Trial attorney lives up to finer side of his name

By Paul Janczewski Legal News Southfield attorney Hadley Wine and his wife, Beverly, have amassed enough art through their travels to make any gallery envious. Their collection includes paintings, photographs, prints, watercolors, sculptures and glass, and even highlights a wrought-iron fireplace fronting depicting grape leaves and vines. But of all those pieces, each a precious memory from a trip, or a vacation, Wine most cherishes a group of Crayon drawings adorning his wine-cellar door, the childish art of his granddaughter, Leah Rose, age 4. "This is the most valuable art in the house," Wine says like any proud grandfather would. "It's priceless and the only art that's not for sale." Her art will eventually share door space when her brother, Ben, 2, begins drawing. Wine said Ben is more into playing with cars than coloring for now. "He's just learning how to do that," Wine said. And that wine cellar? That, too, is a climate-controlled room housing a vast collection of the vino, collected by the couple from around the world and throughout the States. It's not a prerequisite that a lawyer named Wine would have a passion for the fermented grape juice, but it doesn't hurt, either. "It's a nice name to have, and an easy introduction when we go to wine events or meet winemakers," he said, noting that his sister is appropriately named, Sheree Wine. Wine, 66, lives in a modern home in Huntington Woods near Detroit that may be one of the most eye-catching residences in the neighborhood, with its wedge-design, high ceilings, and open-air feel that takes advantage of natural light. But for all his love of art, wine, and breathtaking architecture, Wine grew up modestly in Detroit and without the knowledge of those finer things in life. He graduated from Mumford High School in 1963 and earned an economics degree from Michigan State University in 1967, spending summers and other free time working at his parents' army surplus store and learning the importance of family and hard work. Wine knew his future was not in the retail business, and after taking a mandatory army physical in Fort Wayne, Ind., for the draft when his birthday was selected the first date, he decided to enter law school on a student deferment rather than fight in an unpopular war. "I didn't really know what I wanted to be, but I knew the military was not for me," he said. "I was always pretty argumentative as a kid, so it seemed like law would be a good field." "I just wanted to try to find something where I could use my talents to help people, the little guy, against the big corporation," Wine said. Wine graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 1970 and went to Washington, D.C. to work at the Interstate Commerce Commission. The job was "boring," but he discovered the city to be rich in politics, music, and the arts. He also met his future wife, Beverly, through his childhood friend Richard Kepes and his wife, who also were working there. Interestingly, Beverly and Wine lived within 3 miles of each other growing up in Michigan, but never met. When she returned to Michigan, he followed. They married in 1972 and have two boys, Jason, 37, and Robert, 35, who also are attorneys. Robert works with Wine at his firm. "I always suggested both my boys should become doctors, but they never listen to me anyhow," Wine said. When he returned to Michigan, Wine "took a stack of resumes and started knocking on doors" and was hired by the law firm of Robert Zeff, where he learned the skills to be a personal injury attorney. But he and Kepes opened their own firm in 1977. "It's great when you have someone you can trust, an old friend like Richard," Wine said. Now his trust lies with his son and the other firm attorneys. Wine said he's enjoyed personal injury work and "helping people who are not being treated fairly" by companies. "I help people and I get them money, and when they thank you, give you a hug or send referrals, you know you've done a good job," he said. "It's been very rewarding." Wine's love of art and wine began in Washington when he met a winery owner and bought a bottle of French wine. He had friends over and uncorked the bottles, "and I liked it," he said. He left there with some bottles - he still has some of those in his wine cellar - and a passion, along with a large collection that's grown over the years. He and his wife have visited wineries and joined wine groups. "It's fun to open up a bottle and enjoy it with friends and family," he said. Often, their wine corresponds to the meal they are having. "If you want to be in Italy, Argentina, California or Australia, you feel like you're there by bringing out wines from those countries," he said. In 1978, Wine and his family tried to make their own wine, buying grapes that the boys stomped. "The house smelled great during the fermentation period," Wine said. "But the wine wasn't so good." He took some of it to a wine group he belonged to for an opinion. The verdict from the group was, "It was great," Wine said with a laugh. "They said it had every defect known to man," he said. "The lesson I learned was you can buy better wine, cheaper, than other people make it." Wine said his art collection began when he had a large wall that looked too empty. Now, few spaces are bare, as he and Beverly have bought art that is pleasing to them and affordable. "It's just fun and adds something to our lives," he said. "We've been blessed to have a wonderful family and to be able to enjoy our passions." Published: Mon, Jan 23, 2012

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