The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) recently announced the appointment of Detroit attorney Jonathan Sacks as the agency’s founding executive director.

First established by the Legislature in 2013, the 15-member commission works to ensure the state’s public defense system is fair, cost-effective and constitutional while simultaneously protecting public safety and accountability.

Sacks, who will begin work in February, comes to the commission from the Michigan State Appellate Defender Office in Detroit where he has served as deputy director. His past achievements include the establishment of units to support indigent clients through evidence reviews involving the now closed Detroit Crime Lab, investigation of possible wrongful convictions, and social worker mitigation and reentry support. Prior to the Appellate Defender Office, Sacks worked as a felony trial supervisor and major trials unit attorney at the Defender Association of Philadelphia.

The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission is housed within the judicial branch of state government. Its members are appointed by the governor with recommendation of the legislature, Supreme Court, the State Bar, and representing interests from the criminal justice system.

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Jeffrey R. Bozell joins Secrest Wardle’s Troy office as an associate attorney. Prior to joining the firm, Bozell practiced domestic and international tax law at two global accounting firms and at General Motors. His experience with tax and corporate law is applied in representation of his current clients.

Bozell is also active in the community, having served as a board member for a public charter school in Detroit and regularly volunteering with local church soup kitchens.

Bozell received his law degree from Boston University School of Law in April of 2011. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008 from the University of Michigan majoring in Economics. He was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2012 and to practice in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in 2014.

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Matthew W. Bower, Dennis M. Devaney, and Richard P. Manczak have been elected partners at Varnum. All three experienced attorneys joined the firm’s Metro Detroit office as counsel in 2013.

Bower is a business and corporate attorney with a focus on general business, contracts, transactions, employment and private equity. He has a particular emphasis in representing technology, internet and software startup to mid-sized companies and works extensively with Varnum’s MiSpringboard program, advising startup companies. He also practices intellectual property law, specifically copyright, publishing and licensing.

In addition to his practice, Bower serves on the boards of Creative Many (formerly ArtServe) and Michigan Youth Arts Association.

Devaney is an experienced labor and employment attorney, representing clients in labor and employment disputes, litigation and regulatory matters. He also counsels clients on international trade issues and was actively involved in significant trade initiatives including WTO and NAFTA.

He is a former member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Manczak is a corporate and transactional business attorney with extensive experience in all major areas of corporate, business and commercial law. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions, complex business transactions, venture capital and private equity finance, and startup and early state companies. He works with clients in Varnum’s MiSpringboard program. In addition to his corporate practice, Manczak formerly served as general counsel to a consolidated group of over 80 privately-held companies.

Manczak is a long-time resident of Southeast Michigan where he serves as a board member and secretary on both the Great Lakes Literary Arts Council and Michigan Sustainable Energy Coalition and is a member and volunteer for the Huron River Watershed Council.

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Brinks, Gilson, & Lione announces Jennifer Theis, an associate attorney in the firm’s Chicago office since 2006, has returned home to Michigan and is now based in the firm’s Detroit office. Theis joined Brinks in 2005 as a summer associate.

Theis focuses her intellectual property law practice on all aspects of trademark law, patent law, copyright law and unfair competition law. Her litigation experience includes civil litigation in federal district court as well as cancellation and opposition proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Theis also focuses on trademark and patent prosecution, both domestic and foreign. Her international trademark practice includes international trademark prosecution, determination of international filing strategies and international trademark litigation. Additionally, Theis has experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications in the chemical and mechanical arts.

Theis received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame.

In addition, Brinks, Gilson, & Lione announces six attorneys in the firm’s Michigan offices have been named by their peers as Leading Lawyers in intellectual property in Michigan for 2014-2015. This is the first year Leading Lawyers has covered the state of Michigan.

Ann Arbor office managing partner Steven L. Oberholtzer, Detroit office managing partner Kelly K. Burris and shareholders Lawrence (L.G.) Almeda, William R. Boudreaux, James K. Cleland and Eric J. Sosenko, all from the Ann Arbor office, were included on the list.

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Pepper Hamilton LLP announced that Michael A. Temple has been elected as Of Counsel.  He is a member of the Corporate and Securities Practice Group, resident in the Southfield office.

Temple concentrates his practice in commercial law and general corporate matters, with an emphasis on venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, domestic and international corporate transactions, technology licensing and service agreements, and securities transactions.  He is particularly experienced in the formation and operation of Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) licensed by the United States Small Business Administration.

In addition to representing SBICs in all facets of their life cycle, Temple also represents buyers and sellers in acquisitions and restructurings; commercial entities in the full range of general commercial matters; and borrowers and lenders in financing transactions.

