Legal People

Plunkett Cooney
Plunkett Cooney recently expanded its Litigation Practice Group when David G. Blake joined the firm as an attorney in the Detroit office.

Blake focuses his practice in the areas of general liability, medical malpractice, product liability and professional malpractice liability. He represents clients in a wide range of litigation, including wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases, premises liability matters and professional malpractice liability cases.

In addition, Blake has experience in complex commercial litigation, mold exposure cases, wrongful discharge and employment non-compete matters, and trademark infringement litigation.

Blake earned his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2002. He earned his undergraduate degree from Muskingum College in 1999.

Admitted to practice in Michigan and Florida, Blake is a member of the Sarasota County, Detroit Metropolitan and American bar associations. He is also a member of the Detroit Economic Club.


Rader, Fishman, & Grauer PLLC
Rader, Fishman, & Grauer PLLC is pleased to announce that R. Terrance Rader and Michael B. Stewart were once again recognized by “Best Lawyers” and included in the 2011 “Best Lawyers in America” list.

Rader, a founding member, has more than three decades of experience in patent, trademark and trade secret litigation appearing before U.S. District Courts across the United States and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Rader is a former primary examiner for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. In addition to being listed in Best Lawyers, Rader is also listed among “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in American Law,” “Michigan Super Lawyers” and the Lexis Nexis Martindale Hubbell “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.”

Stewart, a founding and managing member, has worked in a wide range of technical areas in domestic and foreign intellectual property matters, including merger and acquisitions, prosecution and litigation. Stewart’s breadth of experience has enabled him to apply a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary approach to maximize the scope of intellectual property protection and beneficial usage for his clients. In addition to being listed in Best Lawyers, Stewart has been recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as a “40 Under 40” business leader to watch. He is also listed in “Who’s Who in the World” and “Who’s Who in American Law,” “Michigan Super Lawyers” and the Lexis Nexis Martindale Hubbell “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.”


Miller Canfield
The law firm of Miller Canfield is helping to prepare students and promote Michigan for economic opportunities in the film industry. The firm sponsored two University of Michigan student films, “Camp Chapel” and “Margaret and Izzey,” at the sixth annual Traverse City Film Festival, held in northern Michigan July 27-Aug. 1.

In addition, a sponsorship-grant from Miller Canfield made it possible for U-M faculty and film experts to provide extensive assistance in the judging of the more than 100 films, and to spearhead a panel discussion examining how to critically understand film and assess latest trends in filmmaking.

“Filmmaking is playing a lead role in the state’s diversified economy and the industry is important to students, businesses and communities here,” said Lisa Pick, an attorney with Miller Canfield who leads the firm’s film and entertainment business initiatives. She is a graduate of U-M’s film studies program.

The festival, founded by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, has gained a reputation for attracting the best independent world cinema.

“Since its inception, the Traverse City Film Festival has been a force in showing the international film industry the possibilities for filmmaking in the state of Michigan,” said Lee Doyle, director of U-M’s film office, which aims to attract filmmakers to campus. “With the university’s formal participation, we can set our sights on providing a ‘gateway experience’ to our students, and foster the further development of the state’s fledgling film industry.”

Miller Canfield’s Entertainment, Sports and Multimedia Group offers an array of integrated services for entertainment, film, sports and media professionals including financing, corporate and securities, intellectual property, tax, economic development incentives, litigation, labor, and real estate. For more information, visit

Additionally, Miller Canfield principal Beverly Hall Burns was elected to serve as vice chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Humane Society.

At Miller Canfield, Burns is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Group, representing and advocating for employers, whether at the negotiating table, in hearings, in board rooms, or community gatherings. She is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyers for her work as a labor and employment attorney.

Burns received a B.A. in English from Michigan State University and her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.


Beier Howlett
Three lawyers from Bloomfield Hills-based Beier Howlett PC were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America®” 2011. Timothy J. Currier, CEO of the firm, was named in the field of municipal law; Jeffrey K. Haynes was named in the field of environmental law; and Stephen W. Jones was named for probate and estate planning.

