Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook

St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center (SVSF) has named John Paul Hessburg as its Volunteer of the Year. Hessburg will be honored at SVSF's Celebrate the Center event on April 10 at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Every year, SVSF picks a special volunteer to honor at this breakfast event. This year marks the center's 175th anniversary.

Hessburg is a lawyer with Kitch, Drutchas, Wagner, Valitutti & Sherbrook, and provides pro bono legal support to SVSF when needed. He also acts as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Corporate Board, and has volunteered on a couple of physical plant initiatives with his wife and sons.

Although he's been volunteering with SVSF since 2007, his connection to the center runs even deeper than that. His parents introduced him to SVSF as a young child, and his aunt, Sister Marie Judith, worked there for many years.

"Initially I became a volunteer for the center because it was (and still is) an organization that is very important to my aunt," said Hessburg. "Over the years the center's mission has become very important to me as well."

This connection to SVSF's roots makes Hessburg the perfect Volunteer of the Year for the 175th anniversary. "I think it is important to never forget how the center got to where it is today," said Hessburg, going on to thank the Daughters of Charity who founded the Center in 1844.

Hessburg notes that SVSF's staff is one of the reasons he continues to volunteer today. "Their selfless devotion to the people they have the privilege to serve is inspiring," he says. SVSF's staff will be honored at Celebrate the Center, along with the students


Howard & Howard

Royal Oak-based law firm Howard & Howard is pleased to announce that Eric S. Esshaki and Timothy D. Lee have joined the firm. They will both practice out of the firm's Royal Oak office.

Esshaki concentrates his practice in all aspects of litigation including securities litigation, white collar and regulatory defense, employment, investigations, and shareholder disputes.

He received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 2016 and his B.I.S. from Oakland University in 2012. He also received his associates in applied science/nursing from Oakland Community College in 2010 and previously worked as a registered nurse. Esshaki returns to Michigan after practicing law at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, & Garrison in New York City. He is licensed to practice in New York and sat for the Michigan bar examination in February.

Lee's practice focuses on representing borrowers and lenders in a variety of secured and unsecured commercial financing transactions including syndicated and single-lender transactions, asset-based and commercial real estate loans, and cross-border, mezzanine and acquisition financings. In addition, he provides guidance to clients seeking to navigate the complex regulatory environment of the financial services industry.

Lee graduated from Michigan State University College of Law. He also received his B.A. from The College of Wooster in 2009. Prior to attending law school, Lee worked in numerous legislative capacities within Michigan's state government, ending his tenure as legislative director for the chairman of House Banking and Financial Services Committee where he was named 2011 Legislative Staff Person of the Year by the Michigan Credit Union League and Affiliates. He is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan and before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.


Secrest Wardle

Secrest Wardle Executive Partner Shelly Lee Griffin, of the firm's Troy location, appears as the featured panelist on A.M. Best Company's latest podcast discussing "Water Claims Could Become the New Arson" with John Czuba, managing editor of Best's Recommended Insurance Attorneys. The podcast addresses fraudulent water claims, how they are being committed, and what adjusters and special investigators should look for when investigating claims. To listen to the podcast, visit The podcast is also available on Legal Talk Network at http://bit. ly/2TFh7qE.

Griffin has specialized in insurance defense litigation with an emphasis on fraud investigations for more than 20 years. She has successfully tried and won numerous jury trials in state and federal courts, as well as, handled appeals including drafting appellate briefs and arguing before the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on insurance matters.

Her areas of expertise include first and third-party property insurance matters and coverage disputes. She specializes in assisting insurers in investigating fire, water, and theft claims suspected of fraud and defending insurers in subsequent litigation. She also handles multi-party complex, large loss litigation, gas explosion losses and subrogation.

Griffin strives to develop greater awareness of the issue of insurance fraud, locally and nationally, through her acclaimed presentations. She educates claims representatives and insurance adjusters on the latest concerns challenging insurance fraud investigators and arms them with methods to detect duplicitous activity.


Butzel Long

Geoffrey S. Gallinger, attorney and shareholder at Butzel Long, has been elected to a one-year term as president and member of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Athletic Club.

Most recently, Gallinger served as first vice-president and an officer of the DAC Board of Directors. As a member of the DAC Board of Directors over the past five years, he also has served as corporate secretary and served on numerous DAC committees, including Executive (chair), House (chair), Strategic Planning (chair) and Community Outreach, as well as the DAC Foundation Board.

Gallinger's practice includes counseling clients regarding general business and corporate transactional, finance and planning needs, including all forms of real estate transactions and developments, acquisitions, leasing, financing and condominiums.

He has experience in mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures, shareholder matters and general business transactions. His areas of specialty are corporate and business transactions, real estate transactions, development and financing, troubled asset and work-out restructuring and financing.

Gallinger graduated from Michigan State University College of Law (1987) and Michigan State University (1984).


Western Michigan University Cooley Law School

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Professor Lauren Rousseau was one of the featured presenters during the March 26 symposium "Breaking the Cycle: Solutions to End the Opioid Crisis" held at WMU-Cooley's Auburn Hills campus.

During her presentation, Rousseau spoke abut the role of families and community in solving the addiction crisis, and the need for better oversight of insurer compliance with parity laws, which require health insurance coverage for those suffering from addiction.

"Federal parity laws require most insurance plans to cover chronic mental health conditions such as addiction to the same extent that they provide coverage for other chronic disease like diabetes or cancer" said Rousseau. "We know there's a lot of noncompliance with these laws."

Rousseau also discussed the need for addiction treatment in jails, as well as the need for state regulation of recovery housing.

"Recovery residences are homes for people in early recovery from addiction that provide structure, accountability, and recovery focus," Rousseau said. "They are an essential part of the treatment continuum, but are virtually unregulated by the state, which creates a situation ripe for abuse." Rousseau emphasized that the state should require recovery homes to be licensed or certified in order to ensure minimum quality and ethical standards.

Rousseau has spoken and written extensively about addiction and the opioid epidemic, and was honored as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly's Women in the Law in 2016, recognizing her work in addiction treatment, education, and advocacy. Rousseau, president of the Northwest Wayne Chapter of Families Against Narcotics, is also a founder of Unite to Face Addiction-Michigan, a community group dedicated to increasing awareness of addiction as a mental health issue, eliminating stigma, and advocating for change.

Published: Mon, Apr 08, 2019