Legal People

 Kerr, Russell, and Weber PLC

Brandy L. Mathie, Jessica A. Engerer, Anna Valk, and Michael M. Skoczylas have joined Kerr, Russell, and Weber PLC as attorneys.  
 
Mathie practices in the area of real estate and has experience in all aspects of real estate law including, real estate development and financing, with expertise in the areas of acquisitions, dispositions and leasing.  Mathie is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bar Association, Washtenaw County Bar Association, and is a participant in the International Council of Shopping Centers. 

Mathie received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School and her Bachelor degree from the University of Michigan with dual majors in English and Political Science. 

Engerer practices in the areas of business law, labor and employment, bankruptcy, litigation and insurance. Engerer is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bar Association, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association.  Engerer has also been admitted in the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan as well as the United States Bankruptcy Court.  

Engerer received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan where she double majored in Economics and Political Science. 

Valk practices in the areas of civil litigation, including antitrust, malpractice defense and general business litigation. Valk is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Oakland County Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association.  Valk has also been admitted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  

Valk received her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan.

Skoczylas practices in the areas of taxation, business law, mergers and acquisitions, tax controversies and estate planning. Skoczylas is also a Certified Public Accountant.  He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  

Skoczylas received his law degree from the Wayne State University Law School and his Bachelor degree from the Yeshiva University where he majored in both Accounting and Finance.

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Butzel Long
Ronald D. Bassey, John D. Selesko, and Robert C. Zack, three attorneys at Bassey and Selesko PLC, a Southfield-based boutique tax oriented law firm, have joined Butzel Long as Counsel in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office. 
 

Ronald D. Bassey, both an attorney and a CPA, brings to clients more than 40 years of specialized experience in estate planning, corporate sales and acquisitions, and complex corporate and tax matters. 
He has been recognized by Best Lawyers as among the Best Lawyers in America in 2013 and 2014. Named in 2013 by Leading Lawyers as included with the most peer recommended Will & Estate Planning Lawyers in Michigan and for inclusion in Leading Lawyers in Michigan 2014. He has been selected by American Registry for inclusion among Best Attorneys in Michigan and designated by Hour Media as a Top
Lawyer for the DBusiness magazine. He has been included in Who’s Who in the World among executives and professionals since 2007. 

Early in his career he spent eight years as a tax specialist, leaving Touche Ross & Co., CPAs, as tax manager. He has taught seminars of the Michigan Association of CPAs, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and has spoken on topics dealing with taxation before conferences of the American Bar Association Tax Section, and accounting, banking, and insurance organizations. He also has published articles on taxation in the Journal of Taxation, Michigan State Bar Journal, the Michigan CPA, the professional journal of the Michigan State Bar Taxation Section, Maryland C.P.A., Life Association News, Medical Economics, the Detroiter, and Michigan Tax Lawyer. 

Bassey is a member and an active contributor to the professional activities of the American Bar Association, the American Institute of CPAs, including its Board of Examiners, Business Law Subcommittee and the Michigan Association of CPAs. 

He also is a member and has served as a director of the Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit, a member of the Detroit Economic Club and its reception (chairman) and advisory committees and has served as an officer and director of the Harvard Club of Eastern Michigan and is a director of the Small Business Council of America. He has served on the Royal Oak Township Housing Commission and was formerly associated with the National Labor Relations. 

Bassey earned degrees from Harvard Law School and the business school at the University of Michigan (B.B.A., with a major in Accounting). 

For more than 35 years, John D. Selesko has concentrated his practice in estate planning, in the design and implementation of profit sharing, 401(k), pension plans, other employee benefit arrangements and tax planning for individuals and closely held businesses. 

Moreover, Selesko has been designated by Hour Media for DBusiness magazine as a Top Wealth Management Lawyer in the metropolitan Detroit area for 2011-2013.

Selesko is the author of a section on retirement planning through the use of qualified plans in the 1978 Revised Edition of the ABA Lawyers Handbook. He has taught before the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and has lectured before various professional and business groups and organizations on a wide range of subjects pertaining to taxation with emphasis on estate planning, profit sharing and pension plans and tax planning for small corporations and individuals. 

He is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Taxation Section and the American Bar Association. 

Among his civic memberships are the Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit and Vista Maria, a Michigan non-profit charitable organization, for which he serves on the Board of Advisors and is active in providing the charity with planned giving and endowment guidance. 

Selesko earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and continued his studies at Wayne State University Law School. After graduating with a law degree he joined Ronald Bassey in forming the law firm of Bassey and Selesko and devoted his career to the enterprise. 

Trial attorney Robert C. Zack has practiced law for more than 40 years, concentrating in business matters with an emphasis on commercial litigation, family law, and probate litigation. 

He has published several articles in the Michigan Bar Journal and other legal publications. 

He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association and its Litigation Section and the Oakland County Bar Association. Zack is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, as well as all of the courts of Michigan, United States Court of Appeals, District Court and the United States Tax Court. 

Zack earned both his law and his Bachelor of Arts degrees from Wayne State University. 

