Legal People

Varnum is pleased to announce that Erin Morgan Klug has joined the firm's Intellectual Property Law Team. She will be based in Varnum's Novi office.

Klug is an experienced intellectual property law attorney focusing on patent and trademark procurement to develop both domestic and international intellectual property strategies. She has experience in mechanical and electrical arts including automotive, chassis systems, brake assemblies, packaging, medical devices, consumer goods, mobile applications, sensors, and control systems.

Klug is admitted to practice before the State Courts of Michigan, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She joins Varnum from a national IP firm with Michigan offices based in Troy.

Klug received her law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She attended University of Michigan for her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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Julianne Cassin Sharp, a partner at Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC and co-chair to the firm's Women's Caucus group, received the opportunity to serve as a panelist for the Detroit Women in Leadership Symposium event on Tuesday, April 26, at The Garden Theater. The event, hosted by the Michigan Diversity Council, featured a panel of successful woman leaders to educate, inspire and encourage attendees to reflect on their own goals and status as they strive to advance in their careers.

"Despite the many advances in our society today, women continue to be underrepresented in executive leadership teams across the country," said Sharp. "It was an honor to serve as a panelist alongside such extraordinary women leaders to discuss this critically important topic, and inspire women to achieve success by raising their level of influence in the lives of others."

Bilingual in English and Spanish, Sharp is a member of Jaffe's immigration and litigation practice groups, specializing in Immigration and Nationality Law. As an immigration attorney, Sharp focuses on both Employment-Based and Family-Based petitions and visa processing, counseling companies on worksite enforcement and corporate compliance, and representing clients before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration Court.

Sharp presented alongside some of metro Detroit's most prominent female leaders, including Dr. Jan Cardwell, campus vice president/director of the University of Phoenix; U.S. District Court Chief Judge Denise Page-Hood, Eastern District of Michigan; and Lupe Lara, executive director of the Consortium of Hispanic Agencies.

The Jaffe Women's Caucus group is comprised of a collaborative team of attorneys and paralegals committed to building strong relationships among female professionals through continuing education and leadership development.

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Giarmarco, Mullins, and Horton PC is pleased to announce that Bruce W. Haffey, a senior business and corporate attorney and a member of the Board of Directors of GMH, will attend the Annual Conference of the National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC) this week in Palm Beach, FL.

NADC is a nationwide association of lawyers who represent automobile and other vehicle dealers. The annual conference will provide important, up-to-date information on current issues, including sessions on the latest efforts of the FTC to regulate auto financing, compliance management systems, and top legal issues for dealers in 2016.

Haffey has a track record of representing dealerships in corporate and business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, family and non-family business succession, formation and structuring of business and investment companies, executive compensation and benefits, facilities issues and dealing with OEMs.

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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) has named Ogletree Deakins as a 2016 ACC Value Champion for the firm's value-based fee arrangement with hhgregg. The arrangement, leveraging the tools in Ogletree Deakins Advantage portfolio product, revolutionized hhgregg's process for labor and employment claims by consolidating outside counsel and selecting Ogletree Deakins as its partner firm.

Ogletree Deakins' value-based fee arrangement with hhgregg operates on a flat fee that provides an "all-in-one" solution for hhgregg's labor and employment legal services. Since the arrangement began in April 2014, response times have dropped from 8-9 days (under prior firms) to just minutes. Litigation has dropped by 74 percent, claims by 60 percent, and hhgregg has saved 44 percent on its outside legal spending. Ogletree Deakins and hhgregg crafted a preventative approach by analyzing past litigation and company policies to identify any need for further training or policy changes. New technology platforms allow employee relations staff to manage many requests without legal assistance, and questions are directed to a dedicated team of attorneys at Ogletree Deakins.

A component of the ACC Value Challenge, which promotes reconnecting the cost and value of legal services, the ACC Value Champions initiative recognized Ogletree Deakins as one of 12 corporate law department/law firm collaborations that delivered substantial value to their client organizations by cutting spending, improving predictability, and achieving better legal outcomes.

ACC received more than 50 nominations from law departments and law firms with at least one year of results tracking. The complete list of the 2016 ACC Value Champions, along with additional details related to the hhgregg and Ogletree Deakins submission, can be viewed online at:

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The WON Foundation presented its 32nd WONder Woman Celebration, a benefit for the WON Foundation, on April 28. The event took place at the San Marino Club in Troy. Five women were honored for improving the quality of life in Southeast Michigan through their civic, philanthropic, and professional accomplishments. Secrest Wardle Executive Partner Margaret A. Scott, a member of the Women Officials Network, was in attendance. Secrest Wardle was a platinum sponsor of the event.

Scott reflected on the event: "I firmly believe in the vision and mission of the WON Foundation, that being to empower women leaders and mentoring women to become strong leaders for the future. I admire and congratulate each of the women recognized this year for their personal and professional accomplishments and for their dedication in giving back."

In addition, Secrest Wardle has been included on the "Crain's List: Largest Law Firms ranked by number of attorneys in Southeast Michigan," published on April 25. Secrest Wardle tied as the 18th largest firm in Southeast Michigan. The list is an approximate compilation of largest law firms based on number of lawyers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties.

Secrest Wardle is a law firm specializing in defense litigation and counsel for insurance, municipal, and commercial clients headquartered in Troy with additional offices in Grand Rapids and Lansing.

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Stephanie Miller recently joined Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP as its chief marketing officer. She will be located in the firm's Chicago office as part of its focus on strong growth in this market. Honigman, a full-service Midwest-based business law firm, has nearly 300 attorneys located in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Bloomfield, Hills, Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Chicago.

As chief marketing officer, Miller will be responsible for creating and implementing marketing and business development strategies that support the firm's plans for growth. She has been a legal marketing professional for the past 15 years. Prior to that, she spent more than a decade in marketing positions for major shopping center developers around the United States. She joins Honigman from Much Shelist PC in Chicago. Miller earned a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Published: Mon, May 16, 2016