Temple is a 1999 graduate of Wayne State University Law School. He received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1996 where he earned a B.A. in economics.

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 Brooks Kushman is pleased to announce that Erin Bowles, Molly Crandall, Brian Doughty, John Rondini, Christopher Smith, and Martin Sultana have all been promoted to Shareholders of the firm.

Erin Bowles focuses her practice on domestic and foreign patent prosecution.

Her practice also includes patentability investigations, infringement and right-to-use analysis and IP transactions and licensing agreements, trademark, trade dress, and copyright issues.

Molly Crandall focuses her practice on trademark clearance, prosecution, enforcement, litigation and licensing matters to help her client’s develop and protect their brands.

As part of her practice, she negotiates and prepares IP-related agreements, such as license agreements, co-existence and settlement agreements, and confidentiality, non-disclosure, and trade secret agreements.

Brian Doughty focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation, with a primary emphasis on patent litigation.

He has also been involved in patent prosecution and opinion work, especially where his expertise with chemical technologies is needed.

John Rondini concentrates his practice on intellectual property litigation with a primary emphasis on patent litigation, patentability opinions, and infringement investigation.

Rondini also has experience in the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in the electrical and electro-mechanical arts.

Christopher Smith concentrates his practice on intellectual property litigation, with a primary emphasis on patent litigation.

Additionally, Smith is involved with the prosecution of patent and trademark applications, and the preparation of invalidity and infringement opinions.

Martin Sultana concentrates his practice on domestic and foreign patent prosecution.

Sultana’s practice extends beyond traditional patent prosecution and includes the preparation of clearance, validity, and infringement opinions.

In addition, Brooks Kushman is pleased to announce Shareholder Elizabeth (Libby) Janda has recently been appointed to serve as the new chair of the firm’s trademark practice.

Janda has more than 30 years of experience as a trademark practitioner and specialist with Brooks Kushman. She has been instrumental in developing the firm’s trademark practice and handles trademark matters in a variety of industries, both domestically and internationally.

Janda’s work encompasses selecting and clearing trademarks, prosecuting trademark applications, representing clients in trademark opposition and cancellation matters, drafting and negotiating licenses and other agreements relating to the use of trademarks and copyrights, and policing the unauthorized use or infringement of clients’ rights. She also provides litigation support and consulting on trademark issues and matters.

Janda earned her law degree from Loyola University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She was been recognized as an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property in 2013 and 2014, and was included in the 2015 Best Lawyers in America list. She also has served on the board of trustees for the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan.

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The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed Bodman PLC attorney Thomas Van Dusen to a third term on the Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions.

The committee is composed of judges and attorneys whose duty is to ensure that model civil jury instructions used in Michigan courts are concise, understandable, conversational, unslanted, and not argumentative. The committee has the authority to amend or repeal existing instructions and, when appropriate, adopt new instructions.

Van Dusen is a member of Bodman’s Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group.  He advises clients in the areas of commercial, insurance, and personal injury defense litigation including arbitration hearings, bench trials, jury trials, and appeals.

Van Dusen is listed in The Best Lawyers in America under Commercial Litigation, in Benchmark Litigation as a Litigation Star, and in Michigan Super Lawyers under Business Litigation.  He is a member of the American Arbitration Association, the National Diocesan Attorneys Association, and the Oakland County Circuit Court’s Case Evaluator Panel.  Van Dusen is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. 

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Potestivo & Associates PC is pleased to announce the hiring of Lisa Barwick, an associate attorney who has joined the firm’s Litigation Department at the Rochester Hills office.

Lisa earned her B.A. in Political Science at Tennessee State University in 2003 and completed her law degree at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2008. Barwick is also certified as a credit union compliance expert and a Bank Secrecy Act compliance specialist.

Barwick worked for the State Bar of Michigan before moving onto her most recent former position as staff attorney for a local credit union. She also possesses experience in Bankruptcy Law.

In addition to being a licensed member of the state of Michigan, Barwick has been admitted to practice in both the eastern and western federal district courts of Michigan.

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Matthew G. Mrkonic has joined the Litigation Department at Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP. He is located in the firm’s Detroit office.

Mrkonic focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation. He has experience in trial and appellate work, as well as pretrial discovery and motion practice. Mrkonic joins Honigman from O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Century City, California, where he has practiced since 2009. During his time at O’Melveny, he also volunteered as a Deputy City Prosecutor for the Redondo Beach City Prosecutors Office. Mrkonic is admitted to practice in California and his admittance to practice in Michigan is pending.

He earned his law degree from Yale Law School and his B.A. in English from Duke University.