Legal People (Feb. 22)

Southfield-based Maddin, Hauser, Wartell, Roth, & Heller PC is pleased to announce that George V. Cassar Jr., shareholder, has been named to the Board of Directors of Don Bosco Hall.

Don Bosco Hall ( is a Detroit-based, non-profit agency that provides supportive human services to enhance the quality of life for youth and their families residing in the metropolitan Detroit-Wayne County community.

"It was important for me to not only be on the Board of Directors of an organization that serves such a vital service to the youth of the metropolitan community, but to join an organization that I could relate to and one I felt I could really make a difference in," said Cassar, "Don Bosco Hall is committed to improving the lives of children and families that, without the help of the organization, may have never had the chance to improve their lives in such a remarkable way. I personally know the importance of having community support and the value of a solid education as a kid, especially when finances are scarce and your dreams seem all but impossible."

In his position he will be involved with the organization's social media initiatives and in gathering financial and non-financial support for Don Bosco Hall and the many activities it supports.

Cassar focuses his practice in the areas of estate and business succession planning, taxation and probate.

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Henry S. Gornbein, Danielle A. Smith, and Alisa A. Peskin-Shepherd are pleased to announce the severance of their former law firm of Gornbein Smith Peskin-Shepherd PLLC. These attorneys will now be doing business as three separate entities: Henry S. Gornbein and Mary Anne Noonan practicing law under the name of The Law Office of Henry S. Gornbein PLLC, Danielle A. Smith, practicing law under the name of Danielle A. Smith PLLC - Michigan Divorce Options, and Alisa A. Peskin-Sheherd practicing law under the name of Law Office of Alisa A. Peskin-Shepherd PLLC.

The attorneys made this decision in order to promote the practice of Collaborative Divorce and Mediation. Collaborative Divorce is a team approach to divorce where the parties with their attorneys, and mental health and financial professionals, depending on the circumstances, work together to reach a settlement without going to court.

The Collaborative approach minimizes conflict by encouraging cooperative problem solving and positive communication to reach a settlement agreeable to both parties.

As separate entities, the former partners can work with each other in Collaborative Practice and on Mediation cases. The three separate entities will continue to operate their website together:

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Michael G. Cruse, a partner with Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP, has been recognized by "Michigan Lawyers Weekly" as one of its 2010 Leaders in the Law.

Cruse, who concentrates his practices in business reorganization and bankruptcy law, was honored for his work in helping automotive suppliers navigate their way through the turmoil created by the Chapter 11 filings of automakers and their Tier One suppliers during 2009. He will be recognized at a special reception in Troy in mid-March.

Cruse is member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, and Oakland County Bar association. He is also a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Detroit Economic Club. He is recognized in "The Best Lawyers in America."

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William D. Adams has been named partner at Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, Weiss PC. Jaffe CEO Richard Zussman made the announcement.

Adams is a member of the firm's Litigation Practice Group. He primarily supports the firm's Aviation Practice Group, specializing in aircraft-related litigation both in Michigan and nationwide.

He is a 1991 graduate of the University of Michigan and a 1995 graduate of Wayne State University Law School.

In addition, David W. Williams, a partner with Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC, was recently honored by the Oakland County CARE House as an Unsung Hero. Jaffe CEO Richard Zussman made the announcement.

Williams, who was presented with the Unsung Hero Award at an event recently held at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, was honored for both his pro bono legal work as well as his many other volunteer activities within the organization. The CARE House is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse.

A member of the firm's Litigation Practice Group and a former Oakland County assistant prosecuting attorney, Williams is a 1991 graduate of Duke University and a 1996 graduate of Wayne State University Law School.

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Cheryl A. Bush of Bush, Seyferth, & Paige PLLC (BSP), a national litigation firm in Troy, was selected as one of the 2010 Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law.

Defending Fortune 500 companies for more than 25 years, throughout 30 states, BSP co-founder Bush's success rate in product liability and commercial litigation cases has garnered recognition and admittance in such esteemed associations as the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers.

In 2009, Bush led the firm's diversification efforts by gaining accreditation in the National Association of Minority and Women Law Firms (NAMWOLF), one of only four firms in Michigan. Bush also is a frequent lecturer for the Institute of Continued Legal Education (ICLE) and volunteers with Cornerstone Schools.

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The Wayne State University Law School Career Services Office is pleased to welcome Kathy Fox as the new director of Employer Development. In this capacity, Fox will work to develop and execute a plan to create new employment opportunities for Wayne Law students and alumni.

Fox is charged with conducting employer visits, consulting and advising employers on more effective recruiting efforts, analyzing law firm hiring practices, and advertising the Law School's recruitment programs to employers both inside the state of Michigan and throughout the nation. She will also be available to meet with students for advising appointments and drop-ins.

