Legal People

Sommers Schwartz
Sommers Schwartz PC is pleased to announce the election of attorneys Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller and Danielle Schoeny to shareholder. 
Esser-Weidenfeller’s practice is focused on representing plaintiffs injured as a result of medical malpractice, birth injury and automobile negligence. She earned her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and her Bachelor Degree in Finance from Western Michigan University. Esser-Weidenfeller joined Sommers Schwartz as an associate attorney in 2007.
She has been recognized by Michigan Super Lawyers as a Rising Star since 2011 and was named in The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 in 2012.
Schoeny joined Sommers Schwartz in 2003 as an associate attorney, and focuses her practice on civil appeals. She earned her law degree from University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law and her Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Wayne State University.
Schoeny serves as an elected council member on the State Bar of Michigan  Appellate Practice Section.

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Plunkett Cooney
At a recent meeting of the Plunkett Cooney Board of Directors, partner Michael P. Ashcraft Jr. was re-elected Secretary/Treasurer.
A partner in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, Ashcraft currently serves as the firm’s Professional Liability Practice Group Leader. He concentrates his practice on the defense of attorneys and accountants in malpractice claims, and he also represents insurance brokers and agents, securities brokers, real estate brokers and agents, investment advisors, officers and directors and notaries public in professional liability cases in state and federal courts.
Admitted to state and federal courts in Michigan and Nebraska, Ashcraft graduated from Detroit College of Law in 1992. He earned his undergraduate degree from University of Michigan in 1987. Ashcraft is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association’s Negligence Section, the State Bar of Michigan’s Professional Ethics Committee, and the American Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Liability.

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Giarmarco, Mullins, & Horton, P.C.
Giarmarco, Mullins, & Horton PC is pleased to announce that Adam Levitsky has been awarded an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell.  The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada.
Levitsky concentrates his practice in the areas of workers’ compensation defense, auto negligence defense, general civil liability, subrogation and criminal law. He has successfully represented companies of all sizes, employers, insurance companies, insureds, self-insureds and third-party administrators at all levels of the litigation process. He has trial and appellate court experience in Michigan state and federal courts.

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Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C.

Kristin L. Goldbaum has been named partner at Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC. Jaffe CEO Bill Sider made the announcement.
Goldbaum has developed a thriving practice as a member of the firm’s emerging and growth business and corporate practice groups in which she specializes in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and securities.
An alumna of Michigan State University, Goldbaum earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and French. She continued her education at Michigan State University College of Law where she earned her law degree with a concentration in corporate law. During this time, she interned for then-Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Bill Schuette . Goldbaum is a member of the State Bar of Michigan .

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Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s President and Dean Don LeDuc announces that James D. Robb has been appointed associate dean of External Affairs and senior counsel.
Since joining Cooley in 2002, Robb has served as General Counsel, associate dean for Development and Alumni Relations, and associate dean for Graduate Programs.
He now oversees the school’s fund-raising, alumni relations, marketing communications, university relations and community relations efforts while retaining a role in the legal counsel’s office.
He is based at the school’s Lansing and Auburn Hills campuses.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Roberta P. Granadier has joined the firm’s Troy office as Of Counsel.
Granadier practices in the area of employee benefits law. She has experience in ERISA law, employee benefits, executive compensation and employment law. Her practice includes retirement and compensation planning, consulting and design of qualified and nonqualified plans, stock option and equity-based programs and compliance initiatives regarding fiduciary best practices and internal plan audits. Her practice also includes consulting and drafting regarding QDROs, QSLOBs, IRAs, cafeteria plans, health insurance issues, employment agreements and severance arrangements, golden parachutes, COBRA, FMLA, FLSA, ADA, ADEA and HIPAA.
Granadier is a member of the Michigan, Oakland County and American Bar Associations. She is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Employee Benefits Law. She has presented at employee benefit conferences and various seminars on executive compensation, target date investments, 401(k) plans and health care reform legislation.
Granadier received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Boston University School of Law.

