Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC has appointed partners Christopher J. Moceri and Lee B. Kellert as co-chairs of the firm's Corporate Practice Group. Jaffe CEO Bill Sider made the announcement.

As co-chairs of the firm's Corporate Practice Group, Moceri and Kellert will be responsible for the strategic development, growth and day-to-day management of the group.

Moceri's practice involves counseling his clients through complex business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, equity financings, joint ventures and other general corporate matters.

Moceri was elected as a Super Lawyers Michigan Rising Star in 2012. He is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Law.

Kellert focuses his practice in corporate, mergers and acquisitions, securities and finance law. Kellert also acts as outside general counsel to private equity portfolio companies.

Kellert has been elected as a Super Lawyers Michigan Rising Star from 2008 to 2014 and a DBusiness Top Lawyer in 2012 and 2014. He is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School.

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Sullivan, Ward, Asher, & Patton PC is pleased to announce that Michael K. Khalil has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

As a member of the Business Planning & Transactions, Estate Planning, and Commercial Litigation practice groups, Khalil maintains a general transactional practice including business and commercial transactions, business planning and structuring, and estate planning.

He received his law degree from the Wayne State University Law School and his undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State University.

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced the reappointment of Peter Webster to the State Board of Ethics.

The seven-member board serves as an advisory and investigatory committee which determines the ethical conduct of classified and unclassified state employees and public officers in the executive branch of Michigan state government. No more than four members of the board shall be members of the same political party.

Webster is a member at Dickinson Wright PLLC in Troy and is a fellow of the State Bar of Michigan, Oakland County Bar Foundation, and the American Bar Foundation. He serves on the board of directors for Automation Alley and is a life member of the Detroit Regional Chamber. He is a former Oakland County commissioner, former mayor pro tem and was a commissioner for the City of Royal Oak, a member of the City of Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority, and the Oakland County Brownfield Development Authority.

Webster earned a bachelor's degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. He continues to represent Republicans.

Webster will serve a four-year term expiring Feb. 7, 2019. The appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

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Senator Carl M. Levin, Michigan's longest-serving U.S. senator, will join Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP in April as senior counsel. In his 36-year Senate career, Levin was greatly esteemed on both sides of the political aisle for his integrity, resourcefulness and diligence and his remarkable ability to build consensus. Among many singular accomplishments, Levin:

- Fought against Pentagon overspending.

- Investigated causes of the 2008 financial crisis (which helped lead to the investigation that resulted in the creation of the Dodd-Frank Act).

- Led an extensive investigation into Enron's financial practices.

- Was a staunch supporter of the United States auto industry and its collaboration with the military vehicle industry.

- Was a leading protector of the Great Lakes.

- Led in the creation of a national park and a national marine sanctuary in Michigan.

In the Senate, Levin served as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, becoming a leading voice on military and foreign affairs, as chairman of the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which involved the analysis of complex business financial matters, and as a member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Prior to his Senate service, Levin was president of the Detroit City Council.

The focus of Levin's practice at Honigman will include aiding corporations with internal investigations and crisis management; assisting corporations with social responsibility and compliance issues; and facilitating alternative dispute resolutions and mediations. In addition, Levin will serve as an advisor to the firm's Government Relations and Regulatory Practice Group.

Levin is a life-long supporter of Michigan's communities and will continue in that role working closely with the Honigman community involvement team. He was instrumental in obtaining federal funding for the development of Detroit's riverfront and the M1-Rail system. At Honigman, Levin will also actively participate in advancing the firm's younger attorneys' knowledge of the workings of government and the interplay between government and business.

"I am delighted to be joining Honigman," said Levin. "We have many shared values, from our long-standing support of Detroit to our dedication to assisting Michigan businesses. It will be a part of my role to help business clients navigate the path to understanding and complying with complex state and federal laws and regulations. I also am hopeful that my negotiating experience will be helpful in assisting clients find alternative ways, including mediation, of resolving disputes, and to help them meet their legal, professional and civic responsibilities."

Levin earned a law degree from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in political science from Swarthmore College.

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Plunkett Cooney and its website developer, Firmseek, were recently awarded the American Graphic Design Award by Graphic Design USA for work on the firm's home page redesign.

The home page refresh project took several weeks to complete and focused on the concept of increasing content as a means for inviting site visitors to learn more about the firm, including its attorneys, services, events and new blogs.

"Our original site design served us well when we re-branded in 2007," said John E. Cornwell, the firm's Practice Development manager. "Firmseek has worked with us since that time, so we knew we could rely on their development team to execute a content rich and contemporary design that also featured our core brand attributes."

