LEGAL PEOPLE

Melinda N. Deel has been elected to the 2014-2015 Board of Directors for the Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA). Deel has been an active member of the OCBA through various committee positions and program involvement over the years. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

As chairwoman of the Juvenile Law Committee, Deel established the Juvenile Law Brown Bag Lecture Series, now in its eighth year, which she has moderated since its inception. She coordinated the Youth Law Conference for area high school students as the chair of the Law Related Education Committee.

Deel is the owner of Melinda N. Deel PLLC where she specializes in juvenile law, family law, probate and appeals. She earned her bachelor's degree from Michigan State University's James Madison College and is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Law.

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The Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association accepted the nomination of Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Robert J. Colombo and retired Judge Wendy Baxter to join the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation's Board of Trustees during the organization's May meeting. The two new Trustees were nominated during the DMBA Foundation's April meeting.

Colombo has been an attorney in private practice as well as serving on the Wayne County Circuit Court since he was first elected in 1982. During his time on the bench Colombo has taken on responsibilities including acting as the court's asbestos judge, handling all breast implant cases in the state of Michigan, and being in charge of adjudicating all of the class action lawsuits against MicroSoft in the state.

In January of this year, Colombo began a two-year appointment as chief judge of the Wayne County Circuit Court.

Colombo has also been an active community volunteer, beginning in 1992 with an eight-year stint as coach and manager of his local Little League baseball teams. A hockey enthusiast, Colombo has served as the business manager for various teams within the Grosse Pointe Hockey Association. He was also a member of the Association's board of directors and served as its Ice Director from 1999-2001.

He expressed eagerness to get to work in his new role with the DMBAF, saying, "I look forward to serving on the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation's Board of Trustees to advance and expand the Foundation's worthy goals."

Baxter, a former Wayne County Circuit Court judge with a long history of service to the bench, has also been president of the Black Judges Association of Michigan, a member of the State Bar Representative Assembly, and Treasurer of the State Bar of Michigan's Mediation Tribunal.

According to Baxter, one of her primary passions as a DMBAF Trustee will be working with For The Seventh Generation, a program that matches donations of goods and services with metro Detroit-area foster children, families, and teens both in and aging out of the foster care system.

"Serving as a board member is a golden opportunity to assist DMBAF in achieving the aspirational goals we share for our area's children and youths," she said. "I look forward to solving more problems, meeting more needs, and addressing more issues faced by young people who find themselves caught in quandaries of health, education and welfare challenges without the resources for success-and sometimes without basic resources many take for granted. This organization has been on the forefront of development in innovative youth programs, and I am happy to be a part of it."

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Dickinson Wright attorney Jerome Crawford was recently appointed by the Board of Commissioners to a two-year term serving on the State Bar of Michigan District I Character and Fitness Committee.

The Character and Fitness Committee is responsible for investigating the character and fitness of candidates for admission to the State Bar of Michigan.

Crawford is an associate in Dickinson Wright's Troy office. He focuses his practice in the areas of commercial and business litigation; intellectual property; music, sports and entertainment litigation; real estate and bank litigation; and workouts, restructurings and foreclosures. He advises clients with regards to the formation of LLCs and corporations and drafting and/or amending organizational documents. In the intellectual property arena, he counsels Fortune 500 companies regarding risks associated with potential trademark use and registration on a wide array of retail products.

Crawford is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Oakland County Bar Association, the Wolverine Bar Association, and the Straker Bar Association. Crawford received his B.A. from Michigan State University and his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.

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Sullivan, Ward, Asher, & Patton PC proudly recognizes the promotion to shareholder status of two of its members, Bryan L. Patton and Jennifer R. Moran.

Patton became an associate with Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton PC in 2009. He received his law degree from University of Notre Dame Law School in 2009 and his undergraduate degree from Albion College in 2006.

Patton's practice areas include Engineering, Architectural & Construction Litigation; Insurance; Personal Injury & Property Damage Defense; Product liability Defense; Retail; and Retail Liability Defense.

Moran joined Sullivan, Ward, Asher, & Patton PC in April of 2003. She received her law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, in 2002. Her undergraduate degree was received from the University of Michigan, in 1999.

Moran's areas of practice include Engineering, Architectural, and Construction Litigation. Additionally, she advises colleagues in the process and preparation of appealing lower court decisions to a higher court and managing appellate files.

Sullivan, Ward, Asher, & Patton PC is also pleased to announce that Michael J. Asher has been elected to the firm's Executive Committee.

Asher received his law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1986 and his undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College in 1983.

His areas of practice include Employee Benefits, Labor & Employment Law; Employment Law & Litigation; ERISA Litigation & Compliance; Labor, Pension & Benefits; and Multiemployer Funds and Public Funds.

In addition, Sullivan, Ward, Asher, & Patton PC announces two new members to its Board of Directors: Jacqueline A. Kelly and Adam P. Lumberg.

Kelly received her law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1988. She received her undergraduate from Kalamazoo College in 1985.

Kelly's areas of practice include Employee Benefits, Labor & Employment Law; Employment Law & Litigation; ERISA Litigation & Compliance; Healthcare; Labor, Pension & Benefits; and Multiemployer Funds.

Lumberg received his law degrees from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000 and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1999. He received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University.

Lumberg's areas of practice include Banking & Commercial Transactions; Business Planning & Transactions; Corporate Tax; Estate Planning; Mergers & Acquisitions; and Real Estate Development.

