Legal People

Collins, Einhorn, Farrell

Collins, Einhorn, Farrell PC is proud to announce that firm founder Morton H. Collins has been selected to receive the Oakland County Bar Association’s Distinguished Career Achievement Award. The OCBA Distinguished Career Achievement Award was established in 2001 to recognize an attorney whose career exemplifies extraordinary achievement in the ideals of the profession throughout the active legal career of the recipient.

Collins is the founding member of Collins, Einhorn, Farrell PC. Throughout his five decades of practice as a trial attorney, Collins has been a prominent figure in the defense of legal malpractice, professional liability, directors’ and officers’ liability and products liability cases. Known as a zealous advocate, Collins prevailed on behalf of his clients in numerous legal malpractice trials, including those with claims arising from underlying patent law matters, as well as trials involving real estate and commercial issues. Throughout his career, Collins’ legal and business acumen has been a valued resource to large and small business clients alike.

In addition to his support to the legal community, Collins has been an impactful philanthropist through his tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness about issues that are near and dear to his heart. Collins is a founding member of JARC, a non-sectarian, non-profit organization that provides high-quality programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. He has served on the board for the Jewish Community Center, as well as on the board of the St. Louis Center for Boys, a Catholic-based residential community in Chelsea, Michigan established for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Collins is also a past board member of The Arc of Oakland County, which also advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with I/DD.

As the firm’s founder, Collins’ vision led to the founding of a law firm that now boasts more than 50 lawyers, in practice areas as diverse as professional liability defense, toxic torts, insurance coverage, appeals, fire and explosion, and nearly every aspect of tort litigation. As the firm celebrates its 45th year of business, it has become a substantial contributor to the civil litigation arena in the State of Michigan and has received numerous awards and accolades, including been rated by Best Lawyers® as the top mid-sized litigation firm in the state for the last several years.

The OCBA Distinguished Career Achievement Award will be presented to Mort Collins at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Oakland County Bar Association on June 2.

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Wayne State University


Wayne State University Law School Professor Peter J. Henning has received a Fulbright Specialist grant to teach for three weeks this summer in Taiwan.

Henning will present “Study on Criminal Law and Procedure” at the Academy for the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice in Taipei from June 14 to July 1. His topics will include a discussion of the Hobbs Act, the recent encryption dispute between the FBI and Apple, the protection of privacy and the admissibility of video recordings.

“Being selected for a Fulbright Specialist grant is a great honor because it helps foster closer relations with the host country and provides a wonderful learning experience,” Henning said. “I will get to work with and interact with judges at all levels of Taiwan’s judiciary and help contribute to the development of the law there. It is also a great chance to see up close how another legal system operates and compare it with the United States. I’m very excited to spend time in Taiwan, and I’m hopeful that it will help Wayne Law develop further relationships there.”

Wayne Law has a partnership for student and faculty exchanges with National Taiwan University.

The Fulbright Specialist Program promotes cooperation and relationship building between United States scholars and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions abroad. The focus of the program is to build educational capacity and to develop long-term relationships. Specialist grants are awarded to U.S. faculty and professionals, in select disciplines, to work on collaborative two-week to six-week projects at eligible facilities throughout the world.

The program is part of the broader Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange effort to increase understanding between Americans and people in other countries.

In 2013, Henning was a Fulbright Scholar teaching at the University of Zagreb in Croatia.

Henning joined the Wayne Law faculty in 1994 and has received numerous teaching awards, including the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Donald H. Gordon Award for Excellence in Teaching.

After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1985, Henning was a senior attorney in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission until 1991. He worked on cases involving insider trading, penny stock fraud, market manipulation and accounting irregularities. He then moved to the Criminal Division of the U.S.
Department of Justice, working in the Fraud Section on the investigation and prosecution of bank fraud.

Henning’s scholarship focuses primarily on white collar crime, constitutional criminal procedure and attorney ethics. He frequently publishes articles and often is quoted in the media and asked to comment on legal issues. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute. Henning writes a regular column, “White Collar Watch,” for The New York Times DealBook.

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Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP is pleased to announce that it earned recognition for its role in the restructuring of Treetops Resort through its Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization during the recent Atlas Turnaround Awards held in New York City. In the restructuring, Honigman represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, and spearheaded the negotiation of a plan of reorganization that provided unsecured creditors with a meaningful recovery. The successful restructuring through the Chapter 11 plan was named the winner of the Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year in small markets (defined as assets valued below $50 million pre-pack or pre-negotiated Chapter 11 bankruptcy).
The annual Turnaround Atlas awards honor landmark deals, industry leaders, influential professionals and outstanding firms of the year from the restructuring and turnaround communities worldwide. Global M&A Network, a diversified information and digital media company, presents the awards.

In July 2015, Treetops, which is a golf and ski resort located in Gaylord, Michigan, completed its voluntary reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.  This process provided the resort’s ownership the opportunity to position itself financially for future property improvements by reaching a settlement with significant creditors and creditor constituencies in exchange for shedding legacy debt.

