Julie A. Brainer has joined Secrest Wardle’s Troy office as an associate attorney and member of the firm’s Motor Vehicle Litigation, General Negligence, and Premises Liability Practice Groups. Prior to joining Secrest Wardle, Brainer practiced in Florida and in the Metro Detroit area.

She is a former Oakland County assistant prosecutor and Florida state attorney.  In addition to her prosecutorial career, she has handled matters in a variety of areas of the law, including General Negligence, Premises Liability, Amusement and Leisure Defense, Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (Servicing Insurer Defense and Servicing Insurer Subrogation) Criminal Defense, Federal Fair Housing Violations, Real Estate Professional Liability Coverage, and Liquor Liability for a Metro Detroit insurance defense firm.

Secrest Wardle is also pleased to announce that William P. Hampton has been named the recipient of the 2016 Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award.  The award honors municipal attorneys who have reached the highest level of professional accomplishment in the representation of cities, townships or villages and their contributions to other municipal attorneys through participation in and service to professional organizations such as the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA) and the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA).  The award will be presented at the Capitol Office of MAMA’s partner organization, Michigan Municipal League (MML), in Lansing on Oct. 13.

Hampton has practiced law for more than 50 years and is recognized as a leading authority in the area of municipal law.  He developed Secrest Wardle’s Municipal Law Practice Group from its inception into the renowned municipal law practice group that it is today.  He has served as general counsel for the Cities of Bloomfield Hills and Auburn Hills, and the Charter Townships of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield for more than 30 years.

Over the course of his career, Hampton has served as an Oakland County Circuit Court judge, including a term as presiding judge. He was also elected to three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives where his tenure included service as majority and minority leader. 

Hampton is listed in Who’s Who in American Law and the 2016 edition of Best Lawyers in America© in seven categories, including Litigation - Land Use and Zoning, Litigation - Municipal, Litigation - Real Estate, and Municipal Law.  He has been recognized as a consistent and dedicated member of the legal community by his inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 20 years and the Super Lawyers magazine list of Michigan Super Lawyers since 2006. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. 

In 2013 he was chosen as one of thirty Michigan attorneys to be honored as a “Leader in the Law” by the publication, Michigan Lawyers Weekly.  In 2007,  Hampton was the sole recipient of the Oakland County Bar Association “Professionalism Award.”  He has received the Michael J. Frank Award from the State Bar of Michigan. 

In 2014, he was awarded the Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club’s “Respect for Law Award,” presented in honor of his position as a well-respected municipal law attorney in the community.  In 2014, Hampton was also selected to receive the Oakland County Bar Association’s “Distinguished Career Achievement Award.” 

•            •           •

Ten attorneys from Foster Swift’s Southfield office have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2017 Best Lawyers in America® list. Six attorneys have also been named to the 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers list.

Listed attorneys and their areas of practice:

• Dirk H. Beckwith

Best Lawyers 2017—Construction Law
2016 Michigan Super Lawyers—Business Litigation   

• Michael R. Blum
Best Lawyers 2017—Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management
2016 Michigan Super Lawyers—Employment & Labor

• Julie I. Fershtman
Best Lawyers 2017—Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law
2016 Michigan Super Lawyers—Civil Lit: Defense

• Gilbert H. Frimet

Best Lawyers 2017—Health Care Law

• Lisa J. Hamameh
Best Lawyers 2017—Municipal Law
2016 Michigan Super Lawyers—State/Local/Muni

• John M. Kamins
Best Lawyers 2017—Corporate Law

• Frank T. Mamat
Best Lawyers 2017—Labor Law – Management
2016 Michigan Super Lawyers—Employment & Labor

• Paul Millenbach
Best Lawyers 2017—Mass Tort Litigation
2016 Michigan Super Lawyers—Business Litigation   

• Brian J. Renaud
Best Lawyers 2017—Administrative/Regulatory Law

• Bruce A. Vande Vusse
Best Lawyers 2017—Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants

•            •           •

Michigan Lawyers Weekly has named Plunkett Cooney attorney Carolyn M. Jereck as one of its 2016 “Women in the Law.”