The American Graphic Design Award is presented annually by Graphic Design USA, the leading news magazine for graphic designers and other creative professionals since 1963.

In addition to Plunkett Cooney, numerous other national and international companies were among this year's honorees including Domino's Pizza, Mattel, UPS, and Fisher-Price.

Plunkett Cooney's new homepage, which can be found at, includes several new features. The top portion of the home page displays messaging about the firm's brand pillars Determined. Distinctive. Fearless.® as well as Plunkett Cooney's service commitment to deliver the right result in every engagement.

The home page also more prominently features articles, press releases, events invitations and a section dedicated to the firm's blogs. Plunkett Cooney currently publishes six blogs focused on the following topics:

- Environmental law.

- Commercial dispute management.

- Real estate issues.

- General liability and risk management.

- Labor and employment law.

- Trucking and transportation law.

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Richard F. Suhrheinrich, senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and former president of the Detroit College of Law, has been elected to a four-year term on the board of directors of Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Suhrheinrich was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 following his appointment six years earlier to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by President Ronald Reagan.

Suhrheinrich earned a B.S. degree from Wayne State University and law degrees from the Detroit College of Law, the University of Virginia Law School, and Michigan State University College of Law.

Before taking the bench, Suhrheinrich was founding and senior partner of the Detroit law firm Kitch, Suhrheinrich, Smith, Saurbier, and Drutchas PC.

Long involved in legal education, Suhrheinrich is former president of the Detroit College of Law/MSU College of Law Board of Trustees. He has taught law as an adjunct faculty member at a number of law schools, including Western Michigan University Cooley Law School where he has held the title of Distinguished Jurist and Professor.

He has served on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board, the State Bar Grievance Hearing Committee, and the governing boards of Brighton Hospital, Southwest Detroit Hospital, Sparrow Hospital, Hutzel Hospital, the Michigan Hospital Mutual Insurance Company, and the Eastern District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

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Founded in 1905 by Louis Colombo Sr., a man who achieved prominence in Detroit during an era of towering lawyers and great courtroom oratory, this year marks the 110th anniversary of the Colombo & Colombo law firm. Throughout its history the firm has provided counsel to some of the most well-known names in the country. For example, Henry Ford was so impressed with attorney Louis Colombo Sr. that he wanted to hire him to work at the Ford Motor Company. When Louis Sr. explained that he could not leave his private practice, Ford sent a car to drive him to the Ford Motor Company every afternoon during the week.

During the mid-1940s, Louis Sr.'s son, attorney Fred Colombo, was hired by a group of local auto dealers to handle their labor relations. He created an auto dealership association to facilitate and ease the negotiation process. Soon after, similar associations were created for other car lines. Unbeknownst to Fred, his ideas would help this industry evolve into what it is today, and the firm would become widely known for its expertise in the laws affecting auto dealerships.

In 1995, to help clients compete in a global economy the firm was a founding member of the LEGUS International Network of Law Firms. This network currently includes 80 member law firms and helps Colombo attorneys provide effective and efficient client representation anywhere in the world.

More recently, Colombo attorneys assisted numerous auto dealers throughout Michigan in securing the return of their franchises after General Motors and Chrysler initially terminated them as a part of their post-bankruptcy actions. Last year, the firm launched the first blog ever that is solely dedicated to the legal issues facing dealerships: This blog provides insight for auto dealerships, as well as motorcycle, watercraft, RV, and power sports dealerships.

Colombo attorneys continue to provide counsel and representation to clients with employment and labor issues, EEOC claims, sexual harassment and discrimination issues. They handle corporate and transactional law, dealership and franchise disputes, estate planning and administration, probate, family law and real estate law.

The firm's clients include auto dealers and related associations, pension associations, employee benefit trusts, manufacturers, construction contractors, profit and non-profit corporations, public and private employers, manufacturer's representatives, individuals, and many others.

To find out more about the firm, visit

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The global law firm Jones Day recently announced that it will open an office in Detroit on July 1, 2015, the firm's 17th in the U.S. and 42nd in the world.

Having recently completed its successful representation of the City of Detroit in its landmark Chapter 9 reorganization and building on years of significant representations on behalf of Detroit-area clients, Jones Day is in a unique position to utilize its global presence for the benefit of its Metro Detroit clients. The firm's Detroit office will be a full service operation and, like all Jones Day offices, connected to more than 2,400 lawyers in 19 countries serving clients as one firm worldwide.

