Legal People

Miller Canfield
Miller Canfield lawyers Richard A. Walawender and Aimee J. Jachym will be featured speakers at the International Business Group (IBG) of West Michigan’s Wednesday, Sep. 8, meeting, Global Automotive Industry: Ups and Downs in Changing Times, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bravo! in Kalamazoo. The pair will discuss the global automotive industry, including next generation vehicles, the impact of NAFTA and worldwide recalls and opportunities for businesses in West Michigan.

At Miller Canfield, Walawender is the director of the Corporate, International Business and Automotive teams. His specialties include mergers and acquisitions, corporate, securities and commercial law, international transactions and joint ventures.

Jachym assists with an array of business transactions, using her background in business and international affairs. She has teaching and business experience in both Michigan and Korea. She was elected to the IBG’s Board of Directors in June 2010.

Additionally, the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), has announced that Miller Canfield principal Gregory A. Nowak has been elected as the chair of its board for 2010-2011 year. The announcement was made by MACPA President and CEO Peggy Dzierzawsk.

He focuses his practice on structural tax planning and state tax issues. He has represented major companies on multistate tax issues and recently served as a technical advisor to the House Taxation Committee in connection with drafting the Michigan Business Tax legislation.

In addition to his current and past board positions with the MACPA, Nowak is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA); the State Bar of Michigan – Tax Section, where he is the former chair of the State and Local Tax Committee; and the American Bar Association Taxation Section. He also is the chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber Tax Committee and an advisor to the Michigan legislature on tax policy issues.

In 2008, he received the Thomas Hoatlin Award from the MACPA. A year later, the organization presented him with a special recognition award for his contribution in the area of state and local taxation.

He also received the Detroit Regional Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award in 2007.

Nowak earned his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Michigan State University and his law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Other officers appointed to the MACPA Board of Directors include John Pridnia, chair-elect; Ramona H. Pearson, treasurer; Paul Steih, secretary; Jonathan D. Anibal, immediate past chair; and Thomas H. Beard, past chair. Newly elected to the MACPA Board of Directors are David Echelbarger, Mark Faulkner, Lori Kerch, and Gary L. Riedlinger.


Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC recently announced that it is combining with Las Vegas law firm Gibson Lowry Burris LLP. The merger of the two firms is effective Aug. 16, 2010, and will strengthen and expand Dickinson Wright’s client service in several key areas, including intellectual property and gaming law.

“This combination with Gibson Lowry Burris is important for two primary reasons,” said Dickinson Wright CEO William T. Burgess. “The addition of a Las Vegas office not only expands our firm’s national footprint, specifically in the western portion of the country, but it adds depth, experience and additional clients to our successful, growing intellectual property and gaming practice areas, which is consistent with the firm’s strategic growth plans.”

Three Gibson Lowry Burris LLP attorneys will join Dickinson Wright: Steven A. Gibson, Jodi Donetta (J.D.) Lowry, and J. Scott Burris. The addition of these attorneys brings the total number of Dickinson Wright attorneys to more than 260.

Gibson will serve as the Las Vegas office’s managing partner. He practices intellectual property law, both transactional and in litigation, focusing on trademark, trade secret and copyright issues, including related business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, with an emphasis on gaming-related matters.

Gibson earned his B.A. from the University of Louisville-Kentucky and his law degree from ITT Chicago-Kent School of Law. He has been a member of the Nevada Development Authority and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. He has published numerous articles and has spoken on trade secret, trademark and copyright issues across the country.


Banas and Associates PLLC
Jessica Ann Hallmark has joined the law firm of C. Leslie Banas and Associates PLLC in Birmingham. Hallmark is a graduate of the University of Michigan and earned her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 2008. She previously clerked for Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Potts. She also served on the Congressional staff of Congressman Joe Knollenberg from 2001 to 2009.


Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski P.C.
Darius Dynkowski, partner with Bloomfield Hills-based Ackerman, Ackerman & Dynkowski P.C., has been elected as group vice-chair of the Land Use and Environmental Group of the Real Property, Trust Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association. Managing Partner Alan T. Ackerman made the announcement.

Dynkowski will serve a one-year term as group vice-chair that commenced on Aug. 9, 2010.

Dynkowski is a 1993 graduate of Wayne State University, and he earned his law degree from the Detroit College of Law in 1996. He is an expert in the areas of condemnation and eminent domain, and has been involved in cases at both state and federal levels.

A frequently published author, he currently serves on the Michigan State Board of Real Estate Appraisers, which provides licensure to state licensed and state certified real estate appraisers and real estate valuation specialists. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Law School since 2002 and at Michigan State University College of Law since 2009.


Butzel Long
Butzel Long has been selected to receive the 2010 Corporate ONE Award from the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) on Sept. 14 in Kalamazoo.

The Corporate ONE Awards Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the MMSDC Supplier Diversity Summit. This honor recognizes corporate members who are fully engaged and supportive of MMSDC and its mission.

“It is an honor for Butzel Long to be recognized by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council,” said Arthur Dudley II, secretary and a director of the MMSDC and an attorney and shareholder, Butzel Long.

“The council is the leading Michigan organization providing business opportunities and certification services to minority business enterprises.”


