Legal People

Dennis J. Levasseur, a member of Bodman PLC practicing in the firm’s Detroit office, has been appointed vice president of the board of trustees and chair of the Legal/Government Relations Committee of the Detroit Historical Society.

Levasseur has been actively involved in the Detroit Historical Society for years, having served as a board trustee since 2009. He is also a founding member of the Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Levasseur focuses his legal practice in 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 serves as city attorney for the City of Grosse Pointe Park. He is listed as one of Michigan’s leading litigation specialists in the current editions of “Chambers USA,” “Benchmark Litigation” and “Michigan Super Lawyers” and has earned the highest possible “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

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Dykema has announced that James G. Aldrich Jr. has joined the firm’s Employment Practice Group in the Bloomfield Hills office.

Aldrich has worked in the firm of Dickinson Wright PLLC, where he has specialized in a full range of corporate and immigration matters. His practice includes providing counsel to closely held and family businesses in the areas of corporate, international and business planning. He also assists clients in Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico, the Middle East and Asia as well as in the United States.

Aldrich researches investment opportunities in the U.S., forms corporations and other business entities, arranges international joint ventures, develops long-term plans to coordinate the business goals of clients with available immigration benefits, and assists clients in the preparation of visa petitions and supporting documentation. He also coordinates reverse-trade missions for Chinese businesses seeking investment opportunities in the United States.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Aldrich earned his law degree from Detroit Mercy Law School.

Additionally, Dykema’s James P. Feeney has been selected by “Michigan Lawyers Weekly” as a 2011 Leader in the Law, the publication announced recently. The award will be presented at a March 15 luncheon at which the publication will announce the 2011 Lawyer of the Year. Feeney is the third Dykema attorney in as many years to be named a Leader in the Law. Others are Dykema Chairman Rex E. Schlaybaugh Jr. and the firm’s Automotive Industry Group leader Aleksandra A. Miziolek.

Feeney was the lead defense trial and appellate counsel in the Jenny Jones case, in which he successfully argued, on appeal, that the plaintiffs’ $25 million verdict had been improperly obtained. The verdict was vacated and judgment was entered for the defendant.

Most recently, he was the lead defense attorney in a highly publicized suit seeking $30 million against the employer of an individual involved in an automobile accident that caused the deaths of the plaintiff’s three family members. The suit, Weinstein et al. v Siemens PLM, f/k/a UGS, Inc., alleged that the employer was negligent in permitting the employee to drive when he was known to be drinking. A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan found for the employer.

Feeney has defended numerous clients, including four major automakers, in high-stakes matters involving product liability, class action, and collision death and injury. He represents both foreign and domestic clients, businesses, individuals, partnerships and limited liability corporations, and he serves as a mediator in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

Many organizations have honored Feeney. He has received the Michigan Trial Lawyer of the Year Award presented by the Michigan Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

He has been recognized by Chambers USA and America’s Leading Business Lawyers 2006-2010 in the category of Litigation: General Commercial area. Beginning in 2004 and continuing through 2010, Best Lawyers in America has recognized Feeney in various categories, including Business Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation and Product Liability Litigation.

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Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Robert A. Boonin, a frequent speaker on labor and employment matters, was featured at the State Bar of Michigan Labor and Employment Section’s Mid-Winter Meeting on Jan. 22 at the Detroit Athletic Club. He discussed what legislative and regulatory initiatives employers can expect this coming year from Washington, D.C. and Lansing. Boonin is the treasurer of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

In addition, Boonin was featured during a Jan. 17 program on “Business Law & Order” presented by Ann Arbor SPARK. The program focused on workplace issues that can impact any business owner including hiring and disciplining employees, and everyday issues associated with wage and hour laws.

Boonin’s law practice is largely concentrated in the areas of labor, employment discrimination and education law. He has represented public and private sector clients across the country, in over 30 jurisdictions, in wrongful termination, employment discrimination, wage and hour, tenure proceedings and other employment-related lawsuits and claims, as well as in labor grievance arbitrations, labor negotiations, unfair labor practices and representational proceedings and labor strikes.

Boonin is a graduate of The University of Michigan Law School (1985) and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (B.S. Economics 1976). He also holds a Master’s Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University (M.L.I.R. 1980).

Futhermore, Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Patrick A. Karbowski was a featured speaker during a program hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2011 Michigan Continuing Education Program for Real Estate Professionals on Jan. 27 in Novi.

