Legal People ...

Zausmer PC is pleased to announce the promotion of attorneys Danielle DePriest, Joshua Christopher, and Nathan Scherbarth to shareholders.

DePriest represents insurers and individuals in various types of insurance matters. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and her Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School. She began her legal career as a clerk at Zausmer.

Christopher is a defense attorney, exposing fraud and abuse to protect our insurance clients' interests. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Michigan and his law degree at Ave Maria School of Law.

Scherbarth is a combination of litigator and appellate specialist who has a varied practice which allows his strong appellate background to give him an advantage when defending clients in complex commercial, tort, and insurance matters. He attended Michigan State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degrees with high honors in both History and French, graduating first in his class. He later earned his law degree from Boston College Law School.

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Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC recently welcomed partner Kimberly Ross Clayson to the firm. Clayson joins the firm's Insolvency & Reorganization group providing legal counsel in the areas of bankruptcy law, business law, creditors' rights, business law and health law. CEO Jeffrey M. Weiss made the announcement.

Clayson is a veteran in the bankruptcy law space and is well versed in providing client counsel to businesses and individuals dealing with financial distress. She also has experience representing creditors and trustees in insolvency proceedings. In 2019, she was appointed to serve as one of only five Subchapter V Trustees in the Eastern District of Michigan under the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019. Additionally, she has advised small businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations on a variety of non-insolvency matters.

Outside of her practice at the firm, Clayson has assumed several responsibilities in local legal and community organizations. She currently serves as a board member for the Detroit Economic Development Corporation. She served on the advisory board for the American Bankruptcy Institute's annual Hon. Steven W. Rhodes Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference. She is also a hearing panelist for the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board. Clayson has taught secured transactions as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Clayson earned her law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and received her bachelor's degree from Michigan State University.

In addition, Jaffe attorney Lauren Willens has received the special honor of the "36 Under 36" award by the Jewish News and The Well. The awards program recognizes activists, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and other selfless outstanding Jewish professionals under the age of 36 who are advancing the Jewish community across Metro Detroit. Jaffe CEO Jeffrey M. Weiss made the announcement.

Willens is a partner in the firm's Intellectual Property & Information Technology practice group. Her practice consists of protecting, defending, and enforcing intellectual property rights. She counsels clients on the use and enforcement of trademarks, as well as advising on worldwide brand development, domestic and international clearance and prosecution and more. She also represents clients in cases involving copyright infringement, false advertising, and misappropriation of trade secrets. Her client list includes large corporations in pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, apparel, medical devices, software, automotive, and other Fortune 500 and non-profit organizations.

Willens is very active in the community and volunteers with several community organizations including Lakeshore Legal and Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. She is also a guest lecturer for Wayne State University Law School. Willens earned her law degree from Wayne Law and a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University's Honors College.

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Brooks Kushman PC is pleased to welcome Kim McLean to its patent prosecution team. McLean is an experienced patent attorney who was previously the sole practitioner at McLean Law.

McLean is a registered patent attorney with more than 20 years of experience in patent prosecution. Within her practice, McLean focuses on the preparation and prosecution of domestic patent applications with an emphasis on electrical, electromechanical, mechanical, software, and business methods inventions within a variety of industries.

Before coming to Brooks Kushman, McLean was a patent examiner for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which allows her to understand the inner workings of the department as well as how to achieve success within the USPTO. McLean also has an advanced engineering degree and previously worked in the field as both a computer and design engineer.

Brooks Kushman is also pleased to announce that associate Chelsea E. Pasquali has been named a 2022 "Up & Coming Lawyer" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. The publication will recognize the 2022 Up & Coming Lawyers at an awards luncheon on Friday, April 8, at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

Pasquali was recognized as a 2022 "Up & Coming Lawyer" for her leadership within the legal community, community involvement, mentoring, and commitment to client service. Within the community, she has been responsible for organizing firm-wide community contributions, supporting local charities, and involvement with the Detroit chapter of the Police Athletic League (PAL) to assist in bridging the gap between the local police and community members through children's sports and other events.

Pasquali represents Fortune 500 Corporations, small businesses, and individuals in a variety of intellectual property claims. She regularly works with her clients to develop and implement IP enforcement strategies to fit their business needs. Throughout her career, she has successfully litigated a variety of cases in state and federal court. She has also successfully represented clients before the Michigan Court of Appeals.

