Legal People

The Business Improvement Team (BIT), a consortium of independent consulting firms who utilize synergies, recently announced its affiliation with The Marsalese Law Group PLLC business attorneys and advisors. The Marsalese Law Group of Southfield represents a wide range of commercial clients and takes a pragmatic business approach to all of its clients' business issues. The Marsalese Law Group works closely with its diverse client base to provide strategic legal and business counsel to clients in their business and personal endeavors.

Michael Marsalese, managing member of The Marsalese Law Group PLLC said, "It's important for you to have a core group of people you can trust and consult with on an ongoing basis."

The member firms are Absolute Engineering & Consulting, LLC, Clear Vision Strategy LLC, Expense Reduction Analysts, Franklin CIO Services, LLC, Glass Retirement Strategies, Hennessey Capital, of The Marsalese Law Group, PLLC, Taligence Inc, Tobias, Vandeputte & Skulsky CPA's, PC and Virtual Interactive Agency (VIA).

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Pepper Hamilton LLP announced that Ryan B. Bowers has joined the firm as an attorney in the firm's Corporate and Securities Practice Group, resident in the Detroit office.

Bowers concentrates his practice on technology law, intellectual property transactions, software licensing, service agreements and venture capital. His representation includes startups and emerging growth companies. Prior to joining Pepper, he was an attorney with law firms in Indianapolis and Chicago, and served as general counsel and vice president of operations for a Detroit area company. Bowers has written and lectured on various aspects of technology and the law, including startups and social media, and founded a software company.

Bowers earned his law degree from University of Illinois College of Law in 2005. He earned his B.A. in history from University of Michigan in 2002.

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Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Brandon J. Booth has become a shareholder with the firm. He continues to practice out of the firm's Royal Oak Office.

Booth concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate law and business transactions. He has broad experience in corporate organization and compliance, mergers & acquisitions, construction, healthcare, finance, and early dispute resolution.

Howard & Howard is also pleased to announce that Alexander M. Leonowicz, La Toya McBean, and Evonne Xu have joined the firm. All three will practice out of the firm's Royal Oak Office.

Leonowicz concentrates his practice on a wide range of litigation matters and disputes focusing primarily on business and corporate law as well as commercial litigation.

Prior to joining Howard & Howard, Leonowicz was a summer associate with the firm. During law school, he worked as a clerk for Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Shalina Kumar. Leonowicz is also the president and founder of the Orchard Lake St. Mary's Bar Association.

Leonowicz earned his B.A. from Kalamazoo College in 2008 and his law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2012. He is licensed to practice in the State of Michigan.

McBean concentrates her practice in commercial and corporate litigation. Prior to joining Howard & Howard as an associate, she worked as a summer associate with the firm. During law school, McBean clerked for U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Mark A. Randon, Eastern District of Michigan, and for Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Cynthia D. Stephens .

Prior to becoming an attorney, McBean worked with federal, state, and local government policymakers to improve the criminal justice system. She worked on Capitol Hill in the personal office of a congressman and on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. She later worked as a policy analyst with the Council of State Governments' Justice Center to develop public safety policies in several states, including Michigan. McBean facilitated a consensus-driven process involving Governor Jennifer Granholm's administration, legislative leaders, and a myriad of stakeholders (judges, prosecutors, county commissioners, and law enforcement executives) to reform the state's criminal justice policies. She has testified before state budget and judiciary committees and has drafted numerous policy briefs. She recently directed the Inner-City Neighborhood Project, a public safety and national service project to reduce crime in Detroit, Benton Harbor, Saginaw, and Grand Rapids.

McBean earned her B.A. from Stony Brook University in New York, and her M.A. in Public Policy from Regent University. She earned her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2013.

McBean is a certified mediator having completed a 40-hour training program by the Oakland County Mediation Center. She is licensed to practice in the State of Michigan.

Xu is a member of the Corporate Advisory Services Practice Group and concentrates her practice in the areas of automotive, manufacturing, technology and international law. She has been successful in uniting and providing legal services to Chinese and U.S. entities involving transactions in intellectual property commercialization, real estate transactions, foreign investments, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and labor and employment. In addition, Xu deals with domestic and international general corporate issues and provides legal opinions for tax matters.

Prior to joining Howard & Howard, Xu's work experience included working as in-house counsel at a major Internet company in Shanghai, China and as a practicing lawyer in People's Court in Ningbo, China.

Xu earned her law degrees from Fordham University School of Law in 2012 and from Shanghai University School of Law in 2011. She is a board member of the Detroit Chinese Engineers Association. Xu is licensed to practice in Michigan and New York as well as in the People's Republic of China.

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Wayne State University Law School got good news earlier this year after the latest state bar exams -- and, after successful appeals by five graduates, the news is even better.

Ninety percent of Wayne Law graduates who took the state bar exam for the first time in February passed -- the highest passage rate of any law school in the state. The state average after appeals was 68 percent.

Wayne Law's passage rate for graduates taking the February bar exam for a second time is now 61 percent, up from 50 percent after the successful appeals.

That brings Wayne Law's overall passage rate up from 63 percent to 70 percent -- nearly 10 points higher than that of Michigan State University's average (61 percent after appeals) and second only to the University of Michigan's (82 percent). The state average is 62 percent after appeals.

