LEGAL PEOPLE

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge James Alexander has been named to the Advisory Council of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service. The Institute is a multi-disciplinary concentration at Albion College. It exists to train the next generation of American leaders and to enhance student awareness, understanding, and appreciation of life's public dimensions. It strives to develop leaders and engaged citizens who understand the competing and conflicting interests of the world and have the ability to advocate for the greater good.

Alexander, who has spent the better part of his career in the public arena, is honored by the appointment. "President Ford exemplified all that is good in public life. He was a man who strongly believed in civility in government, a trait badly needed in today's environment," Alexander said. "I think the Institute will be well positioned to not only train the next generation of leaders, but to instill the values that made President Ford such a respected political and national leader."

Prior to his appointment to the bench in 2001, Alexander held positions in the Engler Administration and was a member (and former chairman) of the Michigan Board of Canvassers. He has served as president of the Michigan Judges Association and chair of the State Bar Judicial Council. He currently serves as the Judges' Association representative to the Trial Court Funding Commission.

Although Alexander is a graduate of Miami University and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, he does have ties to Albion since his father attended school there prior to enlisting in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Michael C. Hammer has been elected as the firm's next chief executive officer effective January 1, 2019. Hammer will succeed William T. Burgess, who has served as the firm's CEO for the past nine years. Upon the conclusion of his term of office, Burgess will resume his practice in the areas of banking, finance, and restructuring.

Hammer has served as deputy CEO for the past 10 years and is a 30-year veteran of the firm.

"I am honored and excited to accept the position of CEO and to continue building on the many successes Dickinson Wright has experienced in recent years," Hammer said. "It's a privilege to have the support and confidence of the firm, and I look forward to continuing our firm's expansion in existing and additional markets. We will leverage our technological advantage, excellent client service, business acumen, and expertise in our clients' industries to build on the firm's profitable growth. As one of the fastest-growing Am Law 200 firms of the past five years, it is important that we continue to build client relationships that exceed expectations and become even a more diverse and inclusive work force"

As deputy CEO, Hammer oversaw the firm's lateral recruitment efforts and office expansion efforts. Under his guidance, the firm hired more than 250 laterals partners and opened 13 offices around the country, including in Texas, California, and Florida. Through these efforts, he strengthened and broaden the firm's offerings to its clients. Hammer also oversaw the firm's accounting and finance departments, gaining knowledge in the day-to-day management and operations of the firm.

Hammer's clients rely on him to provide business advice across a range of legal areas, including outside general counsel services, contract negotiations and commercial disputes, financial restructurings, bankruptcy, distressed acquisitions and sales, and wealth-protection solutions. Hammer is recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers, and DBusiness Top Lawyers. He was named a "Leader in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in 2018.

In addition, Dickinson Wright is pleased to announce that attorney Sara B. Rubino has been selected as a "2018 Up & Coming Lawyer" Honoree by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Rubino is a member in the firm's Troy office. She specializes in probate, trust, estate and fiduciary litigation. Additionally, she maintains an active estate planning and elder law practice. Rubino routinely works with families, seniors and individuals with special needs. She enjoys counseling and advocating for vulnerable individuals and their families navigating the probate and public benefit systems.

Rubino is recognized as a leader in her field by Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars. She is a frequent speaker and author on probate related topics such as guardianships, conservatorships, estate administration and trust contests. She is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association, serving on the Membership Committee, New Lawyers Board and as Barrister for the Inns of Court. She is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan's Probate, Litigation and Elder Law and Disability Rights sections, as well as the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Rubino received her B.A. from Central Michigan University and her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Dickinson is also pleased to announce it received 21 national rankings and 73 rankings in Southeast Michigan in the 2019 "Best Law Firms" report by U.S. News and Best Lawyers. The firm received 121 first-tier rankings overall.