Karbowski’s presentation was titled, “Rights of First Offer: Are You Getting What You Bargained For?”

Karbowski’s practice includes both transactions and litigation, with concentrations in the areas of real estate and general business. Karbowski is listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” (Real Estate).

Karbowski has served as the chairperson of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and is an ex officio member of its governing Council, as well as a member of many of its committees including its Pro Bono and ADR Committees. He is a member of the Real Estate Advisory Board for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He also has served as an adjunct professor of law teaching Real Estate Transactions at the Ave Maria School of Law.

Karbowski is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and the Oakland County Bar Association. Karbowski has been a board member for several community groups including Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, Christian Leadership Academy and Crossroads Pregnancy Center. Karbowski is a Leadership Oakland alumnus.

Karbowski graduated from the Wayne State University Law School in 1987. He earned his Bachelor of Science degreefrom Central Michigan University.

In addition, Butzel Long President Justin G. Klimko was a featured speaker during the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section’s “Business Boot Camp I - Basic Training for Every Business Lawyer.” The event took place on Jan. 27-28 at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth.

On Jan. 27, Klimko presented a program titled, “Shareholder Buy/Sell and Voting Agreements.”

Klimko is a past chair of the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section. He co-chairs the Business Law Section’s Corporate Laws Committee, which monitors Michigan corporation laws and actively participates in their amendment from time to time. He chaired the Business Law Section’s Ad Hoc Committee on Legal Opinions in Business Transactions, which issued a widely-referenced report providing guidance to attorneys in Michigan on issues involved in legal opinions provided in business transactions.

Klimko has experience in securities regulation, corporate financing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general corporate matters, fields in which he has practiced since 1980.

Klimko taught corporation law for five years as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School, frequently lectures and authors articles on business law subjects and has served as general editor of a treatise on Michigan Business Forms and a contributing author for a treatise on Michigan contract law.

In addition, Klimko is a member of the Legal Opinions Committee, the Negotiated Acquisitions Committee and the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee of the American Bar Association.

Klimko is included in the publication “The Best Lawyers in America” and he is rated one of Michigan’s top Corporate/M&A attorneys by Chambers USA Guide of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and is listed in Michigan Super Lawyers (Mergers and Acquisitions).

Klimko graduated from Duke University Law School (1980) and Ohio University (B.A., 1977).

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George W. Gregory is proud to announce he has become a community partner of the Southeast Michigan program of LEAVE A LEGACY®. Through their partnership, he maintains his commitment to the community by supporting and promoting the need for individuals to support their favorite charities in their wills or estate plans.

Gregory was a revenue agent with the Internal Revenue Service from 1973 to 1980. He is active in the Taxation Section and the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He presently serves on Council of the Probate and Estate Planning Section and is Treasurer. He was chairperson of the Taxation Section, and chairperson of its Estates and Trusts Committee, chaired the Taxation Section’s After Hours Tax Series in, chaired the Tax Section’s 1994 Summer Tax Conference and chaired the Tax Section’s Directory.

Gregory served as the liaison between the Taxation Section and the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar. He has presented materials for various professional groups including the Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. Gregory was one of the draftsmen of the Michigan Estate Tax Act which repealed the old Michigan Inheritance Tax.

He has written about tax related topics in various publications including the Michigan Bar Journal, Michigan CPA, Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Journal, Michigan Tax Lawyer, Oakland County Bar Association Latches and Journal of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners.

Gregory is a graduate of Michigan State University (B.A., Economics), Wayne State University School of Business Administration (M.B.A. – C.P.A. Accounting Concentration), and a graduate of Wayne State University Law School. He is admitted to practice before Michigan and federal courts, including the United States Tax Court.

He has been a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel since 1998. Gregory has been listed in every issue of The “Best Lawyers in America” since 2000, and every issue of “Michigan Super Lawyers” since 2006.

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Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has elected several of its attorneys as new partners in the firm effective Jan. 1. Honigman’s new local partners are listed below.

Seth A. Drucker practices in the Commercial Law, Bankruptcy and Reorganization Department in the firm’s Detroit office. His practice focuses on representing secured and unsecured creditors, debtors and landlords in commercial bankruptcies and advising clients regarding industry-specific bankruptcy issues. He also advises clients with respect to commercial litigation, preference and fraudulent transfer actions, and other bankruptcy litigation.

Drucker earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He earned an M.B.A. from Wayne State University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University.

