LEGAL PEOPLE

Fabrizio & Brook in Troy welcomes attorney Christopher Astfalk to its litigation team. Astfalk brings twenty years of litigation experience to the firm with more than ten years specializing in the mortgage default industry.

Astfalk earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from Detroit College of Law.

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Neuman Anderson PC, a Birmingham-based business law firm specializing in complex commercial litigation, recently announced that Ken Neuman and Jennifer Grieco have been named Top Rated Lawyers by DBusiness Magazine for the third consecutive year.

With more than 25 years of experience in the courtroom, Neuman has developed a thriving practice in complex commercial litigation and business consulting, with a focus on corporate, real estate/construction, accounting and forensic issues, and contract disputes. Neuman is a registered certified public accountant (CPA) and spent several years with one of the "big eight" accounting firms prior to beginning his legal career. With this combined financial and legal experience, Neuman has fostered a comprehensive understanding of his clients' business goals.

In addition to DBusiness recognitions, Neuman is one of The Best Lawyers in America, and in 2013 was honored as a Top 50 Business Attorney in Michigan by Super Lawyers. He is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, Michigan Association for Certified Public Accountants, and American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants.

Neuman is a graduate of Michigan State University with his Bachelors of Arts in Accounting, and received his law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

With more than 16-years of trial experience, the legal and business industries are taking notice of Grieco's thriving practice and accomplishments. In addition to this award, Grieco has also been recognized by Crain's Detroit Business as a "40 Under 40," by Super Lawyers as a Top 50 Business Lawyer in Michigan and by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Woman in the Law.

Grieco won a contested seat as a commissioner on the State Bar Board of Commissioners in 2011, where she has served as an appointee to the executive committee. Grieco has actively served the Board of Commissioners in many capacities, including the Public Policy, Image and Identity Committee; Finance Committee; Audit Committee; Strategic Planning Workgroup and Judicial Campaign Work Group. Grieco is also active on the State Bar of Michigan Negligence Council and the Character and Fitness Committee. She previously served as president of the Oakland County Bar Association, from 2010-2011, and as president of the Women's Bar Association, Oakland County Region of the Womens Lawyers Association of Michigan. Grieco is a graduate of The University of Toledo and The University of Toledo College of Law.

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Varnum is pleased to welcome Jack M. Panitch to the firm's Metro Detroit office. Panitch joins the tax planning and controversy group.

Panitch focuses on state, local and federal tax controversy and compliance. He comes to the firm from the Michigan Department of Attorney General, where he litigated tax cases for the State in the Michigan Tax Tribunal, the Court of Claims, and Court of Appeals. He also worked closely with the Technical Division, Tax Enforcement and Collections.

Panitch previously served as a senior attorney with the City of Philadelphia Law Department and in private practice in Washington, D.C. He has also served as an attorney advisor with the U.S. Tax Court and as a trial attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel for the IRS in Washington, D.C.

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Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Geoffrey S. Gallinger has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC). He has served on the Detroit Athletic Club Community Outreach Committee since 2007.

Gallinger's practice includes counseling clients regarding general business and corporate planning needs, including all forms of real estate transactions and developments, acquisitions, leasing, financing, troubled asset acquisitions, loans and restructurings, and condominiums. He also has experience in mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures, shareholder matters and general business transactions.

He is a gold member of the Detroit Economic Club; current member and has served as past board chair (2009-2011) for The Salvation Army Detroit Metropolitan Advisory Board; is a current member and past chair of the Denby Children's Home Advisory Board; a member of the Metropolitan Detroit Harbor Light Advisory Board; member of the Booth Legal Aid Clinic Advisory Board; and member of the Downtown Detroit Partnership Stakeholder's Committee.

He is a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, and Business Law Sections of the American Bar Association and the Real Property Law, Business Law Sections of the State Bar of Michigan. Gallinger is a lecturer and author of articles for corporate and trade groups, bar association sections and business and professional seminars regarding real estate, contract law and employment matters.

Gallinger graduated from Michigan State University (DCL) College of Law (1987) and Michigan State University (1984).

In addition, Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Thomas A. Kabel has been named to Oakland County Executive L. Brooks' Patterson's Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2014. The Class includes young thought leaders and trailblazers who live or work in Oakland County and are under the age of 40. The Elite 40 program is dedicated to helping these individuals make connections that can impact the future of Oakland County. Honorees were recognized during the 2014 State of the County Address on February 12.

