Legal People

Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C.
Southfield-based Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss PC recently announced that Sara M. Kruse has been appointed to a two-year term on the firm’s board of directors and Susan M. Sutton has been re-elected to serve an additional one-year term on the board. Jaffe CEO Bill Sider made the announcement.

As members of Jaffe’s board of directors, Kruse and Sutton are responsible for the growth, strategic development and day-to-day operations of the 200-person firm.
Serving her first term, Kruse is also a co-practice group coordinator for the Emerging and Growth Business practice group. She has developed a practice in guiding her clients through large corporate transactions, where she represents both private and public companies in all aspects of their legal needs — from formation to equity financing to acquisition.

Kruse is also a member of the Corporate and Securities Regulations practice groups at the Firm. She is a long-standing and active member of Jaffe’s Women’s Caucus Group, which was recently awarded the inaugural Women’s Resource Center Award by the Michigan Women’s Foundation.

Kruse graduated from the University of Michigan with her bachelor’s degree, and is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School.

Sutton has served on the board for the past six years. She is a member of the Firm’s Estate Planning and Probate practice group, where she specializes in estate planning, wealth transfer, business succession planning and trust administration.

A recognized attorney in this particular area of law, Sutton has been honored by DBusiness as a Top Lawyer in 2012 and 2013.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Sutton earned her law degree from Wayne State University Law School.


Garan Lucow Miller P.C.

Garan Lucow Miller PC is pleased to announce that Dennis P. Partridge has been elected to Garan Lucow Miller Executive Committee.

Partridge is a shareholder in the firm’s Detroit office.  His practice area is concentrated in Workers’ Compensation.  Partridge is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bar Association, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and Council on Litigation Management.   He has been named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” from 2010 through the present and he is also listed as a preeminent attorney in Martindale-Hubbell with an AV rating.


Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP and six of the firm’s Intellectual Property (IP) attorneys have been named in Managing Intellectual Property magazine’s inaugural “IP Stars” list of recommended law firms and attorneys. Honigman’s attorneys who were recognized as “IP Stars” are:

• Jennifer Sheehan Anderson, partner, Intellectual Property Department’s Trademark and Copyright Practice Group.

• Joseph V. Coppola Sr., partner, Intellectual Property Department’s Patent Practice Group.

• J. Michael Huget, partner and leader, Intellectual Property Department’s Litigation Practice Group and member of its Trademark and Copyright Practice Group.

• Anessa Owen Kramer, partner, Intellectual Property Department’s Trademark and Copyright Practice Group and Litigation Practice Group.

• Michael A. Lisi, partner and leader, Intellectual Property Department’s Trademark and Copyright Practice Group.

• Jonathan P. O’Brien, partner and chair of the Intellectual Property Department and leader of its Patent Practice Group.

Honigman is also pleased to announce that Laura Brodeur-McGeorge, an attorney in the firm’s Labor and Employment Department, has been elected as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Admission to the College is only by nomination and election by the College’s Board of Governors.

Brodeur-McGeorge focuses her practice on counseling clients on employment-related issues and providing workplace training on various topics, including EEO investigations and ADA compliance. She also litigates employment matters, including discrimination, retaliation, and trade secret and restrictive covenant cases before courts and administrative tribunals.

Brodeur-McGeorge advises employers on occupational health and safety issues and represents them before OSHA and MIOSHA. Additionally, she counsels businesses on state and federal fair housing laws and accommodation issues and represents them in proceedings before the courts, the MDCR and HUD.

Brodeur-McGeorge is a member of the State Bar of Michigan Client Protection Fund Committee and is a Fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation. She has been recognized as a Michigan Super Lawyer since 2011.

Brodeur-McGeorge earned her law degree from Wayne State University Law School and a B.S. in management from Oakland University.


Plunkett Cooney

Attorney Matthew G. Berard recently joined Plunkett Cooney as a member of its Insurance Law Practice Group.

Berard, who is a member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, represents insurance providers throughout Michigan and the Midwest. His experience includes the defense of complex insurance coverage disputes, including those involving environmental contamination.