Honigman’s legal team included Joseph Sgroi, a partner and leader of the firm’s Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditor Rights Practice Group, and Scott Kitei, a partner in the practice.

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Butzel Long


Butzel Long immigration law attorney Reginald A. Pacis was a featured speaker during the Kiwanis Club of Cosmopolitan Detroit Prayer Breakfast on May 21 at the Philippine American Cultural Center of Michigan in Southfield.

He discussed growing up the son of immigrants, pursuing an education and career in law. He also shared observations about the occupational market for lawyers.

Pacis focuses his practice in immigration law and has handled a variety of immigration matters including H-1B specialty occupation cases, L-1 Intracompany transfers, Labor Certification matters, Immigrant Visa Petitions/Adjustment of Status applications and interviews, TN Free trade cases, H-1B Department of Labor Investigations, I-9 employer verification compliance, and U.S. Port of Entry airport and land port interviews.

He was named Immigration Lawyer of the Year 2013 in the field of Immigration Law by The Best Lawyers in America and has been listed in Best Lawyers for several years. Pacis is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Samahang Pilipino Ng Oakland Filipino organization. He served two consecutive one-year terms from 2003 to 2005 as chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA and was a member of the AILA National Board of Governors for those terms. Pacis previously served as Secretary (2001 to 2003) and membership chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA (1998 to 2003).

In addition, Butzel Long attorneys Geaneen M. Arends and Paul M. Mersino participated in a panel program on May 25 during Detroit StartUp Week, a five-day entrepreneurship conference.

Arends and Mersino participated in a panel discussion titled “How to Scale Smart.” Panelists discussed the basics to build a company designed to grow from the start.
Based in the firm’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.

She 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 was recently recognized by the Association of Corporate Growth – Detroit for 2015 M&A Deal of the Year over $50M and by the M&A Advisor for Cross-Border M&A Deal of the Year (over $50M – $100M).

She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Detroit Educational Television Foundation/ Detroit Public Television (DPTV) and on the Board of Board of Trustees for the Detroit Historical Society. At the same time, she serves on the Steering Committee for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Classical Roots Celebration.

She also serves on the Board of Directors, and is the immediate past chair of the Board, for Michigan Community Resources (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.

Arends was named as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Women in the Law, 2014. She is an alumna of Leadership Detroit, Class XXVII.

Based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office, Mersino is a member of Butzel Long’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation, contract disputes, non-competition and trade secret disputes, and other business litigation matters. He also represents and advises several startup companies, assisting them with their legal needs and matching them with potential venture capital funding. He has served as a mentor to startup business incubators and accelerators, sat on the board of directors of a startup company, and served on a board of advisors for a venture capital group.

He has been recognized as a Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star in Business Litigation every year since 2012.  He also has handled matters and advised companies in nearly every state in the country.  Mersino has had articles published in Crain’s Detroit Business, Corp! Magazine, and in Law Reviews and nation-wide publications, both on topics concerning Startups as well as companies’ needs to protect their Trade Secrets.

Mersino is very active in the community. He currently is the president of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Barrister’s Section and serves as an advisor to the Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Litigation Advisory Board.  He was recently a member of Leadership Oakland and was recognized last year by L. Brooks Patterson as one of Oakland County’s Elite 40 under 40. 

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Michigan Association for Justice

The Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) recently announced the promotion of Director of Communications Stephen V. Pontoni to executive director and named Nathan S. Pilon the organization’s new director of communications, both effective immediately.

Pontoni will take the reins from Jane R. Bailey who recently retired after leading the MAJ, formerly the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, beginning in 1990. Bailey started with the organization in 1987 as MAJ’s PAC coordinator. Bailey was instrumental in building a strong and fiscally stable organization, as well as making MAJ an influential and respected organization in Lansing. She was known for developing productive relationships with lawmakers from both parties. 

Pontoni will manage the overall operations of the association including budget, staffing, membership, as well as coordinating and implementing legislative and public policy strategic initiatives. As director of communications, he revitalized and redesigned the association’s social media accounts, website and Journal, and established new member email communications to utilize the latest technology. Before joining MAJ in 2013, Pontoni served as campaign director for America Votes. He has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Michigan.

Pilon has been charged with developing public relations, marketing, membership communications, web, and social media strategies. Before joining MAJ, he began a 10-year career at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in 2005, most recently serving as communications director. He was a senior communications specialist on the House Democratic Central Staff in the Michigan House of Representatives and a communications representative for the Michigan State Medical Society. Pilon has a bachelor’s in English from Western Michigan University.

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Howard & Howard

Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Andrew (Jake) Grove has joined the firm.  He will practice out of the firm’s Royal Oak Office.