Fox brings to Wayne Law experience in the law school career services area, with eight years of experience handling employer development. Prior to her work in career services, Fox practiced law and worked as a judicial law clerk.

"I'm delighted to join the Wayne Law community," Fox said. "Wayne Law has an excellent reputation in the legal community. I look forward to developing new career strategies that will benefit students, alumni and employers for years to come."

Fox is a graduate of Hamline University School of Law and also has an MBA from The University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business.

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP, a global immigration law firm has named Christian Allen as a senior attorney in its Troy office. The announcement was made by firm partner and managing attorney Scott Cooper.

Prior to joining Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, Allen most recently served as managing attorney at Ellis Porter PLC in Troy. He has more than seventeen years experience working on corporate and individual immigration matters.

Allen is admitted to the State Bar of Michigan and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and served as the Department of Labor Liaison for the Michigan AILA Chapter, as well as chapter treasurer.

Additionally, Allen has served as a member of the State Bar of Michigan International Law Committee and the Oakland County Bar Association Immigration Law Committee. He is an adjunct professor at Oakland University, teaching Immigration Law. He has been recognized in "Best Lawyers in America" and "Super Lawyers.

Allen earned his bachelor's degree from University of Detroit Mercy and his law degree from Tulane University Law School in International Law.

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Pamela F. Davis, Court Services manager of the Oakland County Circuit Court, was presented with "The President's Award" at the Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals (MADCP) 11th Annual Conference. The award was presented by Grand Traverse 86th District Court Judge Michael Haley, MADCP president, in recognition of the outstanding leadership and exceptional service Davis has contributed to drug courts and particularly the MADCP. More than 500 were in attendance at the conference held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing on Feb. 2-3.

Davis is on the MADCP Board of Directors and serves as the treasurer. She is also the chairperson of two of the MADCP committees: the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee.

Davis started with the Oakland County Circuit Court in 2004. She is a registered social worker who has worked as a family and substance abuse therapist. She worked for six years for the Michigan Department of Corrections as a probation agent and acting supervisor in metropolitan Detroit. She spent a year at the Detroit Axle Plant as a line supervisor for Daimler-Chrysler prior to joining the Wayne County Circuit Court in 2002.

Davis currently manages both the juvenile and adult treatment courts in Oakland County Circuit Court. She oversees all court services including the Youth Assistance Program, juvenile probation department and the court's Psychological Clinic. She is involved in the daily operations of the courts providing advise, counsel, and support to all of the drug court staff.

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Colleen O'Brien, judge for the women's Adult Treatment Court, praised Davis for her organizational and management skills and noted that her coordination and consolidation of the treatment courts was outstanding and that even more recently she coordinated for the courts to obtain a mental health component to the therapeutic drug treatment program.

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The law firm of Miller Canfield has elected Thomas W. Cranmer, Douglas M. Kilbourne and John D. Leslie to serve two-year terms as managing directors, effective January 1, 2010. They are part of a five-person management administration that works with the CEO to oversee the firm's offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Poland and China.

Cranmer (Troy office) concentrates his practice in both civil and criminal litigation. With more than 30 years of courtroom experience, his practice focuses largely on white-collar criminal defense, complex commercial litigation and arbitration/facilitation matters. Over the years, he has repeatedly been recognized as one of Michigan's leading trial lawyers. He served as president of the State Bar of Michigan from 2005-2006.

Cranmer is deputy chief of Miller Canfield's Litigation and Trial Group, as well as the leader of the Criminal Defense Group. Prior to joining the firm, he served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Oakland County and an assistant chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Cranmer earned his law degree from Ohio Northern University and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Kilbourne (Detroit office) has more than 30 years of experience in representing banks and commercial businesses in a broad range of loan transactions and commercial, real estate and corporate transactions, as well as regulatory and compliance matters. He has handled general commercial and industrial credit and leasing facilities along with specialized financing transactions in the healthcare, real estate and technology sectors.

Leslie (Windsor, Ontario office) represents debtors, financial institutions, receivers, trustees, customers, suppliers and other creditors and stakeholders in major insolvency and restructuring proceedings. As leader of Miller Canfield's Canadian practice, he focuses on counseling inbound Canadian investment and businesses seeking to establish operations in Canada.

Leslie earned his law degree from the University of Windsor School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Windsor.

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Attorneys Patricia Nemeth and Linda Burwell, founding partners of Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell PC, are pleased to announce that Susan D. Koval and Deborah Brouwer have been named partners in the firm. They had been senior attorneys.

Brouwer joined Nemeth Burwell in 2005. Prior to joining the firm, she served as in-house counsel for the UAW Legal Services Plans, an employee benefit plan funded by the automobile companies in order to provide prepaid legal services to eligible auto workers. In that capacity, she defended claims of employment discrimination, legal malpractice and ERISA violation, as well as disputes involving alleged breaches of collective bargaining agreements.

