Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

For the third time in a month, HONIGMAN has expanded its Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group by adding a new partner, LEIGH C. TAGGART. He brings more than 20 years of IP and IP Litigation legal experience to Honigman and is located in the firm's Oakland County office. Honigman's growing IP practice serves clients locally, nationally and internationally.

Taggart is an intellectual property attorney who litigates and mediates patent, trademark, copyright, antitrust and trade secret matters throughout the United States. He serves clients in the medical device, pharmaceutical, automotive, silicon wafer, consumer products and commercial jet engine industries. He also has experience in international trademark, unfair competition and commercial disputes, including disputes in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, Lebanon, and Australia.

He earned a law degree from Cornell University Law School and a B.A. in philosophy from Haverford College. He is licensed to practice in Michigan and New York and currently serves as co-chair of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Eastern District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

Taggart joins Honigman from Rader, Fishman, & Grauer PLLC in Bloomfield Hills. Before joining Rader, Taggart was general counsel and secretary of Rexair Inc. (now Rexair LLC), a manufacturer of a well-known branded consumer product sold in more than 70 countries.


Beier Howlett

BEIER HOWLETT PC is proud to announce that five of its attorneys have been named Top Lawyers 2014 by DBusiness Magazine.

The attorneys are:

TIMOTHY CURRIER -- Municipal Law for the 5th year.

MICHAEL GIBBONS -- Commercial Law for the 1st year.

JEFFREY HAYNES -- Environmental Law for the 5th year.

KEITH JABLONSKI -- Commercial Law & Real Estate Law for the 1st year.

STEPHEN JONES -- Trusts & Estates for the 5th year.


Oakland County Circuit Court

OAKLAND COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE MARTHA ANDERSON was recently appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Michigan Community Corrections Board to represent circuit court judges on the board.

The Michigan Community Corrections Board serves in an advisory capacity to the Director for the Michigan Department of Corrections and is charged with approving many components of community corrections programs, including goals, eligibility criteria, program guidelines, program standards and policies, the application process, procedures for funding and criteria for evaluation.

Anderson was elected to the Oakland County Circuit Court in November of 2002 and currently serves in the Civil/Criminal Division. She had previously been a referee for the Oakland County Friend of the Court for 23 years. Anderson is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Oakland County Bar Association, as well as a member of several other local and state associations.

The Michigan Community Corrections Board consists of 13 members, each representing a certain entity related to corrections. Board members serve four-year terms.


Brooks Kushman P.C.

BROOKS KUSHMAN PC recently hired four new associates based at the firm's Southfield office. The announcement was made by Mark Cantor, president of the firm.

The four new attorneys include:

* REID A. BALDWIN -- Baldwin will join Brooks Kushman's patent prosecution team. He has worked with clients of all sizes, in a variety of industries, in the mechanical, electrical and software arts. Baldwin earned a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law, a Ph.D. in computer science from Michigan State University, and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

* TODD W. DISHMAN -- Specializing in patent prosecution and litigation matters, Dishman's practice is centered on the mechanical and electromechanical arts. He earned a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Brooks Kushman, Dishman worked for an automotive OEM for 10 years as a design engineer for body systems, body structures, closures, sealing and electromechanical hardware.

* JUSTIN D. SPURLOCK -- Focusing on patent prosecution and litigation, Spurlock counsels clients in mechanical and electromechanical arts. He earned a law degree from Wayne State University Law School, and a Masters and Bachelors degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Brooks Kushman, he worked as a design engineer in the defense and automotive industries.

* ANDREW B. TURNER -- As a registered patent attorney, Turner focuses his practice on domestic and international patent prosecution for electrical and mechanical systems, designs and software. His practice also includes client counseling, intellectual property portfolio management, opinion preparation, patent reexaminations and litigation support. He earned alaw degree from Wayne State University Law School, a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from GMI Engineering & Management Institute (Kettering University), and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Oakland University. Prior to joining Brooks Kushman, Turner was an engineer in the automotive industry. He worked on the development of several electro-mechanical systems including: adjustable pedals, electric park brakes and alternators.


Wayne State University Law School

WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR PETER HAMMER is taking his human rights work far beyond Detroit with a recent appointment to the Board of Directors of the Center for Khmer Studies in Cambodia.

Travel to Cambodia is nothing new for Hammer, director of Wayne Law's Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. He's also chairman of the nonprofit, non-governmental organization Life and Hope Association, a program to educate and care for disadvantaged women and children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He has spent a part of every summer there for several years. And he's been doing grassroots work for justice and human rights in Cambodia since 1993. Hammer also is the founding member and past president of Legal Aid of Cambodia, a nonprofit group offering free legal services to Cambodia's poor.

He will visit Cambodia in January to fulfill his new obligations with the Center for Khmer Studies.

"The center originally began with an emphasis on history and archeology," Hammer said. "It has extended to areas of social science, law and policy. My election to the board signals an effort to deepen and extend these efforts."

