Legal People

 Michigan Association of Justice

The Michigan Judges Association (MJA) recently announced that Oakland County Circuit Court Joan E. Young is the recipient of its 2014 Judicial Excellence Award. 

This award is named after the late Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Hilda Gage. The award recognizes circuit and court of appeals judges who have excelled in trial and docket management, legal scholarship, and contributions to the profession and the community. The award honors current or former judges who serve their profession and their communities with integrity, skill, and courage every day. 
A West Michigan native, Young is a graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State University Law School. She began her judicial career as an Oakland County Probate Court judge. She served in that court until her appointment to the 6th Circuit Court in 1997. She has served as chief judge in both courts. She is currently the presiding judge in the Adult Treatment Court. Young also worked closely with Judge Gage for many years in Oakland County. 

Young has been repeatedly recognized for her professional and judicial skill. She has served on MJA’s Executive Committee for many years, chairing its Domestic Relations Committee. The Oakland County Bar Association awarded her its Distinguished Public Servant Award in 2011. The Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland County named its annual Foster Parent of the Year award after Young. 

Young’s community activities include serving on the boards of organizations such as the Women Officials Network, Parents of Murdered Children Inc. and the Michigan Opera Theatre. She chaired the Legal Subcommittee for the Lieutenant Governor’s Special Commission on Adoption. 

Dawda Mann
Dawda Mann attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 21st edition of the Best Lawyers in America, 2015.  Specific attorneys and the fields of nomination are listed below: 
Edward C. Dawda in the fields of Corporate Law and Real Estate Law.

Theresa C. Joswick in the field of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.

Michael D. Mulcahy in the fields of Corporate Law and Real Estate Law.

Curtis J. Mann in the field of Trusts and Estates.

William L. Rosin in the field of Corporate Law.

Susan J. Sadler in the fields of Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental and Litigation – Real Estate.

Leon M. Schurgin in the fields of Litigation – Real Estate and Real Estate Law.

Tyler D. Tennent in the field of Environmental Law.

Suanne Tiberio Trimmer in the fields of Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment.

Pepper Hamilton LLP
Nine attorneys from the Detroit office of Pepper Hamilton LLP have been named to the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.
Local attorneys named in the 2015 guide are: 

Todd C. Fracassi (environmental; litigation – environmental).

René M.L. Hansemann (corporate).

Vicki R. Harding (bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights / insolvency and reorganization; real estate).

Robert S. Hertzberg (bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights / insolvency and reorganization).

Kay Standridge Kress (bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights / insolvency and reorganization; litigation – bankruptcy).

Robert C. Ludolph (employment – individuals; employment – management; labor – management; litigation - labor and employment).

Matthew J. Lund  (commercial litigation)

Michael B. Staebler (venture capital).

Thomas P. Wilczak (environmental; litigation – environmental).

Pepper Hamilton Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy partner Kay Standridge Kress has been elected chair of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association (ABA). Kress’ new leadership role will begin on September 15, and she will serve a three-year term.

The ABA’s Business Bankruptcy Committee is the world’s largest organization of bankruptcy restructuring lawyers. It offers educational programs on business bankruptcy (many for CLE credit) and publishes model agreements and pleadings for use by members in bankruptcy cases. The committee also advocates for bankruptcy reform, and develops and reviews proposed bankruptcy legislation and rules.

As chair, Kress will oversee 38 subcommittees, three working groups and task forces, and four special projects committees. She will also appoint attorneys to leadership positions for the subcommittees. 
“It’s a very active committee with a great deal of participation,” Kress said. “I have been working on those appointments to try and get the right people into the right positions so we can continue the success of our group.”

Kress’s goals for her tenure as chair include increasing young lawyer and law student involvement in the Business Bankruptcy Committee, creating a subcommittee for leadership training, more collaboration with other ABA sections and bankruptcy and insolvency organizations, and communicating valuable information to members.

Kress has 28 years of experience in representing debtors, creditors’ committees, secured creditors, trustees and individual creditors and parties in interest, both as lead counsel and as co-counsel in out-of-court workouts and in bankruptcy courts throughout the country. She is an American College of Bankruptcy Fellow, is named in The Best Lawyers in America, and was selected for the 2013 Michigan Super Lawyers list. 

Kress is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and Wayne State University Law School.


