The firm was co-founded in 1969 by Richard Kitch and Richard F. Suhrheinrich (now a Senior Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge), both experienced litigators, especially in malpractice and products liability cases.
While many firms have grown primarily through mergers and acquisitions, the Kitch firm has experienced all of its growth to date through its focus on strong client partnerships, leadership in the practice of law, and successful business practices. The firm has grown from four attorneys in 1969 to 19 attorneys in 1980 to over 100 attorneys and six offices in the Great Lakes region in 2008.
Although the Kitch firm began as a medical malpractice defense firm, and continues to be recognized as one of the premier medical malpractice defense firms in the industry, it is today a full-service firm. The Kitch firm expanded to meet the other legal needs of its healthcare clients as those clients grew during the '80s and '90s, and then expanded further to provide the same services to non-healthcare clients. The firm now covers such diverse areas as government regulation and litigation, estate planning, corporate, criminal investigations and prosecutions, commercial real estate, commercial litigation and employment law.
When relocating its headquarters in 2005, the firm made a strategic decision to stay committed to the city of Detroit, and moved to a new location within the One Woodward building. This building was the first high-rise office to be designed by the late Minoru Yamasaki, a world-renowned architect whose firm continues to be based in Michigan. Yamasaki's many design credits worldwide included the New York World Trade Center towers. The office is near both the Wayne County Court and the Federal District Court and was reconfigured to include a National Trial Center.
The firm has been the successful advocate in many court decisions that have had a significant impact on Michigan law and business in such diverse areas as comparative negligence, tort reform, governmental immunity, successor liability, reliability of expert testimony, product liability and employment law. Recent successes include upholding the constitutionality of tort liability damage caps, and the overruling of a 20-year precedent which had allowed cases to be brought outside the statute of limitations in employment discrimination cases.
In 2005, the firm was selected to serve as National Trial Coordinating Counsel for two national insurance companies and one national healthcare system for birth trauma cases. The firm has specialty teams focused exclusively on the defense of these high exposure cases, and has handled over 4,000 cases since the firm's specialization began in the '80s. Now, the nation's largest insurers use the Kitch firm to monitor and coordinate the defense of birth trauma cases across the country. The firm provides coordination of claims and shares its extensive experience and resources.
In 2006, the Kitch firm was recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as the firm with the highest percentage of women attorneys (41%), in a survey of the top 20 southeastern Michigan firms. It also received the top ranking for the highest percentage of women who were Partners within the firm (27%).
Co-founder Richard Kitch continues to stay active in the firm, and marked his 50th year in the practice of law in 2005. Mr. Kitch was born and raised in Detroit, and has practiced law in the city of Detroit for his entire career.
Milestones in the Firm's History:
1982 Lansing office opened.
1984 Firm co-founder Richard F. Suhrheinrich appointed as Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan (appointed as Sixth Circuit Court Judge in 1990).
1985 Mt. Clemens office opened.
1989 Toledo, Ohio office opened.
1996 Marquette office opened.
2003 Firm principal, Mona Majzoub, appointed as a Federal Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Michigan.
2008 Chicago, Illinois office opened.
2009 Firm celebrates 40-year anniversary.