Mark Lezotte, a southeast Michigan health care attorney with Butzel Long, received the Richard L. Beer Volunteer Award from United Cerebral Palsy of Metropolitan Detroit (UCP/Detroit) on October 20, during an awards ceremony in Birmingham. Lezotte was honored for his longstanding commitment to the UCP/Detroit and the disability community.

Lezotte is a devoted volunteer. Last year, he completed 11 years of service on the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) National Board of Trustees.

He has long served UCP in various roles, including as chair of UCP's national public policy committee. He has played a key role in guiding UCP staff and volunteers in defining the national public policy work, meeting with Congressional leaders, and consulting with advocates on formation of a national policy agenda in partnership with other national organizations. He received the UCP National Chairperson's Award in 2004, and previously served as a board member and president of UCP/Detroit.

Lezotte has experience in corporate, health care, tax, and exempt organization matters, including corporate and nonprofit governance, business transactions, tax-exempt issues, hospital-physician ventures, and regulatory investigations. He also has served in leadership roles on many other civic and nonprofit boards.

He has been active in numerous bar and professional organizations. He has been recognized in "The Best Lawyers in America" (health care law), published by Woodward/White Inc., since 2013; and has been selected to Michigan Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters, since 2008.

In addition, Beth S. Gotthelf, attorney, shareholder, and director of Innovation and External Relations at Butzel Long, will be a featured speaker during a two-day symposium in Detroit focused on HUD's Past, Present and Future November 13-14.

The symposium is presented by the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Gotthelf will speak on a panel that includes public officials; the president of the Progressive national Baptist Convention Inc.; attorneys; and Arise, Detroit, a broad-based coalition of community groups with a mission to launch a new wave of volunteerism. The panel will offer insight on structuring the deal and business sustainability through economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and housing literacy.

Gotthelf represents and counsels a diverse mix of clients. She is co-chair of Butzel's Energy and Sustainability Practice Team as well as chair of the Birmingham Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. She also is an executive-in-residence with the Macomb-OU INCubator, serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Better Business Bureau and is the president of the Michigan Israel Business Bridge, a bi-national chamber of commerce.

Gotthelf has been very active in bar associations, including in the State Bar of Michigan, Environmental Law Section, where she served as past chair and the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law.

Gotthelf was selected as one of 20 influential leaders by Michigan Lawyers Weekly - Women in Law (2010). She also was named to the Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, 2013-2018.

She was named in Michigan Super Lawyers (2006-17) and as one of the "Top 50 Female Michigan Super Lawyers" (2006-2014, 2017). Gotthelf is listed in DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Environmental Law, 2011-2017.

Gotthelf has received several awards and special recognitions, including as an emerging leader by the Detroit Regional Chamber (2003); the National Association of Metal Finishers (2002); Corp! Magazine as one of "Michigan's 95 Most Powerful Women" (2002); Corp! Magazine's "Top 10 Business Attorneys for Southeast Michigan" (1999); and Crain's Detroit Business' 40 Under 40 in 1994.

She is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mecry School of Law (1985) and Oakland University (1980). In 2009, Gotthelf received an Oakland University Distinguished Alumni Award.

Butzel Long also announces that attorney James H. (Jim) Townsend has been elected to Wayne State University's Chapter of the Order of the Coif.

Based in Butzel Long's Detroit office, Townsend is a member of the firm's Corporate and Real Estate Practice Group. He focuses his practice on business, corporate, and real estate law.

Prior to joining the firm, Townsend represented the 26th District in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he was the House sponsor of legislation that established the Regional Transit Authority for Southeast Michigan. He was named Legislator of the Year in 2013 by the Michigan Municipal League.