Timothy J. Melton, a 1987 graduate of Wayne State University Law School and former law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Richard F. Suhrheinrich, Eastern District of Michigan, will serve as partner-in-charge of the Detroit office. David Rutkowski will serve as the administrative partner, and Jeff Jones will become the head of litigation for the Detroit office.

"We are very grateful for the incredible work done by all involved in the recent Chapter 9 proceedings, and the opportunities created for the Detroit community and the firm as a result of the successful conclusion of the bankruptcy case," said Melton. "I am extremely excited to return to Detroit and privileged to have the chance to partner with the community and our clients in further expanding the business environment throughout the Metro area. We are proud to be investing in the vitality of Detroit's future and look forward to continuing to help our clients compete in the global marketplace while capitalizing on the new energy and optimism in the region. We are confident that our relentless dedication to the highest quality and seamless client service throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, will help make that happen."

Currently based in Chicago, Melton joined Jones Day in 1989 and has been involved in many high profile capital raising and M&A transactions, including a number of transactions in Michigan and for Michigan-based clients. Melton counsels a diverse range of corporations, financial institutions, and their boards of directors, focusing on finance, M&A, and governance matters. He regularly advises public and private companies on matters relating to corporate governance, stockholder activism, M&A, debt and equity tender offers, distressed debt, securities regulations, and financing strategies and alternatives.

Melton also has experience representing special committees in going private transactions as well as internal investigations. He represents financial institutions as well in connection with public and private financings and various restructuring scenarios. Melton served as co-head of the firm's Capital Markets practice for nearly 10 years, and has been recognized as a leading corporate lawyer in various publications, including being selected in 2013 as one of twelve capital markets "Client Service All-Stars" nationally by the independent BTI Consulting Group.

Rutkowski, a partner in the firm's Business and Tort Litigation practice, is based currently in northern California where he splits time between Jones Day's San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices. He has represented clients in disputes in courts throughout the United States, including commercial and contractual disputes, toxic torts, products liability, RICO, unfair trade practices and trade secret, trademark and copyright infringement claims.

For more than a decade, Rutkowski has defended various semiconductor manufacturers against allegations relating to chemical exposures in the workplace. His practice also includes internal investigation and counseling on matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Rutkowski joined Jones Day in its Washington office in 1996. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Notre Dame Law School.

Jones has been a constant in Jones Day's substantial automotive representations over the past 20 years and has experience in all areas of the automotive sector. He has represented clients in class actions, multijurisidictional matters and complex litigation in over 30 states throughout the U.S., and has represented clients of the firm in multiple class actions, including automotive manufacturers. He has tried more than 35 cases to courts, juries, arbitration panels, administrative law judges, and administrative boards in different jurisdictions and forums throughout the U.S., and handled appellate proceedings through every level of state and federal courts.

Jones has also coordinated numerous internal company investigations, including investigations relating to accounting matters, revenue recognition, and FCPA and anti-corruption issues, and assisted with training and compliance efforts arising out of the investigations. Jones joined the firm's Columbus office in 1985 and has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer for a dozen years. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and earned his law degree at Harvard University.

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Detroit-based law firm Bodman PLC has formed an Aviation Law and Finance Practice Group.

With seven members, Bodman has one of Michigan's largest aviation law practices. The group's clients include commercial lenders, fixed-base operators, aviation service providers, and corporate and individual aircraft owners, among others.

"Our aviation practice is quite diverse," said Bodman Chairman Ralph McDowell. "We have provided aviation related-services for years. As the practice has become more complex and our clients' legal needs have grown, it made sense to form a group dedicated to aviation law."

The Aviation Law and Finance Group includes attorneys from Bodman's Banking, Business, Tax, and other practices whose complementary skills and experience span a broad range of legal issues.

As Michigan's largest commercial lending law firm, Bodman has particular experience in aviation finance. The firm's finance attorneys have completed more than 200 aviation lending transactions originating in multiple U.S. states and Canada. The borrowers in those transactions have included commercial airlines, corporate operators, cargo carriers, medi-vac helicopter operators, and companies that deal in aircraft engines and parts.

Bodman also serves as counsel to one of the nation's leading fixed-base operators in all corporate and regulatory matters. Firm attorneys have represented purchasers of high-end corporate and personal jets produced by Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault-Falcon, and Cessna. The firm continues to represent owners through the registration, operation, taxation, and eventual disposition of their aircraft.

Published: Mon, Mar 16, 2015