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Potestivo & Associates P.C.
Potestivo & Associates PC is pleased to announce the hiring of Noel J. Ravenscroft. He will serve as an associate attorney at the Rochester Hills office and will primarily serve the firm’s Landlord/Tenant Department. 
 
Ravenscroft began his career at Potestivo & Associates PC in 2012 when he was hired as a law clerk.  In 2010, he graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in Legal Studies. In 2013, he completed his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Ravenscroft’s past experience includes management and supervisory positions, making him well-suited for assisting with operations within the Landlord/Tenant Department. 

“We are thrilled to welcome yet another attorney to contribute to the Landlord/Tenant Department at our Rochester Hills office,” said President and Founder Brian A. Potestivo. “We know Noel has a strong work ethic and will effectively put his skills to use in his new position.” 

Ravenscroft is a member of the American Bar Association and the Macomb County Bar Association. He  volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Special Olympics of Michigan.  

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Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C.
Jyotsna Balakrishnan has been named a partner at Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC. Jaffe CEO Bill Sider made the announcement.  
 
Balakrishnan joined Jaffe’s corporate practice group as an associate attorney in 2012 and focuses her practice in working with and advising businesses and entrepreneurs on all aspects of formation, governance, capital raising, intellectual property issues and complex business transactions including mergers and acquisitions, equity financings, commercial contracts and private placements. She is also a member of Jaffe’s Emerging and Growth Business Group and has written and spoken on a variety of corporate and intellectual property issues. 

Balakrishnan earned her law degrees from the National Law School of India University and Columbia Law School. 

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Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP
The law firm of Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP has been chosen to receive the 2014 Corporate International Global Award for Family Law, Law Firm of the Year in Michigan.
 
The award commemorates success over the past 12 months and excellence in expertise and in service.  The firm was selected based on detailed independent research and an independent awards panel editorial review. Warner Norcross was recognized for excellence in service type, service range, business type, geographical location, how the business operates and the expertise offered.

The firm was highlighted in a directory of winners distributed to more than 70,0000 recipients throughout the United States.

The nine attorneys in Warner’s Family Law and Divorce Practice Group represent clients in all aspects of family law with services that include premarital and post-marital agreements, separation agreements, annulment, divorce, custody and parenting time, spousal and child support, property division, post-judgment support and non-traditional families and same-sex relationship matters.

Attorneys evaluate both routine and complex financial and legal issues in connection with family law cases, including issues relating to business valuation and non-marital property and counsel clients on a variety of
Alternate Dispute Resolution methods in an effort to minimize the emotional difficulty and expense often encountered in connection with these types of cases.

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Rader, Fishman, & Grauer PLLC
Rader, Fishman, & Grauer is pleased to announce that Lisa Rycus Mikalonis has joined its Bloomfield Hills office as partner.
 
Mikalonis, a seasoned media attorney and litigator, brings more than 25 years of commercial and intellectual property litigation experience to Rader, Fishman, & Grauer’s growing litigation team. Her experience includes: partner at a Detroit area law firm, assistant general counsel to MotorCity Casino, and assistant dean for Career Services at Wayne State University Law School where she has also taught Legal Research and Writing and Media Law.

Mikalonis focuses her litigation practice on patent infringement, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, license disputes, trade secrets, misappropriation, breach of contract, unfair competition, false advertising, media law, libel, privacy and complex commercial disputes. In addition, she advises clients on the protection of intellectual property rights and negotiates and drafts license, service, subscription, maintenance and support, advertising, sponsorship, location, confidentiality and gaming agreements.

Mikalonis was recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and named to the list of 2013 “Women in the Law” and has participated in numerous panel discussions in the areas of media law and the status of women in the legal profession. She is a contributing author of the book “Inside the Minds: Intellectual Property Licensing Strategies” and a past-president of the Women’s Bar Association - Oakland County region of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan. 

Mikalonis earned her law degree from University of Oregon School of Law and B.A. in English from University of California, Berkley.

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Secrest Wardle
Secrest Wardle Partner Margaret A. Scott has recently been awarded the William V. Liddane Award by the Help Eliminate Auto Theft (H.E.A.T.) Organization  
 
The award is presented annually to an exemplary individual demonstrating strong commitment and determination in reducing auto theft-related crimes such as stolen vehicles, auto related insurance fraud and identity theft, chop shops, carjackings and the like throughout the state of Michigan.  Scott also served as a 2013 committee member for H.E.A.T. 

H.E.A.T. Director Terri Miller presented the award to Scott at the 28th Anniversary Breakfast held at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Founded in 1985, H.E.A.T. is a community education and prevention program dedicated to connecting citizen information with public law enforcement action to combat auto theft-related crimes in Michigan.  

Scott served as an Oakland County assistant prosecuting attorney from 1988 to 2008.  She is currently a partner at Secrest Wardle located in the firm’s Troy office.  She has been an instructor and presenter for various programs for the Michigan State Police, the National College of District Attorneys, Prosecutor’s Association of Michigan, Oakland County Community College Police Academy, and numerous police departments in Southeastern Michigan.   

In addition to H.E.A.T., Scott is a member of the following associations:  

• North Central Regional Chapter-International Association of Auto Theft Investigators. 