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Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP is pleased to announce that Jennifer Zbytowski Belveal, a partner in the firm's Litigation Department and leader of its White Collar Crime and Investigations Practice Group, has been appointed as vice chair of the Women in White Collar Subcommittee. This is a subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Section's White Collar Committee of the American Bar Association.

The Women in White Collar Subcommittee was created a few years ago because, historically, few female attorneys have practiced in the area of white collar crime.

Belveal, who also serves as Honigman's associate general counsel and chair of the firm's Pro Bono Committee, focuses her law practice on both white collar criminal defense and complex commercial litigation involving many aspects of business, real estate, health care and environmental laws.

She is co-chair of the State Bar of Michigan's Pro Bono Initiative and a Bar Foundation Fellow. She is also an Oakland County Bar Foundation Fellow. In addition, she serves on the board of trustees of Detroit Public Television and on the executive board of the Giving Hope Women's Giving Circle.

Belveal earned a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. She received a B.A. from Michigan State University's Honors College.

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Attorney and CEO of Beier Howlett PC, Timothy Currier, was recently nominated and selected to be a member of Leading Lawyers and the Leading Lawyers Advisory Board.

Currier is recognized as one of the leading experts in school and municipal law in the State of Michigan. He is the Birmingham city attorney and also represents the Birmingham Area Cable Board, Intergovernmental Cable Communications Authority, and the Bloomfield Village Association.

He is also the attorney for Dearborn Public Schools and represents the Lapeer Area Community Schools, Lincoln Consolidated Schools, and the Troy School District.

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Andrew B. Wachler is pleased to announce that Reesa N. Handelsman has become a partner at Wachler & Associates PC.

Handelsman practices in all areas of health care law and devotes a substantial portion of her practice to transactional and regulatory matters. She counsels and represents clients on a variety of health care-related issues, including hospital and physician transactions and contracting; Fraud and Abuse, Anti-Kickback Statute, and Stark Law compliance; business and real estate transactions; and general health care matters.

Handelsman also counsels clients on a variety of supply chain issues, including contract management, drafting and negotiation; supply chain coordination and standardization; procurement of products, capital equipment and services; and provision of maintenance and support services.

Handelsman graduated from the Boston University School of Law. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Handelsman is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Health Care Law Section, the American Bar Association, the American Health Lawyers Association, and the Oakland County Bar Association. She serves as vice chair of the Business & Transactions Interest Group of the American Bar Association's Health Law Section, and as vice chair of the American Bar Association's Physician Legal Issues Conference. Additionally, Handelsman serves on the Payor's Subcommittee of the State Bar of Michigan's Health Law Section, and previously served on the Medical/Legal Substantive Law Subcommittee.

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Bodman PLC of Detroit, and its effort to aid the city's homeless and vulnerable population, has earned a Pro Bono Award from Super Lawyers, a business of Thomson Reuters.

Bodman is the only private law firm in the U.S. that participates in a Street Outreach Court (SOC) a specialty court that helps provide a fresh start to citizens who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Participants follow an action plan to address the causes of their homelessness and undertake drug and alcohol rehabilitation, job training and more. Upon completion of the action plan, participants are granted relief from most existing civil infractions and misdemeanors Bodman attorneys represent SOC participants in Detroit with these cases.

Attorneys at the firm also volunteer with the Detroit chapter of Homeless Experience Legal Protection program, social service programs, soup kitchens and crisis centers that aid the homeless.

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A just-released report-The BTI Brand Elite: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms 2014-reveals that in-house counsel from the world's largest organizations have named Dykema to the Honor Roll for Client Recommendations and for Short-Listed Firms.

The BTI survey-in its 13th year, the only continuous benchmarking market study in the legal services industry-identifies Client Recommendation and Being Short-Listed as the top two contributing factors to client perception of law firm performance.

The Client Recommended designation means Dykema is among the law firms its clients recommend first to peers and to colleagues. This distinction is especially meaningful in that respondents volunteered this information without prompting.

The Short-Listed Firm designation reflects a companion belief: client perception-again, on an unprompted basis-that Dykema should be considered first when awarding new assignments.

Peter M. Kellett, Dykema chairman and CEO, states, "These honors are meaningful for two important reasons. First, they reflect how the people and companies whom we represent truly value our contributions. Second, they affirm that our dedication to provide exceptional client service is acknowledged and valued."

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Brooks Kushman, intellectual property and technology law firm, is now listed in Intellectual Asset Management's (IAM) annual Patent 1000, a guide that recognizes the world's top patent law firms and practitioners in key jurisdictions. The 2014 IAM Patent 1000 issue marks the first time any firms from Michigan were included in the publication. Of the Michigan firms listed in the directory, Brooks Kushman is the only firm listed as a gold-standard patent firm.

"Being listed as Michigan's only gold-standard firm is a great honor, and is a tribute to the exceptional work of our attorneys and staff" said Mark Cantor, president of Brooks Kushman. "Having the firm listed in IAM's Patent 1000 is proof that growth is possible without sacrificing quality service."

In addition to the firm's recognition, President Mark A. Cantor and Shareholders William G. Abbatt, John E. Nemazi, and Sangeeta G. Shah were also recognized as patent leaders in Michigan. Cantor is recognized for his 30+ years of patent litigation experience while Abbatt, Nemazi, and Shah are each recognized for their experience in patent prosecution. Nemazi and Shah'spractice also includes post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Published: Mon, Jun 16, 2014