Jackson Lewis P.C.
Jackson Lewis PC is pleased to announce that Detroit Managing Shareholder Maurice G. Jenkins has been named to the 2015 Edition of Best Lawyers.  Jenkins is one of 119 attorneys from the firm recognized in the 2015 Edition of Best Lawyers® in America List.
Jenkins is the office managing shareholder of the Detroit and Grand Rapids offices of Jackson Lewis PC. He has practiced labor and employment law for more than 30 years. 

A trial lawyer,  Jenkins, who is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, has first chaired jury trials, labor and civil rights arbitrations, NLRB hearings and state civil rights administrative cases on behalf of employers in such business sectors as automotive (OEM; Tier .5-4 suppliers and retail), pharmaceutical manufacturing, international, national and regional consumer retailers, information technology, telecommunications, gaming, and financial services. 

Jenkins also advises and represents employers with respect to strategic labor relations matters, collective bargaining and NLRB litigation.

Jenkins received his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law in 1981.  He graduated with a B.A. in Accounting from Michigan State University in 1976.  Jenkins also earned a Certificate, Executive Education Program in Mergers and Acquisitions, from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 2001.


Bodman PLC
Bodman PLC attorney Kathleen O’Callaghan Hickey, of the firm’s Detroit office, has been elected to the Walsh College Foundation Board of Directors for a three-year term.
Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs that was founded in 1922.  The Walsh College Foundation, established in 2004, serves as the official fundraising arm of the college.  The foundation encourages private giving and ensures the integrity of the college’s philanthropy program.  The foundation is led by volunteers who are business, industry, and community leaders.

Hickey, a member of Bodman’s Banking Practice Group, focuses her practice representing financial institutions in commercial loan originations. Her practice encompasses secured transactions, loan workouts, and counseling lenders on lender liability and loan structure issues. Her practice also includes middle market lending, asset based loans, healthcare, educational institution and religious organization financing, international lending, captive insurance financing, private lending, real estate financing, multi-rate, multi-currency loans and facilities, agented and syndicated loan facilities, and letters of credit and other liquidity facilities supporting tax exempt and industrial development bonds.

Hickey is listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 under Banking and Finance Law, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2014 under Banking & Finance, Michigan Super Lawyers 2007 under The Top 50 Women, and Michigan Super Lawyers 2007-2013 under Banking.


Maddin, Hauser, Roth,  &?Heller PC
Maddin, Hauser, Roth, & Heller PC announced that Shareholder Harvey R. Heller has the added distinction this year of being selected among the 2015 “Detroit Lawyers of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America®.  Best Lawyers recognized Heller as the 2015 Detroit Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year.” 
Heller, who has been continuously included and recognized by Best Lawyers since 2003, has practiced law for more than 30 years. He is also the creator of the firm’s innovative service solution, Result Focused Case Management System®, which delivers cost-efficient, results-oriented legal services, seamlessly. Heller and his group have handled more than 1,000 cases involving the unique needs of the insurance industry and its insureds, representing clients’ interests in all state and federal trial and appellate courts, FINRA arbitrations, administrative tribunals, as well as ADR proceedings. In addition to being an active litigator, he is a member of the Michigan State
Bar Foundation Fellows and the Michigan Defense Trial Council.

On a national level, Heller is a member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyer’s Professional Liability, the Defense Research Institute, the International Association  of Defense Counsel, as well as the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance. He has authored numerous articles on the subject of professional liability and has been a frequent speaker at professional liability seminars. 


Butzel Long
Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Geaneen M. Arends has been named a “2014 Honoree for Michigan Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Arends is one of 30 female attorneys who will be honored during a luncheon on Sept. 11 at the Marriott Hotel in Troy. 
Based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office, Arends concentrates her practice on general business law and commercial real estate. 

She assists business clients with general business planning, entity formation and maintenance, mergers, acquisitions, private placements, woman-owned/minority-owned/disadvantaged business certification, insurance and risk management issues and general business contracts. Arends also has advised business clients on a variety of real estate transactions, including acquisition, development and leasing of multi-family residential, retail, office and industrial properties throughout the United States. She has represented both borrowers and lenders in multi-million dollar real estate financing transactions. 

