Legal People

Researchers at U.S. News/Best Lawyers have ranked Barris, Sott, Denn, & Driker PLLC among the top law firms in the country. In the inaugural U.S. News/Best Lawyers ‘Best Law Firms’ rankings, Barris Sott was placed in the national Tier 3 category for General Commercial Litigation. In the local rankings, the firm placed in the Detroit Tier 1 ranking for General Commercial Litigation and Real Estate Law, and the Detroit Tier 2 ranking for Trusts & Estates law.

Additionally, 12 attorneys from Barris Sott have been named in “Michigan Super Lawyers” Magazine as among the top attorneys in the State of Michigan for the year 2010 and three attorneys have been recognized as a “Rising Star.”

They are: Eugene Driker, William G. Barris, Todd R. Mendel, Dennis M. Barnes, Stephen E. Glazek, Daniel M. Share, Morley Witus, C. David Bargamian, James S. Fontichiaro, Robert E. Kass, Eric S. Rosenthal, Sharon M. Woods, Erica Fitzgerald, Leo J. Gibson, and Kevin Kalczynski.

Driker was named as one of the top 10 attorneys in the state. He and Sharon Woods were also named among the top 100 attorneys in the state. Woods was also named as one of the top 50 women lawyers in the state.

The publication also named Driker, Mendel, Moss, Rosenthal, Witus, Woods, Barnes, and Glazek for excelling in the field of business litigation; honored Barris, Share, Fontichiaro, and Bargamian as among the top real estate attorneys in the state; and recognized Kass as a top estate planning attorney in the state.

Fitzgerald and Kalcyznski, both members, were named among the 2010 Michigan Rising Stars for their business litigation expertise. Gibson, an associate, was also named among the 2010 “Michigan Rising Stars” for his work in bankruptcy & creditor/debtor rights.

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Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, Weiss PC has been recognized by “Super Lawyers” magazine for having some of the top attorneys in the state of Michigan in 2010. The publication recognized the following Jaffe attorneys in its 2010 “Michigan Super Lawyers” listing:
• Joel Alam – Securities Corporate Finance.
• Peter Alter – Business Litigation.
• Christopher Andreoff – Criminal Defense.
• Elizabeth Brown – Estate Planning Probate.
• Thomas Coughlin – Bankruptcy Creditor/Debtor Rights.
• Peter Falkenstein – Intellectual Property.
• David Griem – Criminal Defense: White Collar.
• Jeffrey Heuer – Business Litigation.
• Ira Jaffe – Business/Corporate.
• Lawrence Jordan – Intellectual Property.
• Shirley Kaigler – Estate Planning Probate.
• Michael Khoury – Information Technology/Outsourcing.
• Mark Kowalsky – Securities Litigation.
• Mark Krysinski – Real Estate.
• Joan Lowenstein – Intellectual Property.
• Eli Maroko – Immigration.
• Judith Greenstone Miller – Bankruptcy Creditor/Debtor Rights.
• Louis Rochkind – Bankruptcy Creditor/Debtor Rights.
• Mark Rubenfire – Real Estate.
• Brian Shannon – Appellate.
• William Sider – Tax.
• Peter Sugar – Securities Corporate Finance.
• Scott Torpey – Aviation.
• Arthur Weiss – Tax.
• Jay Welford – Bankruptcy Creditor/Debtor Rights.
• Richard Zussman – Real Estate.

The publication also recognized the following Jaffe attorneys as “Michigan Rising Star”s in 2010:
• Marko Belej – Tax.
• Jeremy Bisdorf – Intellectual Property.
• John Decker – Business/Corporate.
• Lee Kellert – Mergers Acquisitions.
• Sara Kruse – Mergers Acquisitions.
• Brian Raznick – Real Estate.
• James Rose – General Litigation.
• Alicia Schehr – Bankruptcy Creditor/Debtor Rights.
• Clay Thomas – Real Estate.

Additionally, Michael S. Khoury, a partner with the firm, recently served as a featured speaker at the 3rd annual Michigan Information Technology Law Seminar on Sept. 22 at St. John’s Inn in Plymouth. Jaffe CEO Richard Zussman made the announcement.

Khoury shared his expertise on the intersection of insolvency, information technology and intellectual property laws including, the rights of licensees and licensors after bankruptcy and security interests in intellectual property.