Berard’s legal practice also includes preparing insurance coverage opinions and coverage position letters pertaining to claims of advertising injury, personal injury, pollution, defective products, automobile injuries and collisions, premises liability, breach of contract litigation and construction defects.

Berard is a member of the Insurance & Indemnity Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan; the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association; the Oakland County Bar Association and the DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar. A student pilot, he is also a member of the Michigan Business Aviation and the Aviation Insurance associations. Berard is admitted to practice in state and federal courts in Michigan.

Berard earned his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2012. Berard also served as a senior judicial clerk for Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Shalina D. Kumar. He received his undergraduate degree from Oakland University in 2009.


Miller Canfield
The law firm of Miller Canfield announces that principal Matthew F. Leitman has been nominated by President Obama as a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. 

Leitman’s nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

At Miller Canfield, Leitman practices in the areas of criminal defense, complex commercial litigation, and appellate litigation. He has been recognized in Best Lawyers and as a Michigan Super Lawyer for his work in litigation and criminal defense.

Leitman received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from the University of Michigan. He has served as president of the Michigan Harvard Law School Association since 2008.


Brooks Kushman P.C.
To address the rapid growth of open source software (OSS) in consumer electronics, telecommunications, automotive and industrial systems, Brooks Kushman PC recently established its Open Sourcing Management (OSM) practice group. Brooks Kushman’s OSM group helps companies understand and select OSS, and comply with OSS license terms. As an intellectual property (IP) law firm, Brooks Kushman is qualified to assist organizations in this area, as the firm can both identify a company’s current and future OSS status, as well as provide practical, legally compliant solutions and future strategies for compliance.

“Open source software license compliance is an issue that affects all industry segments since compliance, which is typically triggered by the distribution of the product, applies to all levels of a product’s supply chain,” said John LeRoy, shareholder, Brooks Kushman. “While the use of OSS provides immense benefits, it also presents obligations to the distributors and risks for failure to comply with those obligations, including claims for copyright infringement. This can get complicated quite quickly, but with the proper understanding and precaution, it’s manageable.”

Brooks Kushman’s OSM practice group consists of a robust team that is highly experienced in electrical engineering and computer software, which is vital to properly understand, evaluate and advise manufacturers and distributors with respect to OSS. Led by LeRoy, the team helps clients identify what OSS is in their products using digital auditing tools, understand what license terms and legal obligations govern the use and distribution of that OSS, and formulate a strategy to comply with the license terms. Brooks Kushman’s practice group will also train software developers on how to select open source projects for inclusion in future projects. Educated selection of open source may reduce license compliance obligations.

As companies from numerous industries recognize the value and cost benefit of using OSS in their products they are calling on Brooks Kushman’s expertise to advise them on license compliance. As a result, the OSM practice group is presenting at numerous conferences across the nation to provide companies with practical guidance and legal counsel on how to develop and distribute products to minimize open source liability, as well as manage open source in purchasing and sales.

“As a partner to our clients, we’re continually monitoring emerging IP-related challenges to ensure we’re properly and comprehensively protecting their product and technology portfolio,” said Mark Cantor, president, Brooks Kushman. “After a thorough assessment of the potential pitfalls of open source software, we saw the clear need to expand our service offering to ensure we’re advising current and potential clients on this rapidly emerging aspect of IP law. The response has been overwhelming, with a great deal of interest from numerous companies and organizations across a wide range of industries.”

According to Brooks Kushman, the use of OSS has become more prevalent as software takes a more prominent role in everyday life. The increased use of OSS is due in part to its numerous advantages, including reducing a product’s time-to-market and decreased development costs. But a proper compliance process, as stated by a given software’s licensing agreement, is critical to ensure a company doesn’t violate the terms and risk liability.

Legal risk associated with use of OSS could include liability for copyright infringement if license terms aren’t followed. Since this liability can be triggered at all levels of a product’s supply chain, it is critical to understand and manage these terms before a product is introduced into the supply chain.

