Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

Dinsmore & Shohl LLP has welcomed four partners to its Mergers and Acquisitions group in the national firm’s Detroit office.

The team is led by Joseph DeVito, who served as chair of Corporate, Finance and Real Estate at Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC. Also joining Dinsmore in Detroit as M&A specialists are partners Jeffrey Hoover, Evonne Xu, and Ian Larkin.

Both DeVito and Hoover are previous winners of the Association for Corporate Growth Deal Maker of the Year, Xu is a 2021 Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Woman in Law, and Larkin won the 2020 Mike Ilitch School of Business Emerging Leader Award.

Together, the team represents both buyers and sellers in middle-market strategic transactions averaging $250 million apiece, and ranging anywhere from $50 million up to $1 billion. Their clients are diverse, including private equity firms, multinational corporations and companies in financial services, health care, cryptocurrency, defense, aerospace, hydroponics, industrial, automotive and more. They also specialize in financing and lending transactions on both corporate and real estate matters.

“Our M&A practice is diverse and requires all types of subject-matter specialists,” DeVito said. “Dinsmore’s national presence, depth and breadth—whether they’re attorneys in SEC, IP, ERISA or executive compensation work—give our clients exactly what they need at a beneficial Midwest cost structure. As a group, we’ve always focused on providing the highest level of service to our clients, and joining Dinsmore’s national platform will only improve upon that.”

With the additions, Dinsmore now has 31 attorneys in Southeast Michigan (Detroit and Ann Arbor) and has grown by nearly 50 percent in Chicago over the last 12 months. Dinsmore’s Midwest growth comes just days after the firm’s Denver office more than doubled in headcount with the addition of a construction litigation group from Hall & Evans LLC. DeVito said he’d like to help build the Detroit office to 50-75 attorneys, and Denver founding partner Erich Kennedy said he is aiming to double headcount again and expand office space in the coming years.


Michigan Civil Rights Commission

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission recently voted unanimously to appoint attorney John E. Johnson Jr. as permanent executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The Commission appointed Johnson interim executive director at its May 24 meeting.

At a special meeting held on June 28, the Personnel Committee recommended revisiting Johnson’s appointment at the Commission’s regular July 26 meeting.  The Committee recommended that the Commission appoint Johnson permanent executive director of the department.

Prior to his appointment as interim executive director, Johnson served as the department’s legislative liaison and special advisor to the Commission. Johnson began his duties as interim director on Tuesday, June 2, 2021.

The decision to name an interim director was precipitated by the announcement on May 17 that MDCR Executive Director James E. White had accepted the position of interim chief of the Detroit Police Department.

Before he was hired by MDCR, Johnson served as executive director of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, a position he held for seven years. Prior to his position with the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, he held several leadership positions, including corporation counsel for the City of Detroit, general counsel to the Detroit NAACP, deputy executive director of Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services, and hearing officer for the Michigan Tax Tribunal. He also is a former management consultant with Legal Services Corporation of Washington, D.C. and previous owner of a private law practice.

Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University and a law degree from Valparaiso University. He has been a member of the State Bar of Michigan for more than 41 years and has been involved with the Detroit NAACP since 1992.

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.


Butzel Long

Bushra Malik, Butzel Long attorney, shareholder and outgoing Michigan Chapter chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), is celebrating the Chapter receiving the AILA Platinum Level Award under her leadership. It is the highest award given to a chapter by the professional organization. The AILA award program recognizes AILA chapters for their dedication, outstanding efforts, and achievements throughout the year.

Malik also was a featured speaker during the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Virtual Annual Conference on June 10. She was a discussion leader in a panel program titled, “NAFTA/USMCA: The Current State of Play at the Southern and Northern Borders.” Panelists discussed how to navigate the policies of our neighboring countries that further complicate options for border crossings.

Malik currently serves on the AILA Department of State National Liaison Committee.

Malik’s other AILA leadership roles have included serving as chair of the Global Migration Section. Malik also previously served on the AILA Customs and Border Protection National Liaison Committee; was the program chair of the 2015 AILA Global Immigration Forum; and has presented at numerous AILA National, AILA GMS and AILA Rome District conferences. She also previously served as the chair of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Liaison Committee for the Michigan Chapter of AILA.

