Jürgen Skoppek is a Commissioner of the Michigan Supreme Court, where he provides legal analyses for the Justices. Skoppek has also served the Michigan Senate as counsel for labor, commerce and constitutional issues. After performing the duties of Majority Counsel in the Senate, Skoppek was appointed by former Michigan Gov. John Engler to the Worker's Compensation Appellate Commission, the appeals tribunal in Michigan. And after serving as a judge for eleven years, including as chair of the WCAC from 1999 to 2002, he joined the Commissioner's Office at the Court. Skoppek also spent time in private legal practice at the Grand Rapids law firm Miller Johnson.

Skoppek has published a number of law review and journal articles on such topics as appellate advocacy, mental disability claims, product liability reform and taxation of leasehold interests.  The Mackinac Center published his articles on employment-at-will and on litigation and the market.  He authored the Michigan Senate's reports on affordable health care, no-fault auto insurance reform, drug testing in the workplace and civil justice reform  He authored more than 1,000 published opinions as a member of the Worker's Compensation Appellate Commission. 

Skoppek is a graduate of Calvin College and has his law degree from Harvard University.  He has proudly been associated with the Mackinac Center since its inception.  

By Jürgen O. Skoppek

Stress Claims in Michigan: Worker's Compensation Entitlement for Mental Disability

The worker's compensation system was developed as a way for workers who suffer on-the-job physical injuries to be compensated fairly and quickly for medical expenses and loss of income. In recent years, however, it has expanded into a new area fraught with vagueness: mental stress. Though the focus of this report is on Michigan, which has been in the forefront among states in mental stress claims, its searching analysis of the inherent difficulty in evaluating these claims will be useful for anyone interested in this growing area of workplace abuse. 36 pages. … more

Employment-at-Will in Michigan: A Case for Retaining the Doctrine

The last two decades have witnessed an unprecedented assault on one of the last frontiers of free contract: the employment relationship. The ability of individuals to choose freely for whom they will work and who will work for them is being undermined by activist jurists and legislators and cheered on by statist academics. Skoppek traces this development in Michigan law, explains the breadth of harm it has caused, and argues strongly for change. 26 pages. … more

Litigation and the Market: Restoring the Balance Between Individual and Employer Rights

Litigation has become an expensive and prominent component of our economy. There are too many excessive damage awards and too few controls on the length and expense of court proceedings. The author examines product liability and employment contract law and recommends ten specific reforms. 5 pages. … more