Legal People (Aug 23)

Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC attorneys Edward H. Pappas and Kathleen A. Lang have been invited to become Fellows of the International Society of Barristers.

According to its website, The International Society of Barristers is an honor society of outstanding trial lawyers chosen by their peers on the basis of excellence and integrity in advocacy.

Pappas, a member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office and one of the firm’s two chairmen, focuses his practice in complex commercial and business litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has more than 36 years experience in all forms of civil litigation, but is recognized as an expert in business tort litigation, having written the definitive treatise on Michigan Business Torts. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Commercial and Bet-The-Company Litigation, Chambers USA Leading Lawyers for Business, Michigan Super Lawyers, and Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star.

Pappas also is a certified mediator and a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, having mediated hundreds of complex civil cases, and serves as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s Large Complex Case Panel.

Pappas is the immediate past president of the State Bar of Michigan, and is a past president of the Oakland County Bar Association. He has served on the boards of trustees of Oakland Community College and Oakland Mediation Center, as well as president of the former Oakland Livingston Legal Aid. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and in 2009 was selected as one of the Top 25 Leaders in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Pappas earned both his B.B.A. in Business Administration and his law degree from the University of Michigan.

Lang is a member in the firm’s Detroit office and is the firm’s Director of Strategic Development. She focuses her practice in general commercial litigation, including automotive litigation, class actions, and intellectual property litigation. She has served as lead trial counsel for many domestic and foreign corporations. She has tried and arbitrated a wide-variety of cases, including those arising from product liability, toxic tort, contractual disputes, and business torts, and is often involved in pre-litigation counseling and alternative dispute resolution of claims.

Lang is listed in Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyers, where she is identified as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Michigan. She has been named a Litigation Star in Michigan by Benchmark Litigation, the Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys. She also is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America and the State Bar of Michigan Foundation.

Lang earned her B.A. in Business Law from Michigan State University and her law degree from the University of Detroit Law School.


Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s director of Corporate Law and Finance master of laws program E. Christopher Johnson Jr. has been appointed as chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline by ABA President Stephen N. Zack. Johnson began his one-year term at the adjournment of the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting.

“I look forward to serving as chair of this council,” Johnson said. “We hope to find ways to increase access to legal education across the country and explore how to improve educational systems so that the legal profession reflects the great diversity of people we serve.”

The Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline works to increase the number of students of color who are on track to becoming lawyers, and serves as a think tank and incubator for activities that foster a more diverse educational pipeline into the legal profession. It also acts as a forum for key stakeholders to address particular issues and builds networks in order to change educational systems and the legal profession.

Johnson is a national leader in efforts to increase access to law school and diversity in the legal profession. One of his recent efforts included bringing a nationally recognized institute designed to diversify the legal profession to Michigan. Cooley and Oakland University (OU) partnered with the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) to offer the Sophomore Summer Institute, a month-long program that provided students with intensive, academic coursework and aimed to help disadvantaged students build the skills and confidence they need to succeed in law school.

Johnson is a member of the ABA House of Delegates, the Council for Legal Education Opportunity, the ABA Section of Legal Education Standards Review Committee and a past chair of the ABA Africa Law Council. He has been recognized by numerous organizations for his work in the diversity arena, including the ABA, National Bar Association, National Black Law Students Association, State Bar of Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and Oakland County Bar Association.

Johnson has led and developed Cooley’s master of laws program in corporate law and finance since January 2009. Before joining Cooley, Johnson served as vice president and general counsel of General Motors North America.


Butzel Long
Butzel Long attorney Robert M. Nemzin has been appointed co-vice-chair of the Young Lawyers Network, Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law of the American Bar Association. Nemzin’s term became effective on August 9 and runs during the 2010-2011 bar year.

Based in Butzel Long’s Bloomfield Hills office, Nemzin concentrates his practice in the areas of Estate and Succession Planning, Tax and Corporate law.

Nemzin is admitted to practice in Michigan and New York. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Section of Taxation; and Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law). He served as a Fellow in the ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Fellows Program, and has presented on a number of topics, including: “The Lifecycle of a Family Business Owner: Birth, Midlife Crisis, Death and Beyond!” at the 2010 RPTE Spring Symposia; “Planning with Tenancies in Common - An Alternative to an FLP?” at the ABA Tax/RPTE 2009 Joint Fall CLE meeting; and, “Recent Developments in Estate Planning and Estate Administration with Closely-Held Businesses” at the ABA Tax/RPTE 2008 Joint Fall CLE meeting. His memberships also include the State Bar of Michigan and the New York State Bar Association.

Nemzin is a graduate of New York University School of Law. Nemzin also is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Nemzin interned as a law clerk with The Findling Law Firm PLC, where he had the opportunity to research, analyze and draft legal documents including trial and appellate motions, complaints, and affidavits. He also served U.S. District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman, Eastern District of Michigan, as a judicial intern where he performed a variety of duties including the legal analysis of pending cases and the preparation of memoranda to aid clerks and the judge in the disposition of pending civil and criminal matters.