Arends serves as the chairperson of the Board of Directors and President for Michigan Community Resources (MCR), formerly known as Community Legal Resources, a non-profit organization that provides technical assistance and free legal services to non-profit organizations revitalizing and bringing economic development to underserved communities in Detroit and throughout Michigan. She has been an active volunteer for MCR since 1999, providing pro bono legal services to its non-profit clients, serving as a past chairperson of its Program Committee and serving for three years as vice-chairperson of the Board. In her current role with MCR, Arends leads ongoing strategic planning, acts as mentor to executives and managers of the organization and actively participates on the finance, fund development and operations committees. She also led the transition, search and retention of a new CEO for MCR in 2013. 

In recognition of her long-time commitment to pro bono and community service, Arends received Butzel Long’s 2014 pro bono service award. 

Arends is an active member of the Butzel Long PAC Committee and Butzel Long’s Women’s Leadership Committee. She is a member of the Wolverine Bar Association, the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) Real Property Law Advisory Board, the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the Detroit Economic Club, for which she also serves on the reception committee. 

She was recognized by DBusiness in 2014 as a Top Lawyer in the areas of Real Estate Law and Non Profit Law. She is an alumna of Leadership Detroit.

Arends is a graduate of Michigan State University (B.A., History, 1994) and of Boston College Law School (law degree, 1998). She is admitted to the State Bar of Michigan and the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan. 

Brinks, Gilson, & Lione
Kelly Burris, managing partner of the Detroit office of Brinks, Gilson, & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., will serve as a conference speaker at The Battery Show 2014, to be conducted Sept. 16 -18 at the Novi Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The Battery Show is intended to evaluate the latest market trends and advancements in battery technology across automotive, portable and industrial sectors as they drive development, growth and demand of advanced batteries worldwide.
Burris will present “Tesla Motors and Open Source Electric Vehicle Patents: Moving the Ball Down the Field with a ‘Hail Mary’?” on Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. in the Open Tech Forum section of the exhibit hall.

“Tesla Motors continues to bring innovative and unconventional business practices to the marketplace,” Burris said. “While Tesla sites its intent to accelerate the growth of electric vehicles as the reason for releasing the company’s patent portfolio, the majority of the auto industry is wondering how to protect their interests while still aiding in the development of EVs. I look forward to discussing Tesla’s patent portfolio, the terms and conditions of the patent release and the latest developments from this bold move by Tesla CEO Elon Musk during my talk at The Battery Show.”

At Brinks, Burris is chair of the Green Technology Practice Group and focuses her practice on patent applications in the mechanical, materials science and electrical arts. She also performs intellectual property due diligence for mergers and acquisitions and manages corporate IP portfolios and policies.

Brinks will also be exhibiting at the Battery Show and can be found at booth B1662.


State Bar of Michigan
The State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly will present its Michael Franck and Unsung Hero awards to two outstanding members of the legal community on Thursday, Sept. 18, at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. The presentation will take place at 9:30 a.m. during the assembly's general session, which is being held in conjunction with the SBM Annual Meeting.
The Michael Franck Award will honor Julie I. Fershtman. She paves the way in her field of equine law, traveling the country trying cases, writing books and a blog, and speaking to attorneys as an equine expert. She has long been a leader at the State Bar, heading up the Young Lawyers Section, Representative Assembly, and serving as president of the Board of Commissioners in 2011. During her SBM presidency, she spearheaded the creation of the Bar’s mentoring center. 

Fershtman takes her role as a mentor seriously, encouraging young female attorneys to follow in her footsteps. She wrote a section for an American Bar Association book on women lawyers who took risks to form their own practices and was chosen out of 100 authors to share her experiences at the ABA Annual Meeting.

The Unsung Hero Award will honor Susan F. Reed who believes everyone deserves quality legal defense regardless of the horrific crimes they are accused of committing. She has represented drug dealers, serial rapists, and murderers. She is currently representing a notorious handyman-turned-alleged hitman in a very tough case since the defendant gave multiple stories to police and details of the murder have been leaked to local media. The judge said he assigned the case to Reed because he believes she does an exceptional job with clients in challenging situations. 

Beyond representing clients other attorneys may not want, Reed works to improve the work of all defense attorneys. A longtime active leader in the Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar, she currently serves as the organization’s president.


A total of 60 Varnum attorneys were recently selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. Attorneys from each of Varnum's five offices across Michigan were selected to the list.
Local Varnum attorneys included in the Best Lawyers in America 2015 are:
Thomas H. Bergh, Trusts and Estates, Litigation – Trusts & Estates.