Schnelz Wells
William Lansat, attorney and Of Counsel to the firm of Schnelz Wells in Birmingham, has been re-appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm to the Governor’s Task Force on Children’s Justice for another two year term.

The Task Force was created to enhance child abuse prevention efforts, particularly with respect to child sexual abuse, by enhancing state investigative, administrative and judicial handling of such cases.

Lansat has served on the Task Force since 2000, having first been appointed by then-Governor John Engler.

Lansat currently chairs the Training Committee responsible for the development curriculum for training in the area of abuse and neglect.


Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP is pleased to announce that Jennifer M. Hetu has joined the firm as an attorney in the Intellectual Property Practice Group of its Corporate and Securities Department.

Hetu will concentrate her practice on domestic and foreign applications for trademarks, including trade dress, service marks, collective membership marks and certification marks for registration eligibility.

She will also represent clients in proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

She earned her law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and her B.A. in political science from Western Michigan University. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Intellectual Property Law Section.

Hetu comes to Honigman from the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandra, Va.

Additionally, Honigman is proud to announce that 78 of its attorneys, including 12 from the firm’s Oakland County office, have been named in the 2011 edition of Best Lawyers®.

Twenty-seven, or approximately one-third, of the 78 Honigman attorneys named to the list this year have been included consecutively in Best Lawyers for 10 or more years and eight have been included for more than twenty. Of all Michigan law firms, Honigman has the most attorneys named in 14 fields of law, including Biotechnology, Corporate Governance and Compliance, Corporate, Franchise, Health Care, Insurance, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity, Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Funds, Project Finance, Real Estate, Securities, Tax and Venture Capital.

The firm’s attorneys from its Oakland County office who have been named to the 2011 edition of Best Lawyers are:
• Joseph Aviv – Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Family Law.
• Jonathan R. Borenstein – Real Estate Law.
• Richard J. Burstein – Real Estate Law.
• Alan M. Hurvitz – Real Estate Law.
• Martin L. Katz – Real Estate Law.
• Michael A. Lisi – Intellectual Property Law.
• Howard N. Luckoff – Real Estate Law, Corporate Law.
• Jeffrey H. Miro – Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Tax Law.
• Karen R. Pifer – Real Estate Law.
• J. Adam Rothstein – Real Estate Law.
• Richard S. Soble –  Tax Law.
• Linda A. Wasserman – Tax Law, Trusts and Estates.

Additionally, the Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce three recipients of the 2010 First Amendment Award for their extraordinary efforts to preserve and strengthen media freedoms.

Among this year’s winners is Herschel Fink of Honigman.

The recipients will be recognized Tuesday, Oct. 5, during the President’s Installation Banquet at the2010 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference in Las Vegas.

Fink’s 10 years of experience as a newspaper reporter and editor has given him special insight, and understanding in dealing with media law issues. He is recognized by “Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.” He is also listed in “The Best Lawyers in America”under First Amendment law.

In his career, Fink fought to keep Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter out of jail for refusing to reveal sources. He also oversaw a Free Press freedom of information lawsuit that helped expose corruption by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Fink co-authored the “Michigan Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Act” guidebooks published in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2001 by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Michigan chapter of SPJ, the only time a lawyer has been honored. He has also taught media law at Wayne State University in Detroit.


Dalton, Tomich, & Pensler PLC
Dalton, Tomich, & Pensler PLC, a law firm specializing in providing guidance to leading businesses, religious organizations and financial institutions across the nation in the areas of complex litigation, general counsel and land use matters has opened its doors at 41000 Woodward Avenue, Suite 345, Bloomfield Hills.

Founding partners Daniel P. Dalton, Zana Tomich, and Pauline J. Pensler will focus their practice on land use and zoning, commercial real estate; business and corporate planning; employment; commercial litigation; municipal and non-profit law.

In the area of RLUIPA (religious land use) law, firm principals have been involved in landmark cases nationwide and recently authored a chapter in the West 2010 Zoning and Planning Law Handbook as well as a chapter in the recently published book, “RLUIPA Reader: Religious Uses, Zoning and the Courts.”

“A new firm helps us create a new commitment to working with our clients in new and innovative ways,” said Dalton. “With strong relationships, the firm is well positioned for growth and, through our varied expertise, helping businesses and organizations to succeed in an increasingly challenging environment.”

All three founding partners were previously attorneys with a Royal Oak-based law firm.

For more information on the firm, visit:


Plunkett Cooney
Carrie Kennedy recently joined Plunkett Cooney as a senior attorney in the firm’s Insurance and Professional Liability Department.

Kennedy focuses her practice on insurance-related work such as coverage disputes, entitlement issues and catastrophic injuries, as well as on no-fault law and motor vehicle litigation. She has particular expertise in defending claims involving traumatic brain injuries, severe burns and spinal cord injuries.

A member of the firm’s Detroit office, Kennedy also has experience in premise liability, Medicare/Medicaid and ERISA litigation, estate planning, probate litigation, contracts, creditors’ rights and commercial litigation.

Kennedy earned her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1997. Kennedy received her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1992.

Admitted to practice in Michigan, Kennedy is a member of the Oakland County and Women’s bar associations, as well as the Michigan Brain Injury Association.