She practices in the area of immigration law, focusing on the representation of multinational and domestic clients’ inbound and global migration needs. Her experience includes Employment based (Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher, Multinational Manager, and PERMs) and Family based Permanent Residence Petitions, Non-Immigrant Petitions (H-1B/Specialty Occupation, J-1/ Exchange Visitor, L-1/Intracompany Transfers, O-1/Extraordinary Ability, TN/ NAFTA); Employer Compliance (I-9 Audits and H-1B Public Access File Audits); J-1 waivers; Compliance under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiate (WHTI); U.S. Passports; complex naturalization matters; and currency seizures.


Dalton & Tomich PLC

Daniel Dalton, co-founder of Detroit-headquartered law firm Dalton & Tomich PLC, has been named a Michigan “Go-To” Lawyer for Real Estate by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.  Dalton was noted on a list of 20 real estate lawyers from across the state.
Dalton is a national leader in religious property law and guides religious leaders and congregations with his expertise. With an understanding of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), he handles the business side of religious property for all faiths to protect the religious organization’s right to use its property within the parameters of its spiritual mission.

Since 2004, Dalton has worked with churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and almost all types of religious assembly use throughout the country to secure site plan approval or litigate claims in federal courts.  Starting with a case of a very small church against the City of Southfield,  Dalton has successfully represented all types of religious uses and schools in trial and on appeal across the United States. He also works with churches who wish to leave their denominations and keep their property.

Dalton started his career representing local governments in land use and zoning disputes. From there, he focused his attention on developers and commercial real estate, particularly land use and zoning, an area where he continues to practice.
The “Go-To” Lawyer distinction is one of several that Dalton has earned in his career, including recognition by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Leader in the Law, Michigan Super Lawyers, and DBusiness Top Lawyers.

Dalton is also the author of the award-winning “Litigating Religious Land Use Cases,” (published by the American Bar Association, August 2014; second edition, 2016). His book, “Religious Property Disputes and the Law: House of God. Laws of Man,” is slated for publication by the American Bar Association this summer. Dalton is also the author of the 2020 eBook about protocols for the United Methodist Church separation titled, “What the Proposed UMC Separation Means for Your Church, and Navigating the United Methodist Church Trust Clause” (self-published e-book, August 2017).

Dalton earned a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Western Michigan University.



Bodman is pleased to announce that Gregory J. Gamalski, a member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group, has been appointed to a one-year term as chair of the State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section Council.

The position of chair is another in a series of leadership roles for Gamalski, who previously served as vice chair and as treasurer of the Real Property Law Section Council.

With more than 3,500 members, the Real Property Law Section is one of the largest groups within the State Bar of Michigan. The section provides education and information on real property law issues through seminars, publications, and networking events, as well as advocacy in the Legislature and in precedential cases involving real property law.

Gamalski counsels individuals and public and private businesses on real estate matters involving zoning, land use, acquisition, disposition, development, financing, and property tax issues. He also represents corporate clients in a variety of general business transactions.

He is a frequent speaker on real estate topics on behalf of the State Bar of Michigan and the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He is the author of multiple articles published in Michigan Real Property Review, most recently “The ABCs of CBD and Hemp: A Primer,” which appeared in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue.

Gamalski is listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2021 under Real Estate Law. He was selected as a “Top Lawyer” for Real Estate Law by DBusiness magazine for ten consecutive years. He is also a member and past chair of the Oakland County Bar Association’s Real Estate Committee and a past chair of the University of Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association.

Bodman is also pleased to announce that Sarah L. Cylkowski, Nathan D. Dupes, and Thomas J. Rheaume Jr., all members of the firm’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group, have been named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 “40 & Under Hot List.”

Cylkowski, of Bodman’s Detroit office, litigates complex matters in state and federal courts, with a particular focus on commercial health care disputes, class actions, e-discovery and antitrust cases. Her clients include insurance companies, banks, automotive manufacturers and various other corporate commercial litigants.  She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Detroit Bar Association Foundation and is a past recipient of the Detroit Bar Association Barristers Pro Bono Award.  She is the vice chair of Bodman’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute resolution Practice Group.