• Michigan Chapter-International Association of Arson Investigators. 

• Michigan Arson Prevention Committee.

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Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP
Randall J. Peck is the newest addition to the Technology & Intellectual Property Practice Group of Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP.
 
Peck concentrates his practice in worldwide patent preparation and prosecution, as well as on freedom-to-operate opinion work, primarily for clients in the chemical arts.  His practice includes pre-litigation counseling, portfolio management, patent strategy and post-issuance validity challenges. A chemical engineer by training, he focuses on silicones, adhesives, gels, resins, thin films, nanotechnologies, medical devices, wood products and other chemical compositions and processes.  He joins the firm’s Southfield office as senior counsel.

Prior to joining Warner Norcross, he was a shareholder at Howard & Howard.  He has also done work for Boston Scientific and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.

Peck is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association.  He is registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Peck did his undergraduate work at Michigan Technological University in Houghton and earned his law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law.

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Kaufman, Payton & Chapa PC
 
Kaufman, Payton, & Chapa PC is pleased to announce associate attorney Brian A. Catrinar has joined its litigation team in the firm’s Farmington Hills office. 

Catrinar’s practice represents companies and individuals in complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage, construction defect, automobile negligence, commercial fraud and dram shop liability. Catrinar also has experience in appellate practice and procedure. 

He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section and is an Oakland County Bar Foundation Fellow. Catrinar is licensed to practice in all Michigan state courts, as well as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. 

He graduated from Michigan State University in 2009 and received his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2012. 
Catrinar was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2012.

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Neuman Anderson P.C.
Neuman Anderson PC, a Birmingham-based business law firm specializing in complex commercial litigation, announced that Partner Jennifer Grieco recently presented at the 2014 Mid-Year Meeting of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. Managing Partner Ken Neuman made the announcement.
 
Grieco’s workshop session, titled “Win-Win: Matching Unmet Legal Needs with Available Legal Talent,” presented the Oakland Country Bar Association’s Pro Bono Mentor Match Program. This volunteer program, launched during Grieco’s presidency, creates a mentorship program for new lawyers to gain experience and handle pro bono cases under the guidance of an experienced attorney. The program provides a solution to the increased need for legal aid and helps new attorneys gain quality legal experience.

In addition to serving as the Oakland County Bar Association president, Grieco won a contested seat as a commissioner on the State Bar Board of Commissioners in 2011, where she has served as an appointee to the Executive Committee. She has actively served the Board of Commissioners in many capacities, including the Public Policy, Image and Identity Committee; Finance Committee; Audit Committee; Strategic Planning Workgroup and Judicial Campaign Work Group. Grieco is also active on the State Bar of Michigan Negligence Council and the Character and Fitness Committee. Furthermore, she has served as president of the Women’s Bar Association, Oakland County region of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan.

Grieco has also been recognized by DBusiness Magazine as a Top Rated Lawyer, by Crain’s Detroit Business as a 40 Under 40, by Super Lawyers as a Top 50 Business Lawyer in Michigan and by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Woman in the Law.

Grieco is a graduate of the University of Toledo and the University of Toledo College of Law.

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Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith, PC­
 The law firm of Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith PC elected its officers for the 2014 executive committee.  Local attorney Bruce Vande Vusse of the firm’s Farmington Hills office was elected vice president for Southeast Michigan.
 
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Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP recently announced  that the firm was counsel on more than 150 corporate transactions that closed in 2013. This follows what the firm considered an outstanding year in 2012, in which it was counsel on more than 140 transactions. The total transaction value has also risen from $4.5 billion in 2012 to $8.2 billion in 2013, with several deals having transaction values in the hundreds of millions and a few at more than a billion. From its base in Michigan, Honigman’s nationally recognized corporate Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) Practices serve clients across the country. Of the more than 150 transactions, 86 were private equity or venture capital transactions.
 
“Honigman’s national reputation in corporate transactions and its client base continue to grow,” said Donald J. Kunz, Honigman’s Corporate Department chair. “Our capabilities and the value that we provide clients make the firm an increasingly attractive option, particularly in the middle market.”

According to Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Honigman’s Corporate/M&A practice has ranked number one in Michigan since 2004. 

Honigman also received high national rankings in U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers® 2014 Best Law Firms list for its M&A, PE, VC and Corporate law practices.

Over the last decade, Honigman has seen year over year growth in its Corporate Department revenues. The department’s success is in part due to its uniquely positioned and successful middle market M&A and private equity practices.

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Giarmarco, Mullins, & Horton, P.C.
Victoria S. Lehman has joined the firm of Giarmarco, Mullins, & Horton PC.  Lehman focuses her practice primarily on the defense of hospitals and health care providers in medical malpractice litigation. Lehman also regularly works with her clients on defending premises liability and general negligence claims, as well as a wide variety of risk management issues.
 
Lehman is licensed to practice law in Michigan, as well as the U.S. District Courts of Eastern Michigan.   

Lehman received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School.  She also earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in both Psychology and Spanish.  Lehman is proficient in Spanish.

 

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