Legal People

Foster Swift

Foster Swift attorneys Alexander A. Ayar, Julie I. Fershtman, Lisa J. Hamameh, Frank T. Mamat, and Jonathan H. Schwartz have been named to the 2018 Top Lawyers list by DBusiness magazine, Detroit’s premier business journal.

Ayar is listed as a Top Lawyer in the area of Commercial Litigation, concentrating his practice on complex litigation matters involving business, data privacy and cyber security, non-competes, real estate and entertainment. Ayar practices in the Southfield and Detroit offices of Foster Swift.

Fershtman is listed in the area of Insurance Law and practices in the areas of insurance defense, insurance coverage, commercial litigation, and equine law.  She has successfully represented insurers on coverage cases and matters around the country. Fershtman practices in the Southfield and Detroit offices of Foster Swift.

Hamameh is listed as a Top Lawyer in the category of Land Use and Zoning law. She compliments her practice in the following related areas: municipal law, representing cities, townships and villages; liquor licensing law, representing business owners; as well as condominium and homeowners’ association law. Hamameh practices in Foster Swift’s Southfield office.

Mamat is listed in the area of Labor and Employment Law. He is one of the nation’s preeminent labor law attorneys and focuses his practice on complex labor issues such as union matters and unfair labor practice litigation. Mamat practices in the Southfield and Detroit offices of Foster Swift.

Schwartz is listed as a Top Lawyer in the area of Commercial Litigation. His practice focuses on representing companies and individuals in business, complex commercial, employment, real estate and entertainment litigation matters. Schwartz practices in the Southfield and Detroit offices of Foster Swift.

This is the second year in a row that all five attorneys were listed as Top Lawyers.


Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that the firm received a score of 100 on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices relating to LGBTQ workplace quality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Dickinson Wright’s score reflects a commitment to LGBTQ workplace equality, with respect to tangible policies, benefits, and practices.

“We are pleased to have participated in the 2018 Corporate Equality Index and to achieve a perfect 100 this year,” said Harlan Robins, co-chair of Dickinson Wright’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. “This recognition reflects the firm’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture for all of our lawyers and employees. At Dickinson Wright, we understand that hiring and retaining a diverse workforce is a core component of the firm’s values and it is instrumental to providing our clients with the best legal service.”

The 2018 CEI rated a total of 1,043 businesses in the report, which evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBTQ community.

For more information on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit


Butzel Long

Butzel Long attorney Joshua J. Chinsky is one of only 30 attorneys in the state named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2017 Class of “Up & Coming Lawyers.” Chinsky will be honored during a luncheon on December 7 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

Based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office, Chinsky focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense and Aerospace and Defense industry matters.

Prior to joining Butzel Long, Chinsky served as corporate counsel and deputy director, studies and analyses, for a Washington, D.C. area consulting company. He also served in the United States Marine Corps as a judge advocate. While on active duty, Chinsky prosecuted contested jury trials and served as a legal advisor to commanders, servicemembers, and dependents. Chinsky continues to serve as a judge advocate in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Locally, Chinsky is active in his Ann Arbor synagogue, where he serves as treasurer and board member. He also is a member of the marketing committee of the Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor and an avid youth soccer coach. He mentors high school and college students interested in joining the armed forces and is a frequent guest speaker at Veterans Day and Community Service forums at elementary and high schools.

Chinsky is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law. He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Chinsky is admitted to practice in the states of Michigan and Georgia, and before United States Courts-Martial.


Michigan Court of Appeals

Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the appointment of Jonathan Tukel to the Michigan Court of Appeals, 2nd District.

Tukel has been an assistant United States attorney with the Department of Justice since 1990, most recently serving as chief of the National Security Unit supervising investigations and prosecutions with national security implications. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Tukel was an associate at Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, & Cohn focusing on issues related to antitrust, labor, employment discrimination and wrongful termination, and white collar criminal defense.

Tukel is a member of the Federalist Society and the Security Committee of the Jewish Welfare Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. He has been a panelist on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board since 1994 and a chair of the panel since 2000. He also teaches a criminal law-related course at the University of Michigan Law School.

In 2012, Tukel received both the Attorney General Award from the Department of Justice for “Excellence in Furthering the Interest in U.S. National Security” and the United States Attorney’s Award from the United States Attorney’s Office. He was also recognized by Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly as a Leader in the Law.

Tukel earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1982 and his law degree from University of Michigan Law School in 1988. He fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Henry Saad.

Tukel must seek election in November 2018 for a two-year term.


Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy, & Sadler PLC

Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy, & Sadler PLC has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® as a Tier 1 “Best Law Firm” in metro Detroit for 2018. Managing Member Ed Dawda made the announcement.
This is the ninth consecutive year that Dawda Mann has been named one of the “Best Law Firms” in metro Detroit. The firm has been recognized in the practice areas of Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law, Corporate Law, Environmental Law, Litigation—Environmental, Litigation—Real Estate, Real Estate Law, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law and Trusts & Estates Law.

“Recognition on the Best Law Firms list for 2018 is a special honor, and we are proud to be included for the ninth consecutive year,” said Dawda. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication our team puts in every day to build relationships with our clients and provide great results on their behalf.”