Dupes, of Bodman’s Detroit office, represents clients in complex commercial and environmental litigation and counsels clients on a wide variety of environmental matters, including permitting, regulatory compliance, and environmental risk in real estate transactions. He is a former assistant city attorney for the City of Grosse Pointe Park. Dupes serves as an executive board member of the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter and as vice president and treasurer of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. He is the co-chair or Bodman’s Environmental Practice Group.

Rheaume, of Bodman’s Detroit office, practices complex commercial and insurance litigation. He represents clients in all stages of litigation and focuses on antitrust cases, class actions, and constitutional litigation.  He also is a leader in the firm’s appellate practice.  He serves as local counsel for national and international law firms. He is president of the Michigan Chapter of the Federalist Society and is a member of the Detroit Economic Club’s Young Leader Board. He is the co-chair of Bodman’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group.


Miller Canfield

Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that Aaron Schwaderer has rejoined the law firm’s Financial Institutions and Transactions Group.

Schwaderer’s practice focuses on representing financial institutions in connection with commercial loan transactions, asset-based lending and all aspects of secured and unsecured lending, and all aspects of aircraft financing, including registrations with the Federal Aviation Administration and International Registry. He has experience drafting and negotiating loan agreements, including syndicated credit facilities, intercreditor agreements, and negotiating personal property and real estate collateral documents.

Schwaderer was an associate at Miller Canfield from 2012 to 2015 and was most recently a senior staff counsel in the Office of the General Counsel—Corporate Affairs Group for FCA US.

He is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School. Prior to attending law school, he served in the United States Navy as a flight instructor in Helicopter Training Squadron 18 in Whiting Field, Florida, and a fleet aviator in Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 5 in Guam.


Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Aaron Burrell (member, Detroit) has been named a “40 Under 40” honoree by the National Bar Association.

“I’m honored to be a part of the National Bar Association’s exemplary 2021 Class of 40 Under 40,” says Burrell.

Burrell serves as co-chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. He serves on the board of directors of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and Oakland County Bar Association. He has served in leadership positions in numerous organizations including the State Bar of Michigan, the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association, and the National Bar Association.

Burrell is recognized by numerous publications as a leader in his field including Diversity MBA Magazine, Profiles in Diversity Journal, Crain’s Detroit Business, Michigan Lawyers Weekly and Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars.


Plunkett Cooney

Senior attorney Heather D. Cholagh and associate attorney Chelsea B. Gallagher recently joined the Transportation Law Practice Group of Plunkett Cooney.

A member of the firm’s Detroit office, Cholagh focuses her practice primarily on insurance litigation involving first-party and third-party motor vehicle negligence claims. Prior to joining the firm, she worked as in-house counsel for the nation’s largest publicly-held personal lines insurer. Cholagh also has expertise in the areas of premises liability, property claims, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law litigation, real estate litigation, title disputes and general negligence matters.

A member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Oakland County and Chaldean American Bar associations, Cholagh received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 2002. She received her undergraduate degree in 1999 from Oakland University.

Gallagher, who is a member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, focuses her litigation practice in the areas of first-party No-Fault and third-party motor vehicle negligence. She also has experience handling insurance-related claims involving premises liability, coverage and general negligence.

As a former associate attorney for one of the largest AAA clubs in the nation, Gallagher has worked closely with claims professionals and third-party clients to resolve automobile negligence claims.

Licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts in Michigan, Gallagher received her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2016 and her undergraduate degree from the Michigan State University in 2011. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan.


Nemeth Law PC

Detroit-based management-side labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law PC is pleased to announce that four firm attorneys have been recognized as Leading Lawyers in 2021.

The following Nemeth Law partners have been named Leading Lawyers in their legal category of distinction: Deborah Brouwer in employment management, Terry Bonnette in employment management and labor management, and Susan Koval in employment management.

Patricia Nemeth, Of Counsel and founder of the firm, has been selected in the areas of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), employment management, and labor management.  She is also a member of the Leading Lawyers Advisory Board.