She earned her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University.

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Miller Canfield International Disputes Group Leader Frederick Acomb has been appointed to serve as co-chair of the International Bar Association's Litigation Committee.

Acomb defends and prosecutes transnational litigation and international arbitration matters for clients located throughout the world. He has appeared before arbitration tribunals in Asia, Europe and North America.

Acomb is a fellow of the Oakland County Bar Association and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and serves on the External Advisory Committee for the Wayne State University Law School Program for International Legal Studies.

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Dykema recently announced that Bryce Rucker was selected for Michigan Lawyers Weekly's "Up & Coming Lawyers" Class of 2022. He will be featured in a special section of Michigan Lawyers Weekly on April 18. In addition, honorees will be recognized at an awards ceremony on April 8.

Rucker assists clients in the areas of product liability, business and commercial, auto negligence, breach of warranty, premises liability, and asbestos litigation. He predominantly focuses his practice in the area of automotive product liability: most notable, involving airbag, automotive crashworthiness, stability, as well as battery and post-collision fuel-fed fire defect claims. Rucker represents manufacturing clients in high-exposure automotive supplier disputes and warranty cost-recovery matters, involving an array of design and manufacturing defects. He works closely with client's business and engineering functions to learn technically-complex issues and to distill and present those issues with clarity for clients, judges, mediators, and juries.

Outside of his practice, Rucker serves on the ICLE Litigation Advisory Board, as well as pro bono counsel and board member for New Level Sports Ministries in Battle Creek. He is an ardent supporter and contributor to the Wolverine Bar Association Summer Clerkship Program, which helps first-year law students gain training and mentorship at Detroit Metropolitan area law firms and corporate legal departments. He is also a member of Detroit Economic Club, Young Leaders and a valued member of Dykema's Recruiting Committee, Associate Committee, and Diversity and Inclusion Board's Subcommittee on Retention.

Bryce earned a law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School and a B.B.A. from Northwood University.

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Professional Resolution Experts of Michigan (PREMi), a group of alternative dispute resolution neutrals, is pleased to welcome Michael Leib to its ranks.

Leib is an arbitrator and mediator located in Southeast Michigan. While he mediates and arbitrates cases primarily located in the Detroit Metropolitan area, he is able to service a much larger area through remote platforms.

He handles both non-administered and administered arbitrations and is a member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial Panel. His litigation background in diverse areas allows Leib to arbitrate and mediate business related disputes including insolvency, complex commercial, employment, professional liability, and real estate disputes. He is a Best Lawyer.

Leib has enjoyed his active participation in leadership roles with the State Bar of Michigan's ADR Section concerning the presentation of educational webinars and conferences and review of legislation, court rules, and ethical rules affecting ADR practitioners. As a result of his participation, Leib has been the recipient of several awards given by the ADR Section including the George Bashara Award and the Hero of ADR Award. He continues his service on the Debtor/Creditor Committee of the State Bar's Business Law Section, participating in the drafting of receivership court rules and legislation as well as co-authoring articles on receivership court rules and newly enacted receivership legislation.

"It is an honor to become a member of PREMi, a distinguished group that includes the best mediators and arbitrators, most of whom I have had the opportunity to know, observe, collaborate, and share ideas with," said Leib.

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Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that Alex E. Haney, Melissa B. Moore, Ryan M. Olson, Annalise Lekas Surnow, and Melissa M. Tetreau have been admitted as members of the firm.

Moore was previously a senior attorney and Haney, Olson, Powell, Surnow, and Tetreau were previously senior associates with Bodman.

Haney practices in Bodman's Troy office and is a member of the Enterprise Procurement Group. He represents business clients in the drafting and negotiation of a broad range of vendor contracts. Before joining Bodman he worked as a commercial law clerk with a global manufacturer of high-technology products where he reviewed, drafted and revised corporate supply agreements, contract amendments, and real estate leases.

Haney is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Rochester. Before beginning his legal career, Haney worked in the petroleum industry and also served as a varsity high school football coach in New York.