Grove, who concentrates his practice in patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets matters, brings nearly 27 years of experience in intellectual property law, including several assignments as lead counsel in complex IP litigation matters for some of the largest companies in the world. Grove has experience preparing and prosecuting patent and trademark applications with an emphasis on mechanical and electro-mechanical technologies and assists clients in finding cost-effective resolutions to patent troll attacks. One of the premier IP litigators and IP law thought leaders in the area, Grove has a long-term professorship at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, several published works including a student case book on patent law, and is a regular speaker at a wide variety of conferences.

Grove received his law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1993 and his M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1989. He earned both his B.A. and B.S. from the University of Michigan in 1988. Grove is licensed in the State of Michigan and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for both the Federal and Sixth Circuits and the U.S. District Court for both the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Aaron V. Burrell has been elected to the Oakland County Bar Association’s (OCBA) Board of Directors. His two-year term will begin on July 1, 2016 and end on June 30, 2018.

Burrell is an associate attorney in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office. He focuses his practice in the areas of appellate, commercial & business litigation, labor & employment, and minority business enterprises.  Burrell is an active member of the Oakland County Bar Association, previously participating in the organization’s Inn of Court program and Diversity Committee. In 2014, he was elected as a “fellow” in the Oakland County Bar Foundation.

In addition to his service with the OCBA, Burrell serves as president of the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association. He also serves as co-chair of the State Bar of Michigan’s Equal Access Initiative and as a representative for the State Bar of Michigan’s Representative Assembly, where he currently serves as chair of the Special Issues Committee. He is a member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the Wolverine Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Burrell earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his law degree from the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

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Brooks Kushman P.C.

Brooks Kushman is pleased to announce six of the firm’s shareholders have been named “IP Stars” by Managing Intellectual Property (IP) Magazine.

Brooks Kushman attorneys recognized as IP Stars by the publication are President Mark Cantor and shareholders Frank Angileri, Elizabeth Janda, John LeRoy, Sangeeta Shah, and Robert Tuttle.

• Cantor serves as the president of Brooks Kushman and is one of the founders of the firm. His practices focusing on complex litigation matters in all technology areas, and has been named an “IP Star” since 2013.

• Angileri is co-chair of Brooks Kushman’s Post-Grant Proceedings practice, and focuses on IP litigation. He was also named as Michigan’s “IP Litigator of the Year” for 2015 & 2016.

• Janda serves as chair of Brooks Kushman’s Trademark practice, managing substantial trademark portfolios both domestically and internationally in a variety of industries. She has been on the list of “IP Stars” since 2013.

• LeRoy is chair of Brooks Kushman’s Open Source Compliance practice and focuses his practice on software and electrical patent litigation. He advises companies on the effective use of open source software in their products and creates customized strategies to help them comply with various license terms.

• Shah is Brooks Kushman’s co-chair of Post-Grant Proceedings and chief diversity officer. Her practice is primarily focused on post-grant challenges and patent opinions. She represents several Fortune 500 clients for whom she provides strategic counseling and guidance on their global IP portfolios. She has been on the list of “IP Stars” since 2014.

• Tuttle’s practice at Brooks Kushman focuses on IP litigation. He works closely with clients across a variety of industries on litigation matters covering all aspects of IP strategy including patents, trademarks and trade secrets. Tuttle was named Michigan “IP Litigator of the Year” in 2013 and has been an “IP Star” since 2013.

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Bodman PLC

Bodman PLC attorney Mary Beth Kelly, of the firm’s Detroit office, has been elected to the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society Board of Directors for a three-year term, succeeding former Justice Charles Levin.

The Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society was started in 1988 by then Chief Justice Dorothy Comstock Riley. The Society’s mission is to collect, preserve, and display documents, records, and memorabilia relating to the Michigan Supreme Court and other courts of Michigan, to promote study of the history of Michigan’s courts and to increase public awareness of Michigan’s legal heritage.

Kelly, a former Michigan Supreme Court justice, is a member of Bodman’s Litigation Practice Group. She focuses her practice on business litigation, government relations, and public affairs. She counsels and guides companies through various state administrative issues and procedures, while helping clients avoid litigation or additional exposure. Kelly also acts as a mediator for commercial disputes often related to sophisticated business issues. She serves on the American Arbitration Association’s National Roster of Neutral Commercial Arbitrators.

Kelly currently serves as chair of the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice, where she was appointed to a three year term by Governor Rick Snyder. She is a member of the Law School Advisory Board at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, and serves as a director of the Board of Vista Maria, an organization that serves at-risk girls, young women involved in human trafficking, and youth in the child protection or juvenile justice systems.

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Reiter & Walsh PC

Jesse Reiter and Emily Thomas of Reiter & Walsh PC co-authored an article titled “ACOG Replaced the Friedman Curve with Unproven Guidelines: Is Lowering the Caesarean Rate Worth the Rise in Birth Trauma?” in the February 2016 American Association for Justice Birth Trauma Litigation Group Newsletter.

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