Townsend served in Washington, D.C. as legislative director in the Office of U.S. Representative Nita M. Lowey. He also worked for U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. His private sector experience includes serving as a brand manager at Ford Motor Company; founding and directing the Michigan Suburbs Alliance (now Metro Matters); and, directing the Tourism Economic Development Counsel, a subsidiary of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau charged with expanding southeast Michigan's tourism economy.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) recently appointed Townsend to serve on the Advisory Council of the Redevelopment Ready Communities® program, a statewide initiative to assist communities in strengthening and streamlining their planning, zoning, permitting, and marketing efforts to create a predictable and straightforward experience for investors, businesses and residents working within a community. More than 100 communities in Michigan are currently seeking RRC certification. As a nonprofit executive, Townsend led the team of development industry experts, city officials and other stakeholders that established the RRC program in 2004. The MEDC acquired the program in 2012.

Townsend earned his BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; his MBA & Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan; and his law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

- - -

Four Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP attorneys have been selected to participate in leadership programs in Southeast Michigan.

The attorneys are:

- Roquia K. Draper, who focuses her practice in family law and business contract disputes, including divorce proceedings, child custody and dispute resolution, will participate in Leadership Detroit

- Katherine L. Pullen, who concentrates her practice on automotive, complex commercial, healthcare and intellectual property litigation, will take part in Leadership Oakland

- Brian D. Wassom, who focuses his practice on complex commercial and intellectual property litigation with an emphasis on creative matters, will participate in Leadership Macomb

- Marissa A. Wiesen, a business development manager based in the Southfield office, will take part in Leadership Oakland

Select business professionals and community and government leaders are chosen each year to take part in the nine-month Leadership Macomb, Detroit, and Oakland programs. The programs give emerging leaders opportunities to learn about and explore key issues that impact Macomb, Detroit, and Oakland counties in Southeast Michigan.

- - -

Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that Michelle ThurberCzapski has been appointed chair of DRI's Commercial Litigation Committee.

DRI (the Defense Research Institute) is a national organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel. The Commercial Litigation Committee, one of DRI's largest substantive law committees, encompasses subject matter ranging from business torts to antitrust to class actions.

Czapski is chair of Bodman's Insurance Practice Group and a member of the firm's Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Group. She has over twenty-five years of experience representing major corporate clients in litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including complex litigation and class actions. She is a case evaluator for the Oakland County and Wayne County circuit courts, where she sits as a commercial litigation panelist.

Czapski has served as program chair for both DRI's Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA seminar and its Class Actions seminar. She also sits on DRI's Center for Law and Public Policy as a member of the Class Action Task Force. Czapski has been listed in Michigan Super Lawyers since 2009 under Business Litigation, Class Action/Mass Torts, and Insurance Coverage and is listed in Benchmark Litigation as one of the Top 250 Women litigation attorneys in the United States.

- - -

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Eric Gregory has been selected as a "2017 Up & Coming Lawyer" Honoree by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Gregory is an associate in the firm's Troy office. In his practice, he advises clients on all aspects of employee benefits including qualified retirement plans, welfare plans, and nonqualified compensation programs. He assists clients with plan design, drafting, and implementation of 401(k), profit sharing, 403(b), 457, and defined benefit plans. Gregory also provides advice on the design, implementation, and administration of insured and self-insured medical plans, dental plans, life insurance, disability, and cafeteria plans, including pre-tax premium plans, and flexible spending account plans.

Gregory is a member of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Michigan where he serves as the chair of the Employee Benefits Committee. He is also a member of the Oakland County Bar Association's Employee Benefits Committee, where he served as chair (2016-2017) and vice chair (2015-2016). He also is a board member of Lakeshore Legal Aid and a past board member of the Free Legal Aid Clinic Detroit. He has been named a "Rising Star" by Michigan Super Lawyers and a "Top Lawyer" in employee benefits law from DBusiness Magazine.

Gregory earned his law degrees from Wayne State University Law School and Georgetown University Law Center.