Moore practices in Bodman's Troy office and is a member of the Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group. She represents clients in complex commercial litigation matters throughout the country with a particular focus on lender liability, debtor-creditor rights, collection, and other workout matters. She also defends financial institutions against quiet title actions, wrongful foreclosure claims, and other real property disputes.

Moore began her legal career at Bodman in 2009 and rejoined the firm in 2019 after serving for three years as a research attorney for Oakland County Circuit Court Chief Judge Shalina Kumar. Moore is a graduate of the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan.

Olson practices in Bodman's Troy office and is a member of the Business Practice Group. He assists businesses in a broad range of industries in completing complex corporate transactions. He also advises them on matters involving corporate finance, corporate structure, and a variety of commercial agreements. He has facilitated corporate restructurings, recapitalizations, incorporations, and dissolutions, performed corporate due diligence and contract reviews, and negotiated terms and conditions, purchase orders and NDAs for automotive, technology, and raw materials companies.

Olson is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Law. He also earned his undergraduate degree at Michigan State and an M.B.A. at the Michigan State University Broad School of Management.

Surnow practices in Bodman's Detroit office and is a member of the Business and Health Care Practice Groups. She represents businesses in complex commercial transactions and corporate law matters including corporate organization and mergers & acquisitions. Her clients include businesses in the automotive, general manufacturing, health care, food and beverage, insurance, and e-commerce industries. She also represents health care clients in commercial transactions, including large medical practices, long-term care facilities, and other health care providers, and has experience with certain regulatory matters that pertain to these transactions.

Surnow is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. Before becoming an attorney, she worked as a corporate legal extern for an industrial aluminum manufacturer and for a nationwide voluntary health organization, and as an intern in the corporate counsel's office of a diversified global manufacturing company.

Tetreau practices in Bodman's Troy office and is a member of the Workplace Law Group. She counsels employers on compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws, represents them in connection with employment disputes, and assists employers and individuals in connection with immigration matters. She has represented employers in proceedings before state and federal agencies including the EEOC, the NLRB, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. She has defended claims filed under Title VII, the FMLA, ADA, ADEA, and FLSA.

Tetreau is a graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law and earned her undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State University. Tetreau is a member of Detroit SHRM and serves on the organization's Legal Affairs Committee.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Richard Bolton (member, Detroit) has been named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly's 2022 Hall of Fame.

"I am honored to be selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a member of their 2022 Hall of Fame Class. This list is filled with such talented and accomplished attorneys," said Bolton.

Bolton has experience in all areas of private equity, corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions and securities. He provides legal counsel to private equity and mezzanine firms in numerous mergers, acquisitions, recapitalizations, divestitures, "going private," mezzanine finance, and other similar transactions. He is also counsel to numerous fund sponsors for fund organization, capitalization and administration.

Bolton is recognized as a leader in his field by numerous publications, including Chambers USA, Legal 500, Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers, Crain's Detroit Business, and DBusiness Top Lawyers. He has served on the board of a variety of non-profit and for profit entities, including health care organizations, manufacturers and automotive suppliers.

Bolton received his B.A. from Michigan State University and his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

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Williams, Williams, Rattner, & Plunkett PC announces attorneys Jerome P. Pesick, Jason C. Long, and John E. Scheibelhut III have joined the firm.

"I have known and admired Williams, Williams, Rattner, & Plunkett and its lawyers for many years, and I am delighted to now practice alongside them," said Pesick, a founder of the former law firm of Steinhardt, Pesick, & Cohen PC. "Like me, they aspire to the highest level of client service and results, so the synergies are apparent."

Pesick has tried and settled condemnation cases across Michigan for more than forty years, securing tens of millions of dollars for his clients. He also regularly handles major property tax appeals over all types of properties. As lead counsel in the largest eminent domain verdict in Michigan history, he obtained a $25 million jury verdict for the owners of a 6.3-acre piece of property on the Detroit River after rejecting the government's initial $13.7 million offer. Pesick has been involved with many properties and projects with familiar names, such as Poletown, the Detroit Waterfront Casino and Reclamation Project, Comerica Park, Ford Field, the Northwestern Connector, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Wayne State University, Pinnacle AeroPark, and the Ypsilanti Water Street Redevelopment.

