State Appellate Defender Office

DAWN VAN HOEK has been named director of the STATE APPELLATE DEFENDER OFFICE by the Appellate Defender Commission, at its meeting on March 16. Van Hoek succeeds James R. Neuhard, who retired on January 3.

The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) is Michigan's only state-funded public defense agency, handling approximately 25% of the state's indigent appellate assigned caseload. SADO takes criminal appeals from all Michigan counties, including many of the most complex and challenging cases.

In 2009, SADO received the Clara Foltz Award for outstanding achievement in providing services to indigent defendants, awarded by the American Bar and National Legal Aid and Defender Associations. SADO's innovative work on sentencing, and outcomes for clients, have been the subject of frequent testimony about cost savings for the criminal justice system.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Van Hoek received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1976. She has practiced law at the State Appellate Defender Office since that time, serving in numerous capacities including, most recently, chief deputy director.

Her accomplishments at SADO include creation of online resources for the criminal defense bar, management of statewide training projects and publications, and management of SADO's Lansing office and government relations.

Van Hoek's prominence in the legal community is reflected by her numerous prior leadership positions including chair of the State Bar of Michigan's Representative Assembly, chair of the State Bar's Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, and co-chair of the State Bar's Task Force on Racial, Ethnic and Gender Issues in the Courts and Legal Profession. She currently serves as the chairperson of a Hearing Panel of the Attorney Discipline Board.

A former president of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Van Hoek now serves as president of the WLAM Foundation. Her current board memberships include the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, Michigan Campaign for Justice, and Criminal Advocacy Program of Wayne Circuit Court.

Van Hoek was recognized as one of ten "Lawyers of the Year" in 2005 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Readers of Michigan Lawyers Weekly also selected her in 1990 as one of two dozen of the state's most influential lawyers.

Van Hoek, who has long advocated for reform of Michigan's indigent defense system, received the 2005 "Right to Counsel Award" from the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan.


Potestivo & Associates P.C.

POTESTIVO & ASSOCIATES P.C. is pleased to announce the promotion of supervising attorney MICHAEL J. WOODS to assistant vice president-managing attorney of the Rochester Hills office. The promotion was effective on Tuesday, March 22.

"We are proud to announce Mike's promotion and very pleased with his commitment to our firm and the leadership qualities he exemplifies", said Brian Potestivo, founder and president, Potestivo & Associates.

Woods has been with the firm since 2006 and supervises the firm's foreclosure and loss mitigation processes. This experience has taught him that superior results can be effectively achieved through direct communication with our clients and their borrowers, helping to reduce the costs associated with the foreclosure and loss mitigation processes for all parties.

Woods is active in several industry and professional associations, including the State Bar of Michigan's Real Property Law Section, Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association, and the Macomb County Bar Association. He regularly assists these groups to ensure clients' concerns and interests are protected.


Fabrizio & Brook P.C.

ROSE MARIE BROOK, president of FABRIZIO & BROOK P.C., recently sat as a judge at the Federal Bar Association's 14th Annual Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition held at the Superior Court in Washington, D.C. Twenty-five winning teams from law schools throughout the country competed at this national event. Judging was based on the competitors' oral advocacy skills after hearing arguments on a topic focusing on emerging issues in federal law.

Additionally, JONATHAN L. ENGMAN, partner at Fabrizio & Brook, has been nominated to run for the Board of Directors for the Oakland County Bar Association. Engman has been a member of the Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA) since 1998 and has been active in the association throughout his career. Currently he is serving as chair of the Real Property Committee.

Engman recently authored "Mortgage Assignments vs. Condominium Liens: Contrasting Opinions in the Sixth Circuit," published as the featured article in the March 2011 issue of the OCBA's Latches. The article covers Michigan's statutory law and the conflicting rulings that have resulted from Oakland County Circuit Court.

(To read Engman's complete article, visit;InTheNews/Publications.)



DYKEMA is pleased to announce that NICOLE DINARDO has joined its Automotive Industry Group as an associate in Bloomfield Hills. DiNardo's experience focuses on product liability defense (particularly automobiles, trucks, recreational vehicles and industrial equipment), breach of warranty litigation and commercial litigation. She will work closely with FRED FRESARD, who also just joined the firm as member in the Automotive Industry Group.