- - -

Renee T. Townsend, a partner at Secrest Wardle's Troy location, has been named to the list of Michigan Lawyers Weekly's Class of 2017 "Up & Coming Lawyers." The 2017 Class of "Up & Coming Lawyers" will be recognized at an awards luncheon on December 7 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

Townsend is a member of Secrest Wardle's Motor Vehicle Litigation, Premises Liability, Insurance Coverage, and General Negligence practice groups. She is the youngest woman ever to be named partner at Secrest Wardle. Townsend has recently taken on several roles within Secrest Wardle that have required her to hone her managerial skills, including supervising a team of support staff, paralegals, and associates to manage her caseload. She has been successful in recruiting a diverse group of qualified law clerks through her role as a hiring partner tasked with conducting on-campus interviews at the law schools in and around the Detroit area. Townsend has also eagerly taken on the role of mentoring young female attorneys at the firm to guide them toward success from the very beginning of her career at Secrest Wardle.

Townsend's background has made her a strong advocate regarding issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and society. Townsend has volunteered her time for various nonprofit organizations servicing minority communities, including the Chaldean American Ladies of Charity, Chaldean Bar Association, Stonewall Bar Association (LGBTQ+), Equality Michigan (LGBTQ+), and Affirmations Community Center (LGBTQ+). She has also been involved with the Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS) in its partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. Townsend is also passionate about educating her colleagues and clients about the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. By way of example, as a member of Secrest Wardle's Motor Vehicle Litigation Practice Group, Townsend developed a webinar and newsletter to distribute to clients regarding how the gay marriage ruling had an impact on legal and insurance issues such as resident relative disputes, privileges in testimony, and wrongful death actions for surviving spouses.

Townsend earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2007, with a concentration in Legal Studies. She received her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2010.

Townsend has been named to the Michigan Rising Stars List by Michigan Super Lawyers from 2013 through 2017. She has also been selected as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Michigan by Hour Detroit from 2014 to 2017. Additionally, Townsend has consistently received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell since 2015.

- - -

The Cannabis Legal Group in Royal Oak recently announced the addition of Travis Copenhaver to its team. Copenhaver joins the firm as a cannabis attorney.

Copenhaver brings knowledge to the firm with experience working for the Cannabis Attorneys of Michigan and Ignite Legal. His experience has given him a leg up when it comes to servicing and representing cannabis clients, as he will in his capacity with the Cannabis Legal Group.

Copenhaver received his law degree from Case Western Reserve University in May of 2013. Prior to receiving his law degree, he held numerous intern positions exposing him to various aspects of the legal world. Copenhaver received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan in 2009.

- - -

Southfield law firm Maddin, Hauser, Roth, & Heller PC is pleased to announce that Eric M. Wagman has joined the firm's expanding Defense and Insurance Coverage Practice Group as an associate with a concentration in commercial general liability defense.

The announcement was made by firm President and CEO Steven D. Sallen.

Wagman's practice focuses primarily on civil defense litigation including premises liability, trucking accidents, and general negligence. He also has experience in commercial litigation (including contract disputes and consumer fraud), claims of institutional abuse, professional negligence, work-site accidents, and products liability suits, as well as complex trust and estate litigation.

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wayne State University, Wagman earned his law degree from Rutger's Law School in Newark, New Jersey. He is admitted to practice law in Michigan and New York and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Oakland County Bar Association.

- - -

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) has selected Paul R. Hage, partner at Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC, as a member of its inaugural class of "40 Under 40" honorees. The award recognizes 40 top industry professionals under the age of 40 that are distinguished by their extraordinary professional accomplishments and leadership in their communities. The winners will be recognized at the ABI's Winter Leadership Conference in December.

Hage is the chair of Jaffe's Insolvency and Reorganization Practice Group. He specializes in representing debtors, creditors' committees, secured and unsecured creditors, asset purchasers and trustees in bankruptcy proceedings nationwide. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

Hage is active in numerous professional organizations and associations, including the ABI, Access to Bankruptcy Court, the American Bar Association's Business Bankruptcy Committee, the State Bar of Michigan's Business Law Section and the Turnaround Management Association. He serves on the editorial board for a number of bankruptcy publications, including the American Bankruptcy Law Journal. He has also received a number of industry awards and honors.

Published: Mon, Oct 30, 2017