Bodman PLC

Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that Mara Letica Saad has joined the firm as Of Counsel. She will practice in Bodman's Troy office.

Saad joined Bodman following a career as executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Letica Corporation, a global leader in the packaging industry.

At Letica Corporation, Saad was responsible for all legal matters as well as corporate administration, finance, human resources, IT, and governmental affairs for a complex manufacturing business with facilities in 13 U.S. states.

Before joining Letica Corporation she practiced commercial and insurance defense litigation with a large law firm in Portland, Oregon. She also served in the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for King County (Seattle), Washington.

Crain's Detroit Business has recognized Saad as one of Metro Detroit's Most Influential Women. She has a long history of political activism and support of charitable organizations and public policy initiatives. Saad's current and past civic and charitable activities include serving on the board of advisors to the Michigan State University College of Law Journal of International Law, on the board of trustees of Eastern Michigan University, and on the boards of directors of the Motor City Lyric Opera, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and The Parade Company-Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation, among others.

She has also served as an appointed member of a number of public boards and committees, including Michigan International Year of the Family Council, Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council, and Michigan Talent Investment Board.

Saad is past president and a current member of the Plastic Shipping Container Institute, the primary U.S. trade organization for manufacturers of plastic rigid packaging. She is a member of the American Corporate Counsel Association, the Commercial Law League of America, the State Bar of Michigan, and the Oakland County Bar Association.


Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Monica Labe and Katheryne Zelenock have been named to Crain's Detroit Business "Notable Women in Real Estate."

Labe is a member in the firm's Troy office. For the past 8 years she has not only practiced law at the highest levels, but she has served as deputy CEO for the firm in charge of Practice Management and the firm's Business Development and Marketing Departments and prior to that time she served as the practice department manager for the firm's Real Estate Practice Group.

Labe has experience representing multi-national corporations, developers, real estate private equity firms, lenders and real estate investment companies in the acquisition, development, leasing, financing, construction and disposition of industrial, office, commercial, mixed-use and entertainment projects throughout Michigan and the U.S. Labe is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Attorneys and was elected to the Midwest Real Estate News "Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame" in 2018.

Labe was named a "2017 Leader in the Law" and a "2012 Woman in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and was included in Crain's Detroit Business "50 Names to Know Real Estate." She is also recognized as a leader in her field by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and Michigan Super Lawyers (often being named one of the Top 100 Lawyers and Top 25 Women Business Lawyers in the State).

Labe received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

Zelenock is a member and chair of the firm's Real Estate Finance practice. In her practice, she leads a team that closes commercial and multifamily mortgage loans across the country on behalf of leading national lenders as well as smaller regional and local banks, including multifamily and manufactured housing community loans originated for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. She is also experienced in matters related to troubled properties and owners, and the modification, restructuring and workout of financing arrangements, including related litigation and due diligence.

Zelenock is a member of the American Bar Association, the Mortgage Bankers' Association of America, Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Oakland County Bar Association. She is an elected member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, and serves on the Board of Regents of that organization, and is recognized as a leader in her field by Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Michigan Super Lawyers, and DBusiness magazine. She was recognized as a "Women Worth Watching" by Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2017, and received the Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Women in the Law" award in 2015.

Zelenock received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Wayne County Circuit Court

Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny welcomes the newly elected judges to the bench.

Judge Tracy E. Green was elected to the Wayne County Circuit Court in November 2018 for a term beginning January 1, 2019. She currently serves in the Third Circuit Court's Family Division Juvenile Section.

Green graduated from Cass Technical High School, and she received both her Bachelor of Social Work and law degrees from Wayne State University. Prior to the bench, Green practiced law for over 21 years, primarily in the Third Circuit Court, handling child welfare, felony and domestic relations matters. From 2009 to 2016, she was first managing attorney then legal director of Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, a University of Michigan Law School multi-disciplinary legal services program whose mission was to reduce the number of children who were unnecessarily mired in the Wayne County foster care system.