Khoury is a member of the firm’s corporate and technology practice groups specializing in computer and information technology, intellectual property and general business and corporate law. He graduated with distinction and honors from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School.

Khoury has been recognized by “Michigan Super Lawyers” Magazine consecutively since 2006, a dbusiness Top Lawyer in 2009 and 2010 and serves on the advisory board for the Entrepreneurial Initiative of Southern Michigan. He is the former chair of the Business Law and the Information Technology Law sections of the State Bar of Michigan.

Also, Benjamin J. McCracken, an associate with Southfield-based Jaffe, has been appointed to a three-year term as economic liaison to Michigan’s sister state in Japan, Shiga Prefecture, by its Governor, Yukiko Kada. Jaffe CEO Richard Zussman made the announcement.

Governor Kada traveled to Michigan and personally presented McCracken with his new title on Sept. 12.

McCracken will work to strengthen economic ties between Michigan and Shiga Prefecture, which have been sister states since 1968 when Governor Romney and Governor Nozaki of Japan established the partnership. In the past, the two states have exchanged students and partnered in goodwill missions, but McCracken through his new appointment will seek to promote a greater business bridge between the two states.

McCracken’s interest in Japan stemmed from a desire to study abroad while attending Northern Michigan University. He became heavily involved with Japan Center for Michigan Universities, and is the current president of the Japan Center for Michigan Universities Alumni Association. After graduating from Northern Michigan University McCracken worked at the regional headquarters for one of Japan’s largest English language schools and returns to Shiga at least once each year.

McCracken serves in the firm’s litigation and immigration practice groups and has experience with international litigation, including complex contract disputes between U.S. and Japanese companies. He is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and served as a law clerk at the Michigan Supreme Court for Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly before joining the firm.

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Devon Battersby Morris, an attorney who focuses her practice in the areas of professional and medical liability, recently joined Plunkett Cooney.

As a member of the firm’s Professional Liability Practice Group, Morris defends clients in malpractice actions with an emphasis on claims against attorney and accountant professionals.

Morris, who is also a member of Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Liability Group, represents hospitals and physicians in malpractice litigation with an emphasis on obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, psychiatry and nursing-related issues.

An attorney in the Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills, Morris is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Michigan and Illinois. She received her law degree from DePaul University College of Law in 2004. She also earned her undergraduate degree from University of Notre Dame in 2000.

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LeClairRyan is pleased to announce that Evan A. Burkholder, a Dearborn-based attorney, has been selected by his peers as 2010 “Michigan Super Lawyer.” Burkholder was recognized in the Business Litigation, Construction Litigation and Personal Injury: Defense practices. The practice areas listed are determined by categories that are specific to Super Lawyers.

Burkholder is a shareholder and the office leader of LeClairRyan’s Dearborn office. He has more than 30 years of trial experience handling business litigation, wrongful death actions, catastrophic injury cases, design defect cases, and product recall actions. He has represented architects, engineers and accountants in professional liability actions and has defended insurers in first party policy cases, as well as bad faith and excess liability claims. Burkholder has also coordinated the defense of multi-state product liability actions, supervising local counsel, coordinating discovery and managing the operations of large document depositories.

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Two Brooks Kushman lawyers – Mark A. Cantor, president, and Frank A. Angileri, shareholder – were recently named to the 2011 Best Lawyers in America list in the Intellectual Property (IP) category.

This is the third time that Cantor has been honored and the fifth year Angileri has been named to the list.

Cantor, one of Brooks Kushman’s founding partners, leads the firm’s active litigation practice and is involved in much of the major litigation handled by the firm. Since becoming president in 2007, he has grown the IP-focused law firm from 50 to 75 lawyers and patent agents. Under Cantor’s leadership, the firm has also grown nationally, with the creation of a Los Angeles office, and internationally, acquiring clients and cases from around the globe.

Angileri serves as lead counsel for a variety of clients – from individuals to major corporations – in a wide range of IP and commercial litigation matters. As a result, he has practiced in federal courts across the country and has argued or briefed more than 30 federal appeals. Angileri also served as chair of the IP Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and is a frequent guest lecturer for numerous organizations and universities.

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Dykema recently announced that Anna M. Shih has joined the firm’s Intellectual Property Department as Of Counsel. Shih will be located in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office.

Shih joins Dykema from the Eaton Corporation where she served as lead intellectual property counsel for the Automotive Group. In this role, Shih advised on several sensitive, high-stakes patent and intellectual property litigation matters involving vehicle and related technologies.