Nemzin is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Additionally, Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Robert H. Schwartz has been appointed to the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Committee on Hospital-Physician Alignment.
Hospitals and physicians will be undergoing significant changes in the coming years and alignment of their relationship is a key element to the services of both. The committee will study and recommend the appropriate roles to enhance hospital-physician alignment strategies designed to improve quality and cost-effectiveness of health care delivery in Michigan.

Based in Butzel Long’s Bloomfield Hills office, Schwartz is chair of the firm’s Health Care Industry Group. Schwartz’s practice includes corporate and health care activities. He has experience in business planning, mergers and acquisitions and in assisting health care and hospital clients in the health care regulatory areas including reimbursement, fraud and abuse, and hospital physician relations, among others.

Schwartz is a member of the Oakland County and American Bar Associations (member, Section on Health Law); State Bar of Michigan (member, International Law Section; Health Law Section; co-chair Technology Subcommittee of Substantive Law Committee 2002-2004); American Health Lawyers Association; president, Jewish National Fund 1998 to 2002; member Government Affairs Committee of Automation Alley 2003 - 2006; member, DMC Guild Board 2005 - 2009; University of Detroit Law School Dean’s Advisory Board 2005 -2006; and, director, Crime Stoppers of Michigan 2004 to present.
Schwartz has authored a number of articles for several publications and is a frequent lecturer on various topics relating to health care.

Schwartz graduated from Wayne State University Law School (1972) and Wayne State University (B.A., 1969). He is admitted to practice in Michigan and New York.


Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, Weiss PC
Eric A. Linden, partner with Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, Weiss PC has been appointed co-practice group coordinator of the firm’s litigation practice group. Jaffe CEO Richard Zussman made the announcement.

Linden is a member of the firm’s litigation practice group where he concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial disputes with a particular emphasis on contract disputes, employee non-competition agreements, trade secrets, unfair competition and litigation concerning branches of fiduciary duty.

Linden is a graduate of Brandeis University and of the University of Michigan Law School.

Linden is a member of several professional and community groups, including the State Bar of Michigan, Florida Bar, Environmental Law Society and the Rudgate Associates Homeowners’ Association.


Barris, Sott, Denn, & Driker PLLC
Detroit law firm Barris, Sott, Denn, & Driker PLLC is pleased to announce that its managing partner, Sharon M. Woods, was honored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of the top 20 Women in the Law in Michigan for 2010. The honorees will be recognized at the inaugural Women in the Law luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

Woods concentrates her practice in the area of business litigation (commercial and complex litigation, construction, securities, intellectual property litigation, employment litigation, class action litigation, professional malpractice defense, and alternate dispute resolution).  She is a senior member of Barris Sott, and serves as chairman of its Management Committee and of its Litigation Department.  She is a Fellow and former chairman of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Trott & Trott PC
Farmington Hills-based Trott  & Trott PC recently announced  the addition of attorneys Timothy Chervenak and Jennifer Hawthorne to the firm’s title department. Trott & Trott President and Managing Partner David A. Trott made the announcement.

Chervenak joins Trott & Trott as a title attorney after discontinuing his solo practice. He is a 2002 graduate of Eastern Michigan University and a 2007 graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Chervenak is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Monroe County Bar Association.

Hawthorne joins Trott & Trott as a title attorney from Hoffert  Associates in Farmington Hills, where she reviewed and assessed property tax assessment notices. Hawthorne earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She also earned her Masters of Real Estate Law from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Ill.


Enterprise Law Partners PLLC
The Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest has awarded Richard Bruder of Enterprise Law Partners PLLC GLEQ’s Coach of the Year at its June 2010 award ceremony.

The Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, now in its tenth year of continuous operations, connects entrepreneurs with the key resources that support them in Michigan. GLEQ’s statewide business plan competition connects hundreds of entrepreneurs with several hundred coaches.

According to entrepreneur Brian Hewitt, president,, getting Richard as his coach “was by far the best thing that ever happened to Channel1USA. Richard’s 30 years of experience as a lawyer and a business person is demonstrated by his suggestions, attention to detail, and bottom line approach. But his positive and enthusiastic attitude – grounded in his mission to help entrepreneurs change the world – is what really makes him stand out.”


2010 Women to Watch
Farmington Hills attorney Julie I. Fershtman was selected as one of the “2010 Women to Watch” by Crain’s Detroit Business. Fershtman will be profiled in its Sept. 6, issue.

Fershtman is being honored for becoming president-elect of the 40,500-member State Bar of Michigan in 2010. In 2011 she will become its president and will be the 5th woman in the bar’s history to assume this role.