Below are Dickinson Wright's 2019 "Best Law Firms" rankings:

State/Metropolitan Rankings

Tier 1

Ann Arbor

Banking and Finance Law

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Commercial Litigation

Construction Law

Copyright Law

Corporate Law

Immigration Law

Labor Law Management

Litigation Bankruptcy

Litigation Construction

Litigation Patent

Non-Profit/Charities Law

Trademark Law

Detroit

Appellate Practice

Banking and Finance Law

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Commercial Litigation

Construction Law

Corporate Governance Law

Corporate Law

Employment Law Management

Environmental Law

International Trade and Finance Law

Labor Law Management

Litigation Banking & Finance

Litigation Bankruptcy

Litigation Intellectual Property

Litigation Labor & Employment

Litigation Mergers & Acquisitions

Litigation Securities

Litigation Trusts & Estates

Mergers & Acquisitions Law

Municipal Law

Troy

Arbitration

Banking and Finance Law

Commercial Litigation

Corporate Law

Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Energy Law

Environmental Law

Family Law

Health Care Law

Immigration Law

Land Use & Zoning Law

Litigation Construction

Litigation Environmental

Litigation Intellectual Property

Litigation Real Estate

Mediation

Municipal Law

Patent Law

Public Finance Law

Real Estate Law

Securitization and Structured Finance Law

Trusts & Estates Law

Tier 2

Ann Arbor

Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Employment Law Management

Mergers & Acquisitions Law

Detroit

Energy Law

Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law

Litigation Antitrust

Litigation Environmental

Real Estate Law

Tax Law

Troy

Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Litigation Banking & Finance

Non-Profit/Charities Law

Trademark Law

Tier 3

Ann Arbor

Health Care Law

Tax Law

Detroit

Litigation Tax

Trusts & Estates Law

Troy

Litigation Patent

National Rankings

Tier 1

Commercial Litigation

Construction Law

Litigation Real Estate

Real Estate Law

Tax Law

Tier 2

Appellate Practice

Banking and Finance Law

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Corporate Law

Land Use & Zoning Law

Litigation Bankruptcy

Litigation Construction

Litigation Labor & Employment

Litigation Securities

Mergers & Acquisitions Law

Tier 3

Employment Law Management

Labor Law Management

Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law

Litigation Intellectual Property

Native American Law

Trusts & Estates Law

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The annual listing of Michigan attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their legal practice was recently announced by Michigan Super Lawyers magazine. Thirteen lawyers from Kotz Sangster have been recognized by their peers as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

Those honored from Kotz Sangster, and the areas of practice for which they have been recognized, are:

Super Lawyers

- John T. Below Employment and Labor

- George F. Curran III Environmental

- Dennis K. Egan Securities Litigation

- Philip A. Grashoff Jr. Environmental

- Robert C. Kotz Business/Corporate

- Kevin J. O'Dowd Business Litigation

- Jeffrey M. Sangster Construction Litigation

- Keith J. Soltis Health Care

- Gregory L. Wysocki Mergers & Acquisitions

Rising Stars

- Andrew W. Barnes Real Estate

- Courtney B. Ciullo Business Litigation

- Tyler P. Phillips Non-Profit Organizations

- Thomas J. Vitale Construction Litigation

Founded in 1978, Kotz Sangster has more than 35 attorneys with offices in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Grand Rapids, Niles, South Haven, and St. Joseph.

Foster Swift estate planning attorneys Nicolas Camargo and Matthew Fedor will be among the presenters at three seminars titled "Trusts 101." These basic level seminars are meant to prepare attendees (targeted at financial planners, accountants/CPAs, and tax professionals) for specific challenges associated with trusts.

Hosted by the National Business Institute (NBI), these all-day seminars take place Nov, 13, 14, and 15 in Saginaw, Lansing, and Grand Rapids respectively.

Camargo and Fedor practice out of the firm's Southfield office in the areas of trust & estate litigation, elder law, estate planning and business & corporate law. In addition to their practice, both attorneys write for the firm's Elder Law blog: mielderlawblog.com. Recent posts include "Tips for Avoiding Conflict with Family" and "Awareness and Prevention of Financial Elder Abuse."

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Dykema recently announced the addition of Kenneth J. Sachs to its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group as a member of the firm's Bloomfield Hills office. Sachs joins Dykema after practicing in the Troy office of Miller, Canfield, Paddock, and Stone PLC for more than a decade.