For 14 years, Jereck has served as a department leader at Plunkett Cooney. She is also the first female to hold the position.

The 2016 Women in the Law honorees will be recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in a special section that coincides with an awards luncheon on Sept. 15 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

Jereck is a member of the Plunkett Cooney’s Litigation and Labor and Employment practice groups. She is also a founding member of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Committee. She concentrates her practice in the areas of employment law, retail liability, premises liability, loss prevention litigation, liquor liability and product liability.

A recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating-AV Preeminent Peer Review rating, Jereck is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association, the Litigation Section and Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program of the State Bar of Michigan, the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, the Association of Trial Defense Counsel and the Employment Subcommittee of the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar.

Jereck received her law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1988 and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1985.

•            •           •

Jonathan Engman
and Rose Marie Brook, partners of the law firm Fabrizio & Brook PC, have both been appointed to sit on the board of directors of Six Rivers Land Conservancy. The mission of the Conservancy is to conserve and sustain natural lands and waters in Michigan’s Tri-County area. This includes using conservation easements to preserve nature areas and their uses such as equestrian activities, farming and recreation while protecting fragile areas from human impact.

Engman and Brook each bring the Conservancy more than twenty years of legal experience in the area of real property transactions and quiet title law. Engman will initially sit on the Lands Committee to review property acquisition and encroachment issues on existing Conservancy properties. Brook will initially sit on the Development Committee to work on community and donor outreach.

•            •           •

Dykema announced that 44 of its attorneys from the firm’s five Michigan offices, and from multiple practice areas, were named to the 2016 Super Lawyers list by Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine. Additionally, 18 of the firm’s attorneys were named to the 2016 Rising Stars list.

Two local firm practitioners were also included on Super Lawyers “Top Lists.” These honorees, and the Top List(s) they have been included on, are:

• James P. Feeney – Top 100: 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers.

• Brian M. Moore – Top 50: 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers; Top 100: 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers.

The local Dykema attorneys named on the 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers list, identified by office and the practice area(s) for which they are being recognized, are:

• Brendan J. Cahill – Business/Corporate; Mergers & Acquisitions; Securities & Corporate Finance.
• Michael G. Cumming – Estate Planning & Probate; Tax.
• Stephen R. Estey – Land Use/Zoning; Eminent Domain; General Litigation.
• James P. Feeney – Personal Injury – Products: Defense; Civil Litigation: Defense; Class Action/Mass Torts.
• Adam M. Fishkind – Real Estate: Business.
• Alan M. Greene – Land Use/Zoning; Eminent Domain; Construction Litigation.
• Dennis M. Haffey – Business Litigation; Professional Liability: Defense; Securities Litigation.
• Kyle R. Hauberg – Real Estate: Business.
• Margaret Adams Hunter – Employee Benefits.
• Howard B. Iwrey – Antitrust Litigation; Franchise/Dealership.
• Mark G. Malven – Technology Transactions; Mergers & Acquisitions; Business/Corporate.
• Bonnie Mayfield – Employment Litigation: Defense; Personal Injury – Products: Defense; Class Actions/Mass Torts.
• D. Richard McDonald Securities & Corporate Finance; Mergers & Acquisitions.
• Brian M. Moore – Business Litigation; General Litigation; Real Estate: Business.
• Paul L. Nystrom – Business Litigation; Personal Injury – Products: Defense; Class Actions/Mass Torts; Land Use/Zoning.
• Rex E. Schlaybaugh Jr. – Securities & Corporate Finance; Mergers & Acquisitions.
• Sheryl L. Toby – Bankruptcy: Business; Creditor Debtor Rights: Business.
• Stephen L. Tupper – Technology Transactions; Mergers & Acquisitions.

