Legal People

Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP
Four partners from four different Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP offices were named to three top lists for Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine.

Local partner Mary Jo Larson was named to the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers list.  Larson practices in Southfield.

Additionally, 57 attorneys were recognized as Michigan Super Lawyers in the 12th annual publication.

Warner Norcross also had 25 attorneys named as Rising Stars, which is given to attorneys younger than 40 or in practice for fewer than 10 years.

In addition, Warner Norcross has welcomed Zainab S. Hazimi to the firm as a new attorney.

Hazimi will concentrate her practice in litigation and dispute resolution. She joins the firm after completing a clerkship with U.S. District Court Judge Sean F. Cox, Eastern District of Michigan. Hazimi will be based in the firm’s Southfield office.

She also served as a student attorney with the ACLU’s Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Clinic in Detroit. Hazimi is fluent in Arabic.

Hazimi earned a bachelor of arts in philosophy from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Federal Bar Association and serves on the board of KEYS Grace Academy.


Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Chambers 2017 High Net Worth (HNW) Guide has named five Dickinson Wright attorneys as “Leaders in their Fields.”

The two local Dickinson Wright attorneys who were listed under Private Wealth Law in Chambers 2017 HNW Guide include:

• Henry M. Grix, Troy

• James P. Spica, Troy

In addition, Dickinson Wright is pleased to announce that attorney Heather M. Olson has been selected for Leadership Oakland LOXXVIII Cornerstone Class.

Olson is a member in the firm’s Troy office. She has experience representing lenders, special servicers and receivers in commercial real estate loan workouts, foreclosures, receiverships, and real estate sales throughout Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. She handles all stages of multimillion-dollar commercial loan workout and foreclosure matters including both litigation and transactional matters, such as, judicial and non-judicial foreclosures, receiver appointments and sales, forbearance, deed-in-lieu, deed-in-escrow, note sale and loan modification agreements and other related issues. Her work experience includes all property types, including office, retail, shopping malls, industrial, multi-family, mobile home parks and hospitality.

Olson is a Fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and is a nationally recognized speaker on commercial mortgage workout and foreclosure strategies. She is co-author of the Lexis-Nexis Michigan Real Estate Litigation Practice Guide on Foreclosure of Mortgages and Land Contracts; Receiverships. She is a Lifetime Fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation and a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Real Property Law Section, the Oakland County Bar Association, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council. She is also a member of the State Bars of New York, Ohio, and Illinois. She is recognized as a leader in her field by Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars.  Olson received her B.A. from Hamilton College and her law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Each year, 50 developing leaders are selected for the Leadership Oakland Cornerstone Program. As part of the 9-month program, participants delve into the issues facing the region – from education, government and the justice system to health and human services and race and ethnic diversity. The goal is to take developing leaders and provide them with a rich network of colleagues, a deep understanding of the region’s challenges and the opportunity to achieve value for their organizations. To learn more, visit


Bodman PLC

Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that the editors of Michigan Super Lawyers have given special recognition to four members of the firm for their exceptional performance in the publication’s annual survey of leading business attorneys.

• Susan M. Kornfield, chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property group, was named to both the Top 25 Women Business Attorneys List and the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Michigan list. She focuses her practice on intellectual property matters, including information systems acquisition, copyrights, trademarks, e-commerce, noncompete agreements and other post-employment restrictions, and protection against economic espionage. She has been listed in Michigan Super Lawyers since 2006, in The Best Lawyers in America since 2008, and for several years as an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property.

• Marguerite Munson Lentz, a member of Bodman’s High Net Worth group, was named to the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Michigan list. Lentz concentrates her practice on representing high net worth individuals in estate planning, probate, and trust matters. She also regularly advises nonprofit and tax exempt organizations. She is currently listed in Chambers High Net Worth as one of Michigan’s leading estate planning attorneys. She has been listed in Michigan Super Lawyers since 2011 and in The Best Lawyers in America since 2008.

• Ralph E. McDowell, firm chairman and a member of the Bankruptcy and Debtor-Creditor Rights and Banking groups, was named to the Top 100 Attorneys in Michigan list. He assists clients primarily in the areas of commercial bankruptcy, debtors-creditor rights, and workouts. He has represented the interests of banks and other financial institutions in pre-bankruptcy workout situations, commercial bankruptcy cases, and troubled credit situations. He has been listed in Michigan Super Lawyers since 2006, in Chambers USA since 2007, and in The Best Lawyers in America since 2003.