Shih’s practice is focused on a wide range of intellectual property matters, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and licensing. She has extensive experience in managing patent infringement litigation, including assisting outside counsel with discovery issues, preparing employees for depositions, and advising management on lawsuit progress. In addition, she has advised clients on the implementation of intellectual property protection strategies and worked with outside counsel in patent drafting and prosecution.

Shih is a member of the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association, and the State Bar of Michigan.

She earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University, formerly GMI Engineering & Management Institute.

Additionally, Dykema announces that two of its members will be participating in the WBEC 10th Annual Great Lakes Women’s Business Conference being held at the Motor City Casino-Hotel Oct. 11-13.

Marilyn A. Peters and Lisa A. Brown will be leading a workshop entitled, “Effective Negotiation Techniques for Women – How to Keep your Cool and Obtain Results.” This workshop is intended to demonstrate, through role playing and then questions and answers afterwards, how to handle negotiations, avoid the traps of letting the other party control the process, and deal with some common problems, including difficult adversaries.

Women’s Business Enterprise Council – Great Lakes is an initiative of the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development (CEED), which is committed to empowering women and minorities economically through business development training, supplier certification, business-to-business networking and accessible capital assistance programs.

Peters, managing member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, is one of the leaders of the firm in complex commercial litigation, including various business, financial institution and supplier disputes. Peters has worked on putative class action in the consumer protection and financial areas, in federal and state courts both in Michigan and other states, and has handled all aspects of such litigation, including review of contract rights, negotiations, preliminary injunction hearings, and trials.

She has done complex commercial litigation for some of the firm’s largest banking clients, has represented mortgage brokers and investment advisors in putative class actions, and has represented other clients, including General Motors Corporation, in numerous supplier and contract issues. In addition, she has been involved in a wide variety of other commercial litigation, including those arising from the sale, acquisition and merger of entities, consumer lending, consumer goods, environmental and construction litigation.

Brown is a Dykema commercial litigator who handles contract and business disputes with national implications as well as litigation involving purely private disputes and issues. In addition to UCC, commercial and contract work, clients seek her legal representation on recall and warranty cost-recovery matters, automotive supplier disputes, patent infringement cases, real estate, shareholder and other business litigation and class actions. Brown has handled complex litigation in state and federal courts, participating as trial counsel, and representing clients before alternative dispute resolution forums throughout the country. She serves as a leader of the Dykema Women’s Business Initiative and is actively involved in women’s networking opportunities and in Dykema’s continued commitment to diversity.

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Bloomfield Hills.-based Ackerman, Ackerman, Dykowski has been recognized as one of the best eminent domain law firms in Michigan by U.S. News. Managing Partner Alan T. Ackerman made the announcement.

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Hall, Render, Killian, Heath, & Lyman announced the hiring of attorney, Timothy C. Gutwald, in its Troy office this August.

Gutwald counsels clients in numerous aspects of health care law, both regulatory and in litigation. His work involves day-to-day counsel and representation regarding corporate counsel matters, CMS and Joint Commission matters, medical staff and peer review, contracting matters, regulatory compliance, reimbursement and self-disclosure issues and EMTALA compliance.

Gutwald earned his undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College and his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Health Lawyers Association, and Healthcare Financial Management Association. Gutwald’s previous work experience includes working for Kitch, Drutchas, Wagner, Valitutti, & Sherbrook for the past three years.

Additionally, Hall, Render announced the hiring of associate attorney Erin M. Rozycki in the Health Section of its Troy, Michigan office this September.

Rozycki counsels clients in numerous aspects of health care law. Her work involves counsel and representation regarding contracting and regulatory compliance matters.

Rozycki earned her B.A. in Business Administration/Pre-law from Michigan State University, and her law degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law, where she was a member of the Moot Court Board of Advocates and the Law Review.

Her previous work experience includes Dykema Gossett PLLC from 2007-2010.

She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bar Association, American Health Lawyers Association and the Beautification Advisory Commission for the City of Grosse Pointe Woods.

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Deborah J. Williamson, an attorney with the law firm Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP, has been elected to the Council of the Health Care Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Williamson will serve a three-year term on the section, which serves the health care community and advocates on behalf of its interests concerning state and federal legislation and public policy that affect the practice of health care law. The section also organizes educational programs on health care law issues and provides a forum for health care law attorneys to network and exchange ideas.