The Best Lawyers in America has included Pesick on its annual list each year since its 2007 introduction, and he has been named the Best Lawyers "Eminent Domain and Condemnation Lawyer of the Year" five times for two Metro Detroit regions. For 2022, he was honored as the Best Lawyers "Real Estate Lawyer of the Year" for its Troy region, which includes most of the major communities in Oakland and Macomb counties. Pesick has been selected to the list of Michigan Super Lawyers annually since 2006 and recognized multiple times as one of Super Lawyers' "Top 100 Michigan Lawyers." In 2019, Michigan Lawyers Weekly named him a "Leader in the Law." He is a past chair of the State Bar of Michigan's Real Property Law Section and served as chair of the section's Eminent Domain Committee for several years. Pesick is a frequent author and speaker on eminent domain topics and a trusted authority for local news outlets.

Shareholder Jason Long has represented clients in eminent domain, property taxation, real estate, land use litigation, and appeals for nearly 20 years. He regularly appears in trial courts throughout Michigan and the Michigan Tax Tribunal, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court. His experience encompasses a broad range of real property and tax issues, including ownership disputes, valuation, tax exemption, and many others. Long has served in many roles with the State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section and is currently secretary on the executive board. He often writes and presents on real property and tax issues and authored the comprehensive "Real and Personal Property Tax" chapter of Real Estate Taxes in Michigan, published by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Associate John Scheibelhut also represents clients in eminent domain, taxation, and land use disputes. He has second-chaired multiple cases in Michigan's trial courts and the Michigan Tax Tribunal and plays a role during the pre-suit and discovery phases of litigation.

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Butzel immigration law attorney Reginald A. Pacis was recently interviewed on the audio interview series. The topic for the interview: "U.S. Business Immigration: COVID's Current Effect on Companies and Employees."

Pacis referenced how the pandemic has significantly impacted immigration matters including:

  • A slower pace of processing paperwork.

  • Interview postponements.

  • Providing proof of vaccinations (when applying for green cards for employment sponsorship).

  • Issues arising when traveling internationally (such as meeting COVID testing protocols and quarantines).

  • Working remotely (when an employee doesn't live in the state or country of the employer and the requirement to adjust the prevailing wage based on the geographical location's cost of living).

  • The immigration process has become even more challenging to get foreign nationals to fill labor shortage gaps in the U.S. 

Pacis focuses his practice in immigration law and has handled a variety of immigration matters including H-1B specialty occupation cases, L-1 Intracompany transfers, Labor Certification matters, Immigrant Visa Petitions/Adjustment of Status applications and interviews, TN Free trade cases, H-1B Department of Labor Investigations, I-9 employer verification compliance, and U.S. Port of Entry airport and land port interviews.

In 2021, Pacis was appointed a trustee to the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC), which helps address the needs and concerns of the Asian Pacific American (APA) communities in Michigan. Previously, he was a commissioner to the MAPAAC.

Pacis was named Immigration Lawyer of the Year 2013 in the field of Immigration Law by The Best Lawyers in America and has been listed in Best Lawyers for several years.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Samahang Pilipino Ng Oakland Filipino organization. He served two consecutive one-year terms from 2003 to 2005 as chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA and was a member of the AILA National Board of Governors for those terms.

Pacis also served as vice chair (2008 to 2009) and later chair (2009-2010) of U.S. Customs and Border Protection AILA liaison committee; vice chair (2013 to 2014) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Operations AILA liaison committee; member (2014 to 2015) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services National Benefits Center AILA liaison committee; and has served as a member (2015) and later chair (2016) of the AILA Election committee. He has presented in a number of AILA Annual Conferences Nationally and Internationally from 2004 to 2019.

Pacis is a vice president and board member of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit. He also is a speaker in demand on immigration law matters.

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Howard & Howard is pleased to welcome Ali Fardoun to the firm. He will join the firm's Business & Corporate Law Group in the Royal Oak Office. Fardoun will be working on a variety of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions and commercial transactions.

Fardoun joins Howard & Howard with experiences in both transactional and commercial litigation matters. He earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School. During law school, Ali completed an internship at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan (Civil Division, Forfeiture and Financial Litigation Unit). He also completed a judicial externship in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Chambers of Judge George Caram Steeh). Fardoun earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of Detroit Mercy.