In 2010, the Michigan Supreme Court's Foster Care Review Board honored Green as its first annual Parents' Attorney of the Year in Child Welfare award recipient. She is a published author, a national trainer, and a frequent presenter for State Court Administrative Office's Child Welfare Services Division's training programs. She also served as a consultant in complex Michigan child welfare litigation and as a member of the Wayne Attorney Leadership Committee. She continues to serve on the State Bar of Michigan's Children's Law Section Council.

Judge Bridget Hathaway was elected to the Wayne County Circuit Court in November 2018 and is assigned to the Criminal Division.

Hathaway was a partner at Bodman PLC in Detroit where she practiced commercial litigation. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Bar Association.

Judge Regina Thomas was elected to the Wayne County Circuit Court in November 2018 and is assigned to the Criminal Division.

Thomas practiced law for over two decades. Prior to taking the bench, she spent the majority of her legal career providing civil legal services and indigent defense to under resourced people in her community. She was most recently employed with Lakeshore Legal Aid as the director of its Counsel and Advocacy Law Line. She has a Bachelor's of Science degree from Tennessee State University and a law degree from Vanderbilt School of Law. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and serves on the board of the Youth Connection Inc.


Steinhardt, Pesick & Cohen PC

Jerome P. Pesick, managing shareholder of Steinhardt, Pesick, & Cohen PC (SPC), a Michigan-based law firm specializing in eminent domain and condemnation, commercial property tax appeals, commercial real estate litigation, and land use, has been named to the Leaders in the Law class of 2019 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Possessing 40 years' experience in eminent domain and condemnation law, Pesick's achievements include serving as lead counsel on behalf of the property owners in the largest eminent domain verdict in Michigan history, rendering $25 million in a case that involved a 6.3-acre parcel on the Detroit River with an original government offer of $13.7 million. He has successfully represented clients in nearly every major condemnation project in Detroit and Southeast Michigan, including Poletown, Detroit Waterfront Casino and Reclamation Project, Comerica Park and Ford Field, I-696, M-59 (Hall Road), M-5 (Haggerty Connector), Northwestern Connector, Van Dyke Highway, Detroit Metropolitan Airport Expansion, Wayne State University Welcome Center, Wayne County Pinnacle AeroPark, Ypsilanti Water Street Redevelopment, Eastern Michigan University Business School, and the and Orchard Lake Road widening.

When the Macomb County portion of I-696 was originally constructed, Pesick successfully tried a class action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of Macomb County homeowners in adjacent subdivisions whose properties were in close proximity to the new freeway. In that case, Pesick was able to prove that the freeway violated deed restrictions that protected the residential nature of the subdivisions, which resulted in the court ordering that the homeowners be compensated for their properties' loss in value.

Pesick is currently representing several Detroit commercial property owner clients whose property was taken for the development of the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

In November 2018, Pesick was part of a legal team that achieved a major settlement for a client in a protracted eminent domain case against the City of Pontiac. Known for his collaborative approach in complex commercial real estate cases, Pesick was sought out by a prominent Michigan law firm to help handle the eminent domain issues specifically and to otherwise assist in the disputes between their client, the owners of the Ottawa Towers office complex, and the City of Pontiac. Pesick obtained a dismissal of the eminent domain case and, with the legal team, negotiated a global settlement of more than $7 million for the client.

Pesick also regularly represents clients in major property tax appeal cases involving all types of properties throughout Michigan. He has handled issues ranging from the valuation of properties worth millions of dollars to obtaining property tax exemptions for religious and charitable facilities, which requires the application of complicated statutory regulations and considerations.

Pesick is involved with a variety of professional organizations. He is a member of the American Bar Association's Section on LitigationCommittee on Condemnation, Zoning, and Land Use. He served as chair of the State Bar of Michigan's Real Property Law Section during 2009-10, and also served as chair of the Section's Eminent Domain Committee for seven years. He is the former associate editor of the University of Detroit's Journal of Urban Law and has authored numerous articles on eminent domain. He is also a popular speaker, instructor and lecturer at state and national eminent domain conferences. Earlier this month, he led a roundtable discussion on the topic of "Business Damages in Eminent Domain Proceedings" at the 2019 Michigan Continuing Education Program for Real Estate Professionals, presented in cooperation with the State Bar of Michigan's Real Property Law Section's Special Committee on Commercial Leasing. In October 2018, he was a faculty presenter at the State Bar of Michigan's Real Property Law Academy II and will be a presenter again for the Academy in May 2019.

