Legal People ...


Plunkett Cooney partner Dennis G. Cowan was recently appointed to the board of directors of the Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN). His three-year term is through March 31, 2024.

OCHN leads a provider service network that assists approximately 23,000 Oakland County children and adults with developmental disabilities, mental illnesses and substance use disorders at more than 300 service sites across the county. It also manages a $350 million budget funded in part by the Michigan Department of Health Human Services, general fund, grants and Oakland County.

“I am very grateful the Oakland County Board of Commissioners selected me for this important role with such an outstanding organization,” said Cowan, a co-leader of the firm’s Governmental Affairs and Business Planning & Transactions practice groups. “OCHN is dedicated to serving those who are among the most in need of help and assistance in our community, and I am pleased to be part of this network.”

Cowan previously served as president & CEO of Plunkett Cooney. Currently, he focuses his legal practice on obtaining governmental licensing and real estate development approvals for clients at the local, county and state levels. He has experience advocating on behalf of clients seeking zoning, site plan and other land use approvals. Cowan also represents clients before state administrative boards, as well as with the Michigan Attorney General’s office.  Additional areas of his expertise include banking law, business law and transactions and corporate law.

A 1984 graduate of the Detroit College of Law, now known as the Michigan State University College of Law, Cowan has been involved in some of the state’s largest and most significant business deals, including a bid to build a Detroit casino, securing approvals for multi-million-dollar developments in suburban communities, and assisting with the financing package that helped make the city of Detroit’s “Grand Bargain” bankruptcy possible in 2014.

Cowan, who received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts / Boston in 1978, is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association; the Real Property Law, Corporation and Business Law, and Public Corporations Law sections of the State Bar of Michigan; and the State and Local Government Section of the American Bar Association.

During his more than 30 years of practice, Cowan served 14 years as a member of the Royal Oak City Commission. After six years as a city commissioner, he was elected and served four consecutive two-year terms as Royal Oak mayor. As a result of his experience as a public official, Cowan offers a unique perspective to advising clients on legal issues related to all levels of government.

In addition, Plunkett Cooney recently welcomed Maura B. Battersby and Trevor J. Zamborsky to its Transportation Law Practice Group.

A senior attorney in Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills office, Battersby has motion and trial experience that includes first- and third-party motor vehicle liability cases. She has also litigated business, premises and product liability, property, workers’ compensation and subrogation matters.

Battersby is admitted to practice in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western districts of Wisconsin. She received her law degree from Marquette University Law School in 2009 and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2006.

Zamborsky focuses his practice on insurance-related claims involving first-party and third-party motor vehicle negligence. A member of the firm’s Detroit office, he also has experience litigating personal injury, civil rights and commercial bankruptcy matters.

Named a Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star in civil litigation for several years, Zamborsky received his law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 2012. He received his undergraduate degree in 2007 from Northern Michigan University. He is admitted to practice in state and federal courts in Michigan.

Plunkett Cooney’s Transportation Law Practice Group includes the talents of more than 40 attorneys who provide an array of litigation and risk management services, including expertise in the areas of first- and third-party auto liability, cross-border claims with Canada, trucking liability, fraud investigations and emergency accident response.

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Attorney Megan J. Parpart of Howard & Howard has been named to the 2021 Class of “Up & Coming Lawyers” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Parpart, who practices out of the firm’s Royal Oak office, focuses her practice on business and corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, asset purchases, stock/membership interest purchases, business formation and dissolution, employment agreements, and general contractual matters. She also counsels clients on both individual and business taxation, focusing on tax incentives for businesses and business owners.

Parpart also focuses on a variety of tax issues and tax incentive programs. She serves on the Firm’s Opportunity Zone (OZ) Team and advises investors, business owners, and developers on how they can utilize this new tax program to their advantage. Parpart has experience with state tax incentive programs, both in Michigan and other states. Her experience includes federal tax incentive programs, such as New Markets Tax Credit, Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and Historic Preservation Tax Credit.

