LEGAL PEOPLE

Marcy Ford, partner and executive vice president of Trott & Trott PC, a Farmington Hills-based real estate law firm, was recently named Co-Member of the Year by the Consumer Bankruptcy Association (CBA) of Detroit.

The CBA of Detroit seeks to promote excellence and civility in the practice of Consumer Bankruptcy Law through continuing education, training and open discourse. A recognized supporter of the CBA's goals and mission, and a former CBA board member, Ford was named Co-Member of the Year in recognition of her years of service to the CBA.

An author and frequent speaker at industry events, Ford is actively involved in the bankruptcy law industry both locally through the CBA and nationally through the National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustees and the USFN, a 50-state trade association serving the mortgage banking industry. In addition to her role at Trott, Ford is president of USFN.

Ford is a graduate of Western Michigan University, where she earned her master's degree. She is also a 1993 graduate of Wayne State University Law School.

Trott is also proud to announce that it has raised $5,000 for Oakland Family Services, capping off a successful year-long 2013 corporate giving campaign.

As the final initiative of its 2013 corporate giving campaign, Trott employees contributed donations totaling $2,905 to benefit the Adopt-a-Family program at Oakland Family Services, a private, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to strengthening families by providing quality treatment, education and prevention services throughout southeastern Michigan. Additionally, Trott contributed $2,100, to bring the grand total to $5,005.

"We are proud to have partnered with Oakland Family Services for a second consecutive year, helping to contribute to a happier new year for local residents," said Jeffrey Raff, managing partner of Trott. "Year-after-year, I continue to be overwhelmed by our employees' generosity in supporting local organizations that are making a positive impact in our community."

In addition to raising funds for Oakland Family Services, Trott's yearlong corporate giving campaign benefited three other nonprofit organizations in metro Detroit, including Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, the American Cancer Society's local Relay for Life and Starfish Family Services.

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Jennifer M. LaTosch, a senior attorney in Miller Canfield's Troy office, has been appointed to the Board of Education for Ferndale Public Schools. Her term will expire on December 31, 2014.

"I am honored to have been selected by the board to fill the vacant board position," she said. "Our schools are facing challenging times, but I know that our residents and school community will rally together to best serve our children and move our schools forward, and I am inspired to be a part of that process."

LaTosch will fill the seat left vacant when Chuck Moeser retired at the end of 2013 after 20 years of service to Ferndale schools. The board chose her from a select group of final applicants for the seat. She has previously served the school district as the member of a strategic planning committee in 2013.

LaTosch is a member of Miller Canfield's Personal Services practice group. She concentrates her practice in family and domestic relations law, including divorce, post-judgment matters, custody and parenting time disputes, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements and dissolution of relationship matters, child support, paternity, change of domicile, adoption and personal protection orders.

She earned her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 2000. She also earned a bachelor's degree from Albion College.

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Foley & Lardner LLP announced that Detroit attorney Vanessa Miller, Litigation, has been elected to the partnership effective February 1, 2014.

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the reappointment of Terrance Gilsenan to the Governor's Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Executive Order 2013-4 established the task force, which is an 18-member panel consisting of professionals with knowledge and experience relating to the criminal justice system and issues of child physical abuse, child neglect, child sexual abuse and exploitation, and child maltreatment related fatalities.

Gilsenan is an attorney in private practice. He has experience in probate court and is considered a professional guardian.

Gilsenan has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Detroit and a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

He will continue to represent child advocates, including both attorneys for children and court appointed special advocates.

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Fraser Trebilcock attorney Michael P. Donnelly was recently elected as the president of the firm. Previously, Donnelly served on the Board of the Directors as vice president.

Donnelly is the managing shareholder of the firm's Detroit office. He is one of only five attorneys in Michigan and 318 worldwide named a 2011 BTI Client Service All-Star by corporate counsel from Fortune 1000 companies. Donnelly has been selected on multiple occasions, including in 2013, as one of the "Top Lawyers" in Detroit by DBusiness Magazine for commercial litigation.

He is currently the chair-elect of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Michigan, the treasurer of the Detroit Racquet Club, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Boys Hope Girls Hope of Detroit.

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Aghogho O. Edevbie has joined Butzel Long law firm as an associate attorney based in the firm's Detroit office. Edevbie concentrates his practice in the areas of business and commercial litigation.

Edevbie has interned with the Michigan Supreme Court and with U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Tarnow, Eastern District of Michigan.

After law school, he traveled to Tanzania, where he taught civics at St. Peter Claver High School in Dodoma.

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Young & Associates, a Farmington Hills-based law firm specializing in complex business litigation, announced that attorney Sara MacWilliams has been named a 2013 Up & Coming Lawyer and a Michigan Super Lawyer.

MacWilliams focuses exclusively on complex commercial litigation, including issues such as health care, business, contracts, trade secrets and intellectual property, and business torts. She has secured judgments or settlements in access of $35 million over the last three years. She was named a SuperLawyers Rising Star for 2010 and 2011.