DiNardo joins Dykema from Bowman & Brooke LLP where she defended claims for various automobile, truck and recreational vehicle manufacturers. While there, she also served as National Discovery Counsel for a major automotive manufacturer in nationwide pattern litigation.

DiNardo, was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2002 and the State Bar of Illinois in 2003. She obtained her law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

DiNardo is a member of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, and was named 2005 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the Michigan Legal Aid and Defender Association.

Fresard joined Dykema's Automotive Industry Group as a member in the firm's Bloomfield Hills office. Prior to joining Dykema, Fresard was a partner with Bowman & Brooke LLP.

Fresard focuses his practice on product liability and other high-stakes litigation involving significant damages and complex technical issues. He has particular experience managing litigation for large automotive OEMs and suppliers and heavy equipment manufacturers in Michigan and nationwide, and has tried numerous cases across the nation against some of the country's top trial lawyers.

Fresard is a member of the Defense Research Institute, where he's a frequent speaker and active committee member. He is listed in The Legal 500 United States (2008-2010) and has been named a "Super Lawyer" by Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine (2007-2010). Additionally, Fresard received the Pro Bono Service Award from the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association in 2005.

He received his law degree from Notre Dame Law School and a B.A. from Michigan State University.


Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C.

ALICIA SCHEHR, a partner with Southfield-based JAFFE, RAITT, HEUER, & WEISS P.C., has been selected to serve on the Program Committee for the Turnaround Management Association. Jaffe CEO Richard Zussman made the announcement.

The Turnaround Management Association is the only international nonprofit association dedicated to corporate renewal and turnaround management. It is made up of turnaround practitioners, lenders and bankers, attorneys, investors and other related professionals such as judges and government officials who share a common interest in strengthening the economy through the restoration of corporate value.

The committee is responsible for organizing regular programs for education and networking opportunities.

Schehr is a member of the firm's insolvency and reorganization practice group, focusing her practice in bankruptcy, reorganization and financial services law. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Law School.

She has been recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as a "Rising Star" in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, National Association of Credit Managers and the State Bar of Michigan.


Wayne State University Law School

WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL is pleased to announce that STEVEN L. WINTER, Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law, will be honored for his work as a philosopher and legal theorist by the Dutch Association of Legal Philosophy, also known as the Vereniging voor Wijsbegeerte van het Recht (VWR), and Rechtsfilosofie & Rechtstheorie (R&R), the leading Dutch journal of legal philosophy.

Every year, the association and journal collaborate on a special issue "dedicated to an outstanding international scholar who has made significant contributions to legal and political theory," said Professor Bart van Klink of VU University Amsterdam and chairperson of the VWR and Professor Hans Lindahl of Tilburg University and editor-in-chief of R&R. Winter's work, according to van Klink and Lindahl, "has attracted considerable attention in the Netherlands and Flanders" and will be honored at a conference hosted by VWR on June 22, 2012. The proceedings will be published by R&R and available online.

Winter, who is working on a book about consumerism and democracy, is the author of numerous articles on constitutional law and legal theory. Some of his published works include "The Metaphor of Standing and the Problem of Self-Governance"; "Bull Durham and the Uses of Theory"; "An Upside/Down View of the Countermajoritarian Difficulty"; "The 'Power' Thing"; "Melville, Slavery, and the Failure of the Judicial Process"; "What Makes Modernity Late?"; and, most recently, "Reimagining Democracy for Social Individuals." His book, "A Clearing in the Forest: Law, Life and Mind," is the first systematic attempt to assess cognitive science's implications for law and legal theory.

Past special issues and conferences have featured the work of philosophers and legal theorists such as H. Patrick Glenn, Bonnie Honig, Philip Pettit, Neil Walker and Gunther Teubner.

"I am honored and humbled to be included with such world-famous philosophers and legal theorists as Philip Pettit and Gunther Teubner," said Winter.

Winter is a regular participant in the Conference on Philosophy and Social Sciences held annually at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. He has served as a consultant for the Helsinki Watch Committee and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Wayne Law's first faculty member to hold an endowed chair, Winter has made a name for himself as a scholar and practitioner both in the United States and abroad.

