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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. 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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28 Episodes
Civil attorney Ven Johnson and criminal lawyer Steve Fishman sit down with tv anchor Jason Carr to break down the various similarities and stark differences between civil and criminal trials.
Attorney Ven Johnson chats with former tv anchor Jason Carr and clinical psychotherapist Tracey Stein about how cameras in the courtroom can impact public opinion, pulling examples from the OJ Simpson murder trial that was widely televised, and Heard v. Depp defamation case where clips went viral on social media.
Attorney Ven Johnson, a Kalamazoo College grad and former tennis player, invites men’s tennis head coach Mark Riley on the podcast to chat about how K-College became the hotspot for the junior nationals - a 10-day tennis tournament that starts the first Friday in August.Ven Johnson Law has been a sponsor of the tournament since the firm’s inception in 2011.
Ven Johnson, Chris Desmond, Paul Doherty, and former Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Amy Ronayne continue the conversation on governmental immunity, including the difficulties plaintiff lawyers face to prove gross negligence and the proximate cause in a case. They also discuss the lawsuit against Oxford Community Schools following the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at Oxford High School, and how the district has an automatic right of appeal if a judge rules that certain employees will remain as defendants in the civil lawsuit – a rule that was both created and is enforced by the Michigan Supreme Court. They also explain why plaintiffs can’t sue government entities, but can sue government employees under state law.
Ven Johnson, Chris Desmond, Paul Doherty, and former Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Amy Ronayne Krause discuss governmental immunity and times where it may make sense. They also discuss the different ways the government throws cases out to avoid being sued, including requiring a notice provision, where a plaintiff only has a certain window to warn the government that they are filing a legal claim. This episode also includes how the Michigan Supreme Court is seemingly looking at governmental immunity cases with more scrutiny to allow more plaintiffs to have their day in court. Thoughts? Visit us at
In episode 23, attorney Ven Johnson, Tom Waun, Paul Doherty and Chris Desmond continue the conversation about governmental immunity. A large focus on this episode includes key differences between a proximate cause and THE proximate cause, which is defined as one of the most immediate, efficient and direct causes of a plaintiff’s injury. The four discuss ongoing cases including the Midland flood, Flint water, and Grosse Point flooding cases and how governmental immunity continues to protect the guilty and impede justice for those impacted.
In episode 22, attorney Ven Johnson, alongside partners Tom Waun and Paul Doherty, as well as chief appellate lawyer Chris Desmond talk about what governmental immunity is, how it’s evolved over the years, and the hurdles one needs to overcome to get around it. Additionally, they dive into exceptions and instances where you can sue governmental entities or individuals who work for the government. They also discuss the key differences and legal definitions of gross negligence and negligence.
In episode 21, attorney Ven Johnson, criminal law expert Steve Fishman and ‘Gloves Off’ producer Eri Johnson dive into some of the biggest trials over the past year, including many surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. They discuss various lawsuits and verdicts against police officers Kimberly Potter and Derek Chauvin, as well as teenager Kyle Rittenhouse.Ven, Steve and Eri also touch on the high-profile cases against Elizabeth Holmes and Ghislaine Maxwell and explain how media coverage and social media interactions could impact a verdict or settlement.
In episode 20, Ven Johnson, Charlie Langton and criminal law expert Steve Fishman dissect the high-profile trial of Derek Chauvin, who was charged with the murder of George Floyd.The panelists discuss the issue of pre-trial publicity, media transparency during trials, and how highly publicized cases can potentially taint a jury’s perspective on the case. They also discuss how surveillance, body cam, and dash cam footage are being used more in both the media and in the courtroom.This is one episode you won’t want to miss.
In Episode 19, Ven Johnson and Charlie Langton discuss the latest updates in the mid-Michigan flood litigation against state entities, including a recent ruling in favor of flood victims to move the lawsuit forward.Ven and Charlie also dive into allegations that the University of Michigan and former football coach Bo Schembechler covered up years of sexual abuse by Dr. Robert Anderson following a press conference where Bo’s adopted son and former university athletes came public that they were sexually assaulted by Anderson. Ven and Charlie discuss the differences in media coverage between the Anderson scandal and that of Larry Nassar and Michigan State University.
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
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: Learn more about Dr. Zender's work
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
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: 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.