LEGAL PEOPLE

Southfield-based multi-specialty law firm Maddin, Hauser, Roth, & Heller PC is pleased to announce that shareholder Karen Libertiny Ludden has been named president of the Michigan Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy.

Previously the vice president of the Federalist Society’s Michigan Chapter, Ludden has served on its Executive Board for the past five years.

In her new role as president, she will be responsible for organizing the 2017 Annual Meeting and Grano Award Dinner, which honors the memory of Joseph D. Grano, a longtime Distinguished Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School who was an advocate for the principles upon which the Federalist Society was founded. 

Ludden will also plan an academic debate on a law school campus and various social mixers in the coming year.

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Cantor Colburn LLP welcomes the new year with the elevation of Paul Rodriguez to partnership in the firm’s metro Detroit office.

Rodriguez has been with Cantor Colburn for five years, starting as an associate.  In January of 2016, he was promoted to Counsel.  He assists individuals, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies in building and managing IP portfolios and crafts strategies that enable them to work toward their unique goals.

Rodriguez has experience in many areas of IP law, with a focus on patent and trademark matters. He is experienced in all facets of domestic and international patent preparation and prosecution relating to a wide range of mechanical and electrical technology areas, with particular emphasis on industries involving automobiles, turbine engines, aircraft electrical and mechanical systems, oil and gas, commercial and transport refrigeration systems, elevator systems, home appliances, and office furniture. Additionally, he counsels clients by providing novelty, infringement, freedom-to-operate and invalidity opinions.

Rodriguez also has litigation experience involving both patent and trademark cases.   He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a law degree from DePaul University College of Law. 

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Bonnie Mayfield,
a member of Dykema’s Litigation and Labor & Employment practices, recently served as a featured speaker at the Defense Research Institute’s Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, which took place in New York.

Mayfield’s presentation, titled “Diversity & Inclusion: 7 Best Law Firm Practices,” was given during the Achieving and Supporting Diversity and Inclusion program, which served as an examination of best practices that law firms and insurance companies employ to achieve tangible results in diversity and inclusion, obtain leadership commitment, implement recruitment strategies and mentoring programs, and create a multicultural environment.

In her presentation, Mayfield identified concrete, best practices that lawyers and law firms can use to achieve tangible diversity and inclusion within their lives and organizations. Mayfield also explained implicit bias and microinequities, subtle and often subconscious negative micromessages that display true thoughts, attitudes and values of inclusion and exclusion. 

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the reappointment of Melissa Spickler of Bloomfield Hills to the Judicial Tenure Commission.

The commission ensures the integrity of the judicial process and preserves public confidence in the courts. It is responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct or incapacity, and for recommending any disciplinary action.

Spickler is a managing director and financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, and founder of The Spickler Wealth Management Group. She also is executive director of the Women’s Exchange, a networking and mentoring program for women at Merrill Lynch. Spickler earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal law from Michigan State University and a Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM designation.

Spickler will serve a three-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2019.

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Mark E. Morley,
co-managing partner and senior partner at Secrest Wardle, will serve on the Alma College President’s Advisory Council (PAC) beginning in 2017. Members of the President’s Advisory Council invest their time and leadership in the college by providing important counsel to the President and Board of Trustees related to their visions and future plans. Morley will serve a term of three years with the option of serving multiple and consecutive terms.

While acting as a member of the President’s Advisory Council, Morley will attend annual meetings of the PAC, and provide Alma College with advice regarding its goals and programs. He will also aid the college in enhancing its image and encouraging others to take an interest in its mission. Using his experience and perspective as a business leader, he will assist Alma College in significantly increasing its visibility as an outstanding liberal arts college in the state and region.

From 1988 to 1989, Morley served as president of the Alma College Alumni Association. Within that role, he presided at all meetings of the Alumni Board and Executive Committee. He was also responsible for advising the Director of Alumni Engagement and other College administrators with regard to areas relating to alumni including activities, learning, young alumni seminars, fundraising, and student recruitment. In 1990, Morley received the college’s George Hebert Award. This award is presented to alumni for their loyalty and service to Alma College and to the Alumni Association.

Morley possesses more than four decades of successful courtroom experience.  He has tried in excess of 60 jury trials to verdict. Morley has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, the Defense Research Institute, and the International Association of Defense Counsel. He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America©, 2016 and 2017 editions, in Troy, in the practice areas of Litigation-Insurance and Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants.

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Elizabeth “Libby” Smith, clerk of court for the District of Idaho, has been named a recipient of the Director’s Award for Outstanding Leadership, the highest honor for judicial branch employees. The award was announced by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

Smith manages a consolidated clerk’s office that provides administrative services to both the U.S. District Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Idaho. She assumed the post in 2009.

In announcing the award, the Administrative Office credited Smith with innovative changes that improved court efficiency and cut costs. She also was recognized for her office’s support in the last year of 20 visiting judges, who have helped the District of Idaho cope with a shortage of judges, and for her contributions at the national level as the chair of the District Clerks Advisory Group.

In addition to her contributions at the national level, Smith has been active in judicial governance at the regional level. She has served as the co-chair of the Ninth Circuit’s Conferences of Chief District Judges and Chief Bankruptcy Judges, and as an observer member of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, the governing body for federal courts in the western states and Pacific Island territories.

Prior to coming to the District of Idaho, Smith worked for three years as the chief deputy clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She had worked previously in the Michigan Sixth Judicial Circuit Court as a judicial assistant, jury administrator, program analyst and deputy court administrator. She currently has more than 22 years of administrative experience in federal and state courts.

“As far as I’m concerned, everyone with whom I’ve ever made a connection shares in this award. Without those relationships and connections I would never have become the person and leader I am today,” Smith said in an email.
A native of Lansing, Smith attended Walsh College, where she earned an M.S. in business information technology and B.S. in business administration.

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Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy, & Sadler PLC announced that Sam Kokoszka and Nina Abboud have joined its growing team of attorneys. Managing Member Ed Dawda made the announcement.

Kokoszka will serve as an associate at Dawda Mann, focusing his practice in the areas of commercial real estate, business transactions and commercial litigation. Abboud will also hold an associate position at Dawda Mann, concentrating her practice in litigation with an emphasis on insurance coverage and liability defense.

Previously, Kokoszka served as a judicial extern with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Prior to that, he was an environmental consultant and project manager with Nova Environmental. He earned his law degree at Wayne State University Law School in May 2016, and passed the state bar exam in October.

Abboud previously worked for several years as a law clerk for a large corporate law firm in Detroit. Prior to that she served as a research assistant at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She received her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2015. She is court qualified mediator and is a member of the Insurance and Indemity, Young Lawyers and Litigation Sections of the State Bar of Michigan.

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