Legal People

Miller Canfield

Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that Julianne Cassin Sharp has joined the firm as a principal attorney and will lead the firm’s Immigration practice. The announcement was made by CEO Michael McGee.

Bilingual in Spanish and English, Sharp has 17 years of experience representing companies and individuals in all aspects of immigration and nationality law. Her areas of expertise include, but are not limited to immigrant petitions, nonimmigrant petitions, foreign labor certification, adjustment of status applications, waivers, naturalization, consular processing, and advising companies on corporate compliance audits and risk assessment. She is also a member of and a frequent speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sharp will work in Miller Canfield’s Detroit office, where the global firm of more than 220 attorneys is headquartered. Sharp earned her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She is a graduate of the Carl and Winifred Lee Honors College of Western Michigan University and studied abroad at La Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro in Quéretaro, Mexico. She has been recognized repeatedly by U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Lawyers in America” and DBusiness’ “Top Lawyers.”

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Butzel Long

Butzel Long attorney Raul Rangel was featured during a professional development program presented by the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) Michigan Chapter on May 31 at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Rangel served on a panel along with Fernando Gonzalez Saiffe, head consul of Mexico in Detroit. The moderator was Angel Habib Ramirez, ProMexico’s director in Michigan.
The topic for the program was “NAFTA and the Economic Effects and Benefits.”

Rangel, a Mexican corporate attorney, specializes in the areas of business law, mergers and acquisitions, international trade, investment and commerce, business-government relations, technology services, real estate development, and financial services.

He works closely with other Butzel attorneys to represent organizations doing business in Mexico and the United States in a broad range of industries.

Prior to joining Butzel Long, Rangel co-led the promotion and formation of a private equity fund for renewable energy projects in Latin America at a financial advisory services firm.

In Mexico, Rangel served as the lead counsel for international affairs for Neoris, a CEMEX subsidiary and one of the largest IT consulting firms in Latin America. He also worked at a boutique law firm in Monterrey, Mexico, where he advised clients on a broad spectrum of matters pertaining to corporate law and US-Mexico transactions.

He also is a co-founder of RG Nexus, a professional legal and tax advisory services firm based in Monterrey, Mexico.

Rangel’s native language is Spanish, and he is proficient in English. He also has been certified as a legal Spanish-English translator by Nuevo Leon’s State Supreme Court.

Rangel is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law and of the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He earned a certificate in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management and has attended Harvard University and the London School of Economics.

In addition, Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Jennifer Dukarski served as a moderator recently for the Workshop on Autonomous Vehicles in Society: Building a Research Agenda, co-sponsored by the Michigan State University Center for Business and Social Analytics, in cooperation with the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and the School of Planning, Design and Construction.

Dukarski focuses her practice at the intersection of technology and communications with an emphasis on emerging and disruptive issues: digital media, cybersecurity, infotainment, vehicle safety and connected and autonomous cars.

In her practice, she has negotiated contracts for autonomous vehicle components, reviewed contracts involving wireless updates to in-vehicle technology, assisted companies in achieving successful Petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance with NHTSA and has addressed multiple vehicle component recalls. Dukarski has become a national leader in legal issues facing emerging automotive technology and is the leader of Butzel Long’s connected car working group.  She also has spearheaded the reporting efforts for two national data breaches and focuses on the threat vectors facing automotive component design.

A self-titled “recovering engineer,” Dukarski serves as counsel to the OESA’s Product Development Council and has spoken on First Amendment issues ranging from newsgathering in the digital age to the impact of the FBI iPhone strategy.  She has been a panelist at the North American International Auto Show for the last two years, covering a broad variety of legal concerns focused on the autonomous and connected car.  She has appeared on several television programs, including Autoline and AutoBeat, and in many print interviews (including CIO Magazine, PC World, Bridge Magazine, Computer World and Automotive News) discussing automotive technology and its related legal issues.

Prior to joining Butzel, she gained automotive manufacturing and design experience as a result of high-level quality management and engineering positions.  She has worked extensively on successful automotive product launches, managing vendors and Tier One manufacturing facilities.  A Six Sigma Master Black Belt, she applies her experience to create innovative approaches to the protection of IP assets and disruptive technology. 

Dukarski has experience with field recalls and was a representative to the University of Michigan’s CIREN (Crash Injury Research & Engineering Network) and UMPIRE (University of Michigan Program for Injury Research and Education).  Working as a design engineer, she received multiple Record of Invention Awards for contributions to patents and trade secrets. 

