Imran Syed is an assistant clinical professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School Innocence Clinic, where he supervises students who investigate and litigate cases. He also teaches a seminar in forensic science. Syed has litigated several arson wrongful convictions that were determined based on outdated fire science and he has co-authored articles discussing novel litigation strategies needed to address wrongful convictions that were based on science that has become outdated. He has also spoken and written about a number of topics related to wrongful convictions, including compensation for those exonerated of crimes, the fallacies of eyewitness testimony, and the need for reform in Michigan’s public defense system. In 2014, he wrote and produced a documentary film, “The Price of Providence,” about one of the Innocence Clinic’s wrongful conviction cases. Syed received his bachelor’s degree in political science and law degree from the University of Michigan.
The Young Lawyers Section also named two finalists for the Regeana Myrick Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. Mitra Jafary-Hariri, an attorney with Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit, litigates complex commercial disputes, representing private equity firms and their portfolio companies in litigation involving allegations of fraud, as well as insurance disputes. She represents media outlets on Freedom of Information Act, First Amendment and defamation matters and works on intellectual property matters and serves as outside general counsel for start-ups. Emily G. Thomas, an associate attorney with Reiter & Walsh PC in Bloomfield Hills, has focused on aiding clients with special needs and disabilities. She has co-authored articles on birth trauma and medical malpractice, has drafted appeals to the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court and United States Supreme Court, and actively participates in many bar associations, including the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association, and the Oakland County Bar Association, where she is chair of the Medical Legal Committee and an Associate of the Inn of Court.
The award is named for Regeana Myrick, who was a very active member of the SBM Young Lawyers Section Executive Council when she died in 1997. It is presented annually to a young lawyer in Michigan who has demonstrated many of her best qualities, including an overwhelming commitment to public service, exemplary service to the State Bar, and exceptional professional accomplishments.
The Outstanding Young Lawyer Award will be presented as part of the SBM Young Lawyers Section Ninth Annual Summit. The Summit contains a full day of seminars that will cover substantive and skill-based tracks on such topics as family law, civil rights law, insurance law, mediation, trial skills and advocacy, practice management and client development. It will also feature a keynote address from State Bar of Michigan President Lori Buiteweg.