• J. Michael Bernard – Mergers & Acquisitions; Business/Corporate; Securities & Corporate Finance.
• Robert A. Boonin – Employment & Labor; Employment Litigation: Defense; Schools & Education.
• Eric Thomas Carver – Estate & Trust Litigation; Estate Planning & Probate; Business/Corporate.
• Michael P. Cooney – Personal Injury – Products: Defense; Business Litigation; Intellectual Property Litigation; Class Action/Mass Torts.
• Samuel C. Damren – Business Litigation; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Closely Held Business.
• Sherrie L. Farrell – Business Litigation; Business/Corporate; Bankruptcy: Business; Class Action/Mass Torts.
• Grant P. Gilezan – Environmental; Energy & Natural Resources; Environmental Litigation.
• Steven E. Grob – Tax: Business; Estate Planning & Probate.
• Kathryn J. Humphrey – Aviation and Aerospace; Personal Injury – Products: Defense; General Litigation.
• Mark D. Jacobs – Environmental; Utilities; Administrative Law.
• Peter M. Kellett – Class Action/Mass Torts; Business Litigation; Personal Injury – Products: Defense.
• Joel D. Kellman – Real Estate: Business; Banking; Nonprofit Organizations.
• Jin-Kyu Koh – Mergers & Acquisitions; Business/Corporate; Healthcare.
• Cameron H. Piggott – Real Estate: Business; Energy & Natural Resources.
• Thomas M. Schehr – Business Litigation.

Rising Stars are those up-and-coming attorneys who are 40 years of age or younger and have practiced law for 10 years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team to receive this honor. The local Dykema attorneys named on the 2016 Rising Stars list, identified by Michigan office and the practice area(s) for which they are being recognized, are:

• Michael J. Blalock – Business Litigation; Civil Litigation: Defense.
• Jong-Ju Chang – Business Litigation.
• William C. Lentine – Tax: Business; Estate Planning & Probate; Mergers & Acquisitions.
• Todd C. Schebor – Environmental; Environmental Litigation; Eminent Domain.
• Christyn M. Scott – General Litigation; Real Estate: Business.
• Thomas H. Trapnell – Business Litigation; Franchise/Dealership; Consumer Law.
• Michael R. Vogt – Real Estate: Business.
• Jeanne M. Whalen – Technology Transactions; Mergers & Acquisitions; Health Care.

• Jennifer Boueri Chilson – Business Litigation.
• Janet L. Conigliaro – Class Action/Mass Torts.
• Robert Hugh Ellis – Business Litigation.
• Nasseem S. Ramin – Business Litigation.
• Boyd White III – Class Action/Mass Torts; Personal Injury – Products: Defense; Business Litigation.

•            •           •

The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center announced that it has hired additional attorneys to meet the growing need for public-interest environmental law and policy expertise in Detroit and the state of Michigan.

“I am pleased to announce the hiring of Senior Attorney Oday Salim and the promotion of Nicholas Leonard to staff attorney,” said Executive Director Nick Schroeck, while speaking at the Center’s offices at the Green Garage in Detroit.

Prior to joining the Center, Salim most recently served as senior attorney at Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services and previously was staff attorney at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Environmental Law Clinic. Salim earned an LL.M. degree in environmental and natural resources law from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where he worked on issues such as renewable energy and sustainable stormwater management. Salim received his law degree from Wayne State University Law School where he participated in the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition and Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and served on the board of the Journal of Law in Society.

“I am thrilled to move back to my hometown and join the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. Michigan’s environment and natural resources are vitally important to our economy and overall well-being. I look forward to helping the Center preserve those resources and protect the communities who rely on them.” Salim said.

Previously, Leonard was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Center. During his fellowship he assisted the Center in providing legal counsel and transactional services to non-profit entities, community organizations and low-income persons working in various phases of urban agriculture in Detroit. Leonard also worked with the Center to create a pro bono legal network for urban farmers in Detroit and served as a policy advocate for the urban agriculture community.

While continuing his work on urban agriculture, Leonard will also support the Center’s litigation and policy programs. “I look forward to continued work on the programs I developed during my fellowship, and to tackle pressing environmental justice issues that are impacting Detroiters and their communities.” Leonard said. Leonard is a 2014 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Schroeck continues to serve as executive director of the Center, a position he has held since 2010. Schroeck is also director of the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic at Wayne Law, where he is an assistant (clinical) professor. Through the strong partnership between the center and Wayne Law, Transnational Environmental Law Clinic students work under the supervision of center attorneys on a variety of environmental law and policy matters.