Dukarski has attained the distinction of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Senior member status, the highest grade for which IEEE members can apply.
Further, she was named a “2016 Honoree for Michigan Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. She also is among Michigan Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” and DBusiness “Top Lawyers.”  She is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  She is the IEEE Southeastern Michigan Vehicle Technology Society treasurer and serves as a Working Group member with IEEE PAR 1912 (Privacy and Security Architecture for Consumer Wireless Devices) which is focused on setting standards for privacy and security protocols.  She also coaches and mentors’ women engineers.

At the same time, she is a co-chair of the Women in Communication Law committee of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Forum on Communications Law and serves on the Forum’s Governing Committee. Moreover, Dukarski is an adjunct professor in the Paralegal Program, teaching Intellectual Property at Baker College. 

She is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She’s also a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy College of Engineering and Science.

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Varnum LLP

Anthony Akins has joined the Varnum law firm. He will be based in the firm’s Novi office.

Akins, who has more than ten years’ experience in the corporate finance industry,  served as a summer associate at Varnum in 2017. He is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Wayne State University.

In his earlier career and throughout law school, Akins worked as a syndicated loan administrator in the corporate finance division of a national financial services company. His background in finance included coordinating the closing of multi-million dollar syndicated loan facilities and the administration of loan facilities with aggregate value exceeding $4 billion.

As part of Varnum’s free agent program for new attorneys, Akins will work in a variety of areas before committing to a specific area of law.

In addition, Varnum attorney Brett Rendeiro has been elected chair of the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan.

Rendeiro, a litigator in Varnum’s Novi office, has served on the board of CLF since 2009. Among other things, he was instrumental in helping CLF open their first office outside the Detroit area, with the opening of the Grand Rapids office in 2013.

The mission of CLF is to provide and promote compassionate, personalized support to adults and children affected by leukemia, lymphoma and other blood related disorders.
CLF is a statewide organization that provides disease and treatment education, social work, focused emotional support and financial assistance to both adult and child patients and their families. CLF supports more than 3,400 patients in Michigan every year.

Rendeiro is an experienced trial lawyer with experience in complex commercial and employment disputes, including trade secrets, non-compete agreements, and shareholder disputes.

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Levine Benjamin Law Firm

In honor of Memorial Day and those who served, particularly those that are now homeless, attorney Joseph E. Houle, a managing partner of Levine Benjamin Law Firm, and the firm are providing bedding to twenty local veterans, helping them get back on their feet.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, approximately 39,471 veterans are homeless on any given night. The Levine Benjamin Law Firm donations will be given to Volunteers of America Michigan. “These veterans gave up a significant part of their life to serve their country,” said Houle.

Volunteers of America Michigan, the largest private provider to veterans throughout the state, offers transitional housing to veterans. Bedding donations help Volunteers of America Michigan as they provide the veterans bedding when they arrive and then give them their bedding when they depart. Furthermore, veterans are in need of transportation, so bicycles are a big need and hard to come by.

“We have always represented veterans and we wanted to give back,” added attorney Gary W. Bimberg.

Houle and Bimberg practice Social Security Disability Law exclusively. In addition to Social Security Disability Law, attorneys at the Levine Benjamin Law Firm in Southfield focus on workers’ comp, personal injury, long-term disability, and Medicare health plans.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC

Each year, The American Lawyer releases a ranking of the 200 largest law firms in the U.S. known as the Am Law 200. This year, Dickinson Wright’s growth led to an increase in the firm’s Am Law 200 ranking from #142 to #131. This 11 spot leap up the rankings ties Dickinson Wright PLLC for the fourth fastest growing firm in the Am Law 200, according to The American Lawyer. Dickinson Wright was also recognized as the top-ranked firm in the survey’s second hundred listing when comparing revenue growth to cost containment over the past five years.

“We are pleased to receive this recognition for our combined growth and efficiency, particularly because it reflects our steadfast commitment to provide value to our clients,” said William T. Burgess, CEO of Dickinson Wright. “We work diligently to identify the lawyers, practice areas and locations to deliver the highest-quality and cost-effective professional services that our clients rightfully expect from us.”

Below are some of the highlights from Dickinson Wright’s Am Law 200 ranking:

• Dickinson Wright was the top-ranked second hundred firm measured by five-year growth versus cost containment.

• Dickinson Wright moved up to #131 from #142 – an increase of 11 spots.

• Dickinson Wright is tied for the fourth-fastest growing firm among the Am Law 200.

• In the last five years, Dickinson Wright has experienced a 12% average annual revenue growth rate.

 

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