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Gloves Off: A Legal Podcast
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Gloves Off: A Legal Podcast

Author: Ven Johnson

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Gloves Off: A Legal Podcast is hosted by award-winning personal injury attorney Ven Johnson and award-winning journalist and attorney Charlie Langton. We provide raw commentary and insight around some of the most-talked about legal issues & news stories happening in real time. Subscribe via your favorite streaming platform to catch every episode.

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18 Episodes
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Attorney Ven Johnson and legal analyst Charlie Langton interviewed former Flint reporter Drew Moore, who was in and out of the courtroom and speaking with Flint residents during the height of the Flint Water Crisis.Episode 18 of “Gloves Off” dives into how the state of Michigan putting profits over people led to the poisoning of thousands in Flint, and how city residents brought these issues to light – not the media. Ven, Charlie and Drew discuss why the evidence should be made public – criticizing the use of a grand jury for the most recent charges.
In this episode, Ven speaks with Mari Copeny, also known as “Little Miss Flint” about the Flint Water Crisis.The 13-year-old activist talks about the social injustices sparked by elected city officials six years ago, who neglected to treat water coming from the Flint River. This ultimately caused lead to be leached from old pipes, poisoning thousands of Flint residents and causing a widespread outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.Mari opened up about how the Flint Water Crisis impacted her own family, reacted to the recent charges against former Governor Rick Snyder, and spoke on where the city stands now. She spoke about her social media platform and how she’s using her voice to give people the help they need in the form of water filters, backpacks, toys, tablets and more. To help with Mari’s efforts or to learn more about how she is helping her city, visit www.maricopeny.com
An unfortunate reality is that trauma and the law go hand in hand.As personal injury is a major part of our practice, Ven invited Dr. James Zender, a psychologist, to join the Gloves Off podcast to discuss the impact of trauma as it relates to chronic pain, the loss of a loved one, the aftermath of sexual assault and/or domestic violence and more, and how these cases are often treated by juries.Dr. Zender explains how trauma specifically caused by a vehicle crash, described as Vehicular Trauma Syndrome, can impact someone’s ability to work, care for family members, pursue passions and live a normal life.Check out Dr. Zender's Psychology Today article about How Personal Injury Attorneys View Trauma:https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-new-normal/202101/how-do-personal-injury-attorneys-view-trauma Learn more about Dr. Zender's work www.DrJamesZender.com
For Ven Johnson Law, 2020 was a year of challenges and opportunities. The firm took on high-profile civil rights cases, represented victims of one of the most catastrophic floods in Michigan history, stood up for children and parents who were used as political propaganda by President Donald Trump and launched a podcast hosted by Ven and award-winning reporter and attorney Charlie Langton.While the pandemic wreaked havoc on all businesses and industries, our firm continued to grow as we added six new team members to expand our capabilities to better serve our clients.In episode 15, Ven and Eri dissect 2020 and share what’s in store for 2021. This is one you won’t want to miss.
In this episode, Ven speaks with Tom Constand, president and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI).Ven and Tom discuss traumatic brain injury education, the services and care available for survivors, the barriers a significant percentage of families face in accessing these services and the impact of Michigan's No-Fault Act. Tom also dives into the extensive array of services that BIAMI offers, such as support groups, legal resources, social service advocacy support, and education. The impact of a TBI ranges from significant mobility issues to suffering from anxiety and depression. As Ven and Tom discuss, even the "mildest" of brain injury symptoms can create catastrophic changes to one's quality of life. Learn more about the Brain Injury Association of Michigan at www.BIAMI.org.
This episode is for all those who've been wanting an in-depth & comprehensive breakdown of the Trump Election Lawsuits!In this episode, Ven Johnson and constitutional law expert Judge Christopher Yates, of Kent County’s 17th Circuit Court, break down the Donald J. Trump election lawsuits.Ven and Judge Yates discuss the basics of constitutional election law with a focus on Michigan and how our laws differ from other states. Judge Yates also reviews the various Michigan and federal lawsuits filed by President Trump and explains the judges’ rulings and why certification of the election results took so long. Tune in to this in-depth episode, and don’t forget to subscribe. #venfights
Ven and Charlie speak with Steve Fishman, legendary criminal defense attorney, to dive into the nitty gritty of what happened with Breonna Taylor's grand jury trial from a legal perspective.What are the ways in which prosecutors can charge? What is the benefit of having a secret grand jury? What are the specifics that surround getting a search warrant and why is this being criticized in this case? Why is it a big deal that the observers are stating that the cops failed to announce themselves? Where was the body camera footage from the cops? Why did this case lack transparency?Breonna Taylor and her family deserved better.If you've been following the Breonna Taylor case, this is an episode you do NOT want to miss.