• Wendy L. Zabriskie, a member of Bodman’s Banking group, was also named to both the Top 25 Women Business Attorneys list and the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Michigan list. She has experience representing financial institutions in the structuring, negotiation, and documentation of commercial and real estate loans. She has been listed in Michigan Super Lawyers since 2007, in Chambers USA since 2006, and in The Best Lawyers in America since 2010.
In addition, Bodman is pleased to announce that banking attorneys Rachel A. Brescoll and Nicole C. Murphy have joined Bodman as members of the firm’s Banking practice group. Both attorneys will be practicing out of the Troy office.
In her practice, Brescoll represents banks and equipment finance companies in a variety of financing transactions, including equipment loan and lease originations, equipment lease acquisitions and sales, and leveraged lease transactions.

Before joining Bodman, Brescoll worked in the commercial finance division of a global bank where she negotiated and drafted documents in connection with loans and equipment leases. She also provided legal counsel to the bank’s credit, asset management, sales, and risk groups. Prior to that role, she worked as a management consultant for a Los Angeles-based financial services firm.

Murphy represents financial institutions in connection with middle market commercial and real estate lending activities and equipment lease finance transactions. She has banking experience, with more than 16 years of experience as a finance attorney, and has gained exposure to many different areas of the industry. She has advised business partners in the middle market, government, not-for-profit and healthcare segments on credit, regulatory and treasury issues.
Before joining the firm, Murphy served as vice president and assistant general counsel in the commercial banking area with a major bank.


Butzel Long

Theodore R. Eppel (T.R.) has joined Butzel Long as a shareholder practicing in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office. Eppel is a former state prosecutor with nearly 20 years of experience in criminal and civil litigation.

Eppel has defended various high-profile federal and state white-collar criminal cases, involving business offenses, health care fraud, public corruption, regulatory offenses, criminal antitrust matters, tax offenses, securities-related offenses and alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

He also represents clients in criminal appeals, civil RICO cases and complex civil litigation and he has conducted numerous internal investigations for corporate clients of all sizes.

Upon earning his law degree, Eppel practiced federal and state litigation in Chicago with the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw.

He then became an assistant state’s attorney for Cook County and later participated in drafting Illinois criminal legislation as a staff attorney for the Illinois Rewrite and Reform Commission. That position culminated in his service as co-author of the Final Report of the Illinois Criminal Code Rewrite and Reform Commission (2003).

After leaving the State’s Attorney’s office, Eppel practiced white collar criminal defense and civil litigation at Monico & Spevack and Katten, Muchin, Rosenman LLP.

Eppel is a graduate of Indiana University (1997) and the University of Michigan (1993). He is licensed to practice in Michigan and Illinois.

In addition, Butzel Long immigration law attorney Reginald A. Pacis was featured during Wayne State University’s Law First Generation Professionals TIPS Interview Panel: “Searching, Securing & Sticking the Interview” on September 21.

Pacis is co-chair of Butzel Long’s Summer Associate Recruiting Committee and serves on the Lateral Attorney Recruiting Committee. He is among a panel of attorneys who will offer practical insight for prospective attorneys seeking future internships. The panel will address academics; pre-application; the application process; post-application submission; the interview and, next steps following the interview.

Pacis focuses his practice in immigration law and has handled a variety of immigration matters including H-1B specialty occupation cases, L-1 Intracompany transfers, Labor Certification matters, Immigrant Visa Petitions/Adjustment of Status applications and interviews, TN Free trade cases, H-1B Department of Labor Investigations, I-9 employer verification compliance, and U.S. Port of Entry airport and land port interviews.

He was named Immigration Lawyer of the Year 2013 in the field of Immigration Law by The Best Lawyers in America and has been listed in Best Lawyers for several years. Pacis is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Samahang Pilipino Ng Oakland Filipino organization. He served two consecutive one-year terms from 2003 to 2005 as chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA and was a member of the AILA National Board of Governors for those terms. Pacis previously served as secretary (2001 to 2003) and membership chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA (1998 to 2003).


Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, & Rivers

Six attorneys from Royal Oak law firm Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, & Rivers have been selected to the 2017 Michigan Super Lawyers listing.

The attorneys (respective practice areas noted) selected to this year’s list are:

• Cary McGehee – Employment Litigation: Plaintiff. McGehee was also named to the Top 50 Consumer Lawyers and Top 25 Women Consumer Lawyers lists.

• Michael Pitt – Employment Litigation: Plaintiff; Class Action/Mass Torts

• Beth Rivers – Employment & Labor

• Robert Palmer – Employment & Labor; Personal Injury-General: Plaintiff

• Megan Bonanni – Employment Litigation: Plaintiff

• Jennifer Lord – Employment Litigation: Plaintiff


Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy, & Sadler PLC

 Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy, & Sadler PLC has been recognized as one of Midwest Real Estate News’ 2017 Best of the Best. Managing Member Ed Dawda made the announcement.

Best of the Best rankings are based upon the number of real estate transactions handled during the previous year. In 2016, Dawda Mann’s real estate practice group completed a notable 906 real estate transactions and ranked in the top 10 firms of the 36 Midwest law firms evaluated. This is the third consecutive year Dawda Mann has broken the top 10 list.

 “Three consecutive years of top 10 recognition from Midwest Real Estate News’ Best of the Best is a true testament to the commitment our attorneys have to helping clients achieve success,” said Dawda. “From Fortune 500 organizations to smaller publicly and privately owned businesses, our real estate practice group of 21 hard-working attorneys is dedicated to growing relationships with clients and honing in on each individual transaction, and we congratulate them on this great accomplishment.”

Dawda Mann’s real estate work includes acquisitions and dispositions, commercial leasing, commercial litigation, construction, development, environmental, finance, debt and equity, transactional, tax structuring/tax credit and workout, foreclosure and bankruptcy, and more. The firm was also recognized for completing transactions in commercial, condominium, healthcare, industrial, land, multifamily, office, residential, retail and student housing.


Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC

 Twenty-nine of Howard & Howard’s attorneys were recently named to Michigan Super Lawyers® and Michigan Rising Stars 2017.

The Howard & Howard attorneys and the practice areas under which they are listed in Michigan Super Lawyers 2017 are as follows:

• Mark A. Davis – president & CEO, Real Estate

• Joseph J. DeVito, Mergers & Acquisitions

• Mary C. Dirkes, Business Litigation

• Robert E. Graziani, Insurance Coverage

• Lisa S. Gretchko, Creditor/Debtor Rights

• Andrew (Jake) Grove, Intellectual Property Litigation

• Sam J. Haidle, Intellectual Property

• David M. LaPrairie, Intellectual Property

• Miles T. Macik, Business Litigation

• Patrick M. McCarthy, Business Litigation

• Gerald E. McGlynn III, Intellectual Property

• Richard M. Miettinen, Mergers & Acquisitions

• Mark W. Peyser, Business Litigation

• Brad A. Rayle, Employee Litigation: Defense

• Jeffrey A. Sadowski, Intellectual Property Litigation

• Timothy M. Wittebort, Business/Corporate

The Howard & Howard attorneys and the practice areas under which they are listed in Michigan Rising Stars 2017 are as follows:

• Michael M. Bell, Banking

• Brandon J. Booth, Business/Corporate

• Melinda B. Buurma, Intellectual Property

• Alex G. Cavanaugh, Business Litigation

• Stephen P. Dunn, Business Litigation

• Paul T. Engel, Intellectual Property

• Sam A. Fares, Intellectual Property

• Michael O. Fawaz, Business Litigation

• Jeffrey A. Hoover, Mergers & Acquisitions

• Kristopher K. Hulliberger, Intellectual Property Litigation

• Andre O. Perrotta, Health Care

• Jacob P. Woolbright, Intellectual Property

• Evonne Xu, International


Plunkett Cooney

In its annual review of the state’s top young attorneys, Michigan Super Lawyers magazine has awarded 17 lawyers from Plunkett Cooney its “Rising Star” honor.