Pesick's civic activities include serving on the Executive Committee as treasurer of Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, and as a past board member of the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link and the Karmanos Cancer Institute.


Secrest Wardle

D. Kyle Bierlein has joined Secrest Wardle's Troy location as an associate attorney. Bierlein is a member of the firm's Motor Vehicle Litigation Practice Group. He possesses over five years of legal experience representing clients in matters pertaining to personal injury, premises liability, dog bite cases, and a variety of no-fault first and third-party automobile negligence claims, including claims for uninsured/underinsured motorist, trucking accidents, and traumatic brain injury matters.

Bierlein earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 2013 and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Oakland University in 2008. During law school, he served as chief law clerk for the Michigan Attorney General's Office in the Children and Youth Services Division assisting in the litigation of child abuse and neglect cases in Wayne County.

Bierlein is licensed to practice law in the state of Michigan. He was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2014.


Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C.

Mark Rubenfire, partner at Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC, was named to the Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leaders in the Law Class of 2019."

For more than 30 years, Rubenfire has been dedicated to real estate law. He serves as partner and practice group coordinator of Jaffe's Real Estate Practice Group, one of the firm's flagship practices. With expertise in all aspects of real estate law, he has been involved in thousands of real estate transactions, and serves as a vital resource to his clients and mentor to Jaffe attorneys.

Rubenfire has a long history in Detroit real estate. He has witnessed the city's decline and its recent resurgence, and is currently helping real estate companies successfully navigate Detroit's exploding housing and commercial markets with sophisticated legal counsel. And while he's passionate about doing his part to support Detroit's redevelopment, his practice is anything but local. Rubenfire has managed transactions all over the state, region and country, including overseeing the legal aspects of one client's acquisition and financing of over 120 properties over the last 20 years.

Rubenfire earned a law degree from Wayne State University Law School, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in business from the University of Michigan.

Rubenfire serves as president and board member of the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, the Village Square Subdivision Homeowners Association and board member of the Gary Burnstein Free Health Clinic. His long-term commitment to law has garnered him a number of recognitions, including Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyer, DBusiness Top Lawyer, and Chambers & Partners USA Real Estate Attorney.


Butzel Long

Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Beth S. Gotthelf is one of 30 attorneys named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly's "Leaders in the Law" Class of 2019.

Gotthelf is Butzel Long's director of Innovation and External Relations. She also is an executive-in-residence at the Macomb-OU INCubator and serves on the Macomb-OU INCubator Advisory Council.

She has helped auto suppliers diversify into alternative energy and defense, which have been lifelines to those companies.

Gotthelf served as a lay-leader on legislative trade missions to Israel to help Michigan legislators learn what has worked to make Israel an economic leader, and bring those "lessons learned" back to Michigan. She is immediate past president and a current board member of the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA). With her connector skills, Gotthelf chaired a highly successful matchmaking initiative to bring Israel and Michigan automotive companies together during a high-tech automotive exchange mission by the Israel Consul for Economic Affairs and the Michigan Israel Business Bridge (now the MIBA). That mission resulted in over 100 matchmaking meetings.

She continued her passion of connecting companies to create business when she became president of MIBA by convincing Israel to have its first ever trade mission of Israeli Defense companies to a state (Michigan) in 2017. This mission was so successful that it led to the first-ever trade mission by a state (Michigan) of defense companies to Israel in December 2018. As a result, Michigan and Israel defense companies are reaping the benefit.

