Daily Briefs

Attorney: Judge, lawyers drained Rosa Parks estate
DETROIT (AP) — An attorney claims a judge and two lawyers involved in a long-running dispute over civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks' estate conspired to drain the estate's cash.

Attorney Stephen G. Cohen said in court papers Tuesday that Wayne County Probate Judge Freddie Burton Jr. conspired with John Chase Jr. and Melvin Jefferson Jr. to rack up more than $507,000 in mostly unnecessary legal fees. Cohen claims the estate is $88,000 in debt.

Jefferson told The Detroit News the court action was a “great fabrication.” Burton declined to comment to the Detroit Free Press. An email seeking comment was sent Thursday to Chase.

A hearing is May 22.

Parks left almost all her estate to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute, which Cohen represents. Relatives challenged Parks’ will after her 2005 death.

Attorney named a Best Law Firm Writer by the Burton Awards
Mark J. Bennett, senior counsel in the Troy office of the law firm of Miller Canfield, was named one of the Best Law Firm Writers by the Burton Awards.

Bennett, team leader of  Miller Canfield’s Climate Law practice, was chosen as one of the 35 best law firm writers of 2012 for his article, “New ASTM Standard May Serve as Safe Harbor for Emerging Building Energy Labeling, Transactional Disclosure, and Benchmarking Regulations,” published in BNA's Environmental Due Diligence Guide, 3/17/11. (Co-authored by David J. Freeman of Paul Hastings LLP and Anthony J. Buonicore of Buonicore Partners LLC).

The winners were chosen from entries published within the past year and submitted by the managing partners of the nation’s 1,000 largest and most prestigious law firms. The Burton Awards event will be held at the Library of Congress June 11, and will feature a performance by Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters.

“I am honored to be among a distinguished group of lawyers dedicated to delivering analysis of complicated legal matters in a means which can be practically applied to solving problems in the business community,” Bennett said.

At Miller Canfield, Bennett has combined his training in real estate and environmental law into his position as leader of the Climate Law team, managing a broad array of issues in this emerging area of law. His practice also includes a focus on advising clients in the acquisition and development of commercial real estate, as well as guiding companies in conducting environmental due diligence in real estate transactions. He earned his J.D. from Wayne State University Law School and B.A. from Michigan State University.

Since its inception in 1999, the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement has honored the finest law firm and law school authors while recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession by honoring those who use plain, clear and concise language in their writing.

Charity basketball event kicks off tonight

 Personnel from 36th District Court will face off with members of the Detroit Police Department Eastern District in a “King of the Courts” charity basketball game at 7 p.m. tonight at the Brenda Scott Academy located at 18440 Hoover in Detroit. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds will go towards the Boys and Girls Club (Holden Club) and SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere). Children under 12 are free.