LEGAL PEOPLE

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Kemp Klein Law Firm

Kemp Klein announced that Brian Rolfe has been elected chairman and chief executive officer effective June 1. Rolfe served as president and chief operating officer of Kemp Klein since 2018. He will succeed Ralph Castelli who served as chairman and CEO of Kemp Klein for 26 years. 

Rolfe is a practicing attorney in the areas of estate planning, business law and litigation. In his 25 years of legal practice, he has won several multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts including cases involving copyright litigation, shareholder disputes, employment matters, noncompetition agreements and similar business contract matters. He has argued, and has had cases published, in the Michigan Supreme Court and 6th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.  

Rolfe has represented professional athletes in litigation matters and currently represents high net worth individuals and families with estate planning, business planning and business succession planning matters. He is a board member of the Kemp Klein Foundation which sponsors Common Ground, a non-profit helping Southeast Michigan residents who are experiencing crises, as well as many other local and national charitable causes. Rolfe has served on a variety of non-profit educational and charitable boards and committees throughout his career. 

In addition, Rolfe was named Top Attorney by Crain’s Detroit Business, has been included in Super Lawyers Magazine for the past decade, and was selected by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America. He received his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law and Bachelor of Science from Central Michigan University.

Rolfe’s election is part of a firm leadership transition plan developed by Castelli and the firm’s shareholders. During his tenure, Castelli led key business decisions, including a strategic merger and other recruiting efforts, and held the office of mayor of Pleasant Ridge for 20 years. He is a sought-after attorney for business and real estate transactions as well as corporate law. Castelli will continue to practice law for Kemp Klein, as he has for 40 years. 

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University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Professor Stephen Wilks is the 2022 recipient of the James T. Barnes Sr. Memorial Faculty Scholar Award. Each year, a full-time faculty member is chosen to receive this award based on scholarship, teaching excellence, and public service.

Wilks’s research interests explore themes of governance and regulation within business and transactional spaces. He teaches Cross Border Sales and Financing, Business Organizations, and Secured Transactions in Detroit Mercy Law and Windsor Law’s Canadian and American Dual JD Program.

In addition to managing teaching responsibilities that have him instructing almost 100 students, Wilks has published four articles and two book chapters over the past two years; and is working on two more manuscripts he plans to complete this summer.

He was also chosen for this award because of service to the School of Law and the wider university community on many committees that benefit all.

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Maddin, Hauser, Roth, & Heller PC

Maddin, Hauser, Roth, & Heller PC is pleased to announce that Cody J. Corbin has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

Corbin is a member of the firm’s Defense and Insurance Coverage group and will handle a range of matters, including professional liability defense, employment litigation, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and grievance defense.  

Before joining Maddin Hauser, Corbin worked with regional firms handling an array of litigation, including family law, labor and employment, bankruptcy, real estate, and municipal matters. He earned his law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2018 and his undergraduate degree from Oakland University in 2015.

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Brooks Kushman P.C.

Brooks Kushman Shareholder John LeRoy spoke on a panel at the Auto IP USA hosted by IAM in Detroit on May 24. 

LeRoy’s panel, “The evolving licensing landscape: SEP and FRAND” discussed developments within FRAND licensing globally as well as the pending U.S. FRAND litigation. It also discussed patent pools vs. bilateral licensing arrangements.

With more than 15 years of software patent, trade secret, and copyright litigation experience, LeRoy is recognized for his IP management strategies and work in the courtroom. He leverages his electrical engineering and legal background to create efficient solutions to complex legal issues in the computer industry. 

LeRoy leads Brooks Kushman’s SEP/FRAND practice, working with automotive OEMs and suppliers SEP licensing and litigation concerning wireless communication technology. LeRoy has also been recognized for his history of success in federal courts nationwide and was recently named as Michigan IP Litigator of the Year.

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United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters announced that the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit with a bipartisan vote. Davis is the first African American woman from Michigan, and the second African American woman in history, to serve on the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has appellate jurisdiction over the federal district courts in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Davis has served as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan since December 2019. She previously served as a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan from 2016 to 2019. Davis served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan as executive assistant U.S. attorney from 2010 to 2015 and as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1997 to 2010. During her tenure, she also served as deputy chief of the Controlled Substances Unit from 2007 to 2010. Davis began her career as an associate at Dickinson Wright PLLC in Detroit from 1992 to 1997.

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Butzel Long

Butzel immigration law attorney Reginald A. Pacis, is profiled in a Michigan Asian Pacific Bar Association (MAPBA) LinkedIn social media post highlighting his career accomplishments. In addition, he is profiled in a Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity e-newsletter. The links coincide since May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Pacis focuses 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. 

In 2021, Pacis was appointed a trustee to the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC), which helps address the needs and concerns of the Asian Pacific American (APA) communities in Michigan. Previously, he was a commissioner to the MAPAAC.

Pacis was named Immigration Lawyer of the Year 2013 in the field of Immigration Law by The Best Lawyers in America and has been listed in Best Lawyers for several years. 

Pacis is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Samahang Pilipino Ng Oakland Filipino organization. He served two consecutive one-year terms from 2003 to 2005 as chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA and was a member of the AILA National Board of Governors for those terms. 

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Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative

State Court Administrator Emeritus Milton L. Mack Jr. received the 2022 Judge Stephen Goss Lifetime Achievement Award from the Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative (JPLI) of the Council of State Governments during its annual Leadership Summit. The award, resulting from a national nominating and selection process, recognizes Mack’s leadership in guiding state courts as they address mental illness in the justice system.

A former chief judge of the Wayne County Probate Court, Mack currently chairs the Governor’s Mental Health Diversion Council. His 2017 policy paper, “Decriminalization of Mental Illness: Fixing a Broken System,” led to creation of the National Initiative Advisory Committee, which he co-chaired from 2019 to 2020 and resulted in the establishment of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness.

In his 30-plus-year career, Mack has worked as a consultant and advisor to numerous advocacy groups, including the National Shattering Silence Coalition, an organization that advocates for the equitable treatment of people with serious mental illnesses.

The Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative is a partnership between the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation. For more than 10 years, the JPLI has worked to promote efforts by judges and psychiatrists to improve judicial, community, and systemic responses to people with behavioral health needs who are involved in the justice system.