Currier has been CEO of Beier Howlett since 1995, practicing in the areas of municipal law, schools and education, and estate planning and probate law. Currier has served as city attorney for the City of Birmingham; attorney for the Dearborn Public Schools, the Troy School District, the Lincoln Consolidated School District, the Birmingham Area Cable Board and the Intergovernmental Cable Communications Authority; and attorney for the emergency financial manager of the City of Pontiac. He was president of the Michigan Council of School Attorneys from 1990-1992.

Haynes serves on the Environmental Advisory Council for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment and is a an editor of the forthcoming 2010 edition of the “Michigan Environmental Law Deskbook.” He is also former chair of the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and former chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association. Haynes serves on the board of directors for the Kiwanis Club of Royal Oak.

Jones served as chair of the Probate and Estate Planning Section for the State Bar of Michigan from 1988-1989. He co-drafted legislation to repeal the Michigan Inheritance Tax. Jones is fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, serves on the board of directors for the South Oakland Branch of the YMCA and is a member of the Royal Oak Rotary Club.


Wayne State University Law School
Wayne State University Law School congratulates second-year law student Emily Thomas on her recent appointment as vice chair of the Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA) Student Committee.

Barry Malone, attorney at Adkinson, Need and Allen PLLC and OCBA director of the New Lawyers Committee, noted, “I have had the good fortune to work with Emily on a couple of projects. I know that she will do a wonderful job in her role as vice chair and make us all very proud.”

The committee will hold its first meeting of the year on Sept. 20, 2010. Committee meetings will be held throughout the year at Wayne Law, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and the OCBA offices. 

According to Thomas, committee goals for 2010-11 include hosting expert speakers and panel discussions about securing employment in the legal profession, working closely with the OCBA New Lawyers Committee on a number of initiatives, and helping students network with practicing attorneys.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to serve on this committee and look forward to working with the OCBA,” Thomas said. “I see student involvement with the OCBA as an excellent tool to bridge the gap between classroom learning and the reality of practice.”


Wachler & Associates PC
Amy K. Fehn participated in a forum titled, “Healthcare Policy: The New Law and Implications Moving Forward,” at the Women Impacting Public policy regional conference July 27 at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit. The panel discussed the newly enacted health care law from federal and state perspectives and the law’s implications for small businesses. HHS Region 5 director Cristal Thomas and Regional Administrator Midwest Region, SBA, Marianne Markowitz also participated in the panel, which was moderated by Ann Sullivan, President Madison Services Group, Inc.

The conference, titled “Healthcare Policy, Trends and Opportunities,” set out to provide an in-depth look at the new health care law, trends opportunities for businesses and innovation in the health care sector.

Fehn frequently writes and speaks nationally on various health law issues, including HIPAA, the Medicare RAC program, the Medicaid Integrity Program, and other regulatory matters. She and the other attorneys at Wachler & Associates PC have been very active in advising the healthcare community regarding the impact of health care reform.

Fehn has represented physicians and health care organizations in health care regulatory and corporate matters, as well as the defense of Medicare and other third party payor audits, for the past 12 years. Prior to graduating from law school, she served as a registered nurse and clinical systems analyst.

Additionally, Andrew B. Wachler presented a special closing session to the 2010 Physician Advisors Congress July 20 at the Taj Boston Hotel in Boston. The session, titled “How to Defend, Repay, or Self Disclose Issues that may be identified in the Expanding Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) Program.” The session focused on the expansion of the RAC program and the growing significance for hospitals of the program’s increased regulation.

The Physician Advisors Congress’ goal is to enhance the role of Physician Advisors, many of whom develop physician policy at hospitals, in an era of increased regulations, with a focus on improving care quality and maximizing reimbursement.

Wachler has been practicing health care law for more than 25 years. He counsels health care providers and organizations nationwide in a variety of health care legal matters. In addition, he writes and speaks nationally to professional organizations and other entities on health care law topics such as Medicare appeals, Stark and fraud and abuse, HIPAA, and other topics.


Wayne State University Law School
Wayne State University Law School is pleased to welcome Kathryn L. Koehler as its new alumni officer. Koehler’s responsibilities include facilitating Wayne Law Alumni Association (LAA) activities; raising awareness of the group and its benefits to alumni, students and the community; enhancing the Law School’s alumni network, based on regional, class and practice area affiliations; and increasing participation in LAA activities.