Julie E. Kretzschmer practices in the Corporate and Securities Department in the firm’s Oakland County office. She provides legal and business guidance on global brand protection and intellectual property management and has experience managing national and multi-national brand and trademark portfolios. She also advises clients on selection and suitability of trademarks for registration and proper use on packaging, labeling and advertising.

Kretzschmer earned her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a B.A. in Education from Michigan State University.

Salmaan T. Quader practices in the Litigation Department in the firm’s Oakland County office. He concentrates his practice on intellectual property litigation, including patent, trade secrets and other technology-related subjects. He advises clients on strategies related to patents, including infringement, validity and patentability.

Quader earned his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. He earned an M.S. in Cancer Biology, a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University.

Khalilah V. Spencer practices in the Litigation Department in the firm’s Detroit office. She advises and represents corporate clients in a wide range of commercial litigation matters, including automotive supplier contract disputes and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrations and class actions. She also has trial experience as second and third chair in several jury trials involving commercial and employment disputes.

Spencer earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Brock A. Swartzle practices in the Litigation Department in the firm’s Detroit office. He concentrates his practice on antitrust, complex commercial litigation, constitutional law, and federal and state appeals.

Swartzle earned his law degree from George Mason University School of Law and a B.S., from the University of Michigan. He served as a law clerk in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Honigman is also pleased to announce that Alex L. Parrish, a partner in the firm’s Corporate and Securities Department, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

Parrish focuses his practice on advising companies on a wide array of transactional matters, including capital formation, acquisitions, joint ventures, and the issuance, sale and regulation of securities. His clients include Fortune 500 manufacturing and service companies, startups, closely-held and family-owned companies and a number of leading minority and women-owned enterprises.

Parrish has been named in “Best Lawyers in America” from 2003 to 2011, “Best Lawyers” 2011 Detroit Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year and in DBusiness “Top Lawyers” for 2010 and 2011.

Aside from his DIA position, Parrish also serves the community as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, trustee of the Henry Ford Health System Foundation, and Trustee of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation.

Parrish earned his law degree from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Howard University.

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Michael N. Santeufemia has been named to the Fifth Third Bank Eastern Michigan Board of Directors. An attorney at Seyburn, Kahn, Ginn, Bess, and Serlin PC, Santeufemia is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and serves as the firm’s co-managing partner.

Santeufemia serves clients in several different industries, including banking, professional sports, entertainment, technology, manufacturing, automobile dealerships, retail, construction, real estate, health care, consulting and employee contracting. His areas of emphasis include all aspects of contract and business law, including the purchase and sale of businesses, sports and entertainment related negotiations and contracts, buy-sell and other agreements among owners of businesses, employment law matters, entity formations, succession planning, franchising, tax planning and loan agreements.

He concentrated in the business school curriculum at Wayne State University and earned his law degree at Loyola University of Chicago in 1992.

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Rader, Fishman, & Grauer PLLC, a national intellectual property law firm, has elected Kristin L. Murphy to serve as managing partner on its Board of Managers.

Murphy joined Rader, Fishman, & Grauer in 1997 as an associate. In 2003, she was elected partner at the firm. As of Jan. 1, Murphy serves as a managing partner on the firm’s Board of Managers. Murphy is the first woman to be elected as a managing partner at Rader, Fishman, & Grauer.

Murphy’s practice focuses on patent prosecution, both domestically and internationally, as well as intellectual property litigation, including trademark, unfair competition, antitrust and patent litigation, both at the district court level and the court of appeals for the federal circuit. She also has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating agreements relating to intellectual property.

Murphy earned her Master of Intellectual Property degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center (Now known as New Hampshire School of Law) and a B.S.M.E. from Western New England College. She is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is an executive board member for both the Women’s Bar Association – Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Oakland County Region – and the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association.

She is also co-chair of the Industrial Advisory Council for the School of Engineering at Western New England College, and was recently elected to the Board of Directors for The Pink Fund, a Michigan-based charity that provides short-term financial aid to women and men who are in active treatment for and recovery from breast cancer.

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Attorney Frank T. Mamat, a shareholder at Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith PC, has been appointed to serve on the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan (BIA) board of directors for 2011. Mamat has represented the association since 1995.

Mamat focuses his practice on complex labor issues, with a special focus on union matters, contract negotiations and unfair labor practice litigation. He was appointed to the Michigan Construction Code Commission by Governor Engler in 1993 and served on the CCC longer that anyone in state history, and as its chairman. Mamat represents several thousand construction industry employers all across the United States and Canada.