Attorney Jana L. Benjamin, a former admissions officer for the University of Michigan Law School, has been named executive director of the Board of Law Examiners, the Michigan Supreme Court recently announced.

As the BLE's first executive director, Benjamin will assist the BLE board to oversee and administer the bar examination, which is given twice a year.

Benjamin earned a B.A. degree from the University of Michigan. She graduated from the University of Michigan Law School. From 1991-92, she served as law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge John Feikens, Eastern District of Michigan. She clerked for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Charles L. Levin from 1992-93.

From 1993-98, Benjamin was an associate attorney in the law firm of Dickinson Wright, PLLC; from 1995-96, she also served as an instructor for the American Institute of Paralegal Studies.

In 1999, Benjamin joined the University of Michigan Law School as assistant director of admissions, where she served until 2003. From 2003-12, she was a judicial law clerk and prehearing attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals. In 2012, she joined the State Court Administrative Office, the administrative arm of the Michigan Supreme Court.

* * *

Sommers Schwartz PC is pleased to announce that Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller has been appointed to serve as Chief Judge of the Awards & Subgrants Team by the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers Division.

Esser-Weidenfeller will serve a one year term and will oversee the Young Lawyers Division's public and member service subgrants program which is designed to promote quality public service projects and bar leadership.

Esser-Weidenfeller is a shareholder at Sommers Schwartz where she concentrates her practice in the areas of medical malpractice, birth injury and wrongful death.

* * *

Jackson Lewis LLP is pleased to announce that Maurice G. Jenkins is one of 59 attorneys from the firm recognized in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

Jenkins is the managing partner of the Detroit, Michigan office of Jackson Lewis LLP.

Jenkins has practiced labor and employment law for more than 29 years. He has litigated labor and employment cases in various states around the country, and has extensive experience in preventive counseling to management with respect to legal compliance, labor issues arising from corporate reorganizations, and wrongful discharge and discrimination issues.

* * *

Attorneys with Nemeth Burwell PC have been active recently in leading discussions on a variety of employment law topics.

Partner Linda Burwell presented "Sex and Gender in the Workplace in Light of the EEOC's 2013-2016 Strategic Enforcement Plan: Developments and Trends in EEO Law" on May 10.

At the Nemeth Burwell Raising the Bar series on May 8, partner Terry Bonnette, presented "2013 Wage and Hour Boot Camp," highlighting the Department of Labor's five-year plan.

Bonnette presented a Labor and Employment Update and led a discussion titled Legal Issues in Social Media at the Healthcare Association of Michigan (HCAM) UP Conference on May 2.

Senior attorney Cliff Hammond presented "Labor Trends - Unions: Should I Care?" at the Jackson, Mich. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference on April 25.

Hammond explored the "Right to Work changes in Michigan with Union Avoidance -Unions: Why Should I Care?" and led the discussion on the changes the new law brings to employers in Michigan at the April 24 Human Resource Day in Lansing.

Partner Tom Schramm discussed "Hiring and Firing: Do's and Don'ts" during a Detroit Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) webinar on April 18.

Bonnette visited Fox2 News on April 9 to discuss an emerging workplace trend during the Job Shop segment titled, Allergies at the Workplace.

Bonnette led the discussion titled Identifying and Dealing with Bullying at Work: A Mock Internal Investigation, at the ICLE in Plymouth on April 5.

* * *

The State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section presented Ronda Tate with the Regeana Myrick Outstanding Young Lawyer Award on Saturday, June 8, at the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit.

Tate is an associate attorney at Lewis Munday PC in Detroit, where she represents a wide variety of public and private clients, ranging from municipalities to Fortune 100 corporations.

She is president-elect of the Wolverine Bar Association and serves on the board of directors of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Barristers Section. In 2011, she was the youngest member appointed to the Institute for Continuing Legal Education Labor and Employment Advisory Board. In her roles with these organizations, Tate has coordinated public service initiatives to benefit underprivileged citizens. She has received the Pro Bono Recognition Award from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

* * *

Jay L. Welford, a partner at Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC, has received the distinguished President's Cup award from the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA). Jaffe CEO Bill Sider proudly made the announcement.

Welford was selected for the President's Cup by a special committee made up of CLLA board members, a previous recipient of the President's Cup and a member of the American Lawyers Quarterly Company. The President's Cup is the CLLA's highest honor, and is commensurate with the guidelines established by the American Lawyers Quarterly--a directory of law firms, which specialize in collections, creditors' rights and bankruptcy. Since 1964, the award is presented to a recipient who has shown outstanding service to the organization and also leads a personal and professional life that is respected by the community.

Welford's experience in corporate representation and restructuring encompasses multiple industry sectors, including banking, construction, manufacturing, logistics, servicing and leasing. In addition to this new role, Welford is also co-practice group coordinator for the franchise law practice group with a specific expertise in developing franchise systems.