A graduate of Kalamazoo College, MacWilliams continued her education at the University of Michigan Law School where she earned her law degree.

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McKeen & Associates was recently featured on Michigan Lawyers Weekly's list of Michigan's Million Dollar Verdicts and Settlements. The Detroit-based law firm specializing in birth trauma and medical malpractice cases landed Michigan's second highest verdict in 2013 while also earning four of the year's Top 25 settlements in the state.

McKeen & Associates' nearly $13 million judgment in the case of Bryson v. Genesys Regional Medical Center was Michigan's second highest decision in 2013. It also was the top medical malpractice verdict of the year. In the case, a Genesee County jury determined that Genesys was negligent during the delivery of a child that resulted in Erb's Palsy, a permanently disfiguring and disabling injury.

The firm's settlements that ranked among the largest in the state include:

No. 8--$4.25 million settlement for an expectant mother whose heart rate was misinterpreted by hospital delivery staff.

No. 10 (tie)--$4 million settlement for an expectant mother who sued a hospital because a delay of more than one hour led to her newborn's injuries including cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder, global developmental delay and a nonfunctioning right kidney.

No. 18--$2.85 million settlement for the family of a man whose medical history of hypertension, gastritis and a family history of untimely deaths due to heart attack was improperly diagnosed eventually resulting in his death as a result of cardiogenic shock.

No. 25--$2.075 million settlement as a result of medical malpractice in the misdiagnosis of a child's brain condition leading to a developmental state in which he would require 24-hour supervision and had an IQ in the 50s.

"Achieving these verdicts and settlements is testimony to the hard work of our staff and the experts we use," said McKeen &Associates Founder and Managing Partner Brian McKeen. "Our goal is to achieve a recovery for the client. While it can never replace the loss of a loved one, or take away from a permanent injury, the goal is to do as much as possible within our civil justice system to provide them with full recompense."

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The Dobrusin Law Firm PC announced the appointment of Daniel P. Aleksynas to shareholder.

Having worked at The Dobrusin Law Firm since 2007, Aleksynas has experience prosecuting patent applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as well as internationally. With an emphasis on automotive and medical devices, Aleksynas represents a broad range of clients from startup companies that are beginning to develop their Intellectual Property to companies that have a well-established Intellectual portfolio.

Aleksynas currently serves on the Intellectual Property Organization's Patent Search Committee and is a member of the Michigan Intellectual Property Inn of Court.

Aleksynas graduated in 2002 from Western Michigan University College of Engineering with a BS in Pulp and Paper Engineering and received a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in January 2008.

Aleksynas gained admission to the State Bar of Michigan and the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Michigan in June 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2011, and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In addition, Dobrusin Law Firm PC announced the appointment of Katherine M. Pacynski as associate. In her role, Pacynski is currently preparing and prosecuting patent applications for a variety of technologies, as well as assisting in other intellectual property research matters.

Pacynski graduated from University of Michigan in 2010 with a BSE in Chemical Engineering and from Michigan State University College of Law in 2013.

Pacynski gained admission to the State Bar of Michigan in November 2013, and she is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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Butzel Long attorney and shareholder David F. DuMouchel, who chairs the firm's Internal Investigation and White Collar Practice Group, was a panelist at the First Annual Midwest Anti-Corruption seminar held on January 16 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.

DuMouchel's practice specializes in the areas of white collar criminal defense, professional licensure and criminal health care, criminal IRS investigations of both taxpayers and professionals, SEC enforcement of corporate executives, public corruption, as well as grand jury investigations, internal corporate investigations and compliance.

In 2013, DuMouchel was appointed to serve as a voting member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission Practitioners Advisory Group. One person from each of the 11 federal circuits is appointed to this group.

Moreover, he also was appointed by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, as a member of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel.

DuMouchel is a recipient of the Leonard Gilman Award from the Federal Bar Association as the outstanding criminal law practitioner in the Eastern District of Michigan. He was named by Best Lawyers as the "2010 Detroit Criminal Defense: White-Collar Lawyer of the Year."

He has been listed in each Best Lawyers edition for the last 30 years, up to and including the most recent. He also is listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, and in Michigan Super Lawyers.

DuMouchel is a frequent speaker on internal corporate investigations and federal criminal procedural matters.

DuMouchel is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an organization limited to one percent of the trial lawyers in a state by invitation; serves as a member of the Criminal Procedure Committee; and, is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers. DuMouchel served as the first chairman of the State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.

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Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Maura Corrigan received a national award on January 29 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. She was one of four individuals being honored with Excellence in Mentoring Awards from MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

Corrigan, a Wayne County resident and former Michigan Supreme Court justice, received the Individual Leadership Award, which honors someone whose enduring commitment to expanding quality mentoring relationships through volunteerism, advocacy and/or fundraising has had an extraordinary impact.

