Michael Pitt has been selected for the Champion of Justice Award by the Michigan Association of Justice. Pitt is co-founding partner of Royal Oak-based law firm Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, & Rivers.

The Champion of Justice Award is given to an individual in appreciation of their commitment to the civil justice system and to preserving the rights of citizens.

A past president of Michigan Association for Justice, Pitt is one of the state's leading civil and employment rights attorneys. He and his firm have successfully advocated for the civil rights of employees and citizens for more than 40 years.

Pitt and his firm currently represent Flint residents in three class action lawsuits arising from lead-tainted water in the city's municipal water system. In another high visibility case, the law firm represents tens of thousands of state residents wrongly accused of fraud by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Pitt is also the president-elect of Washington, D.C.-based Public Justice, a public interest law firm which uses high-impact litigation to accomplish social justice objectives in the U.S. He will begin his one-year term later this summer.

He has served in board and leadership positions for numerous organizations, including American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, Oakland County Bar Association, Wayne State University Board of Visitors, American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Employment Lawyers Association.

In addition, Pitt has previously been named to Leaders in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and selected by the State Bar of Michigan for its Champion of Justice and Distinguished Service awards.

Pitt is a graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State University Law School.

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Wayne State University Law School Associate Professor Kirsten Matoy Carlson was invited to participate in the Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum at Harvard Law School on June 13-14.

Carlson presented her paper, "Lobbying Against the Odds," which is forthcoming in the Harvard Journal on Legislation.

The forum promotes in-depth discussion about particular papers and more general reflections on broader methodological issues. It also seeks to foster a stronger sense of community among American legal scholars, particularly by strengthening ties between new and veteran professors. Through the process of blind selection, 12 to 20 junior scholars are selected annually by a jury of accomplished academics to present their work at the forum.

Carlson's paper is the first to present systematic, empirical data on American Indian lobbying from 1978 to 2012. It focuses on the question of why some groups use legislative strategies to achieve their goals, challenges the prevailing wisdom that politically powerless groups do not lobby, and demonstrates that groups sometimes lobby even when the odds are stacked against them. The paper combines political science and sociolegal approaches to studying advocacy to construct a nuanced and generally applicable framework for understanding how advocates develop strategies over time. It then uses this innovative approach to explain the 600 percent increase in American Indian lobbying that Carlson discovered in data she collected and analyzed on reported lobbying and expenditures by American Indians over a thirty year time period.

Overall, Carlson's interdisciplinary, empirical research focuses on legal advocacy and law reform, with particular attention on the various strategies used by Indian nations and indigenous groups to reform federal Indian law and policy effectively.

In May 2014 Carlson was awarded a National Science Foundation Law and Social Science Program grant to fund her research project, "Legal Mobilization, Rights Claims, and Federal Indian Policy Reform." She previously received a National Science Foundation dissertation research grant to study the constitutional entrenchment of Aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada.

Carlson also holds an appointment at Wayne State University as an adjunct associate professor of political science.

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Emily Hollenberg recently joined Transitions Legal as associate attorney.

"I went into the legal field so I could advocate for people who need a voice," says Hollenberg, a Southfield resident who is a graduate of Boston University and Suffolk University Law School. "Family law is demanding, but rewarding. At its core, family law is all about achieving resolution. I like being part of the solution, helping people fix problems and accomplish goals."

A member of the State Bar of Michigan and Washington, D.C. bar, Hollenberg has worked for the international law firm Dechert in London, England; the U.S. Department of Justice's SMART (Sex Offenders Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking) Office and DOJ's Foreign Claims Settlement Commission; Lakeshore Legal Aid; and Wayne County Friend of the Court.

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Based on research about why clients hire and recommend law firms, BTI Consulting has included Plunkett Cooney among its "Brand Elite" for 2018.

BTI ranked Plunkett Cooney as one of 334 law firms in the nation to receive its Brand Elite 2018 designation, which is predicated on client perceptions about the best-branded law firms. Firms are only included on the list if BTI receives one or more specific, unprompted client mentions about the firm.