Throughout his career, Welford has received multiple legal honors and awards from Michigan Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and DBusiness.

He is an active member in multiple business and legal associations, including the American Bar Association, American Bankruptcy Institute and the International Franchise Association. Currently, Welford serves as president of the nonprofit organization ALS of Michigan.

He earned his bachelor's degree in business from the University of Michigan and his law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

* * *

For the sixth consecutive year, Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP is the only Michigan law firm to receive the highest ranking for its Corporate/M&A and Real Estate practices in the 2013 Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (Chambers). Honigman also received the highest ranking for its General Commercial Litigation practice, and 22 of the firm's attorneys-the most Michigan attorneys of all law firms-were recognized as "Key Individuals."

In addition, Chambers recognized Honigman's Banking & Finance and Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practices with a #2 ranking and its Labor & Employment practice with a #3 ranking.

Chambers named the following local Honigman attorneys as "Key Individuals:"

Banking & Finance (Bankruptcy):

Donald F. Baty Jr. (Detroit)

E. Todd Sable (Detroit)


Michael D. DuBay (Detroit)

David Foltyn (Detroit)

Donald J. Kunz (Detroit)

Alan S. Schwartz (Detroit)

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation:

Michael J. Friedman (Detroit)

Gregory G. Schermerhorn (Detroit)

Labor & Employment:

William D. Sargent (Detroit)

Litigation: General Commercial

Norman C. Ankers (Detroit)

Joseph Aviv (Bloomfield Hills

Raymond W. Henney (Detroit)

I.W. Winsten (Detroit)

Richard E. Zuckerman (Detroit)

Real Estate:

Richard J. Burstein (Bloomfield Hills)

Gregory J. DeMars (Detroit)

Denise J. Lewis (Detroit)

Howard N. Luckoff (Bloomfield Hills)

Lawrence D. McLaughlin (Detroit and Bloomfield Hills)

J. Adam Rothstein (Bloomfield Hills)

Honigman is also pleased to announce that Lowell D. Salesin has joined the firm as a partner in its Real Estate Department. In addition to Salesin, Kasturi Bagchi and L. Jeffrey Zauberman have joined Honigman as partners. Suzanne S. Reynolds also joins the firm as an attorney. They formerly practiced at Maddin, Hauser, Wartell, Roth, & Heller PC and are now members of Honigman's Real Estate Department.

Salesin primarily serves clients in the retail, multifamily housing and office industry segments. His representation of lenders and developers provides him with a distinct perspective on acquisition, financings, leasing, construction and development matters.

Since 2004, Salesin has been consistently recognized each year by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (Chambers). He has also gained recognition as one of the top 100 lawyers by Michigan Super Lawyers since 2008 and by Best Lawyers in America since 2006.

Salesin earned his law degree from George Washington University National Law Center and a B.S. from Indiana University.

Bagchi has practiced law for 18 years and focuses on real estate development and finance, working to manage clients' risk in loan, real estate and asset-based transactions. She earned her law degree from Tulane University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Bagchi is admitted to practice in Michigan, New Jersey, and California.

Zauberman has practiced law for more than 25 years and focuses his practice on real estate development and secured lending. He earned his law degree from the University of Detroit School of Law and a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada. Zauberman is admitted to practice in Michigan.

Reynolds has practiced law for 26 years and focuses her practice on real estate matters and condominium law. She earned a her law degree from Detroit College of Law and a B.A. from the University of Michigan. She is admitted to practice in Michigan.

The addition of these four attorneys enhances Honigman's nationally recognized Real Estate Department. Some of the firm's real estate clients include: Bedrock Real Estate Services, Cabela's, Dillard's Inc., General Motors, Meijer, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Phillips Edison & Company, Ramco-Gershenson Properties, L.P., Schostak Brothers & Company, Inc., The Taubman Company and Village Green.

* * *

Clark Hill attorney Reginald Turner is the recipient of the 2013 Lifetime Service Award, given by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Turner received the award during the Donor Recognition Event on June 4 at the DIA. The Lifetime Service Award was created to recognize long service that has advanced the Detroit Institute of Arts in an exemplary way. Turner was selected based on his work as chairman of the millage effort, which has been projected to have a profound and lasting effect on the DIA.

Turner is a member in Clark Hill's Detroit office, where is practices in both the Government and Public Affairs Group, as well as the Labor and Employment Group. Turner is named in the peer review guides The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and Crain's Detroit Power Lawyers.

He is a past president of the National Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, and the Barristers of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. Currently, he chairs the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honor reserved to less than 1 percent of lawyers in each state and.

Also, he's an avid supporter of community organizations such as the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Detroit Public Safety Foundation and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Turner has government experience at the federal, state and local levels. He has served as a special assistant to Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros and Andrew Cuomo, as a member of the Michigan State Board of Education, and on several local government boards and commissions.

Published: Mon, Jun 10, 2013