Gotthelf brings a pragmatic and holistic approach to clients' issues, assisting them in reaching their business goals, often matchmaking clients' needs and acting as an outside general counsel. Her assistance in diversifying automotive suppliers into the aerospace & defense arena during the economic downturn is just one example of her holistic approach. She now counsels clients in governmental contracting, ITAR, EAR, and Foreign Military Sales. Gotthelf also is a leader in environmental law, bringing creative solutions to remediation, redevelopment, tax incentives, and waste management.

She represents and counsels a diverse mix of clients in numerous matters throughout the country. These matters include: compliance and permitting; alternative energy issues; responding to an emergency; siting new facilities; civil and criminal enforcement; compliance audits; brownfields; tax incentives; remediation of contaminated sites; insurance claims; administrative procedures; solid and hazardous waste; landfills; composting; and occupational safety and health.

Gotthelf has served as general counsel to the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Surface Finishers since 1990; Better Business Bureau Board member (2012-present); former general counsel to the Wayne County Brownfield Authority. She has represented the Wayne County Department of Environment on a broad variety of issues, including the Detroit bankruptcy as it related to the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department; wastewater treatment plant expansion, upgrade and compliance; wet weather; landfills; remediation; and ordinance amendments. She also represented Oakland County on matters concerning stormwater and wastewater.

She has been very active in the bar, including past service as: vice chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, Water Quality and Wetlands; former vice chair of the Section's Keystone Committee; chair of the State Bar of Michigan Environmental Law Section; and chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association. She is a past member of the State Bar Representative Assembly on behalf of Oakland County.

In addition, Gotthelf is on the board of the Better Business Bureau. She is an active member of the Detroit Regional Chamber's Environmental Committee, past member of the Chambers Leadership Committee for Transportation, and is past chair of the Chamber's Task Force on Water and Sewer Issues. She is chair of the City of Birmingham (Michigan) Brownfield Authority (2005-present). On behalf of industry, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee charged with recommending stormwater rules and served as a director of the Detroit Area Commercial Board of Realtors, which covers the State of Michigan. Gotthelf served as an arbitrator for the National Arbitration Forum.

Gotthelf was selected as one of 20 influential leaders by Michigan Lawyers Weekly - Women in Law (2010). She was listed as one of the "Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers" by Michigan Super Lawyers (2006, 2007, 2008) and as one of the "Top 50 Female Michigan Super Lawyers" (2006, 2008, 2014 and 2015). She also is listed in Michigan Super Lawyers, Environmental (2006-2018). She has received a number of awards and special recognitions, including as an emerging leader by the Detroit Regional Chamber (2003); the National Association of Surface Finishers (2002); Corp! Magazine as one of "Michigan's 95 Most Powerful Women" (2002); Corp! Magazine's "Top 10 Business Attorneys for Southeast Michigan" (1999); and Crain's Detroit Business' 40 emerging leaders under age 40 (40 Under 40) (1994).

She has authored articles of national interest for the ABA on Proposed Wastewater Regulations and Underground Storage Tanks, and authored a public policy update on the Detroit wastewater ordinance amendments for Detroiter. National lectures include National Brownfields Conference (2008); Walsh College "FIN or Else: FIN 47" Seminar; Urban Land Use Planning (2007); COATING 2005 on "Doing Business in China"; the ABA Annual Meetings, Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law concerning general practice (2007) and water issues (2004 and 2002); "A Civil Reaction: Confronting Environment Problems in the New Millennium" (1997); "Annual Fundamentals of Real Estate Taxation" (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002); and at the National Association of Metal Finishers, "Federal Wastewater Pretreatment Issues."

Gotthelf's charitable activities include serving as co-chair of the Gleaners Food Bank Women's Power Breakfast fundraiser (2015); board member and eventually president of the Board of Trustees for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michigan Chapter (1996-2008); board member and eventually chair of the Board of Trustees of Oakland Plus Foundation (2005-11); trustee of the Jewish Vocational Services (2000-15); member of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, State Government Relations Oversight Committee (2004-present); and member of the Board of Directors for the University and Cancer Foundation (2000-07).

Published: Mon, Feb 25, 2019