Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that Emily J. Kwolek has joined the firm as a member based in the Troy office.

Kwolek provides comprehensive legal services to high net worth individuals and their closely held businesses.  She represents individual clients in connection with estate planning and administration, tax, and other personal legal needs. She also counsels them on a broad range of corporate and commercial issues that affect their businesses, including corporate organization and corporate finance matters, M&A transactions, and real estate purchases, sales, and leases. Her corporate work often involves the drafting and negotiation of complex arrangements including operating, buy-sell, shareholder, and asset and stock purchase agreements.

She has experience counseling individual and business clients on tax matters, including the preparation of federal estate tax returns; limited liability company, partnership and corporate tax issues; and international and domestic federal tax law issues.

Kwolek is returning to Bodman after practicing with a highly regarded suburban Detroit law firm for the past five years.  She began her legal career as an associate attorney with Bodman from 2008 to 2013.
Kwolek earned her law degrees from Michigan State University College of Law and New York University School of Law.

•            •            •

Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Jennifer Dukarski will be a featured panelist during the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars (MBS) 2018 in Traverse City this summer. She will participate in a panel program on July 30 titled, “Will Your Self-driving Car Need a License?”

Dukarski focuses her practice at the intersection of technology and communications with an emphasis on emerging and disruptive issues: digital media, cybersecurity, infotainment, vehicle safety, and connected and autonomous cars.

In her practice, she has negotiated contracts for autonomous vehicle components, reviewed contracts involving wireless updates to in-vehicle technology, assisted companies in achieving successful Petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance with NHTSA and has addressed multiple vehicle component recalls. Dukarski has become a national leader in legal issues facing emerging automotive technology and is the leader of Butzel Long’s connected car working group.  She also has spearheaded the reporting efforts for two national data breaches and focuses on the threat vectors facing automotive component design.

A self-titled “recovering engineer,” Dukarski serves as counsel to the OESA’s Product Development Council and has spoken on First Amendment issues ranging from newsgathering in the digital age to the impact of the FBI iPhone strategy.  She has been a panelist at the North American International Auto Show for the last two years, covering a broad variety of legal concerns focused on the autonomous and connected car.  She has appeared on several television programs, including Autoline and AutoBeat, and in many print interviews (including CIO Magazine, PC World, Bridge Magazine, Computer World and Automotive News) discussing automotive technology and its related legal issues.

Prior to joining Butzel, she gained automotive manufacturing and design experience as a result of high-level quality management and engineering positions.  She has worked extensively on successful automotive product launches, managing vendors and Tier One manufacturing facilities.  She applies her experience to create innovative approaches to the protection of IP assets and disruptive technology. 
Dukarski has experience with field recalls and was a representative to the University of Michigan’s CIREN (Crash Injury Research & Engineering Network) and UMPIRE (University of Michigan Program for Injury Research and Education).  Working as a design engineer, she received multiple Record of Invention Awards for contributions to patents and trade secrets. 

Dukarski has attained the distinction of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Senior member status, the highest grade for which IEEE members can apply.

Further, she was named a “2016 Honoree for Michigan Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. She also is among Michigan Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” and DBusiness “Top Lawyers.”  She is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  She is the IEEE Southeastern Michigan Vehicle Technology Society Treasurer and serves as a Working Group member with IEEE PAR 1912 (Privacy and Security Architecture for Consumer Wireless Devices) which is focused on setting standards for privacy and security protocols.  She also coaches and mentors women engineers.

At the same time, she is a co-chair of the Women in Communication Law committee of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Forum on Communications Law and serves on the Forum’s Governing Committee. Moreover, Dukarski is an adjunct professor in the Paralegal Program, teaching Intellectual Property at Baker College. 

She is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She’s also a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy College of Engineering and Science.

In addition, Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Clara DeMatteis Mager has been elected to serve on the firm’s Board of Directors.