In 2007, Hammer was a visiting professor at the center, which is within the temple complex of Wat Damnak in Siem Reap, where the Life and Hope Association also has its headquarters.

"It was in working at the Center for Khmer Studies and conducting research on the role of Buddhist wats (monasteries) in Cambodian economic development that I first met and started work with the monks at Life and Hope," Hammer said. "My role on both boards will help strengthen their connection. There are research and service opportunities Life and Hope can fashion for the center. There are connections to higher education that the center can help establish for the graduates of Life and Hope programs."

All of this work fits in well with Wayne Law's Program for International Legal Studies, its strong commitment of service to the community and to the civil rights work of the Keith Center, he said.

"At the Keith Center, we are committed to education as a civil right," Hammer said. "The work of the Center for Khmer Studies is not only to study Cambodia but to help strengthen its capacity for higher education. Life and Hope is committed to creating educational opportunities for vulnerable children and at-risk young women. While one set of projects is in Southeast Asia and the other is in Southeast Michigan, I see more similarities in mission than differences. One is just a longer commute."

His efforts in Detroit and Cambodia all work into the context of his research, which is focused on civil rights, human rights and economic development.

In 2009, Hammer led a Center for Khmer Studies project and edited its publication, "Living on the Margins: Minorities and Borderlines in Cambodia and Southeast Asia." He recently had an article (written with Ian Baird), "Contracting Illness: Reassessing International Donor-Initiated Health Service Experiments in Cambodia's Indigenous Periphery," published in Southeast Asia Research.

In the coming spring he will present a paper at the Association for Asian Studies annual meeting titled "Shadows of Ideological Empiricism: Reconsidering an Asian Development Bank Health Policy Experiment in Cambodia." He also has been commissioned to contribute a chapter in a new book examining the role of minorities in Southeast Asia titled "The Chinese in Cambodia: Economic and Political Inclusion and Exclusion in the Post-Independence Era."

At Wayne Law, Hammer teaches courses that include Race Law and Social Change in Southeast Michigan, International Organizations & Public Health and other health policy courses. He holds a doctorate in economics and a law degree, both from the University of Michigan. He started teaching at Wayne Law in 2003, when he helped redesign the law school's growing health law curriculum.


Butzel Long

BUTZEL LONG attorney and shareholder DANIEL R. W. RUSTMANN has been named a Fellow of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation. New Fellows were honored during the Foundation's ninth annual Dennis W. Archer Public Service Award event on November 6 in Detroit.

Based in Butzel Long's Detroit office, Rustmann's practice has been devoted principally to litigation. He has handled cases in a wide variety of substantive areas, including UCC supply chain litigation, sales representative commission disputes, non-compete disputes, shareholder disputes, and other complex, commercial litigation. He frequently advises clients on contract negotiation and drafting.

As a co-chair of Butzel Long's Global Automotive Practice Group, Rustmann has developed experience representing tier 1 and tier 2 automotive suppliers in various matters.

Rustmann is a graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law and Valparaiso University.


Attorneys Title Agency (ATA)

Farmington Hills-based ATTORNEYS TITLE AGENCY (ATA) recently announced that it has been recognized as one of The Detroit Free Press' 2013 Top Workplaces National Standard winners. ATA President Bill Robinson made the announcement.

"Attorneys Title is incredibly honored to be named a Top Workplaces National Standard winner, particularly because this award was a direct result of our hardworking and dedicated employees," Robinson said. "We've always made a concerted effort to enhance employee satisfaction by creating a positive work environment, and we are pleased to see such encouraging results from our team."

The Detroit Free Press recognized honorees during a celebratory breakfast on Nov. 17 at the Laurel Manor in Livonia.


Plunkett Cooney

Attorneys ADAM C. DECKER and OLIVIA M. PAGLIA recently joined PLUNKETT COONEY as members of its Insurance Law Practice Group.

A member of the firm's Bloomfield Hills office, Decker represents insurance providers in coverage claims involving complex insurance coverage litigation throughout the Midwest. His legal practice also includes preparing, on behalf of insurers, coverage opinions and proposed coverage position letters pertaining to claims of advertising injury, bodily injury and/or property damage, as well as fraud and misrepresentation.

A member of the State Bar of Michigan, Decker received his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Prior to joining the firm, he worked as a judicial extern to Cook County Circuit Court Judge Ronald F. Bartkowicz in Illinois.

Decker received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University.

Paglia represents leading property and casualty insurance companies in coverage cases throughout the Midwest. Her practice involves handling a variety of policy disputes, including environmental contamination, construction defect and high-exposure product liability claims.

Prior to joining the firm, Paglia worked as a law clerk to Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Christopher M. Murray, as well as a research attorney for the appellate court's research division.

A member of the State Bar of Michigan, Paglia graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2009. She received her undergraduate degree from Oakland University in 2006.

In addition, Plunkett Cooney was recently named by Corporate Counsel magazine as one of the top law firms servicing corporate America.