A graduate of Yeshiva University and Columbia Law School, Winter began his legal career as a law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Paul R. Hays, Second Circuit. From 1978 to 1986, he served as an assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. (LDF), where he litigated a wide range of civil rights cases concerning prisoners' rights, employment discrimination, school desegregation, police violence, capital punishment, habeas corpus jurisdiction, discrimination in the military and attorneys' fees. While at LDF, he worked on more than a dozen U.S. Supreme Court cases including brief and argument in Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985), the landmark case holding the common law fleeing felon rule unconstitutional.

Winter held faculty positions at the University of Miami School of Law (1986-1997) and Brooklyn Law School (1997-2002) before joining the Wayne Law faculty in 2002 as the Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law. He also taught at American University's Washington College of Law, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, the Rutgers School of Law-Newark and Yale Law School.

At Wayne Law, Winter has taught Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, Civil Procedure, and seminars on Ethics of the Lawyering Experience, Consumerism and Democracy, and Contemporary Problems in Legal Theory. In 2009, he led the effort to add The Regulatory State to the first-year curriculum, a course that introduces students to the central role that statutory law and regulatory agencies play in modern law and government.

In addition, VIRGINIA THOMAS, director of the Arthur Neef Law Library at Wayne State University, was recently appointed to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Standing Committee on Law Libraries. Standing Committees develop policies, carry out surveys and other projects, prepare guidelines and organize open sessions and workshops at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to serve with colleagues worldwide to advance law librarianship," said Thomas.

The IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927 at an international conference, the IFLA now boasts 1,600 Members in approximately 150 countries around the world. IFLA was registered in the Netherlands in 1971. The Royal Library, the national library of the Netherlands, in The Hague, provides the facilities for its headquarters.


Flood Lanctot Connor Stablein PLLC

FLOOD LANCTOT CONNOR STABLEIN PLLC (FLCS), is proud to announce that JANET A. NAPP has joined the FLCS family as a senior associate.

Napp comes to FLCS after a 23 year career with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office where she handled more than one thousand appeals, emergency applications for leave to appeal, motions for new trial, evidentiary hearings, motions for relief from judgment, and oral arguments, with virtually all cases involving capital offenses.

In addition, Napp has argued before the Michigan Supreme Court more than ten times and had a number of cases successfully resolved without oral argument.

Outside of the courtroom Napp has served as president of the Wayne County Government Bar Association and was on the bargaining team that negotiated the 2004-2011 collective bargaining agreement. She also co-authored "Restitution and the Rights of Crime Victims," an article which was published in the June, 2000 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal.

In addition, Napp has conducted numerous police training seminars for various police agencies in Wayne County. Jan is admitted to practice in Michigan as well as admitted to practice before the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (1987), and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (1988). Napp's areas of practice will be Civil and Criminal Appeals

FLCS is also proud to announce that CHRISTOPHER J. FORSYTH has joined the FLCS family as a senior associate.

Forsyth comes to FLCS after most recently working as an assistant city attorney for the City of Troy. While an assistant city attorney, he represented the City of Troy in zoning and land use disputes, condemnation cases, civil rights claims, personal injury/property damage claims, as well as other civil matters. In addition, Forsyth served as the legal advisor for the City of Troy Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals as well as provided legal counsel to various City Departments.

Prior to joining the City Attorney's Office, Forsyth was an assistant prosecuting attorney in the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. At the Prosecutor's Office, Forsyth prosecuted serious felony offenses.

Forsyth is a frequent lecturer on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and local governmental control. He serves as a City of Dearborn Planning commissioner and is a member of the American Planning Association: Michigan Chapter, the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, and the Oakland County Bar Association where he serves as vice chair of the Municipal Law Committee.

Forsyth is admitted to practice in Michigan in addition to being admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

His areas of practice will include Municipal Law, Civil Litigation, Business and Commercial Litigation, Business and Corporate Law and Compliance, Eminent Domain, Real Estate, and Zoning and Land Use Law.

Published: Mon, Apr 4, 2011