In episode 11, Ven and Charlie dive into one of Ven's cases that has captured media attention across the country. Here is a summery published in People Magazine:Ven Johnson Law has filed suit against Donald Trump, his campaign and a conservative Kansas city social-media personality alleging emotional distress and humiliation following the president’s re-post of manipulated footage of their young children.The complaint — filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court — is on behalf of Michael Cisneros and Alex Hanson, parents of a 3-year-old child, and Daniel and Erica McKenna, parents of another 3-year-old.Those children — one white and one Black — were initially featured prominently last year in a widely-shared clip that shows them running toward one another to embrace before taking off down the street together.Initially, the moment was shared by outlets who highlighted its heartwarming nature, but it took on new life this summer after being edited and re-shared by pro-Trump meme maker Logan Cook, according to the suit.Cook, who went by the Twitter handle @carpedonktum before the social media platform froze his account, describes himself as a "Sarcastic Memesmith specializing in the creation of memes to support President Donald J. Trump" on Instagram, where his account remains active.In the manipulated version, only the final nine seconds of the original footage is seen, depicting the two boys running above a fake (and misspelled) CNN headline: "Terrified todler runs from racist baby." Later, the caption changes to, "Racist baby probably a Trump voter."
Ep.10 Fighting for Equal Representation: Women of Color in the LawIts 2020 and women of color continue to be underrepresented throughout the legal profession due to racism, classism, & sexism that continues to saturate the legal community.Implicit bias, micro-aggressions, and more are all contributing factors that result in women of color feeling discouraged and pushed out of the legal profession. Read more: https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/most-minority-female-lawyers-consider-leaving-law-aba-study-explains-whyAs the fight for equal representation in the law is a passion of ours, we will be returning to this series throughout the continuation of this podcast.In Episode 10, we launch this series while sitting with fellow Ven Johnson Law employees- attorney Ayanna Hatchett, attorney Denasia Neal, and paralegal Maria Reina. They share with us their journeys into law, spoke to some of their obstacles, and shared what they've found most supportive along the way.
Episodes 8 & 9 were recorded on Juneteenth- a day celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people within the US. Across the country and less than a block away from Ven Johnson Law's Detroit office, crowds gathered to celebrate the strength & resilience of the Black community and to demand an end to police brutality and the targeting of Black lives. We are doing our duty to contribute to the momentum of the day by diving into the criminal and civil legal nitty gritty of police misconduct- an area of law that disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, & people of color. Ven and Charlie are joined by criminal law defense attorney Steve Fishman and civil law defense attorney Tom McGraw. Our legal experts hash out the dynamics that have historically made it difficult for juries to hold cops accountable, identify what needs to change within the police institutions themselves as well as within our legal system, and more.
Episodes 8 & 9 were recorded on Juneteenth- a day celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people within the US. Across the country and less than a block away from Ven Johnson Law's Detroit office, crowds gathered to celebrate the strength & resilience of the Black community and to demand an end to police brutality and the targeting of Black lives. We are doing our duty to contribute to the momentum of the day by diving into the criminal and civil legal nitty gritty of police misconduct- an area of law that disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, & people of color. Ven and Charlie are joined by criminal law defense attorney Steve Fishman and civil law defense attorney Tom McGraw. Our legal experts hash out the dynamics that have historically made it difficult for juries to hold cops accountable, identify what needs to change within the police institutions themselves as well as within our legal system, and more.
