State Bar officers elected for 2011-12

Julie I. Fershtman, of Farmington Hills, has been elected president of the State Bar of Michigan for the 2011-2012 bar year. She will be sworn in as president of the more than 41,000-member organization at a luncheon on Thursday, Sept.15, during the SBM Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn.

Also serving as officers for 2011-2012 will be President-elect Bruce A. Courtade of Grand Rapids, Vice President Brian D. Einhorn of Southfield, Secretary Thomas C. Rombach of New Baltimore, and Treasurer Lori A. Buiteweg of Ann Arbor.

Fershtman is a shareholder at Foster Swift Collins and Smith PC and concentrates her practice in all aspects of commercial litigation, insurance defense, insurance coverage, sporting liability and equine law.

Courtade is with Rhoades McKee in Grand Rapids, and practices construction law, commercial litigation, general business counseling, and criminal defense.

Einhorn practices with Collins, Einhorn, Farrell & Ulanoff PC in Southfield and concentrates on professional liability litigation, products liability litigation, construction defect defense, and insurance coverage dispute litigation.

Rombach is a solo practitioner who focuses on criminal and civil litigation, personal injury and municipal law.

Buiteweg is a partner in Nichols, Sacks, Slank, Sendelbach, and Buiteweg PC and focuses on family law.

Stephen J. Gobbo, of Lansing, will be the 2011-2012 chairperson of the Representative Assembly. The RA's vice-chairperson is Dana M. Warnez of Centerline. The Representative Assembly will elect a new clerk at its meeting in September.

As the legal community gathers Sept. 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn for the State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education's Solo and Small Firm Institute will take place in conjunction with the SBM event.

Among other highlights at this year's meeting are:

--SBM members who have achieved the highest honors in the areas of leadership, professional integrity, and community service will be recognized at the Awards Banquet beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The Michigan State Bar Foundation, the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, and the Michigan Association for Justice will also present awards during this ceremony.

--The Solo and Small Firm Institute will offer national speakers:

* Angela B. Frye, Verizon Wireless, Midwest Area counsel.

* Ann M. Guinn, G & P Associates principal.

* Barron K. Henley, Affinity Consulting Group LLC founding member.

* Karen B. Kahn, Ed.D. PCC, Threshold Advisors LLC co-managing partner.

* Kevin O'Keefe, LexBlog Inc. CEO and publisher.

* Janet K. Welch, State Bar of Michigan executive director.

These speakers will share their expertise about marketing on social media, practicing effectively in the cloud, selecting useful technology, techniques for increasing productivity, strategies to reduce expenses, and approaches to enhancing quality of life.

--On Thursday, Sept. 15, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. will swear in the 77th president of the State Bar, Julie I. Fershtman, and other officers during the Inaugural Luncheon. Also on Thursday, the Macomb County 37th District Court John M. Chmura will swear in Stephen J. Gobbo as the new State Bar Representative Assembly Chairperson during the RA meeting. The RA's Michael Franck and Unsung Hero awards will also be presented at this meeting.

--Also on Thursday, the Celebrating Diversity Reception will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the historic Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. The reception will include an update on the many efforts undertaken by the State Bar to increase diversity in the legal profession, information about the newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, and remarks by Dennis Archer.

--The State Bar will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of its Michigan Legal Milestones program during a dedication ceremony and luncheon from noon-2 p.m on Friday, Sept. 16. The 36th Michigan Legal Milestone, "Milliken v Bradley - Desegregation, Busing, and Boundaries," will recall a historic 1974 United States Supreme Court case that addressed a desegregation plan for the schools in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. A panel of experts and attorneys that were involved in the case will reflect on its significance and its continuing impact on schools in southeastern Michigan.

For additional information on this year's Annual Meeting, visit

Published: Thu, Sep 8, 2011