Mager focuses her practice on business and family immigration issues including all aspects of the international movement of personnel, inbound and outbound work-authorized nonimmigrant (temporary) and immigrant (permanent) status, immigration consequences of mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring, employer sanctions, and immigration law audits.

Mager has served as the firm’s Immigration  Department leader. She has been instrumental in growing the practice. Notably, Butzel Long received (Detroit Tier One) recognition in the 2011-2018  “Best Law Firms,” rankings by U.S. News Media Group, the publisher of U.S. News & World Report and nationwide recognition by Chambers & Partners for its immigration practice.

She is a firm liaison to Lex Mundi. She has served as chair and regional chair of the Lex Mundi Immigration Committee. She is very active with the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation providing legal services to select “social entrepreneurs.” The Foundation is part of the global social entrepreneur movement for positive social change. She is active in the community working on pro bono immigration matters.

Mager is currently a board member of the French American Chamber of Commerce, Italian American Alliance for Business and Technology and Leonardo International Inc. She also is a member of the Federal Bar Association (previous member of the Leadership Council of the Immigration Committee), State Bar of Michigan (past chairperson of the International Law Section and previously held positions of chair-elect, secretary, treasurer, council member and chairperson of the Immigration Committee), Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, and Italian American Bar Association (board member and past president).

Mager also was a board member and past chair of the J.D./L.L.B. Advisory Board, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law/University of Windsor Faculty of Law. She is a graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Detroit XXII Class.

She is listed in Best Lawyers in America (Immigration), Michigan Super Lawyers (Immigration) and DBusiness (Top Lawyer Metro Detroit). Mager is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated Lawyer.  She also received  the 2015 Michigan Lawyers Weekly Women in the Law Award and was listed Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan (2017).

Mager is a graduate of Wayne State University and of the Detroit College of Law.

•            •            •

Lindsay D. Schmidt joins Secrest Wardle as an associate attorney located in the firm’s Troy office. Schmidt is a member of the firm’s Motor Vehicle Litigation, Premises Liability, and Property, Fire, and Casualty Practice Groups.

Schmidt obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from the James Madison College of Public Affairs at Michigan State University. She earned her law degree from Wayne State University Law School. 

Schmidt is admitted to practice law in the state of Michigan and in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, and the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM). She has served as a Programs Committee member for WLAM since 2016. 

•            •            •

John F. Schaefer, founder and managing partner of The Law Firm of John F. Schaefer, recently announced that his firm has merged with another practice, Connor & Connor. The new affiliation will operate under the firm name of The Law Firm of John F. Schaefer. 

Marcus Connor and Lisa Ryan Connor founded the matrimonial law firm of  Connor & Connor in 2013.

Marcus earned his law degree from Notre Dame Law School, where he served as a clerk with Baker McKenzie in London, England. After graduation, Marcus served as a Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney and then joined Flood Law, where he became partner and specialized in family law before founding his own firm.

Lisa earned her law degree from Wayne State University Law School, where she worked as a research assistant for Professor Jocelyn Benson. After graduation, Lisa joined the Flood Law firm specializing in family law before founding her own firm.

In addition,  Michigan State University College of Law has chosen John F. Schaefer to deliver its 2017-2018 commencement address for the law school’s 2017 fall, and 2018 spring and summer graduates.
The commencement will take place 11 a.m., Friday, May 11, at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center on the MSU campus in East Lansing.

“I’m humbled and honored to serve MSU in its law school graduation ceremony,” said Schaefer.

Schaefer is an alum and long-time support of  MSU College of Law, having served as trustee emeritus and adjunct law professor for more than 30 years. The College of Law library is named after Schaefer.

•            •            •

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the appointment of Donald Knapp Jr. to the Wayne County Circuit Court.

Knapp has been in private practice since 2002 and served as the Livonia City attorney since 2009. Prior to that, he clerked for Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Tim Kenny after working as a legislative aide to then-state Sen. Thad McCotter.