According to BTI, the client feedback reported about firms like Plunkett Cooney focused on such characteristics as being short-listed for new assignments, being a safe choice for complex and high-risk work, being tech-savvy and being seen as client service strategists.

Inclusion on the BTI Brand Elite 2018 list means corporate counsel consider Plunkett Cooney among the top 20 percent of all law firms most likely to be an industry leader over the long term.

In addition to the BTI Brand Elite 2018 designation, Plunkett Cooney has previously been named by the company as one of its Client Service A-Team members. The firm has also achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, a leading peer-to-peer review service to the legal industry.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs more than 150 attorneys in eight Michigan cities, Columbus, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm's practice includes extensive expertise in litigation, business law and legal services for individuals, including probate law, tax law, and trust and estate planning.

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Jeffrey T. Neilson, a co-founder of Lipson Neilson PC, has been honored by the members of the State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission for his service as secretary of the Commission from October 2011 to October 2017. In honoring Neilson for his service, the Commission made specific mention of his exceptional, and meritorious service in preserving the highest standards of professional conduct for the protection of the public, the courts, and the legal profession.

Neilson is known nationally for his expertise in business counseling, estate planning and domestic and family law liability. He has more than thirty years of experience in matters relating to probate administration and estate/retirement planning, corporate and business representation and succession planning, election law, accounting and legal malpractice, non-profit organizations, taxation issues including tax controversies, family law, and probate litigation.

Neilson is licensed to practice law in Michigan, Nevada, and Colorado.

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Honigman is pleased to announce that Khalilah Spencer, Inclusion, Equity & Social Responsibility partner, was a recipient of this year's D. Augustus Straker Bar Association's "Trailblazers Award." This award, recognizes pioneers in the legal community based on their continuous individual contributions to the betterment of the legal profession. It was presented during the Association's 25th annual Trailblazer's Award and Scholarship Dinner, which was held this year on June 7.

"I am honored to receive this award from a great organization," said Spencer. "Given the illustrious list of past recipients, to be in their company is quite humbling."

Spencer was recognized for her unique role within Honigman, as well as her work in the community with organizations such as the Lakeshore Legal Aid, NAACP and the Wolverine Bar Association.

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Two of Butzel Long's attorneys and shareholders specializing in immigration law were featured speakers during two separate conferences presented by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in San Francisco.

Bushra A. Malik was a presenter at both the 2018 AILA Global Immigration Forum and the 2018 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law.

On June 12, Malik was featured during the AILA Global Immigration Forum for a program titled, "Beyond the Visas: Avoiding Tax and Employment Law Pitfalls." Then, on June 13, she presented during the AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law for a panel titled, "Immigration 101: Essential Immigration Terms and Concepts."

On June 14, Reginald A. Pacis was a featured speaker during the 2018 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law. He served as discussion leader in a panel titled "Adjustment Status" which provided an overview on the adjustment of status process, initial requirements, forms and documents needed and red flag issues.

Based in Butzel Long's Bloomfield Hills office, Malik practices in the area of immigration law, focusing her practice on the representation of multinational and domestic clients' inbound and global migration needs.

Her experience includes Employment based (Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher, Multinational Manager, and PERMs) and Family based Permanent Residence Petitions Non-Immigrant Petitions (H-1B/Specialty Occupation, J-1/ Exchange Visitor, L-1/Intracompany Transfers, O-1/Extraordinary Ability, TN/ NAFTA); Employer Compliance (I-9 Audits and H-1B Public Access File Audits); J-1 waivers; Compliance under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiate (WHTI); U.S. Passports; complex naturalization matters; and currency seizures.

Based in Butzel Long's Detroit office, Pacis concentrates 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, 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.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Scott A. Petz has been selected among America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® for 2018.

To be considered for selection, an attorney must have litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter (1) with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or (2) with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake.

Petz is a member in the firm's Troy office where he focuses his practice in the areas of commercial and business litigation, class and collective actions, labor litigation, consumer protection, and condemnation and land use.

Petz received his B.A. from Kalamazoo College and his law degree from The John Marshall Law School.

Published: Mon, Jun 18, 2018