Dennis Devaney, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management.

Richard T. Hewlett, Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Litigation - Construction.

Richard A. Hooker, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – Labor & Employment.

Paul L.B. McKenney, Litigation & Controversy – Tax, Tax Law.

David K. McLeod, Banking and Finance Law.

Eric M. Nemeth, Litigation & Controversy – Tax.

Brett Rendeiro, Commercial Litigation.


Clark Hil
Fifty-Seven Clark Hill attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in America, with seven attorneys recognized with the “Lawyer of the Year” distinction. 
Daniel J. Bretz has been named the 2015 Detroit Labor Law – Management “Lawyer of the Year.”

D. Kerry Crenshaw has been named the 2015 Detroit International Trade and Finance Law “Lawyer of the Year.”

John J. Hern Jr. has been named the 2015 Detroit Mergers and Acquisitions Law “Lawyer of the Year.”

Andrew C. Richner has been named the 2015 Detroit Government Relations Practice “Lawyer of the Year.”

Daniel J. Scully Jr. has been named the 2015 Detroit Product Liability Litigation–Defendants “Lawyer of the Year.”

The following local Clark Hill attorneys have been selected for inclusion: 

Joel Applebaum, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.
John Gierak, Education Law, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management.

Robert D. Gordon, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation – Bankruptcy.

Edward C. Hammond, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.

Douglas R. Kelly, Commercial Litigation.

J. Thomas MacFarlane, Litigation – Trusts and Estates, Trusts and Estates.

Paul S. Magy, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Real Estate Law.

Daniel H. Minkus, Corporate Law.

Robert L. Schwartz, Public Finance Law.

Robert A. Strong, Administrative/Regulatory Law, Energy Law.

Thomas F. Sweeney, Litigation – Trusts and Estates, Trusts and Estates.

Fred W. Batten, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management.
Thomas P. Brady, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment.

James E. Brenner, Appellate Practice.

Daniel J. Bretz, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management.

Connie M. Cessante, Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment.

David M. Cessante, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment.

Paul W. Coughenour, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment.

Martin E. Crandall, Litigation – Labor and Employment.

D. Kerry Crenshaw, International Trade and Finance Law.

Thomas M. Dixon, Litigation – Trusts and Estates, Trusts and Estates.

Thomas M.J. Hathaway, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management.

David M. Hayes, Construction Law, Litigation – Construction.

Kevin S. Hendrick, Arbitration, Construction Law, Litigation – Construction, Mediation.

John J. Hern Jr., Banking and Finance Law, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law.

Timothy M. Koltun, Real Estate Law.

Peter B. Kupelian, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Labor and Employment.

William A. Moore, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management.

Michael P. Nowlan, Immigration Law.

Andrew C. Richner, Government Relations Practice.

Daniel J. Scully, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation-Defendants.

Jeffrey A. Steele, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment.

Duane L. Tarnacki, Corporate Law, Nonprofit/Charities Law.

Reginald M. Turner Jr., Commercial Litigation, Employment Law – Management, Government Relations Practice, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – ERISA, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Litigation – Municipal.

Timothy D. Wittlinger, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Construction.


Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP
Wyatt J. Istvan-Mitchell has joined the Technology and Intellectual Property Practice Group of Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP.
Istvan-Mitchell concentrates his practice in intellectual property law with a focus on patent preparation, prosecution and opinion work, primarily for clients in the chemical and metal arts.  A chemical engineer by training, he focuses on composite articles, paints and coatings, foams and elastomers, adhesives, manufactured wood products, agricultural products encapsulants, cleaning and detergent compositions, automotive components and assemblies, lubricants, personal care compositions, medications and treatment methods, inks and batteries.

He will practice in the firm’s Southfield office, which is home to a growing number of intellectual property, patent and technology attorneys. 

Prior to joining Warner Norcross, Istvan-Mitchell practiced as an intellectual property attorney with Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC.  He has also worked as an associate engineer for the Flint Ink Corporation and has experience working for an automotive component manufacturers, heat treatment facility, steel processor and construction company.

Istvan-Mitchell is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association. He is also a registered patent attorney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  This year, he was selected as a Rising Star by Michigan Super Lawyers.

Istvan-Mitchell completed his associate degree at Jackson Community College, his bachelor of science in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan and his law degree from Wayne State University Law School.



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