In his practice, Sachs has experience advising clients regarding employee benefit plans, executive benefit programs and business planning. He also represents public and private entities concerning their corporate, fiduciary and governance responsibilities. Sachs routinely designs, drafts and establishes retirement plans, welfare plans, medical plans (insured and self-funded), fringe benefits and various other programs provided to employees.

In addition to drafting plan documents, summary plan descriptions and participant communications, Sachs assists clients with audits, non-discrimination testing and the proper administration and funding of such plans. He also counsels clients in regard to incentive compensation programs, implications of mergers and acquisitions, contracts, and a variety of many other matters.

Sachs earned his law degrees from Wayne State University Law Schooland the George Washington University Law School, along with a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan.

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Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP has been ranked one of the 2019 "Best Law Firms" by Best Lawyers and U.S. News & World Report.

Six of the firm's offices received top-tier ratings in multiple practice areas.

Warner was recognized in the first tier of law firms in Grand Rapids for the following areas of the law:

Appellate practice

Banking and finance

Bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights / insolvency and reorganization

Business organizations, including LLCs and partnerships

Closely held companies and family businesses

Commercial

Copyright

Corporate

Employee benefits

Employment management

Environmental

Family

Financial services regulation

International trade and finance

Labor management

Environmental, intellectual property, patent, securities, trusts and estates, bankruptcy, banking and finance, personal injury, product liability and real estate litigation

Mergers and acquisitions

Natural resources

Non-profit/charities

Patent

Real estate

Tax

Trademark

Trusts and estates

Water

Additionally, the firm's Southfield, Macomb, Midland, Kalamazoo, and Lansing offices were recognized as top-tier law firms. Southfield and Macomb were recognized for closely held companies and family businesses, commercial and bankruptcy litigation, corporate, employee benefits, environmental, health care, regulatory enforcement, trust and estates law and litigation, non-profit and charities, bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights insolvency and reorganization, and tax.

Midland was recognized for bankruptcy and creditors rights/insolvency and reorganization law. Kalamazoo was recognized for commercial litigation, antitrust litigation, employment - management, and mediation. Lansing was recognized for eminent domain and condemnation, environmental litigation and construction litigation.

Warner also had one hundred attorneys listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019.

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Potestivo & Associates PC is pleased to announce the hiring of Cheryl Cook who will serve as supervising bankruptcy attorney in the Rochester office. She joined the team in October 2018.

Cook brings more than 22 years of experience representing banks, lenders, and businesses in bankruptcy proceedings, commercial litigation, loan workouts and general creditors' rights matters. By way of hard work and integrity, Cook has managed to develop good relationships with attorneys, trustees and courts while preserving collateral and achieving cost-effective resolutions on behalf of her clients.

Cook is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bankruptcy Institution, and Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter.

Cook has taken a hands-on, active role in local communities by participating in Habitat for Humanity and various other home restoration activities in Oakland County and Wayne County.

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Fraser Trebilcock has received a First Tier ranking in Lansing in seven practice areas by U.S. News Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" in 2019. Those practice areas are: Administrative/Regulatory Law, Arbitration, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Commercial Litigation, Litigation Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), Real Estate Law and Utilities Law.

In addition to the First Tier ranking in seven legal practice areas, Fraser Trebilcock has been named a Tier Two firm in Lansing in four practice areas, and has also been named a Tier Three firm in Lansing in six practice areas. The Tier Two areas are: Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law, Corporate Law, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law and Litigation Labor & Employment. The Tier Three areas are: Appellate Practice, DUI/DWI Defense, Environmental Law, Litigation Construction, Mediation and Trusts & Estates Law.

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Butzel Long has received national recognition in the 2019 "Best Law Firms," rankings by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®.

Butzel Long is ranked in multiple legal specialties in the Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Lansing, and Washington, D.C. offices.