Brouwer has experience in employment litigation and arbitration as well as ERISA compliance and litigation. Additionally, she has an appellate practice, handling appeals for a variety of employment cases. Brouwer is admitted to Michigan state courts, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Fifth, and Sixth Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.

Brouwer earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1973; in 1975, she earned a Master of Arts, also from the University of Michigan. Brouwer earned her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1980.

Prior to joining Nemeth Burwell in February 2009, Koval had been a principal at another Detroit-based labor and employment law firm. She focuses her practice on employment litigation and arbitration and has extensive experience counseling private and public employers in employment and labor relations matters. Koval defends employers against claims such as wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, FMLA and wage and hour claims, and class action lawsuits before federal and state courts and administrative agencies.

Koval served as a special facilitator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission mediation program and has been a presenter and guest lecturer for numerous employers and organizations on a variety of topics, including employment law, personnel records, and tort law for educators.

Koval is admitted to practice in Michigan and West Virginia, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fourth and Sixth Circuits, and the United States District Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, the Northern District of Ohio, and the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Litigation Section and Law Practice Management Section; the State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Section and Litigation Section; the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter; and the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel.

Koval earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from West Liberty State College and her law degree from West Virginia University College of Law. Following law school, she served as a law clerk for United States District Judge Robert E. Maxwell, Northern District of West Virginia.

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Dennis Pollard, a litigation and transactional attorney, recently joined Secrest Wardle's Municipal Department. With the addition of Pollard, the team now has 16 attorneys serving multiple municipalities. Secrest Wardle's Municipal Department was rated by Best Lawyers In America® as having the number one municipal law department in Michigan for 2010.

Pollard commenced practice in the Office of General Counsel for Ford Motor Company in 1968 leaving for private practice in 1972. Since that time he has represented clients such as; General Motors Corporation, Budd Corporation, 500 local and intermediate Michigan School Districts, Wayne County, Macomb County, Bay City and numerous other Michigan municipalities.

In 2008 Pollard represented 458 Michigan school districts in a lawsuit against the State of Michigan recovering a declaratory judgment in 2008 for the State's violation of the constitutional prohibition on unfunded mandates. He is presently serving as counsel for a school district in a case involving the challenging of the lack of required funding under the federal "No Child Left Behind Act." That case is pending before the U. S. Supreme Court.

In 2009, Pollard was appointed by the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader to serve on a state commission. He was one of five members appointed and on December 31, 2009 provided a report to the governor and legislature on the State's compliance with the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Commission.

Pollard is a 1965 graduate of the University of Detroit where he obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance. He obtained his law degree from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1968.

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Detroit law firm Barris, Sott, Denn, & Driker PLLC is pleased to announce that one of its members, Daniel M. Share, gave a presentation at the Colorado Bar Association's National Continuing Legal Education Conference in Vail, Colorado on Jan. 9. His topic was "A Neglected Minefield: What Transactional Lawyers Need to Know about Dispute Resolution."

Shares practice includes a broad and busy commercial practice, with an emphasis in business dispute resolution, real estate and general corporate affairs. He has been active on behalf of financial institutions and real estate developers in matters involving real estate finance, complex zoning, land planning and assembly, leasing, foreclosures and work-outs.

Share is a neutral commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.

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Jackson Lewis announced that Rod Gillum has joined its Detroit office as partner. Gillum most recently served as vice president of corporate responsibility and diversity for General Motors and chairman of the GM Foundation, where he helped shape GM into a global corporate social responsibility leader.

A prominent figure in the Detroit metro area and nationally recognized labor and employment attorney and leader in corporate compliance and diversity strategies, Gillum retired in October after more than 30 years with GM. He will play a key role in helping lead the expansion of the firm's presence and client service capabilities in Detroit and beyond.

Gillum joined GM in 1979 from the National Labor Relations Board, where he had been an attorney in its Detroit regional office. At GM, he served as the first vice president and general counsel of GM's Saturn Corporation, where he led and coordinated all legal matters for the new GM subsidiary. Gillum also held a variety of leadership positions for the GM Legal Staff, where he ultimately served as chief personnel, Labor Relations and Benefits attorney for the corporation before assuming the role of vice president, Corporate Responsibility and Diversity, in 1997. He also served as secretary to the GM board of directors.

Active in a variety of civic and community organizations, Gillum currently serves as chairman of the board for the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation. He was appointed as vice-chair of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation by Mayor Dave Bing and is also a member of the board for Holcim, Inc. and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

One of the first attorneys to be elected by his peers as a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, as a Sloan Fellow, Gillum earned a Masters of Science in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, and a B.A. from Michigan State University.

Published: Mon, Feb 22, 2010