This is part 2 of a 2 part series where we dive into the case Holt v Liberty Mutual: a trucking/auto negligence case that resulted in a $22.6 million dollar verdict only to THEN turn into a battle under Michigan Bad Faith law. SPOILER ALERT! This battle ended in victory too! Join us as we speak with attorneys Tom Waun & Chris Desmond for a legal geek out on the anatomy of MI Bad Faith Law and what it took for us to obtain victory.
This is part 1 of a 2 part series where we dive into the case Holt v Reliable Transportation: a trucking/auto negligence case that resulted in a $22.6 million dollar verdict only to THEN turn into a battle under Michigan Bad Faith law. Join us as we speak with our former client Burt Holt to tell the story of a case that resulted in the largest personal injury verdict in Michigan in 2015. Special thanks to Burt for his strength & resilience that he showed throughout the entire legal process. This verdict could not have been rewarded to a more deserving person!Stay tuned for our next episode where we explore the anatomy of the Bad Faith trial-Holt v. Liberty Mutual.
Ven was joined by our former client Lexi Pew, Ven Johnson Law Chief Appellate Attorney Chris Desmond, and Gloves Off Producer Eri Guajardo Johnson. Lexi spoke of her case that resulted from falling out of a defective 6th story window in a residence hall at Michigan State University and the literal death defying recovery from the resulting injuries. Despite Ven Johnson Law trying every possible avenue, this case was repeatedly thrown out by every Michigan court due to Michigan Governmental Immunity Laws. Unless the legislature says otherwise, those laws provide that the state of Michigan is generally immune from lawsuits. Decades ago, the legislature created the public building exception to governmental immunity, which provides that the government can be sued if a dangerous or defective condition in a public building results in injuries to a person. In Lexi’s case, the courts of this state held that even though Lexi was lawfully in Case Hall with the university’s knowledge and permission, it was NOT a public building between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. In other words, had Lexi fallen out of the building roughly an hour earlier than she did, her case would have survived.Ven and Chris speak at length about the nuances of these laws, the ways in which they have been interpreted, and the ways in which they fail to serve the Michigan people.
This episode features our guest, Donna MacKenzie, a Michigan based personal injury attorney and partner of Olsman, MacKenzie, Peacock & Wallace.Donna & Ven speak at length about their experience representing victims of sexual abuse as they dive into the need to change outdated Michigan case law.This conversation was inspired by one of Ven's recent cases where a school teacher groomed and then sexually assaulted a student over a span of months. Throughout this time, the school district took no action despite receiving information that should have immediately launched an investigation. Recently, the Michigan Supreme Court threw out this case; or in other words, didn't deem it worthy enough to allow into court. As such, Ven is filing a motion for reconsideration- a career first and a guaranteed up hill battle.Why did the Michigan Supreme Court throw this out? Because under Michigan law, employers are allowed to give perpetrators one free rape before needing to hold them accountable. This is too wild to be true, right? Guess again.
This is part 2 of a 2 part series where we dive into a 2008 Criminal Trial where Ven Johnson and his then, Law partner, Geoffrey Fieger, were indicted by the FBI for illegal campaign contributions. The trial ended with both Ven and Geoffrey being acquitted of all charges- but not before a wild legal showdown.In part 2, we speak with Ven’s defense attorney Steve Fishman- a Detroit based criminal attorney- along with our show’s producer (who happens to be Ven’s daughter) Eri Guajardo Johnson.As with many folks across metro Detroit right now, some of us were having issues with our internet connection. We encourage ya’ll to hang in there as this story is not one to miss.
This is part 1 of a 2 part series where we dive into a 2008 Criminal Trial where Ven Johnson and his then, law partner, Geoffrey Fieger, were indicted by the FBI for illegal campaign contributions. The trial ended with both Ven and Geoffrey being acquitted of all charges- but not before a wild legal showdown.In part 1, we speak with Ven’s defense attorney Steve Fishman along with our very own Charlie Langton- who was assigned to the case via his work as a reporter.As with many folks across metro Detroit right now, some of us were having issues with our internet connection. We encourage ya’ll to hang in there as this story is not one to miss.
Legal experts Ven Johnson and Charlie Langton speak with Eri Guajardo Johnson- social justice advocate, birthworker, and community educator via BirthBruja.com- about some of the ways in which COVID-19 is shifting the legal world currently and in the future.
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