Williamson concentrates her practice in health law, representing a broad spectrum of health care providers and professionals on a wide range of issues, including health care reform; Stark and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance; Recovery Audit Contractor, Medicare and other payor audits and appeals; third-party reimbursement and billing; and other areas.

Active professionally, she recently served as chair of the Providers Subcommittee of the Health Care Law Section of the State Bar. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and American Health Lawyers Association.

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Timothy J. Currier, CEO of Bloomfield Hills-based law firm Beier Howlett, has been named to the 2010 edition of “Michigan Super Lawyers.” This is Currier’s fifth consecutive appearance on the list, to which only five percent of lawyers in Michigan are named. Jeffrey Kragt and Frank Galgan were also named to the list.

Currier has been CEO of Beier Howlett since 1995, practicing in the areas of municipal law, schools and education, and estate planning and probate law. Currier has served as city attorney for the City of Birmingham; attorney for the Dearborn Public Schools, the Troy School District , the Lincoln Consolidated School District, the Birmingham Area Cable Board and the Intergovernmental Cable Communications Authority; and attorney for the emergency financial manager of the City of Pontiac. He was president of the Michigan Counsel of School Attorneys from 1990-1992.

Kragt practices in the areas of municipal law, real estate and business/corporate law. He serves as chief financial officer for Beier Howlett, city attorney for the City of Rochester and the assistant city attorney for the City of Birmingham. He is a 1998 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law.

Galgan has more than 40 years experience as a corporate attorney and commercial litigator specializing in contract, labor, employment, and construction law. He serves as a AAA construction and commercial arbitration panelist, and has been appointed as an arbitrator in more than 100 cases.

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Steinhardt, Pesick, & Cohen PC is pleased to announce tht H. Adam Cohen has been appointed as chair of the State Bar of Michigan – Real Property Section’s Eminent Domain Committee. Cohen is a shareholder at the firm and for 18 years has specialized in the fields of eminent domain, condemnation, and property tax appeals.

Cohen is a frequent lecturer and author on eminent domain and condemnation subjects. Ranked as one of DBusiness Magazine’s “Top Lawyers,” he was selected for inclusion in the 2007-2010 editions of both “Michigan Super Lawyers” and  “The Best Lawyers in America” in the specialties of eminent domain and condemnation law by U.S. News.

Cohen is a graduate of the George Washington Law School (1992) and Tulane University (B.A., 1989).

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On Oct. 4, the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants presented Gary M. Remer of Maddin, Hauser, Wartell, Roth, & Heller PC with the Outstanding Task Force Award – Employee Benefits Task Force in recognition of his dedicated service and leadership.

This comes on the heels of Remer’s Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law Group being listed in the “Best Law Firm” Category by U.S. News & World Report of the “Best Law Firms.”

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Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Michael J. Lavoie will be honored by the Oakland County Bar Association during its Diversity in the Legal Profession Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 21, at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.

Lavoie will receive the Leon Hubbard Community Service Award. He is the secretary of the Pontiac Alumni Foundation and the facilitator and leader of its youth mentoring initiative, the Gettysburg Group.

Lavoie also is a former Peace Corps volunteer engaged in various Africa development projects.

The Leon Hubbard Award recognizes an individual who has a record of community service, has promoted cultural diversity, advanced social equality and worked to enhance the quality of life for all people in Oakland County.

Another highlight of the event will be keynote speaker Barbara L. McQuade, U.S. attorney, Eastern District of Michigan. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, McQuade practiced law at Butzel Long.

Lavoie has been practicing in the Detroit office since 1986. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.A., 1975) and the University of Detroit Mercy School of law (1980). Prior to joining the firm, Lavoie was Assistant Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Lavoie is a member of the business litigation practice group at Butzel Long where he practices in the areas of commercial, construction and products liability litigation, as well as internal investigations and criminal white collar defense.

Lavoie presently serves as president of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Historical Society.

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Michigan law firm Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith PC was included in the U.S. News Media Group and “Best Lawyers” 2010 Best Law Firms rankings. Foster Swift was rated a Tier 1 law firm in 26 of the 81 practice areas.

As a 100-plus attorney law firm with a statewide footprint, Foster Swift provides comprehensive services for businesses, organizations, municipalities, families and individuals throughout Michigan, the nation and beyond.