Gabriel J. Edelson has joined Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP as an attorney in its Corporate Department. He will be located in the firm's Detroit office.

Edelson will focus his practice on corporate matters for public and private companies, as well as private equity firms. He also has experience in mergers, acquisitions and capital markets. He joins Honigman from the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins LLP.

He earned a law degree from New York University School of Law. He earned a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan. Edelson is admitted to practice in New York and Illinois. His admission to the State Bar of Michigan is pending.

Honigman is also pleased to announce that Ahmad Huda, an attorney in its Litigation Department, has been named to the Lawyers of Color "Hot List" for the Midwest region. Huda is one of 100 early- to mid-career minority attorneys to receive this honor. A selection committee chooses the honorees based on a review of the nominations, bar publications and legal blogs.

Huda, who joined Honigman in 2012, concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation for corporations and private equity firms. He earned a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from New York University.

Lawyers of Color produces publications for lawyers of African American, South Asian American, Pacific Asian American, Hispanic, Native American heritage and other ethnic groups.

In addition, Honigman wasranked among the top 10 law firms in the county for intellectual property patent work in BTI Consulting Group's report entitled BTI Intellectual Property Outlook 2015: Changes, Trends and Opportunities in IP & IP Litigation. Honigman was also named on the list of Most-Favored IP Departments, in which one of the primary factors is customer service.

"The ranking and recognition by BTI is a direct result of all the hard work of our IP team of attorneys and staff to provide high-quality, client-focused services," said Jonathan P. O'Brien, IP Department chair. "It is gratifying to see that we are gaining stature among the IP firms throughout the country."

Honigman's IP Department serves clients nationally and internationally and consists of more than 75 legal professionals with experience in patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret services, including search, procurement, enforcement and anti-counterfeiting.

The professionals in the IP Department serve clients from large corporations to start-up companies and have experience in numerous industries, including automotive (OEM and suppliers), advertising, banking, biotechnology, consumer products, e-commerce, electronics, fashion, food and beverage, gaming and hospitality, insurance, medical services and devices, pharmaceuticals, publishing (newspapers, books, magazines, multi-media), real estate, restaurant, retailing, software, telecommunications and transportation.

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Samuel Kokoszka, who will start his second year at Wayne State University Law School this fall, has been awarded the Mark A. Miller Memorial Fund Scholarship.

The award is given each year by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to a summer intern of a judicial officer at the court. The scholarship honors the memory of Mark A. Miller who was a law clerk to U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh. Miller, a Milford resident, died in 2010 at age 53 following serious health issues.

The award is a $1,500 stipend to offset out-of-pocket expenses during the intern's tenure with the court.

Kokoszka, who lives in Detroit, said he loves the city and chose Wayne Law because of its urban location and because of the school's extensive and involved alumni network.

"I'm not sure what I want to do when I graduate, but I think I want to work in a large Detroit firm, and I'm pretty sure I want to litigate," the student said.

He earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Central Michigan University with a minor in economics.

This summer, he's an intern for U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, a Wayne law alumna. He spent the summer before law school working for NOVA Environmental in Ann Arbor as a project manager. Kokoszka volunteers as a mentor for incoming students at Wayne Law and also served as a mentor to high school students from Detroit's Cody Academy of Public Leadership for the "Why the D? Detroit Youth Offer Solutions" symposium in May at the law school.

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On Aug. 4, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation (DMBAF) announced that Rep. John Dingell will be the recipient of the 10th Annual Dennis W. Archer Award for Public Service.

Dingell, who announced his retirement in February of this year, is currently the longest-serving member of Congress and a veteran of World War II. During his long service he has been a champion of causes including labor, health care, and helping those in poverty.

"As a soldier, lawyer, and a congressman for fifty-eight years, Congressman Dingell has lived the ideal of public service that the Archer Award represents," said DMBAF Co-Chair E. Christopher Johnson, Jr. "We're thrilled that he has accepted, and we look forward to celebrating and honoring his legacy of service during our award reception on Nov. 6."

While the venue for this year's award has yet to be decided, the Archer Award reception historically takes place in a Detroit landmark.

In addition to honoring members of the legal profession that exemplify the Foundation's core value of public service, the Archer Award event is also the DMBAF's main fundraising initiative. Proceeds are used to fund access to justice programs including the Detroit Legal Services Clinic, the Pro-Bono Mentorship Program, and For The Seventh Generation (, which has matched donations of goods and services with 457 foster children, teens, and families in need in the first half of 2014 alone.

Sponsorship perks include event tickets and public recognition in accordance with the size of the sponsorship gift. For additional information about sponsorships contact DMBAF Executive Director Lorraine Weber at or 313-961-6120, ext. 206.

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The Intellectual Property law firm of Reising Ethington PC is proud to announce that patent attorney William Kolakowski has joined the firm as Of Counsel. Kolakowski's practice focuses on medical devices (including medical imaging systems, medical device position tracking and navigation systems, and electrophysiological mapping and ablation catheters), engine and motor control systems, motor architectures, data storage and retrieval, electronic interfaces, sensors, power transmission devices, and vehicle components.

His experience includes serving as the lead intellectual property counsel on several mergers and acquisitions involving purchase prices exceeding $100 million; authoring more than two hundred original patent applications; and handling numerous appeals to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. He also has experience litigating intellectual property disputes.

Kolakowski has written and co-written articles that have appeared in Inside Counsel magazine and The Detroiter, and he has been a featured speaker on the topics of The Power of Angel Investing, and The Intersection of Bankruptcy and Intellectual Property Law.