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Miller Canfield

Miller Canfield public finance lawyer Michael P. McGee recently served as a panelist on “Local-Government Oversight” at The Bond Buyer’s 2nd Annual Symposium on Distressed Municipalities in Providence, Rhode Island.
More than 225 leading municipal finance professionals gathered on March 18-19 to discuss turnaround strategies and gain practical, peer-level advice as their cities, towns, and local governments across the nation face unprecedented challenges.
“Local governments across the country are still experiencing distress, frequently on account of the persistent weakness in residential and commercial property values. Michigan is no different.  This ‘new normal’ requires active engagement by local and state political leaders and stress-testing every long-term commitment local governments make. Solutions are there. But they take work,” said McGee.
With more than 25 years of public policy and broad legal experience, McGee has acted as bond counsel to governmental issuers of all types in financing public infrastructure. He is named a Best Lawyer for his work in Public Finance Law and is recognized as an expert in public entity law, public/private partnerships, and intergovernmental cooperation. He earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and M.P.P. and A.B. from the University of Michigan with an emphasis on economic analysis.

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Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Ronald E. Whitney, a partner in the Corporate and Securities Department of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP has been appointed to the advisory board of the Commercial Law section of the Practical Law Company Inc. which provides print- and web-based informational tools to attorneys and law firms globally across a range of complex legal subjects.
Whitney is a corporate attorney who focuses his practice on general business law and corporate transactional matters, principally in the manufacturing and financial services sectors. Whitney’s practice also involves the representation of automotive manufacturers, including assistance with international joint ventures and strategic alliances.
Whitney earned his law degrees from Columbia University and New York University School of Law. He earned an M.B.A. in Finance and Information Systems from George Washington University and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska.

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Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
Managing Intellectual Property has recognized intellectual property law firm Brinks, Hofer, Gilson, & Lione as firm of the Year 2013 for the Midwest region in the category of Trademark - Contentious, and has ranked Brinks as a leading firm in the Midwest for Patent Prosecution, Trademark Prosecution and Patent Contentious. Brinks has Michigan offices in Ann Arbor and Detroit.
The firm also was ranked in the top tiers in each of these four categories nationally, including Tier 2 rankings in Trademark Prosecution and Trademark Contentious, Tier 3 in Patent Prosecution and Tier 4 in Patent Contentious.
“We are extremely pleased to receive recognition from Managing IP as 2013 Firm of the Year in the Midwest for our work in trademark disputes,” said Brinks’ John T. Gabrielides who chairs the firm’s trademark practice and who accepted the award on its behalf at Managing IP’s 6th annual North American Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 20.
“Brinks attorneys work hard to provide high-quality intellectual property legal services to our clients across a broad range of range of technologies and trademarks,” said Brinks President James R. Sobieraj. “To consistently be accorded such high rankings by Managing IP in patent and trademark categories again confirms our attorneys’ commitment to excellence and our position as the largest IP firm in the Midwest.”

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Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C.

Christopher J. Moceri, a partner at Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC, has been named deputy practice group coordinator for the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. In his new role, Moceri will work alongside Jaffe Partner and Corporate Practice Group Coordinator Joel Alam.  Jaffe CEO Bill Sider made the announcement. 
Moceri was promoted to partner in 2011, and has developed a practice counseling his clients through complex business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, equity financing, joint ventures and other general corporate matters. In 2012, Moceri was elected by his peers as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine.
Completing his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, Moceri earned his law degree at Michigan State University College of Law.

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Howard & Howard
Four of Howard & Howard’s attorneys recently spoke to a group of law students at Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing. R. Saleha Mohamedulla, Randall J. Peck, Mark W. Peyser, and Jacob P. Woolbright provided career advice for law students interested in pursuing private law practice.
They discussed their own various career paths along with the pros and cons of such paths from the eyes of experienced hiring partners. All four Howard & Howard attorneys practice out of the firm’s Royal Oak Office.