“We’re advising clients that now is the time to get their house in order to maximize the benefits and avoid the risks of open sourcing software,” said LeRoy. “With a thorough understanding of the various terms and requirements, as well as a strategy for proper evaluation and compliance, an OSS-compliant supplier has an advantage over its competitors from a supply chain buyers’ point of view. As our clients’ IP advisors, we want to ensure they’re capitalizing on this advantage.”


Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
Brinks, Hofer, Gilson, & Lione announces Todd A. Pleiness has joined the firm’s Detroit office as an associate attorney concentrating on patent prosecution in the mechanical arts. The announcement was made by Kelly Burris, managing partner of Brinks’ Detroit office.

Immediately prior to joining Brinks, Pleiness was an examiner with the Elijah J. McCoy United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO-Detroit). Before joining the USPTO, he worked as a patent analyst at a research firm and as an IP attorney at a large commercial law firm and a boutique IP law firm. Prior to attending law school, Pleiness worked at General Motors as a manufacturing engineer, mainly in paint automation and application. He also worked at INA USA, gaining experience in the design and manufacturing of roller bearings for use in automotive components and powertrain.

Pleiness earned his law degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University.  He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association.


Butzel Long

Butzel Long labor and employment attorney Louis Theros has been selected as a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyer. He will be inducted later this year.

The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, headquartered in Annapolis, Md., is a national honorary of employment law practitioners who are leaders in the field.

Theros is the sixth Butzel Long labor and employment attorney to achieve this recognition. Other firm attorneys who are Fellows of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers include: Robert A. Boonin, John P. Hancock Jr., James S. Rosenfeld, William M. Saxton, and Daniel B. Tukel.

Theros is a shareholder, vice president and serves on Butzel Long’s Board of Directors. He concentrates his legal practice in the areas of employment litigation, labor, advising and counseling clients on statutory employment compliance and gaming law.

He has more than 24 years experience, including first chair trial and appellate responsibilities, in employment discrimination and harassment matters and large class action lawsuit throughout Michigan and the Midwest. Theros has served as counsel on various traditional labor issues, including organizational campaigns and collective bargaining agreement negotiations and implementation. He also has experience in handling arbitrations arising from collective bargaining disputes and unfair labor practice complaints.

Moreover, he is listed in Best Lawyers in America and is named in Michigan Super Lawyers, both since 2007. He has received an “AV Preeminent” peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Committed to his community, Theros actively participates in a variety of organizations. He currently serves on the Grosse Pointe Farms City Council (2001-present), where he was mayor pro tem from 2005-2007. He also is vice president of the Michigan Ice Hawks Youth Hockey Club, and the treasurer of the Senior Citizen Housing Development Committee for the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA).

Theros is a former president of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association (2005-2006), and currently serves as a trustee of the association’s charitable arm, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Foundation (2006-present).

He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law (1989), and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan (B.A., 1985).


Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski
Bloomfield Hills-based Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski recently announced that Darius Dynkowski, a partner with the firm, will moderate a Presidential Showcase Program panel at the 2013 American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Meeting. Managing Partner Alan Ackerman made the announcement.

The discussion, titled “Planning and Takings in the Aftermath of Koontz,” will be one of nine elite Presidential Showcase Programs at the annual event, which takes place August 8-13 in San Francisco and will feature more than 1,500 total presentations. Dynkowski, the chair of the ABA Land Use and Environmental Group, will lead the panel of four speakers who will discuss the Supreme Court’s decision in the Koontz v. St. Johns River Waste Management District case. The ruling, which was rendered on June 25, provided a landmark regulatory takings decision for eminent domain law. The panelists will analyze the court’s decision and provide insight into the advocates’ strategies.

“With a case of this magnitude, it’s important to understand the issues at stake, how it will be argued and how the eventual outcome will impact eminent domain law,” said Dynkowski. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to moderate the panel for one of the Presidential Showcase Programs and look forward to a lively discussion about the future impact of this decision.”

Dynkowski earned his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in 1993 and his law degree from the Detroit College of Law in 1996. He serves as the representative for the Owners’ Counsel of America and is an adjunct professor at the Michigan State University College of Law. The panel discussion will take place Thursday, Aug. 8, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.