The firm's top tier designation, which is based on feedback provided by executives from Fortune 100 companies, was published in a feature article, titled: "Who Represents America's Biggest Companies," in the October issue of Corporate Counsel.

Plunkett Cooney, which is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, was one of only nine firms identified in the annual nationwide survey that received 13 unprompted mentions from Fortune 100 in-house corporate counsel when they were asked to identify the firms they use most for business litigation.

"This is a tremendous honor for our firm," said Plunkett Cooney President and CEO Henry B. Cooney. "We have the privilege of working with some of the largest and most successful companies in the world and to be mentioned by them as one of their primary law firms is truly a compliment to the efforts of our attorneys and staff."


Wayne State University Law School

Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC) is pleased to feature JOCELYN BENSON as its December ally spouse. Benson serves as the interim dean of WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL in Detroit. In the 2010 election, she was the Michigan Democratic Party's nominee for secretary of state. Benson co-founded Military Spouses of Michigan (MSoM) and currently serves as the organization's president. She authored a book in 2010 titled, "State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process."

MPFC ally spouses are individuals who have shown exceptional leadership in working toward advancing equality for all military families.

Benson commented, "I've seen firsthand how our military family community can often be overlooked and invisible. The sacrifices that we and our families make every day are largely unknown to the general public. That applies even more so to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families. That is why it's important for military spouses to welcome and support anyone who loves someone in the military as part of our community. Love is love, and I look forward to a day when the rights and benefits of marriage are available to everyone equally."


Bodman PLC

BODMAN PLC attorney DAVID Y. CHEN has been named communications chair of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MAPABA).

MAPABA is a local affiliate of the National Asian Pacific America Bar Association, which is comprised of over 40,000 attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students from 66 different regional chapters.

Chen is a member of Bodman's Business Practice Group. He represents business clients involved in a variety of matters including corporate organizations, mergers and acquisitions, and other commercial transactions.

In addition, Bodman attorney DENNIS J. LEVASSEUR, has been named a "Lawyer of the Year" for 2014 by The Best Lawyers in America.

Levasseur has been named 2014 Detroit Lawyer of the Year for Banking & Finance Litigation. He is a member of Bodman's Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Health Care, and Intellectual Property Practice Groups. He practices intellectual property litigation, franchise/dealer litigation, complex commercial litigation, and securities litigation and arbitration, primarily for securities broker-dealers, in proceedings throughout the United States. He also practices in the area of trade secret protection and arbitration proceedings in state and federal courts.

Levasseur is a founder of the Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and serves the Detroit Historical Society as the legal/government committee chair and on the executive board as the vice president for legal affairs. He is city attorney for the City of Grosse Pointe Park.

Bodman has also been recognized by the Detroit Free Press as one of Michigan's best places to work.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Free Press has named Bodman a "Top Workplace" in the midsize employer category. Bodman is one of only three law firms, and 35 Michigan businesses overall, to be ranked in the midsize employer category, which encompasses businesses with 150 to 499 people.

"The Top Workplaces award is unique in that it's the result of an anonymous survey of our own people," said Bodman Chairman Ralph E. McDowell. "Anonymity leads to very frank feedback, good or bad. Our results indicate that our continuous efforts to maintain a positive and collaborative work environment have succeeded, which is very satisfying."


Howard & Howard

HOWARD & HOWARD ATTORNEYS PLLC is pleased to announce that SAM A. FARES and JOSEPH P. MICHNIACKI have joined the firm. They will both practice out of the firm's Royal Oak Office.

Fares concentrates his practice in intellectual property law with a focus on patent preparation, prosecution, and clearance work in the electrical and computer arts. He has assisted clients in relation to numerous electrical and software related technologies including charge-coupled devices, antenna systems, integrated circuits, medical imaging systems, mobile device apps, web services, surgical devices, reactor ignition circuits, heating systems, automotive control systems, and computer network systems.

Fares joined Howard & Howard in 2010 as an intellectual property intern while attending law school in the evenings. Prior to joining Howard & Howard, Fares acquired over five years of industry experience. While receiving his B.S. in Electrical Engineering, he worked at Visteon Automotive as a software engineer co-op for BMW infotainment applications. Most recently, Fares worked as an electrical systems engineer for Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems. There, he designed and developed electrical distribution systems in support of Ford Motor Company's Explorer program, lead the development of product complexity, and was the lead creator of the electrical layout of the vehicle. He also has industry experience working for Delphi Corporation as an electrical design and release engineer.

Fares received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2005. In 2013, he received his law degree from Wayne State University Law School. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Michigan.

Michniacki concentrates his practice in the areas of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures (domestic and international); entity formation; corporate and partnership law; real estate law; business and commercial law; contracts; finance; securities; and tax law. Prior to practicing law, Michniacki oversaw operations of a local company that owns and operates a number of golf courses in southeast Michigan.

Michniacki received his B.B.A. from The University of Michigan - Flint in 2005 and his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2013. He is licensed to practice in Michigan.

Published: Mon, Dec 9, 2013