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Two Wayne State University Law School faculty members have been honored by the university for their research and contributions to the community.

Associate Professor Khaled Beydoun is the recipient of a Career Development Chair. The award will support his teaching and research efforts during the 2021-22 academic year.
Beydoun is a critical race theorist and internationally renowned expert on national security, the War on Terror, and civil rights. Through his research, he investigates modern modes of policing and its impact on Arab and Muslim communities. He is co-editor of “Islamophobia and the Law” (Cambridge University Press) and the author of the critically acclaimed “American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear” (University of California Press).

Beydoun’s work appears or is forthcoming in law journals including the California Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, and the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He is the recipient of an Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellowship.

Beydoun is associate director of civil rights and social justice for the Law School’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights.

Professor John Mogk, an expert on urban and regional development, housing, property and local government law, has been named Distinguished Service Professor of Law. The Distinguished Service Professor classification is used only in rare instances to designate senior members of the university faculty who have made extraordinary contributions outside their disciplines, or who, by service outside of the university, have brought great honor and recognition to the institution.

As chair of the Jefferson-Chalmers Citizens’ District Council, Mogk helped launch the neighborhood’s redevelopment program. As a member of the Detroit School Board, he created Detroit’s school breakfast program. After a federal court found that Detroit school authorities had engaged in historical discrimination against Black children, Mogk was actively involved in designing a remedial desegregation plan. As vice chair of the Michigan Construction Code Commission, he facilitated new Michigan building regulations that removed obstacles to increased affordable housing.

As the chair of Habitat for Humanity Detroit, Mogk helped build that organization into one of the most successful in the country. Mogk’s leadership, including two decades as the head of the Michigan Energy and Resource Research Association, has led to many hundreds of millions of dollars in funding in Michigan and Detroit, for everything from energy research to high tech development. As chair of the state’s Council on Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, he helped lay the foundation for expanded renewable energy in Michigan.

Mogk has received special commendations from the Michigan legislature, the Detroit City Council, and the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit. During his career, he was recognized as one of “Ten Outstanding Young Men in the United States” by the U.S. Jaycees and one of four Outstanding Volunteers in the United States by the National Center for Voluntary Action.

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TriMas recently announced the appointment of Jodi Robin to TriMas general counsel, effective May 6. In this position, Robin will report directly to Thomas Amato, TriMas’ President and Chief Executive Officer.

As TriMas’ general counsel, Robin will be responsible for supporting the company and its businesses on all legal, compliance, governance, intellectual property, M&A and employee-related matters.

Robin joined TriMas in 2010, as TriMas’ associate general counsel and was appointed to deputy general counsel in 2014. During her tenure with TriMas, she has played a key role in providing legal support to TriMas’ businesses, negotiating various commercial transactions, including numerous acquisitions, and managing the global real estate portfolio and litigation docket.

Prior to TriMas, Robin was an attorney with Reed Smith LLP in Chicago, Illinois, and earned a law degree from Emory University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan.

In connection with this announcement, TriMas has also appointed Dana Pierre-Louis to associate general counsel. Pierre-Louis will be responsible for supporting securities regulations and compliance initiatives, as well as the management of corporate governance and corporate secretary matters.

Pierre-Louis comes to TriMas with legal, M&A, and corporate governance experience. Prior to joining TriMas, Pierre-Louis spent the past ten years at DTE Energy Company, where she held various legal positions and most recently was appointed to expert attorney in 2019. Before joining DTE Energy Company, she worked for Dickinson Wright PLLC as an attorney, in addition to previously clerking for a Cook County Circuit Court Judge and an Illinois Supreme Court Justice in Chicago.

Pierre-Louis earned a law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan.

TriMas, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, is a global manufacturer and provider of products for customers primarily in the consumer products, aerospace and industrial markets, with approximately 3,200 dedicated employees in 11 countries.