Below is a full list of Butzel Long's 2019 Best Law Firm rankings:

National Rankings

Tier 2

- Corporate Law

- Litigation Securities

- Securities Regulation

Tier 3

- Commercial Litigation

- Employment Law Management

- Environmental Law

- Litigation Labor & Employment

Metropolitan Rankings

Tier 1

Ann Arbor

- Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

- Employment Law Management

- Information Technology Law

- Litigation Labor & Employment

- Real Estate Law

Bloomfield Hills

- Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/ Insolvency and Reorganization Law

- Commercial Litigation

- Construction Law

- Corporate Law

- Employment Law Management

- Environmental Law

- Immigration Law

- Labor Law Management

- Litigation Antitrust

- Litigation ERISA

- Litigation Labor & Employment

- Litigation Real Estate

- Real Estate Law

- Trusts & Estates Law

Detroit

- Construction Law

- Corporate Law

- Criminal Defense: White-Collar

- Employment Law Management

- Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law

- Immigration Law

- International Trade and Finance Law

- Labor Law Management

- Litigation Labor & Employment

- Mass Tort Litigation/ Class Action Defendants

- Product Liability Litigation Defendants

- Securities/ Capital Markets Law

- Securities Regulation

Lansing

- Construction Law

- Litigation Construction

Tier 2

Ann Arbor

- Corporate Law

- Environmental Law

- Litigation ERISA

Bloomfield Hills

- Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law

- Corporate Governance Law

- Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

- Family Law

- Litigation Construction

- Litigation Environmental

- Litigation Trusts & Estates

- Tax Law

Detroit

- Antitrust Law

- Commercial Litigation

- Corporate Compliance Law

- Corporate Governance Law

- Litigation Construction

- Litigation Trusts & Estates

- Mergers & Acquisitions Law

- Personal Injury Litigation Defendants

Washington, D.C.

- Environmental Law

- Litigation Securities

Tier 3

Ann Arbor

- Litigation Intellectual Property

Bloomfield Hills

- Health Care Law

Detroit

- Health Care Law

Washington, D.C.

- Commercial Litigation

- Criminal Defense: White-Collar

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Brooks Kushman is honored to be a recipient of the 2018 ChIPs Honor Roll Award for advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Recipients were selected based on a Inclusion Blueprint Survey, spearheaded by ChIPs and Diversity Lab, that measures gender diversity in law firm leadership and related indicia. Brooks Kushman topped the survey, scoring the highest overall points of 35 participating firms.

"We are honored to be recognized by ChIPs and Diversity Lab for this award," said Sangeeta Shah, shareholder and chief diversity officer. "Over the last decade, we have strived to provide equitable advancement and compensation systems to propel women in leadership positions and build a robust pipeline for the future. We're pleased to receive recognition for our efforts and mindful of the work that remains to drive the needed change within our firm and the legal industry at large. This award will push us to work even harder."

In the past decade, women and diverse attorneys have increased their ranks in Brooks Kushman's leadership positions. Over 30% of the firm's officers, 40% of the firm's management committee and 25% of the firm's partnership comprise women and diverse attorneys. In terms of the pipeline, over 40% of Brooks Kushman's associates are women and diverse attorneys.

The Inclusion Blueprint Survey was the result of a joint initiative between Diversity Lab and ChIPs- a nonprofit organization focused on advancing and connecting women in technology, law and policy-to develop a new survey that measures the processes and experiences that provide equal access to work, growth and leadership opportunities.

The survey was sent to 59 firms across the nation and evaluated criteria in three main categories: (1) gender representation in leadership; (2) inclusion activities and tracking at the leadership level; and (3) inclusion activities and tracking in the IP group.

The award was presented to Brooks Kushman at the ChIPs' Women in Tech, Law and Policy Global Summit on October 18 by Noreen Krall, ChIPs board member and vice president, Litigation at Apple.

As chief diversity officer, Shah leads the firm's diversity committee, which develops and implements Brooks Kushman's diversity, equity and inclusion programs and community outreach initiatives. Brooks Kushman has been a long-time supporter of ChIPs and several other inclusion-centric organizations. Shah is also one of the four founding organizers of the ChIPs Chicago Regional Chapter that was formed in early 2018. The purpose of the Chicago chapter is to expand ChIPs' influence and ability to positively impact communities in the Midwest.

Published: Mon, Nov 05, 2018