Legal People

Dawda Mann
Crain’s Detroit Business recently identified Dawda Mann as Michigan’s leading large law firm in timeliness of case resolution in federal district court.
The article, “Seeking Closure: Clients push for faster work resolving cases,” identified the statewide median closure time for such cases as 253.7 days; at Dawda Mann, it is just 147 days.
“We pride ourselves on our responsiveness to our clients’ needs, and that means resolving cases with appropriate speed and efficiency,” says Kenneth A. Flaska, chair of Dawda Mann’s litigation group.

“We’ve always felt that our attorneys’ productivity and focus on achieving timely results for clients are what set Dawda Mann apart from other law firms. It’s gratifying to see the numbers reflect that.”


Butzel Long

Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Patrick A. Karbowski received the C. Robert Wartell Distinguished Service Award during the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan’s Annual Summer Conference July 18-21 at Boyne Falls. Karbowski has served as the chairperson of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and is an ex officio member of its governing Council, as well as a member of many of its committees and is the current chairperson of its Pro Bono Committee.

“It is very meaningful for me to receive the C. Robert Wartell Distinguished Service Award,” said Karbowski. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the activities I’ve worked on and people I’ve worked with over the years as part of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.”

Karbowski’s practice includes both transactions and litigation, with concentrations in the areas of real estate and general business.

Karbowski is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA for Real Estate. Karbowski is a member of the Real Estate Advisory Board for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He also has served as an adjunct professor of law teaching Real Estate Transactions at the Ave Maria School of Law. He has frequently written and lectured on various real estate topics for several professional and industry organizations.

Karbowski is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, the Metropolitan Detroit Bar Association, and the Oakland County Bar Association. He has been a board member for several community groups including Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, Christian Leadership Academy and Crossroads Pregnancy Center. Karbowski is a Leadership Oakland alumnus and served for many years as the director of music at Christ Community Church in Rochester.

Karbowski graduated from the Wayne State University School of Law in 1987. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University.

Additionally, Butzel Long has been named one of the “Top Ranked Law Firms in the Midwest” and is featured in the Aug.13, issue of The National Law Journal. The firm achieved this distinction by having at least one of three lawyers in the Firm rated AV by Martindale Hubbell. Butzel Long is one of only 494 firms to achieve this distinction in the Midwest.

“It is an honor for Butzel Long to achieve this important distinction by Martindale Hubbell and recognition in The National Law Journal,” said Justin G. Klimko, president, Butzel Long. “We have an exceptional team of highly respected attorneys who are leaders in their practice areas. Martindale-Hubbell recognition is particularly meaningful because it is recognition by our peers.”

Futhermore, Bill C. Panagos, an intellectual property law attorney, has joined Butzel Long in the firm’s Detroit office. His practice includes patent prosecution, patent portfolio management, patent litigation, trademark law, and copyright law.

Panagos has experience with the creation and management of intellectual property portfolios for Fortune 500 corporations. He has served in the legal departments as intellectual property and patent counsel for select global automotive suppliers, including Detroit Diesel and the Lear Corporation. In those positions, Panagos strategically aligned the companies’ intellectual property portfolios to meet its business goals and created cost efficiencies.

In addition to intellectual property portfolio and management, Panagos assists clients with litigation management, product development, and counseling on licensing programs that aim to maximize the value of intellectual property assets.

Panagos has drafted and prosecuted patent applications in consumer products, chemical arts, mechanical arts, electrical arts, and engine controller software.

Panagos is a graduate of Bradley University (B.S., 1978) and the Detroit College of Law (1981). He is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Supreme Court, the State of Wisconsin, and the State of Michigan.


Dickinson Wright PLLC

The Oakland University Board of Trustees recently appointed Michael R. Kramer as chair of the Board. He had been vice chair since 2010.

“Michael Kramer will do an outstanding job as chair of OU’s Board,” said outgoing Chair Henry Baskin. “His abiding passion for Oakland University students, faculty and staff, combined with his strong work ethic and strategic planning skills, will serve the university well.”

Kramer was first appointed to OU’s board in August 2008 by then-Governor Jennifer Granholm. He is a member of the Dickinson Wright PLLC law firm. He serves as a director/vice chairman for Oakland Family Services.

He is a past director of Resolution Trust Corporation; State of Michigan’s Export Development Corporation; Jewish Home for the Aged; Crestmark Bancorp, Inc.; Attorney Discipline Board; and past president and director of the Franklin Hills Country Club. He was selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Michigan by his peers.


Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Monica J. Labe has been selected as a “2012 Women in the Law” honoree by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Labe is a member in the firm’s Troy office. Her practice focuses on commercial real estate where she has experience representing large multi-national corporations, developers, real estate investment companies, and lenders in the acquisition, development, leasing, financing, construction and disposition of office, retail, industrial, mixed-use and entertainment projects throughout Michigan and the U.S.

In addition to her practice, Labe is a member of the firm’s Management Group where she oversees the firm’s finance/accounting and marketing operations and prior to that she was the Practice Department Manager for Real Estate, Environmental and Energy Practice Groups for several years. Labe is also recognized as one of the top attorneys in her field by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers (Top 50 Women Lawyers) and DBusiness. She recently served as program co-chair for the State Bar of Michigan’s Real Property Section’s 2012 Summer Conference and she serves on the Michigan Land Title Standards Committee for the Section. She has also served as a board member for Commercial Real Estate Women—Detroit.

Labe is a published author and has spoken throughout Michigan and nationally for ALI-ABA. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law and is a member of the Michigan, California, Detroit Metropolitan and Oakland County bar associations.


Warner, Norcross & Judd LLP

A national survey has again recognized the law firm Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP as a leader in client service among law firms.

BTI Consulting Group recognized Warner Norcross as a member of the Client Service A-Team for 2012. BTI polled corporate counsel at large and Fortune 1000 companies to discover how they define outstanding client service, which law firms deliver it and what specifically makes a law firm stand out from the pack. This is the sixth time that Warner Norcross has been included on the list.

The Client Service A-Team list was scored on 17 activities designed to deliver superior financial rewards and bolster client loyalty, including:

• Understanding the client’s business.

• Providing value for the cost.

• Breadth of services provided.

• Unprompted communication.

• Regional reputation.

• Innovative approach.


Berry Moorman PC

Berry Moorman PC is proud to announce it has become a community partner of the Southeast Michigan program of LEAVE A LEGACY. Through their partnership, the firm maintains its commitment to the community by supporting and promoting the need for individuals to support their favorite charities through a charitable bequest in their wills or estate plans.

Founded in 1997, LEAVE A LEGACY is a public awareness campaign conducted by the Planned Giving Roundtable of Southeast Michigan to inspire people to make charitable bequests, a type of planned gift to be distributed sometime in the future to a charity meaningful to the donor. LEAVE A LEGACY is a national broad-based community campaign that involves all types of nonp-rofit groups and is conducted by professionals who assist donors with charitable estate planning.

Berry Moorman was founded in 1926 in Detroit. It also has a Birmingham office and opened an Ann Arbor office in 2000.


Plunkett Cooney

It may not be a gold medal like those awarded at the upcoming Olympic games, but the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Gold Fit-Friendly Company designation is just as coveted by recent recipient, Plunkett Cooney.

“Plunkett Cooney is a long-time supporter of the American Heart Association, and it is an honor to be named a Gold Fit-Friendly Company,” said Denise Boucké, who is the firm’s Human Resources manager. “Our management team understands the importance of promoting a healthy workplace, and we have implemented many programs that encourage our employees to embrace healthy habits.”

Designed as a catalyst for positive change in American business, the Gold Fit-Friendly designation is awarded annually to an elite group of companies dedicated to creating healthier workplaces for employees. Plunkett Cooney received the honor for the quantifiable measures it took as an employer this past year to create a culture of better health and more physical activity within its 11 offices in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

To receive the “Gold-level” recognition, companies must fulfill criteria such as offering employees physical activity support, increasing healthy eating options at work, promoting a wellness culture and implementing various physical, nutritional and cultural activities.

While Plunkett Cooney received a lower level “Start! Fit-Friendly Company!” award last year, the firm’s management team redoubled its wellness efforts and brought home the gold for 2012.
Plunkett Cooney maintains a “Wellness Initiative” through its “Great Place to Work” program, which was established to move beyond compensation and the traditional health, vision, dental and insurance plans offered by most companies.

Specifically, the firm focused on enhancing the overall work experience by providing wellness programs that encourage better health and safety through education, physical activity and prevention of wellness inhibitors like stress. The program includes participation in nutrition focused “lunch and learn” seminars, CPR/First Aid lessons, massage therapy sessions, Weight Watchers meetings, yoga classes and more.