•            •           •

Goodman Acker PC is proud to say it has been chosen as one of the “2016 Cool Places to Work” in Michigan by Crain’s Detroit Business and Best Companies Group. 

Goodman Acker PC stands out and above many other companies in Michigan based on its employee recognition, wellness perks, and charities they support.

At least once a month Goodman Acker PC does something different for its employees to show that they value their hard work.  Some of the things the firm does include breakfast cooked by the partners, bringing in a masseuse to do chair massages, yearly Halloween costume contest, birthday celebrations, and more. 

Senior Partner Gerald Acker recently said “The coolest thing about Goodman Acker are the people we work with. They are dedicated to making sure our clients can trust us to take care of them.”

“It’s an honor to be listed as one of the ‘Cool Places to Work’ in Michigan, and we look forward to continuing to be a place people enjoy working at,” said Senior Partner Barry Goodman.

•            •           •

Varnum family law attorney Julia A. Perkins has been named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Women in the Law” Class of 2016.

Perkins, who works with clients in family law matters including divorce, child custody, child support and parenting time matters, will be recognized along with other Michigan women attorneys at an awards luncheon on Sept. 15 in Troy.

In addition to her practice, Perkins is active in the Detroit area legal community. She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, which provides strategic leadership for the DMBA membership, and serves as an adjunct family law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Perkins also serves on the Advisory Committee for Kids-Talk Children’s Advocacy Center, helping abused and neglected children; and the Culinary Challenge Core Committee, a charitable event that raises money for youth programs. In her home community, she is a member of the Canton Township Planning Commission.

Perkins’ legal practice includes experience with international custody cases and valuation and division of high net worth marital estates. She is also a certified mediator with a focus in Family Law.

•            •           •

David W. Hipp, a real estate attorney, has joined Butzel Long as counsel in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office. His practice is focused on real estate and real estate finance, including loan originations for lenders, representation of borrowers, purchases and sales of real estate, leasing, construction, and development.

Throughout his legal career, Hipp has represented banks and other lenders in all aspects of commercial real estate finance, including complex loans, syndications, construction financing and workouts.  He has worked with institutional clients to develop form documents and procedures.

At the same time, Hipp has represented buyers and sellers in real estate sale and purchase transactions ranging from single family homes to multi-million dollar commercial properties such as hotels, apartment projects, and shopping centers. He has experience negotiating and drafting commercial leases for both lessors and lessees.

He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2016 (for 10 years) –  Real Estate; Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2016 –  Real Estate; and, Michigan Super Lawyers 2016 – Real Estate. Further, he is listed as a 2016 “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness magazine. He is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Real Property Law Section.

Hipp is a graduate of  Wayne State University Law School and the University of Michigan.

•            •           •

Sommers Schwartz PC,
based in Southfield, is pleased to announce that Parker G. Stinar has joined the firm as an associate in its Personal Injury, Birth Injury, and Medical Malpractice groups.

A 2011 graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Stinar has courtroom experience representing plaintiffs in all stages of litigation and obtaining numerous successful outcomes totaling millions of dollars for his clients. He has appeared in courthouses throughout Michigan and in other states.

Stinar has been recognized as a Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star, an honor reserved for attorneys who are 40 years old or younger or who have practiced for ten years or less – fewer than 2.5% of lawyers in the state. He is active in the State Bar of Michigan and Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and is a guest lecturer at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

•            •           •

Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Veronica Madsen has joined the firm. She will practice out of the firm’s Royal Oak Office.

Madsen concentrates her practice in financial institution regulatory compliance.

Prior to joining Howard & Howard, Madsen served as the vice president of compliance/chief compliance officer with an emerging Fintech platform helping small and medium-sized businesses secure financing and working capital solutions. She was responsible for drafting regulatory compliance-related policies, procedures and risk assessments; conducting compliance training and testing; reviewing and revising contracts; and serving as the Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Officer. Madsen also owned a compliance consulting company, ESTEE Compliance LLC, that assisted credit unions with their regulatory compliance needs.

Madsen received her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and her B.S. from Central Michigan University. She is licensed in the State of Michigan.


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