Legal People ...

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is pleased to announce that attorney Charles A. Peterson has joined the firm.  

Peterson is a member of the firm’s nationally recognized Asbestos/Toxic Tort Practice Group. His practice centers on the defense of asbestos bodily-injury cases. Prior to joining the firm, Peterson worked in the prosecutor’s office in Eaton County, Mich.

Peterson earned his law degree from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law School where he simultaneously earned a diploma in Comparative Law and a Graduate Certificate in Energy Law and Policy.

In addition, Collins Einhorn is pleased to announce that attorney Nicholas T. Badalamenti has joined the firm.  

Badalamenti is an associate attorney in the firm’s Insurance Coverage and Automotive and General Liability Practice Groups. His practice includes insurance coverage litigation as well as providing coverage opinions and advice to insurer clients. His practice also includes litigation of first and third party auto liability cases, including defense of commercial carriers, and general negligence, such as premises and construction liability.

Before joining Collins Einhorn, Badalamenti was an associate attorney at another defense firm where he handled motor vehicle litigation and premises liability matters.
Badalamenti earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School. Prior to that, he received his Bachelor of Arts in American Politics from Princeton University.

•      •      •

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently announced that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has appointed current Assistant Attorney General Randi Merchant as Michigan’s public administrator. Merchant is a 12-year veteran in the Department of Attorney General, and currently serves in the Revenue and Tax Division.

The state public administrator has oversight over the appointed county public administrators’ activities that effectuate disposition of the decedent’s body and manage the determination, collection, liquidation, and/or distribution of any assets in a decedent’s estate. Attorneys acting as county public administrators have powers and duties primarily related to intestate decedent estates where there are apparently no known heirs.

Merchant received her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and graduated from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. She began her professional career as a research attorney with the Michigan Court of Appeals before joining the Department of Attorney General in November 2011.?

Merchant has litigated at both the trial court and appellate levels and has secured several favorable published opinions, as well as negotiated multi-million-dollar settlements on behalf of Treasury.?She has also participated in multi-agency work groups, led litigation training sessions, and served as a liaison for other Department of Attorney General divisions.

Merchant is a Michigan native who spent 15 years traveling as a military dependent. She has been a full-time Michigan resident for more than twenty years and is looking forward to continuing her career in public service in this new role.

“I’m excited and honored for the opportunity to represent the Department and Attorney General Nessel in the public administrator position,” said Merchant.?“I am eager to establish relationships with the county administrators across the state and provide the support necessary to ensure the effective and efficient administration of the probate matters that fall within the purview of this office.”??

•      •      •

Butzel immigration law attorney Reginald A. Pacis, will be featured during the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Annual Conference June 21-24 in Orlando. Pacis will be the discussion leader for a panel program on “Section 245(i) and Grandfathering: A Refresher” on June 23.

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 2018, Pacis was appointed by former Michigan Governor Snyder to the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC) for a term that begin in 2019. MAPAAC helps address the needs and concerns of the Asian Pacific American (APA) communities in Michigan. In 2021, he was appointed by Michigan Governor Whitmer to the position of trustee to MAPAAC until his term ended in 2023.

Pacis was named Immigration Lawyer of the Year in 2023 and 2013, respectively 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 at several AILA Annual Conferences Nationally and Internationally.

He is vice president and a member of the Board of Directors, International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit.

•      •      •

The Giarmarco, Mullins, and Horton PC Board of Directors has elected Kenneth Chapie as an equity partner in the firm’s Municipal and Schools Litigation Group.

Chapie represents public school districts, municipalities and employers against claims of: wrongful discharge, employment discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, retaliation, wage and hour laws, and family medical leave laws. He also assists public school districts and intermediate school districts with student issues involving: special education, civil rights and constitutional claims, Title IX, student discipline and due process, peer-on-peer harassment, and personal injury.

Additionally, Chapie has experience in counseling and advising clients on their employment agreements, employment policies, non-compete agreements, insurance agreements, employee issues, disciplinary actions, WARN Act compliance, FMLA compliance, and ADA compliance.

Chapie is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan (2003), the Eastern District of Michigan (2004), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (2007), and the United States Supreme Court (2015). Kenneth has been named a Michigan Rising Star (Super Lawyers) in 2012, 2013 and 2014, was named a “Top Lawyer” in the areas of School Law and Litigation by DBusiness, and recognized as a Top Attorney in Michigan by the New York Times.

In addition, GMH is pleased to announce that Christopher Messing has been elected as a shareholder in the Education Law Group.

Messing has with experience litigating matters in both state and federal courts in cases involving general tort liability, premises liability, property damage, first-party auto, and third-party auto.

Messing is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan (2014), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (2015), the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan (2016), and United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (2019).

•      •      •

Brooks Kushman is pleased to welcome Abha Fadipe to its growing prosecution team.

Fadipe is an experienced patent attorney who focuses her practice on domestic and foreign patent preparation and patent prosecution in the electrical and computer technologies. She has experience in a variety of technology areas including thermal systems, 5G-antenna systems, electric drive systems, electric power systems, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and advanced manufacturing technologies.

Fadipe also held positions as an in-house counsel where she gained insight into patent portfolio management, especially with respect to foreign holdings. She has in-depth experience in consulting with international counsel, especially in China, Germany, and across Europe, on how to respond to actions by foreign patent offices to provide a comprehensive international portfolio. Prior to entering the legal profession, Fadipe was a product engineer for more than three years at a tier-1 automotive supplier.

Fadipe earned a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. She also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from WSU.