Kabel is currently Butzel Long's hiring shareholder and is chair of the firm's recruiting committee. He concentrates his practice in the area of commercial real estate and real estate related finance. He has been involved in all facets of acquisition, disposition, leasing, financing and development of real property throughout his career.

He has experience representing commercial lenders in conventional financing and also has served as bank and bond counsel on numerous industrial revenue and other tax-exempt financings. He has also represented Michigan colleges and community colleges in various financing transactions, including tax-exempt bonds, tax anticipation notes, financing under Michigan's New Jobs Training Program and financing with the Michigan State Building Authority.

Kabel is certified by the National Association of Development Companies (a trade association of companies that have been certified by the Small Business Administration to provide funding for small businesses) to close SBA loans under the SBA's 504 Loan program, and for the past eight years has devoted a portion of his practice to representing Oakland County Business Finance Corporation in connection with their SBA 504 Loan program.

During his career, Kabel has been an integral part of several major development projects in Michigan, including serving as part of the bond team representing Oakland County in connection with the financing of the Michigan Motion Picture Studio in Pontiac; serving as part of the team representing the developer in its $190,000,000 renovation of the Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit; and representing the City of Detroit Housing Commission in its major renovation of the Jeffries Housing project in Detroit.

Kabel is a member of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and is co-chair of the Section's Special Committee on Commercial Leasing. He is the author of "Equitable Subrogation: Why the Refinance Lender's Security Interest May Not be as Secure as it Thinks" (Michigan Real Property Review) and has participated as a speaker and/or author in numerous seminars and other continuing legal education programs throughout the past several years. He also is a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Kabel is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School (1999) and Grand Valley State University (1995).

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Anne E. Lawter has joined the firm of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton PC. Lawter has worked with hospitals and physicians on a variety of issues, including professional licensure and liability defense, medical-legal consulting, and administrative hearings. Lawter regularly works with her clients on risk management issues, helping clients to potentially pre-empt litigation.

In addition to her work in healthcare law, Lawter works in equine activity law. She is a licensed judge for the United States Equestrian Federation, and was also a member of the Michigan State Board of Veterinary Medicine and the Disciplinary Sub-Committee.

Lawter is licensed to practice law in Michigan, as well as the U.S. District Courts of Eastern and Western Michigan. She has worked as an attorney at the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Lawter received her law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and her B.A. in Social Science from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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McKeen & Associates PC announced that Managing Partner and Founder Brian J. McKeen was selected among Michigan Lawyers Weekly's 2014 Leaders in the Law.

During the course of a career spanning more than 30 years, McKeen has resolved numerous medical malpractice cases. Today, he is considered one of the foremost medical malpractice attorneys in the United States.

His $12.9 million judgment for a client in her suit against Genesys Regional Medical Center was the second highest verdict in the state of Michigan for 2013 according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. It also was the state's top medical malpractice decision of the year.

Since 2001, McKeen & Associates has been among the perennial leaders in top settlements, generating the year's top verdict in Michigan four times, including securing the state's largest medical malpractice verdict on record in 2001, when a jury rendered a verdict award of $55 million in the case of Hall v. Henry Ford Health System. The Detroit-based firm also topped all Michigan verdict awards in 2002, with an award of $22.5 million in the case of Blazo v. McLaren Regional Medical Center, et al; in 2006 with an award of $16 million in the case of Lowe v. Henry Ford Health System; and in 2007, with an award of $35 million in the case of Oppenheim v. Aeneas C. Guiney.

In 2013, McKeen was awarded the Dan Cullan Memorial Award from the American Association of Justice (AAJ) and Executive Board of the AAJ Birth Trauma Litigation Group. The honor recognized him for his passionate and unwavering commitment to excellence in advocacy and his devotion and service to the Birth Trauma Litigation Group and the children that it serves. The award also acknowledges McKeen as someone who exemplifies the finest qualities of Dan Cullan, the highly respected MD JD who spent his career helping children in birth trauma cases and for whom this award is named.

McKeen currently sits on the executive boards of the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). He formerly served as chair of the AAJ Professional Negligence Section, Medical Negligence Exchange Group and Birth Trauma Litigation Group (BTLG). He is a member of The Inner Circle of Advocates, and organization of the Top 100 plaintiff attorneys in the country. In 2012, he was named among the Top Attorneys in Michigan as published by The New York Times.

Published: Mon, Feb 17, 2014