Fershtman focuses her practice in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance disputes, and equine law. She has successfully tried cases before juries in four states and is the author of three books and over 200 published articles. A frequent lecturer, she has spoken at conferences in 27 states. Fershtman has served on non-profit boards around the country and is also a trustee of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.

A member of the Michigan Bar since 1986, she received her undergraduate and law degrees from Emory University.


Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff
Southfield-based Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff is pleased to announce that five of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 17th edition of “The Best Lawyers in America®” 2011.

Theresa Asoklis, Donald Campbell, Clay Farrell, Noreen Slank and Michael Sullivan were recognized as being among the best attorneys in their respective practice areas.

Asoklis has focused her practice on the defense of professional malpractice claims, and attorney and judicial disciplinary proceedings for more than 20 years. The Wayne State University Law School alumna also maintains an active general liability defense practice, including claims arising out of auto and trucking accidents, and complex premises liability matters. She has successfully tried many legal malpractice, auto negligence, first party no-fault, premises liability, insurance coverage, and attorney fee disputes. Asoklis also has prevailed in a number of significant appellate opinions in the legal malpractice, insurance coverage and judicial disciplinary arenas.

Campbell concentrates his practice on attorney grievance defense, representation in judicial tenure matters and legal malpractice defense. In addition to his law practice, he has served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law since 2002, teaching courses in ethics and criminal law. The Loyola University Chicago and Wayne State University Law School alum was also regularly teaches a seminar in corporate law and ethics. Campbell served 10 years as an associate counsel, Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission and four years as an assistant prosecuting attorney, Oakland County before joining the firm in 2003.

Farrell concentrates his practice on multi-party, complex litigation, including litigation in the areas of environmental torts, product liability, toxic torts and emerging claims. The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law alumnus’ trial experience spans more than three decades and includes approximately 100 cases to verdict. He serves as national coordinating counsel for a number of corporate clients.

Farrell has served as a director on the board and as an officer of a lawyer’s professional liability insurer.

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). The Wayne State University Law School 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. She also is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.

Sullivan has more than 25 years of litigation and trial experience. In the professional liability arena, he has defended attorneys, physicians, accountants, architects, engineers, real estate appraisers, real estate brokers and title agents in defense of significant claims involving personal injury, property damage and business loss. The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law alumnus also has substantial experience in product liability litigation, and maintains an active general civil litigation practice, including business disputes, insurance disputes, and personal injury defense. In the field of business litigation, Sullivan represents parties in commercial disputes, including Tier One and Tier Two automotive suppliers in disputes with vendors and purchasers.


Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith PC
Five lawyers from the Farmington Hills office of Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith PC were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America®” 2011.
• Gilbert M. Frimet – Health Care Law.
• Alan G. Gilchrist – Administrative Law, Health Care Law.
• Frank T. Mamat – Labor and Employment Law.
• Francis G. Seyferth – Trusts & Estates.
• Bruce A. Vande Vusse –  Medical Malpractice Law.


Nemeth Burwell PC
Nemeth Burwell PC, a Detroit law firm exclusively serving employers in the areas of labor and employment law, announces it has been named one of Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best & Brightest

Companies to Work For by the Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA). This is the eighth time Nemeth Burwell has received the award. All award winners will be honored at an awards event to be held on Sept. 22nd at the Dearborn Marriott.

Nemeth Burwell, which has 29 staff members, was recognized for its well defined HR programs, its non-traditional bonus structure, generous health benefits, high energy social events, including fun ways to celebrate firm and employee “wins” (both professional and personal), and efforts to help employees maintain an effective work/life balance.

Patricia Nemeth, the firm’s founding partner, says the “101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For” has special meaning because of the firm’s focus on the workplace.

“As attorneys and support staff focused on employment law, we advise employers every day about creating and sustaining productive and welcoming work environments,” notes Nemeth. “It’s gratifying to know we are heeding our own advice.”


Miller Canfield
Miller Canfield principal Matthew P. Allen was published in The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal for his article, “A Lesson from History, Roosevelt to Obama – The Evolution of Broker-Dealer Regulation: From Self-Regulation, Arbitration, and Suitability to Federal Regulation, Litigation, and Fiduciary Duty.”

The article examines the provisions of the new Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act affecting broker dealers and investment advisers.

“These new laws and prospective regulations have the potential to change the business and regulatory landscape for financial firms and professionals selling investment products to the public,” said

Allen. “The article provides an outline of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act most relevant to broker-dealers and investment advisers, as well as a thorough analysis of the history and background of the securities laws, which hopefully will assist the reader in understanding, interpreting, and applying whatever comes from the studies and rulemaking required by the Dodd-Frank legislation.”

Allen is a business, securities, and intellectual property litigator and trial lawyer who assists businesses and executives in an array of private, SEC, and governmental-related inquiries, examinations, investigations, and enforcement actions. He earned his law degree from Wayne State University School of Law, and his B.A from State University of New York at Fredonia.