the Democratic National Committee.
He has received the Champion of Justice Award from the Michigan Association for Justice and the Wings of Justice Award from the Oakland County Bar Association. In addition, Goodman is a frequent lecturer at professional gatherings and is past chair of the Michigan Bar Association’s Negligence Section.
He is also a longtime board member of the Anti-Defamation League, serving that organization as an officer for many years.
Goodman is proud of his work in the broader political and public spheres, but considers his daily work on behalf of his clients to be the most fulfilling aspect of his life.
“I love coming to work every day,” he says. “I love representing folks whose lives have been disrupted due to the negligence of others and helping them to rebuild their lives, helping to give them back a sense of worth so that their future can again be bright. It’s very rewarding.”
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.