Law Firm of John F. Schaefer

DBusiness magazine has recognized John F. Schaefer, founder and managing partner of the Law Firm of John F. Schaefer, to its 2018 Top Lawyer list under the category of Family Law.

In addition, Schaefer held a seminar Nov. 13 titled “Gray Divorce and its Causes” at Macomb Community College as part of the college’s SOAR (Society of Active Retirees) Macomb initiative, a community-based lifelong learning series of non-credit courses on a variety of topics.

Schaefer, who has more than 40 years practicing family law, has been interviewed in the media on the rising divorce rates among seniors. 


McKeen & Associates PC

DBusiness magazine has recognized Brian McKeen, founder and managing partner of McKeen & Associates (, a medical malpractice and personal injury law firm based in Detroit, to its Top Lawyer list under the category of personal injury.


Bodman PLC

Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that Joseph L. Perera has joined the firm as a senior associate attorney in the Tax Practice Group in the firm’s Detroit office.

Perera represents corporate and individual clients during all stages of federal tax controversies including audits, IRS appeals, and Tax Court litigation. He provides clients with tax planning advice and strategy and has advised domestic and foreign clients on international tax issues and on compliance with Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act obligations. His practice also encompasses general corporate law including the drafting and negotiation of partnership agreements, limited liability company agreements, merger agreements, and asset purchase agreements.  

Before joining Bodman, Perera practiced for more than five years as a tax attorney with a business law firm in San Antonio, Texas, where he handled general tax matters for a variety of clients. While practicing in Texas, Perera served as an elected Council Member of the State Bar of Texas Tax Section and as a member of the Tax Section’s Pro Bono Committee.

He began his legal career as an attorney in the Tax Exempt & Government Entities Division of the Office of Chief Counsel at the United States Internal Revenue Service. He earned law degrees from Southern Methodist University School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center.

In addition, the journal Chambers High Net Worth (HNW), which evaluates legal and financial advisors worldwide, has ranked Bodman as one of Michigan’s top law firms for services to high net worth individuals and families and their closely held businesses.

In the newly released 2017 edition of Chambers HNW, Bodman is the only firm based in southeast Michigan – and one of only four law firms in the state – to be listed.

The publisher of Chambers HNW also recognized Bodman members David P. Larsen and Marguerite Munson Lentz as two of Michigan’s most highly rated lawyers for high net worth clients. Lentz was recently named chair elect of the State Bar of Michigan’s Probate and Estate Planning Section. Larsen is the senior member and former chair of Bodman’s High Net Worth Group.

The attorneys in Bodman’s High Net Worth Group provide comprehensive legal services to affluent individuals and families. The firm’s clients include some of Michigan’s most well-known families, as well as business owners, executives, athletes, and other professionals seeking to minimize the tax burden on their heirs, make significant charitable donations, or complete complex personal transactions.


Plunkett Cooney

For the 8th consecutive year, Plunkett Cooney has been ranked as one of the 2018 “Best Law Firms” in the nation by U.S. News and Best Lawyers®.

Four of the firm’s offices received tier-one ratings in multiple practice areas. Using a tiered rather than a ranked system, Plunkett Cooney was recognized locally in the following first-tier metropolitan categories:

Metro Detroit

• Appellate Practice

• Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

• Insurance Law

• Labor Law - Management

• Litigation - Construction

• Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants

• Workers’ Compensation Law - Employers


Secrest Wardle

Secrest Wardle is proud to announce that four of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the “2018 Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit” list by DBusiness magazine. All four attorneys recognized practice out of Secrest Wardle’s headquarters in Troy and include:

• Thomas J. Azoni is a senior partner at Secrest Wardle. He is a member of the firm’s Construction, General Negligence, Motor Vehicle Litigation, Premises Liability and Trucking/Commercial Vehicle Litigation Practice Groups. He serves as chair of the General Negligence Practice Group. Azoni has been listed in the Food and Beverage Law category.

• Derk W. Beckerleg is an executive partner and managing partner of Secrest Wardle’s Municipal Law Practice Group.  Beckerleg is also a member of the Governmental Litigation and Real Estate Practice Groups, of which he also serves as chair.  Beckerleg has been listed in the Land Use & Zoning and Municipal categories.

• Nathan J. Edmonds is a senior partner at Secrest Wardle. Edmonds is a member of the Firm’s Motor Vehicle Litigation, Premises Liability, and Property, Fire and Casualty Practice Groups. He is listed in the Construction Law category.

• Daniel P. Makarski is a senior partner and member of Secrest Wardle’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group.  Makarski serves as chair of the Group. He has been listed in the Arbitration category.


Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC

Howard & Howard has been named to the 2018 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” local list in the following areas:

Metropolitan Tier 1


• Commercial Litigation

• Energy Law

• Litigation – Intellectual Property

• Litigation – Patent

• Patent Law

• Trademark Law

Metropolitan Tier 2


• Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

• Labor Law - Management

• Trusts & Estates Law

Metropolitan Tier 3


• Corporate Law