Brian has successfully defended hospital systems, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in suits arising out of a variety medical specialties, including: emergency medicine, orthopedics, neurosurgery, general surgery, anesthesiology, allergy and immunology, ophthalmology, oculoplastics, retinal surgery, dermatology, pathology, family medicine, pain medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, cardiology, interventional cardiology, urology, dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, infectious diseases, neurology, chiropractic, oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, neuroradiology and interventional neuroradiology.
In 2020, Brian was selected as a Michigan Super Lawyer® in the field of medical malpractice for the 13th year running, among only a handful of lawyers receiving that honor in the State of Michigan. He is also an elected member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). ABOTA is a highly selective, invitation-only organization that works to advance the jury system, support judicial independence and elevate standards of integrity, civility and professionalism in the legal profession. He is a member of the Michigan Bar Association, the American Bar Association (ABA), the Grand Rapids Bar Association, the Michigan Health Care Institute, the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (MDTC), the Association of Defense Trial Counsel, the Michigan Society of Hospital Attorneys and sits on the Medical Liability Committee of the DRI.
Whitelaw is the author of many articles on medical and legal issues, including “The Tort Reform Act and Alternative Dispute Resolution,” published in the Michigan Bar Journal. Brian has also published in Medscape and WebMDregarding a variety of topics, including non-compete clauses in physician contracts, and so-called “never events,” such as patient falls or infections in hospitals.
Brian has given more than 70 presentations to healthcare practitioners on topics related to medical malpractice litigation. He has headed medical-legal residency rotations for emergency medicine and internal medicine and has been a featured speaker on Medical Malpractice Tort Reform at the Annual Meeting of the Michigan State Bar Association.
In addition to defending medical malpractice claims, Brian assists physicians and medical practices with contract and licensing issues.
Brian is also an accomplished chef, with signature dishes such as a reverse- seared steak and a family-favorite red sauce, served each year at holiday gatherings.
Brian’s love of performing in the courtroom, trials, and the defense of hospitals and doctors are due, in part, to the influence of his mother, Pepper Whitelaw. Pepper, at the early age of 16, was a child star performing in a local Cleveland television show, Pepper’s Party; she later became the PR director for two hospital systems, introducing Brian to countless physicians and their families.
Other interests include a love of boxing (he was ringside for most of Tommy Hearns’ first 30 fights, including his first fight with Sugar Ray Leonard), knifemaking and leatherworking in his home shop (after watching the show, Forged In Fire he was inspired to craft his own custom knives and sheaths), and reading (a voracious reader – at least 4 books a week!). He loves all things tech, including video editing, and has been a Mac fan and user since the 80s.
Michigan State University College of Law, J.D. (with Honors: National Moot Court Competition, Book Award - Torts and Criminal Law), 1981
Michigan State University, B.S. (Cum Laude), 1977
Where The Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
Joe Bonamassa (American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter)
The Cayman Islands
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Steak on the grill
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