Prior to coming to Wayne Law, Koehler spent eight years at Ave Maria School of Law (which relocated from Ann Arbor to Naples, Fla., in 2009) engaged in marketing communications and public relations and building the school’s for-credit externship program. Before that, she was a reporter for a startup weekly legal newspaper in Ohio for nearly four years. Koehler has also clerked for a federal judge and served as an editor for a publisher of legal reference books.

Koehler, who joined Wayne Law on July 26, is looking forward to the opportunity.

“It’s an exciting time to start this position at Wayne Law because it’s a brand-new job that both alumni and the administration have been eagerly awaiting,” Koehler said. “I hope to use my strong relationship-building and communication skills as well as my understanding of legal education to help the Wayne Law Alumni Association increase alumni engagement and to build on the momentum that has been created by the current Law Alumni Association Board.”

Koehler earned a bachelor of arts in economics from Xavier University in Cincinnati and her law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland.


Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff P.C.
Noreen Slank of Southfield-based Collins, Einhorn, Farrell, & Ulanoff P.C.  was among 20 attorneys recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for its inaugural Women in the Law honors.

Slank has practiced in the state and federal appellate courts since 1980 with an emphasis on the defense of medical and legal malpractice actions, insurance coverage disputes, and the defense of catastrophic personal injury cases. She practices both in appellate and trial courts (particularly during post-verdict proceedings). 

Outside the office, the Wayne State University alumna is a past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan and is a frequent author, editor, and lecturer on a variety of procedural and substantive legal issues.  Slank also is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial and appellate lawyer honor society.


Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that 64 of the firm’s attorneys have been included in “The Best Lawyers in America” 2011.

“Dickinson Wright congratulates the 64 attorneys ranked among the best lawyers in the country,” said William T. Burgess, Dickinson Wright’s chief executive officer. “The firm takes great pride in being so strongly represented on the 2011 Best Lawyers list. Dickinson Wright’s placement on this prestigious list confirms that our peers, as well as our clients, recognize Dickinson Wright attorneys for consistently delivering excellent client service and outstanding results. “

Local Dickinson Wright attorneys recognized on this year’s list include:

Bloomfield Hills
• Margaret A. Coughlin, Environmental Law.
• Roger H. Cummings, Corporate Law, International Trade and Finance Law.
• Stephen E. Dawson, Real Estate Law.
• Terence M. Donnelly, Municipal Law and Public Finance Law.
• Deborah L. Grace, Employee Benefits Law.
• Henry M. Grix, Trusts and Estates.
• Hanley M. Gurwin, Family Law.
• Craig W. Hammond, Banking Law.
• William H. Honaker, Intellectual Property Law.
• Monica J. Labe, Real Estate Law.
• Judith F. Layne, Trusts and Estates.
• Elise S. Levasseur, Immigration Law.
• Cynthia A. Moore, Employee Benefits Law.
• John H. Norris, Oil and Gas Law.
• Edward H. Pappas, Bet-the-Company Litigation and Commercial Litigation.
• Robert V. Peterson, Real Estate Law.
• Larry J. Stringer, Immigration Law.
• Laurence E. Winokur, Real Estate Law.

• Dennis W. Archer, Labor and Employment Law.
• Richard M. Bolton, Corporate Law.
• William T. Burgess, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law.
• Lawrence G. Campbell, Bet-the-Company Litigation and Commercial Litigation.
• James N. Candler Jr., Real Estate Law.
• Bernadette M. Dennehy, Corporate Law.
• David R. Deromedi, Labor and Employment Law.
• Verne C. Hampton II, Corporate Law.
• Mark R. High, Corporate Governance and Compliance Law.
• Edgar C. Howbert, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law.
• Steven G. Howell, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law.
• Timothy H. Howlett, Labor and Employment Law.
• W. Anthony Jenkins, Corporate Law.
• Kathleen A. Lang, Personal Injury Litigation.
• John K. Lawrence, Banking Law.
• Thomas G. McNeill, Commercial Litigation.
• Sharon R. Newlon, Environmental Law.
• James A. Plemmons, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law.
• Robert W. Powell, Appellate Law.
• James A. Samborn, Construction Law.
• Jerome M. Schwartz, Corporate Law.
• William P. Shield Jr., Banking Law.
• James P. Spica, Trusts and Estates.
• Timothy A. Stoepker, Land Use and Zoning Law.
• Theodore B. Sylwestrzak, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law.
• Bruce C. Thelen, International Trade and Finance Law.
• Kathryn S. Wood, Labor and Employment Law.


Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Steward, P.C. (Ogletree Deakins)
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart PC recently announced that 119 of the firm’s attorneys have been named in the 2011 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America,” which will be published at the end of this year. Of the Ogletree Deakins attorneys featured in the new edition of Best Lawyers, three are from the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office. Margaret Carroll Alli, Thomas A. Cattel, and Richard M. Tuyn were renamed to the list in the area of labor and employment law.


Dykema announces that Daniel P. Malone, director of Asian Client Initiatives, participated as a presenter at the 2010 Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminar (MBS) on Tuesday, Aug. 3, in Traverse City. The MBS is an automotive industry event that has taken place for 45 years and has attracted international attention and provided focus on the most complex manufacturing industry in the world.

Malone presented in the session that explored the opportunities North American suppliers have in the Chinese market. The other speakers for the session included executives from JD Power and Associates, Amherst Partners, LLC, Federal-Mogul Corporation and Key Safety Systems. Malone specifically addressed why in such a booming market, the China auto market can be daunting for North American manufacturers. He also discussed recent legal developments in China and the potential impact of each. This annual management briefing seminar offered an in-depth view on current issues and trends in the automotive industry to more than 800 automotive leaders.

Malone is a member of the firm’s Automotive Industry Group. Prior to joining Dykema, he was director of Korean Client Relations at another major law firm. Having travelled extensively to Asia the past 14 years, Malone has considerable cultural intelligence, particularly as it relates to Korea. He has experience in coordinating strategic planning and interacting with numerous individuals within the automotive industry, both domestically and overseas.


Butzel Long
Dana L. Davis, PHR, Recruiting, Diversity and HR specialist with Butzel Long, will be recognized by Corp! magazine at the 2010 Salute to Diversity Awards event on Aug. 31 at the MGM Grand in Detroit. 

Honorees were selected based on significant achievements as well as a demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, and contributions to diversity issues in business and the community.

“I am honored to receive this special recognition by Corp! magazine,” said Davis.  “This recognition is very meaningful to all of us at Butzel Long because we are strongly committed to promoting diversity within the firm, the legal profession and the community,” she said.

Davis began her career at Butzel Long in 2003 as a Human Resources coordinator and advanced to her present position as Recruiting, Diversity and HR specialist.  She serves on the firm’s Diversity & Retention Committee as well as the Recruiting Committee. 

Davis also is the interim president and communications chair of The Michigan Diversity Council (MIDC), a resource for organizations that both value and seek to effectively manage diversity. 

Along with Butzel Long, Daimler Financial Services, Michigan First Credit Union, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, The Rehmann Group and Chrysler all support its efforts as charter members and sponsors.  The mission of this local affiliate of the National Diversity Council , which was started in 2009, is to enhance appreciation for and understanding of the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace through strategy sessions, conferences and executive roundtables.

“Our role is to partner with organizations and community members to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront of corporate strategy conversations at a time when, due to changes in the economy, decreasing or eliminating these efforts are often a cost-cutting measure,” Davis said.

“This is the time to delve deeper into the diversity and inclusion conversation so that when the economy turns, and our business models and talent look a bit different, we are poised to maximize new revenue opportunities and our human capital.  As one of the first states in the nation to implement a local affiliate of the NDC, what we’ve accomplished so far is very rewarding.  It is exciting to be a part of this action.”

Davis earned a bachelor of arts degree in English and Spanish – double major from the University of Michigan.  In addition, Davis earned Professional Certification in Human Resources (PHR).  She is currently working on a master’s in Management with a concentration in Strategic Leadership at Walsh College. 

Davis is active with several professional organizations including the Human Resources Association of Greater Detroit (SHRM); the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (Greater Detroit NAAAHR); and, the Michigan Women’s Foundation (MWF), among others.