He received a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a law degree from the University of Michigan. His interests include lacrosse, soccer and college football; he was a member of the University of Michigan's Club Lacrosse Team.

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Bodman PLC attorney Michelle Thurber Czapski, who practices in the firm's Detroit office, has been named one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation for 2014 by the internationally-recognized peer-review publication Benchmark Litigation.

Czapski is one of only four attorneys in Michigan to be included in the Top 250 Women in Litigation.

Benchmark Litigation is the only publication that focuses solely on the litigation market in the United States. The Top 250 Women in Litigation is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of America's leading female trial lawyers and features female litigators from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

Czapski, who chairs Bodman's Insurance Team, has more than 20 years of experience representing major corporate clients in litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. She has successfully represented insurance and financial service companies, Tier-1 automotive suppliers and other manufacturers, telecommunications companies, and pharmaceutical companies in matters involving product liability claims, Consumer Protection Act claims, insurance and ERISA disputes, contract matters, and a broad range of other commercial and business disputes.

Czapski's trial experience includes serving as lead trial counsel and regional counsel for a leading insurer and its family of financial services companies, and as a case evaluator and commercial litigation panelist for Michigan's two largest counties, Wayne and Oakland.

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Diane Akers, a longtime associate and partner with the Detroit office of Bodman PLC, has been named the recipient of the 9th Annual Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award by the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section.

Akers is currently Of Counsel to Bodman. She retired from full-time practice in 2010 but is still involved in business courts and other business law issues.

"I was always interested in law. But when I was in school growing up, what they said to girls who were smart and planned to go to college is, 'do you want to become a nurse or a teacher,'" Akers said. "And I didn't like the sight of blood."

Akers was surprised to have learned that she was the 2014 recipient. "I was humbled because I think for certain things I have been associated with I have received way too much credit," she added.

After being an English and Public Speaking teacher in the Farmington School District for 13 years, Akers made the move to the legal field. She graduated with her law degree from Wayne State University Law School and began working at Bodman in 1986.

"Teaching was a great lead-in to a trial legal career," Akers said. "Standing in front of a jury is much like standing in front of a classroom. Some students or jurors want to be there while others don't. They represent a cross-section of the local community. By the end of the lesson there is going to be a test and I won't be in the room with them to help them make a decision."

Akers has been involved in several important business law efforts that have had a significant impact on business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the state of Michigan. One is the push to establish Business Courts in Michigan, through the Business Law Section and as part of the State Bar Judicial Crossroads Task Force. Business Courts are now operating in all circuits that have three or more circuit court judges.

"Once the governor signed the law, this represented a major change in how business litigation is handled in Michigan," Akers said.

The process started in 2001 and took over nine years to become law. Business litigation is now being managed differently because of these courts, as business cases are being handled in a way now to help reduce the expensive, unwieldy process, Akers said.

"Business Courts are designed to make legislation more efficient, less costly and faster and judges specialize in managing the challenges business owners face," Akers said.

Akers was also involved in an effort to lessen the pressure that law enforcement officials at the federal and state levels were putting on businesses to waive the attorney client privilege in criminal investigations in order to gain favor with investigators. This effort was led by the Attorney Client Task Force that was part of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

"We wanted to raise awareness as to how dangerous this practice can be. As a business owner if you think something internally going on is improper, you should conduct an investigation. But if there is a risk that if you find out something has happened that is against the law, and you let investigators know, they could use that information against you," Akers said. Moreover, waiver of the privilege for one purpose constitutes waiver for all purposes, so the consequences can be very far-reaching, she added.

So Akers and many of her colleagues worked to raise awareness with Michigan businesses and met with prosecutors to change "attitudes and practices."

Akers has held numerous leadership positions within the State Bar of Michigan, including service as chair of the 3,500 member Business Law Section, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Climate Change and Sustainability, co-chair of the Task Force on Attorney-Client Privilege, chair of the Business Court Ad Hoc Committee, chair of the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Business Law Section, and a member of the Judicial Crossroads Task Force and co-chair of its Business Impact Committee. She is a former member of the executive committee of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association.

Akers is listed in Michigan Super Lawyers 2006-2011 under Business Litigation. She is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. She grew up in Detroit and attended Detroit Public Schools. She earned her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Western Michigan University and Oakland University, respectively.

The Outstanding Business Lawyer Award was named after Prof. Stephen Schulman, who taught several business law courses during a lengthy tenure at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. Schulman received the Donald H. Gordon Award for Excellence in Teaching and was chosen by the student body as the school's Professor of the Year several times. Schulman also was instrumental in the drafting of much of Michigan's corporate law that still is in place today.

The Business Law Section established the Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award in 2006, to be presented annually. The award honors Michigan business lawyers who consistently exemplify the characteristics the Business Law Section seeks to foster and facilitate: the highest quality of professionalism, the highest quality of practice, and an unwavering dedication to service, ethical conduct, and collegiality within the practice of law.

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Aaron Beresh has joined The Health Law Partners PC (The HLP) as an associate in their Southfield office. Robert Iwrey, a founding shareholder at The Health Law Partners, made the announcement.

Beresh practices in all areas of health care law with a specific focus on federal and state compliance as well as transactional matters, including HIPAA and state privacy laws, federal and state information data breaches, federal and state self-referral laws, Stark & Anti-Kickback laws and information technology issues. Beresh is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association, and has published articles that advise business and health care professionals on security breaches and federal compliance.

A graduate of Michigan State Law School, Beresh served as a federal judicial extern for the U.S. District Court Chief Judge Bernard A. Friedman, Eastern District of Michigan. Beresh completed his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University, receiving a bachelor's degree in economics with a business cognate.

Published: Mon, Aug 11, 2014