Melissa Wojnar-Raycraft, Novara, Tesija, Catenacci, McDonald, & Baas PLLC Photo

Education

Wayne State University Law School, J.D., 2003

University of Michigan, M.S.W., 1992

University of Michigan, B.A., 1991

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    - Sixth Circuit 
  • U.S. District Court
    - Eastern District of Michigan
    - Western District of Michigan

Overview

Melissa Wojnar-Raycraft is an experienced commercial litigator. Over the past nearly 20 years, she has represented clients in the full spectrum of business litigation and transactions, including in commercial litigation, insurance defense, administrative law, class action litigation, and shareholder disputes. She has successfully represented clients in state, federal and commercial arbitration forums.

Melissa's experience includes representing a major automobile manufacturer in state court, successfully settling cases in mediation. She has also represented a number of clients in the Michigan Administrative Hearings System, Department of Insurance and Financial Services and the Michigan Liquor Commission.

Before becoming an attorney, Melissa was a mental health counselor for seven years. When not at the office, she enjoys spending time with her family and camping throughout Michigan. Melissa is a passionate University of Michigan fan and can be found most football Saturdays at the Big House.

Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

Member, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association

COMMUNITY

Troop Leader, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan -- proud troop leader to nine 7th grader Cadettes, building courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.

Volunteer Judge, Wayne State University -- provide judging assistance with the 1L Legal Research and Writing Program and Moot Court Program.

Experience

Experience

  • Represented a major automotive manufacturer in state court, successfully settling cases in mediation.
  • Part of the legal team defending an international bridge company from a condemnation effort by the Michigan Department of Transportation -- a highly complex litigation case with complex discovery, constitutional, and statutory issues.
  • Represented a number of clients in the Michigan Administrative Hearings System, Department of Insurance and Financial Services and the Michigan Liquor Commission.
  • In 2018, won summary judgment for client, a court administrator, being sued by former Inkster Judge Sylvia James on a tenuous 42 USC 1983 claim, in a case that began in 2012 with two appeals to the Sixth Circuit. James v. Hampton, et. al. Case No. 12-10273-PDB-RSW.
  • In re American International Group, Inc. 2008 Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, S.D. New York, Case No. 08 Civ. 4772(LTS), part of the legal team that obtained a $970.5 million settlement which arose from AIG’s statements leading up to the U.S. Government’s historic bailout.
  • Briede v. The Valspar Corporation, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Case No. 12-13406-MAG-RSW. In 2014, part of the legal team that obtained an Agreed Order of Judgment against The Valspar Corporation related to its Guardsman Furniture Protection Plans Division in the Eastern District of Michigan. Sweeping reformation to the Service Procedures in the Plans will benefit eight million consumers across the country. Took the initial cold call from a dissatisfied consumer who then became named plaintiff on this case and worked the case until the final order was entered.
  • General Retirement System of the City of Detroit v. Capozzoli Advisory for Pensions, Inc., Wayne County Circuit Court, Case No. 13-013176-CK. In 2017, after a two-week long arbitration hearing, an arbitration award of $13 million dollars was entered in favor of Plaintiff. The arbitrator found that Defendants breached their contracts with the Retirement System, breached their fiduciary duties, violated Michigan’s Public Employee Retirement System Investment Act, committed fraud and civil conspiracy.

Awards & Recognition

Honors & Recognitions

Michigan Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2014-2021

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2013

Judicial Intern, The Honorable Gerald Rosen, U.S. District Court, Detroit

Editor in Chief, The Journal of Law in Society, Wayne State Law School

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