Knapp is a member of the Federalist Society, the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, the Livonia Bar Association, Livonia Chamber of Commerce, and the Livonia Kiwanis Club. He is a Fellow of the State Bar of Michigan Foundation and a past chair and member of the University of Michigan-Dearborn Alumni Society Board, as well as a past member of the University of Michigan Alumni Association’s Alumni Leadership Council. Knapp served on the Livonia City Council from 2002 to 2009.

Knapp earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1993 and his law degree from Detroit College of Law in 1996. He fills the vacancy created by the passing of Judge Richard Skutt.
Knapp must seek election in November 2018 for the remainder of the term.

•            •            •

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the appointment of Michael McLauchlan of Grosse Pointe Woods to the Michigan Strategic Fund Board of Directors.

The 11-member board has authority over economic development and job creation in the state through the Michigan Business Development Program, Michigan Community Revitalization Program, Travel Michigan, private activity bonds, Community Development Block Grant awards, and as fiduciary agent for the 21st Century Jobs Fund.

McLauchlan is the vice president of corporate communications for Illich Holdings Inc., previously serving as the senior vice president and manager of government relations for Comerica Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Detroit College of Law. He will replace Paul Anderson.

McLauchlan will serve a four-year term expiring Feb. 28, 2022. His appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the state Senate.

•            •            •

Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC recently announced that three of its attorneys were elected to the Jewish Federation’s NEXTGen Detroit board of directors. The elected attorneys are:

• Joshua Borson, associate and a member of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group, was elected as a first time board member.

• Brian Brodsky, associate and a member of the firm’s Corporate and Privacy and Data Security Practice Groups, was re-elected to the board for the fourth year.

• Jonathan Schwartz, partner and member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, was elected to the executive board after serving three years on the general board.

NEXTGen Detroit is on a mission to be the hub of a vibrant and dynamic Jewish community for young adults in Metro Detroit. By serving as a connector for all things young and Jewish, NEXTGen Detroit helps native Detroiters and newcomers find meaning and build relationships in all facets of life, from professional and religious to cultural and communal. For additional information, visit:

•            •            •

Plunkett Cooney Partner Mary Massaron will moderate a panel of guest speakers at the American Bar Association’s (ABA) 32nd Annual Land Use Institute in downtown Detroit.

Hosted by the ABA’s Section of State and Local Government Law, the Annual Land Use Institute program will take place April 19 and 20 at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. On April 20, Massaron will serve as moderator of “The Land Use Issues Impacting the Fall and Rise of Downtown Detroit” discussion.

The Annual Land Use Institute program is designed to benefit attorneys, professional planners, real estate professionals and government officials involved in land use planning, zoning, permitting, property development, conservation and environmental protection, and related litigation.

Massaron, who previously served as a law clerk to Michigan Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia J. Boyle, practices in Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills office and has handled hundreds of appeals in state and federal appellate courts, including appearances before the Michigan Supreme Court, the Indiana Supreme Court, and the Ohio Supreme Court. She has handled more than one hundred cases in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and she appeared in the Second, Third and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Among the significant land use and property development cases that Massaron has handled over the years is Hathcock v County of Wayne, which resulted in a decision overturning decades of precedent and establishing a new test for the government’s right to take private property.

The Best Lawyers in America® (Copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.) has honored Massaron with its “Best Lawyer” title for 12 consecutive years. Michigan Super Lawyers magazine has also honored Massaron for 13 consecutive years, including inclusion among its top 100 attorneys and top 50 women lawyers in Michigan. Her other significant honors include membership in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and designation by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a 2008 “Lawyer of the Year.”

Massaron served as president of the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar from 2012 to 2013. She is past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan, DRI’s Appellate Advocacy Committee, and the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Council of Appellate Lawyers, a division of the Appellate Judges Conference. Massaron also co-chairs the Michigan Appellate Bench Bar Conference Foundation, an organization of Michigan appellate judges and lawyers.

Massaron graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 1990. She received her undergraduate degree from Marygrove College in 1982.