Below is a list of Plunkett Cooney attorneys who have received the 2017 Michigan Super Lawyer Rising Star designation:

Bloomfield Hills office:

• Hilary A. Ballentine – Appellate

• Abe Barlaskar – Personal Injury: Defense

• Alexander R. Baum – Personal Injury: Defense

• Karen E. Beach – Appellate

• Josephine A. DeLorenzo – Appellate

• Jeffrey S. Hengeveld – Professional Liability: Defense

• Marc P. Jerabek – Bankruptcy: Business

• Chase M. Kubica – Personal Injury: Defense

• Patrick C. Lannen – Banking

• Megan P. McKnight – Business Litigation

• Lauren B. McMillen – Insurance Coverage

• Courtney L. Nichols – Employment & Labor

• Olivia M. Paglia – Insurance Coverage

• Patrick E. Winters – Insurance Coverage

Detroit office:

• Joseph A. Campbell – Personal Injury Medical Malpractice: Defense

• Paul J. Dwaihy – Personal Injury Medical Malpractice: Defense

• Kimberly K. Seibert – Civil Litigation: Defense


Lipson, Neilson, Cole, Seltzer & Garin P.C.

Sandra D. Glazier has been selected by Trusts & Estates Magazine, the Journal for estate-planning professionals, to co-present with Thomas M. Dixon in a webinar titled “Confronting Undue Influence in Your Practice.” This free webinar will be Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m. To register, visit:

An attorney for more than 35 years, Glazier is known for her expertise and successful track record in probate litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, and family law matters. The cases she works on tend to be very complex and require technical as well as legal expertise. Glazier has represented contestants and proponents of estate planning documents, as well as fiduciaries, in significant trust litigation proceedings. An AV Preeminent® rated attorney, she has also been recognized by “Super Lawyers” in probate litigation and a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness, in the areas of probate, estate and family law.

Glazier has had numerous articles published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. In addition, she has presented on estate planning and probate litigation related topics for the American Bar Association, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, Michigan’s Institute of Continuing Education, Oakland County Bar Association, Wilmington Trust’s New York Trust Symposium, and the Bloomberg BNA Estate and Gift Tax Advisory Board. She has taught “Valuation for Federal, Estate and Gift Tax Purposes” in a Masters level course.

Glazier is a principal of Lipson, Neilson, Cole, Seltzer, & Garin PC and practices out of their Bloomfield Hills office.


Foster Swift

For the second consecutive year, Foster Swift added five new attorneys to its Southfield office. Joining the firm September 18 were Liam Healy, Matthew Fedor, Nicolas Camargo, Trevor Weston, and Robert Hamor.

Last year, Foster Swift moved its Farmington Hills office to Southfield in July. With these five new additions, Foster Swift has 28 total attorneys practicing in the Southfield office and is expanding to occupy the remainder of the fifth floor.
Healy will be joining Foster Swift from the Ferguson Widmayer PC firm in Ann Arbor. His areas of practice include:

• Employee Benefits

• Real Estate

• Taxation

Fedor, Camargo, Weston and Hamor join the firm from former Birmingham-based Fedor Camargo Weston PLC. Founded by Fedor in 2004, the firm focused on matters of:

• Trust & Estate Planning, Administration and Litigation as well as

• Business Planning


Demorest Law Firm, PLLC

Demorest Law Firm PLLC is pleased to announce that Charles P. Barnes has become Of Counsel to the firm.  Barnes brings with him a transactional legal practice in the areas of contract formation, review, and negotiation; corporate formation and governance; mergers, sales and acquisitions; due diligence review; real estate; capital acquisition; human resource; and employment.  Additionally, Barnes also practices in the area of finance, accounting and estate planning.

In addition to his experience as a lawyer, Barnes has had a diverse career of over 35 years in business involving investment and management of several entrepreneurial successes.  He has served in roles as vice president-sales, investment banker, chief financial officer, director of finance, HR & IT, and general counsel, in the wholesale distribution, automotive supply, manufacturing, restaurant franchises, staffing, trade associations, and commercial brokerage industries.

Barnes is a graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Walsh College.  He is also candidate for his Master of Science-Finance degree from Walsh College. Barnes has had many affiliations over the years, including as a former Board Member of the Tooling, Manufacturing & Technology Association, the American Heart Association, and the Michigan Cancer Foundation-Partners.

Demorest Law also announces that Melissa Demorest LeDuc has been named a 2017 Michigan Super Lawyer/Rising Star in the category of Business/Corporate Law.