Wayne Law Dean Jocelyn Benson said she is encouraged by the good news and remains strongly committed to further improving the rate for all of the school's graduates. In her February State of the Law School address, she outlined her plans for helping students reach their full potential, and improving Wayne Law's bar passage rate was among those goals.

In keeping with that plan, Michigan Court of Appeals Judge and Adjunct Professor Elizabeth Gleicher is developing a new course on Michigan law for the winter 2014 term, and Sarah Garrison has joined the Dean of Students Office to assist graduates taking the exam. The law school's development team also is exploring opportunities for donors to financially support bar exam prep courses for students with financial need, the dean said.

Additionally, Wayne State University Professor of Law Brad Roth is winning praise at home and around the world. He recently was awarded a WSU Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award for 2013. And in Taiwan recently, Roth drew on his work on recognition of states and governments to wade into one of the most sensitive legal disputes in Asia.

The professor, who teaches at the university's law school and for the Department of Political Science, was cited by the board for his "superlative record of research since joining WSU in 1997." The book that earned him the award, one of just five conferred this year, is "Sovereign Equality and Moral Disagreement: Premises of a Pluralist International Legal Order" (Oxford University Press, 2011).

The book has been critically acclaimed since its publication. Professor of Law Gregory Fox, director of the Program for International Legal Studies at Wayne Law, called the book "a major event in the field." The book argues that in a politically diverse international community, notions of sovereignty still should have a place. International law and foreign countries should respect the rights and immunities of states with differing governmental systems, and outsiders shouldn't be broadly licensed to impose solutions to internal conflicts, Roth argues.

The book's impact has further boosted Roth's standing in his field. He serves as one of three American Branch representatives on the International Law Association's Committee on Recognition/Non-Recognition of States and Governments. He has lectured on the book and related topics around the world, including at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Carleton University and McGill University in Canada, and Goethe University of Frankfurt in Germany.

Most recently, Roth led discussions and gave presentations at three events last month in Taipei, Taiwan. He presented "Parsing 'Mutual Non-Recognition and Mutual Non-Denial': An International Law Perspective on Taipei's Current Framework for Cross-Strait Relations" at the 2013 International Law Association-American Society of International Asia-Pacific Research Forum; led a discussion on Taiwan's status in international law at a Taiwan ThinkTank forum; and gave a talk on the 2011 book at National Taiwan University with Professor Timothy Webster from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Roth specializes in international law, comparative public law, and political and legal theory. He earned a bachelor of arts from Swarthmore College, a law degree from Harvard Law School, a master of laws from Columbia University School of Law and a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley. His first book, Governmental Illegitimacy in International Law, also published by Oxford, was awarded a certificate of merit in 1999 by the American Society of International Law.

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Attorney Lisa B. Kirsch Satawa has joined Clark Hill PLC's Birmingham office as a member in the Litigation Practice Group.

Kirsch Satawa is a defense attorney whose practice focuses on criminal defense, child protection and the defense of juveniles charged with crimes. Kirsch Satawa has developed a reputation for her work in this area, and is a national speaker/instructor on relevant issues in these cases, especially in cases involving child witnesses and child protective services. She is the past recipient of the Kimberly Cahill Leadership Award from the State Bar of Michigan for her role in the creation and implementation of CDAM's "A is for Attorney" program.

Kirsch Satawa belongs to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Child Abuse Defense Resource Center, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, and the Oakland County Bar Association. She is currently assisting in drafting a protocol for law enforcement response to victims of sexual assault for the State of Michigan.

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Southfield-based Collins Einhorn Farrell announced attorney Patrick M. Edwartowski has joined the firm's Asbestos/Toxic Tort Practice Group.

Edwartowski earned his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He also earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan.

Edwartowski will concentrate his practice on asbestos and toxic tort defense litigation. Before joining the firm, he gained experience in the areas of insurance law, Michigan No-Fault automobile insurance law, business entity structure and governance, probate, personal injury, medical liability, municipal zoning, property disputes and civil rights.

Edwartowski is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan and ia a member of the State Bar of Michigan and Oakland County Bar Association.

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Attorney Loukas P. Kalliantasis has recently received a Certificate of Completion in the areas of probate and estate planning, issued by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Kalliantasis is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and is licensed to practice in both Michigan and Illinois. He is a member of Fraser Trebilcock's Trusts and Estates Department, and currently serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Greater Lansing Estate Planning Council.

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Cooley Law School's President and Dean Don LeDuc announces the following leadership changes at the school.

Lisa L. Fadler has been named assistant dean of Career and Professional Development. In her role, she oversees employer development, student recruitment, and employment counseling activities and staff across Cooley's five campuses. A long-time practicing lawyer in Michigan and Missouri, Fadler joined Cooley's career services staff in 2007, most recently serving as director of career and professional development. Fadler reports to Charles R. Toy, the school's associate dean for Career and Professional Development.

Monty Moyer has become the school's new assistant vice president of Operations. In that role, he oversees building operations, construction, maintenance, and classroom technical support at Cooley's five campuses. Moyer, who has been employed at Cooley since 1992 in a number of capacities, assumes the position formerly held by Layne I. Maloney, who earlier this year was promoted as the school's vice president for pperations and to whom he now reports.

Published: Mon, Jul 15, 2013