While in Washington, Corrigan spread the word about the value of mentoring. "Mentoring is the way we cut across all of the silos that create barriers to success," she said. "One human being reaching out to another is so important. It's only when we do it one-by-one that we can truly have an impact."

Corrigan speaks proudly of the two sisters she and a friend have mentored for six years. They come from a difficult background, but they are thriving. The oldest has a 4.0 grade-point-average and has earned five college scholarships.

Corrigan has mentored young adults since 2005 while also volunteering her time to help local programs recruit mentors, maintain state funding and build cross-sector partnerships. She was instrumental in the passing of the Voluntary Young Adult Foster Care Act, which extends foster care supports and benefits to qualifying individuals up to age 21.

Recognizing the important role that mentors could play in the transitional period for foster care youth, Corrigan tasked Mentor Michigan, the state's mentoring partnership, with recruiting mentors for youth in foster care with an emphasis on those about to age out of the system. She also has worked to change policies and procedures at DHS to ensure they are more "mentoring friendly" and to allow caseworkers to partner with local mentoring programs to serve youth in foster care.

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ACCESS recently announced the election of its new board president, attorney William W. Swor, who, along with the board, will continue to support the nonprofit social and economic services organization in fulfilling its mission and vision of enabling and empowering individuals, families and communities to lead informed, productive and culturally sensitive lives. ACCESS honors its Arab American heritage through community-building and service to those in need, of every heritage.

Swor's legal background greatly adds to the vast skillset and knowledge of the ACCESS board of directors--ranging from education and technology to finance and a myriad of other exciting backgrounds--advancing ACCESS' ability to make a real difference in the community.

Swor has served on the ACCESS board since 1999.

"I am honored by the trust placed in me by the ACCESS board and membership," Swor said. "ACCESS is one of the premier social services agencies in the country. ACCESS has been an agent for change in the way in which many nonprofits deliver services, and how Arab Americans are viewed as part of the social fabric of America."

The grandson of Lebanese immigrants, Swor is a member of the board of directors of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan; a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, currently sitting on its board of governors; served as a member of the Representative Assembly of the State Bar of Michigan; and served two terms as chairman of the General Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Swor has tried many high profile and politically-charged cases. He was counsel for one of the defendants in the first terrorism case brought to court in the United States after Sept. 11, 2001, which resulted in the dismissal of all charges against the defendant. He was lead counsel for 19 Arab men who were rounded up immediately after 9/11 and falsely accused of conspiracy to engage in terrorism against the United States. In addition, he participated in the defense of several charities accused by the federal government of providing support to terrorism, or providing humanitarian aid in violation of government sanctions.

Swor has authored articles on various aspects of practicing law, and has spoken frequently on legal issues in print and electronic media. He has lectured and written extensively on the need to guard against the loss of American freedoms, and has tried several cases in which Arabs and Arab Americans were accused of supporting terrorism.

He has taught at conferences hosted by numerous professional organizations, including the State Bar of Michigan, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan.

In 2005, William received the Detroit Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild's Defender of Justice award in recognition of his work on behalf of four Middle Eastern men who had been falsely accused of supporting terrorism. In 2004, he received the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan Justice for All award. In addition, William has received the Detroit ACLU Bernard Gottfried award, and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 2007 Rodney Thaxton Against All Odds award. In 2010, the American Arab Chamber of Commerce named him its Legal Professional of the Year.

Swor has served on the national legal committees of numerous political, legal, religious and charitable organizations. He is currently a member of the Practitioners Advisory Group to the United States Sentencing Commission, and a member of the Advisory Board of the ACLU of Michigan. He is also a member of the National Policy Council of the Arab American Institute, where he works to politically educate and empower the Arab American community.

"Our new board of directors brings a unique level of professional skill and vision for the future of ACCESS. They come from the community, business and the academic world. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with them," Swor said. "With this professional board, and the staff at ACCESS, which has always demonstrated its passion for service, creativity and excellence, we look forward to a year in which we expand our ability to serve the community, and lead the way into the future."

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Maddin, Hauser, Wartell, Roth, & Heller PC is pleased to announce the addition of tax attorney Alex Domenicucci as a shareholder to the firm.

The announcement was made by firm President and CEO Steven D. Sallen.

Domenicucci joins the firm from the Detroit office of Ernst & Young and previously was a partner at Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP. He counsels businesses and individuals on a wide range of tax matters with particular emphasis on pass-through entities, such as partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), Subchapter S corporations, and real estate investment trusts (REITs). Domenicucci also advises clients in structuring domestic and international transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, low-income housing partnerships, fund formations, incorporations, mergers, consolidations, reorganizations, restructurings, bankruptcies, spin-offs, split-offs, securities offerings, financings, and refinancings.

Domenicucci earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School and his B.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He is currently secretary of the State Bar of Michigan's Taxation Section.

Published: Mon, Feb 3, 2014

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