The Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (MDTC) is proud to announce the recipient of the Annual Excellence In Defense Award: Robert P. Siemion. He will be honored during the Awards Banquet at the MDTC Annual Meeting & Conference on Friday, May 16.

Siemion is a senior shareholder in Siemion Huckabay. He spcializes in the defense of medical malpractice cases. His clients have included hospitals, clinics, physicians in all specialty areas, nurses, physician assistants, and other health professionals. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan.

Siemion received his B.S. degree in accounting from the University of Detroit in 1971. He received his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1974. Upon graduation, he joined the law firm of Plunkett, Cooney, Rutt, Watters, Stanczyk, & Pedersen PC and was made a shareholder in 1980. In 1981, he resigned from Plunkett Cooney to become a founding member of Siemion Huckabay.

At the 1999 Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Michigan, Siemion was a recipient of the Respected Advocate Award. He is a fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Since 1997, Siemion has been a lecturer for the American Educational Institute. He is a past chairman of the Negligence Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Siemion has been named among the "Top Lawyers" in Michigan by DBusines Magazine 2010.

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Wright Beamer welcomes the return of Heather Brenneman Miles as an associate attorney with the firm. Her expertise includes business transactions, general corporate law, technology-related ventures, executive compensation planning, agribusiness matters, estate planning, residential and commercial property tax appeals, and the purchase and sale of real estate. She is licensed to practice law in Michigan and Indiana.

Miles earned her undergraduate degree from Taylor University in Indiana with a BA in English and Political Science. She graduated from Ave Maria Law School in Ann Arbor. During law school, she interned for U.S. District Court Judge Paul V. Gadola, Eastern District of Michigan. She previously served as a committee chair for the Junior League of Ann Arbor.

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The Appellate Defender Commission (ADC) has selected Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS) roster attorney Lawrence S. Katz as the recipient of the 2013 "Barbara R. Levine Award in Recognition of Excellence in Appellate Advocacy."

The annual award, which was presented to Katz on March 19, honors a MAACS roster member whose appellate advocacy achieves outstanding results or who demonstrates extraordinary commitment on behalf of appellate assigned clients.

Katz first joined the MAACS roster of attorneys at its inception in 1987. After a brief hiatus, he returned to the roster and remains an active member today.

The award is named for Barbara Levine, who worked tirelessly with the commission to achieve the creation of MAACS in 1987. She also served as the first MAACS administrator from its creation until July 9, 1999.

The Appellate Defender Commission is a seven-member board statutorily charged with oversight of the appellate defense system, consisting of the State Appellate Defender Office and the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System.

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Michael M. Antovski has joined Bodman PLC as a member of the firm's Business Practice Group.

Antovski is based in Bodman's Detroit office. He concentrates his practice in representing business clients, including corporations, LLCs, and partnerships, in matters involving tax planning, acquisitions and dispositions, and general corporate law.

Antovski is a 1997 graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1993. He has authored several articles, lectures on tax-related topics, and is a contributor to the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE).

Antovski served two terms as chair of the Oakland County Bar Association Tax Committee (2008-2009 and 2009-2010) and one term as vice chair (2007-2008). He serves as an officer on the State Bar of Michigan Tax Section Council. He has been named a "Rising Star" by Michigan Super Lawyers in Business/Corporate, M&A, and Tax Law. Antovski is fluent in Macedonian.

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Attorney Nicole M. Baker recently joined the Business Law Department of Plunkett Cooney.

A member of the firm's Bloomfield Hills office, Baker focuses her practice in the areas of real estate law, mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions and corporate law.

Baker represents hedge funds, venture capital groups and private equity investors, as well as regional and local businesses in complex financial transactions.

In addition, Baker has experience advising clients with respect to corporate formations, governance issues, corporate compliance and various aspects of commercial litigation.

A member of the State Bar of Michigan, Baker received her law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2006 and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1992.

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Donald Katz announced the opening of a new business law office in downtown Birmingham. Donald Katz PLLC delivers legal and advisory services to businesses, business owners and investors. The firm's attorneys advise clients on legal and tax issues arising from the ownership and operation of small- and medium-size businesses, with particular expertise in family owned and closely held businesses. The firm also guides clients through commercial disputes that arise from time to time.

Prior to founding the firm, Katz, its managing member, was counsel for the $9 billion Combat Systems Tax Group at General Dynamics Corporation. He is well published on taxation and various business law issues, including e-commerce.

"Our business experience and focus bring a fresh perspective to mid-size business clients," says Katz, the firm's managing member. "Clients find our advice creative but practical, and we put to use Lean Six Sigma principles [an analytical methodology to improve business processes] to maximize efficiency and preserve the bottom line.''

Regionally, Katz received distinction in 2003 for his pro bono representation of a nonprofit housing corporation that sought to establish affordable housing for its disabled citizens in Livingston County. The plan was opposed by a group of local activists who threatened Katz, his family and his client. County sheriffs protected the proceedings, and the project was built as planned. What should have been a simple corporate law and zoning matter became into a constitutional battle to protect the rights of vulnerable community members who were subject to slander, physical intimidation, and various constitutional violations.

Nationally, Katz received recognition in 2005 and 2006, while at Miller, Canfield, Paddock, and Stone PLC, in Chambers USA: America's leading lawyers for business, an objective listing of the best practitioners and corporate lawyers throughout the world.

Katz and his firm represent businesses and investors in a variety of capacities. "Beyond legal services, we provide investment advice and assist in resolving disputes with customers or suppliers without litigation," says Katz. "We understand that one of the most valuable assets a business has is its relationships, and we help businesses sustain and grow them."

Practice areas of Donald Katz Law include asset protection planning, commercial financing, tax planning, corporate law, franchise law, real estate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution, copyright and trademarks, estate planning, and probate and trust administration. For additional information, visit

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Andrew Wachler of Wachler & Associates PC detailed the past year of Medicare Appeals Council decisions and federal case law affecting Medicare Part B providers at the AHLA Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Payment Issues in Baltimore. Medicare Part B covers designated practitioner's services, outpatient care, laboratories, imaging centers and DME providers.

"With the reduction in auditing of Part A inpatient claims, Part B services are becoming a significant focus of Medicare Auditors," said Wachler.

The AHLA is a 10,000-member national, nonpartisan educational organization devoted to legal issues in health care.

In addition, Wachler gave hospice providers an overview of CMS contractors in the current audit landscape, identified risk areas, identified compliance strategies and discussed appeals strategies at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's 29th Management and Leadership Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

"Hospice is becoming a significant target for Medicare contractor activities," said Wachler.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States.

Wachler has been practicing health care law for more than 25 years. He counsels health care providers and organizations nationwide in a variety of health care legal matters. In addition, he writes and speaks nationally to professional organizations and other entities on health care law topics such as Medicare appeals, Stark and fraud and abuse, HIPAA, and other topics.

Published: Mon, Apr 14, 2014