Wayne State University Law School

William Ortman has joined the faculty of Wayne State University Law School as an assistant professor of law.

For fall semester 2016, he will be teaching Administrative Law.

Ortman comes to Wayne Law from Harvard Law School, where he served as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law since 2013.

What primarily attracted Ortman to Wayne Law was what it provides students.

"I wanted to be part of an institution that provides excellent value for students," he said. "Wayne Law does that, as its small class sizes, mentoring programs, and numerous scholarship and grant programs all evidence. I also wanted to be part of a vibrant scholarly community. Wayne Law does that, too. As part of the interviewing process, I got to spend a day meeting with Wayne Law professors. The probing and insightful questions on the paper I presented that day helped make it a better article."

Ortman's teaching and research interests include criminal law, criminal procedure and administrative law.

"I'm especially interested in understanding the effects of widespread plea bargaining on our criminal justice system," he said. "More generally, my goal is to identify legal rules and institutional arrangements that are ordinarily taken as given, but that may not be serving us well. This is partly prescriptive, as I sometimes suggest alternative rules and arrangements that might better achieve social objectives. But it is largely descriptive. I think that examining the latent assumptions of laws and institutions helps to reveal their inner workings and normative commitments."

Previously, Ortman was a partner at Weinhardt & Logan in Des Moines, Iowa, and prior to that was a partner with Berlin McCormick in Des Moines. His practice at both firms focused on criminal defense and complex civil litigation.

He clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge David S. Tatel, District of Columbia Circuit.

Ortman earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science with a minor in philosophy in 2002 from Swarthmore College. He earned his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 2006.


Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC

Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that twenty-two of its attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017.

The Howard & Howardattorneys and the practice area under which they are listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017 are as follows:

- W. West Allen, Trademark Law.

- Dean W. Amburn, Litigation Intellectual Property; Litigation Patent; Patent Law; and Trademark Law (Selected as a "Lawyer of the Year" in Litigation-Patent).

- Daniel H. Bliss, Patent Law and Trademark Law.

- Thomas W. Davis II, Commercial Litigation.

- Joseph J. DeVito, Corporate Law.

- Trent K. English, Patent Law.

- Lisa S. Gretchko, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law; and Commercial Litigation.

- Andrew (Jake) Grove, Litigation - Intellectual Property.

- Kristopher K. Hulliberger, Litigation - Intellectual Property; Litigation - Patent; Patent Law; and Trademark Law (Selected as a "Lawyer of the Year" in Litigation-Intellectual Property).

- Michael V. Kell, Commercial Litigation.

- Rodger A. Kershner, Energy Law.

- Jon D. Kreucher, Utilities Law.

- Matthew J. Kreutzer, Franchise Law.

- Henry P. Lee, Trusts and Estates.

- Miles T. Macik, Commercial Litigation.

- Patrick M. McCarthy, Commercial Litigation; and Litigation Intellectual Property.

- Gerald E. McGlynn III, Litigation Intellectual Property; Litigation Patent; and Patent Law.

- Gwen Rutar Mullins, Construction Law.

- Brad A. Rayle, Labor Law Management.

- Robert L. Rosenthal, Employment Law Management; Labor Law Management; and Litigation - Labor and Employment.

- Jeffrey A. Sadowski, Litigation Intellectual Property; Litigation Patent; Patent Law; and Trademark Law.

- Jay Young, Arbitration.


George W. Gregory, PLLC

The publication Best Lawyers in America® just announced that attorney George W. Gregory of the law firm George W. Gregory, PLLC has been designated as one of the Best Lawyers in the specialty of Trusts and Estates and in the area of Litigation Trusts and Estates. This is the 16th consecutive year of his selection as one of the Best Lawyers.

Gregory is also accomplished in the areas of tax controversy, business succession planning, probate, and presenting expert testimony.

Gregory's practice includes the area of IRS tax controversy, business succession planning, probate, real estate, corporations, and presenting expert testimony in these practice areas. A current member of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), as well as a Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) member, Gregory is the current chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association and a former Chair of the Probate and Estate Council and the Taxation Section Council, both for the State Bar of Michigan. He is also a frequently invited presenter to these groups.


Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, & Rivers

Royal Oak attorney Michael Pitt was recently selected vice president of Public Justice, a Washington, D.C.-based national public interest firm of 14 lawyers which fights injustices through precedent setting and socially significant individual and class action litigation.

Pitt is co-founder of Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, & Rivers specializing in civil rights and employment law. The firm is currently representing thousands of Michigan residents in a class action lawsuit (Mays vs. Snyder) related to the Flint Water Crisis.

Pitt has served in board and leadership positions for numerous professional organizations including Michigan Association of Justice and Wayne State University Law School Board of Visitors/Executive Committee. He has also served on the State Bar of Michigan's Judicial Task Force on the Election of Michigan Supreme Court Justices.

He received the 2014 Champion of Justice award from State Bar of Michigan. In 2013, Pitt was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leaders in the Law" and Lawyer of the Year/Employment Law by Best Lawyers.

Pitt is a graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne Law.


Plunkett Cooney

Attorney Leslie A. Rojas recently joined the Healthcare Industry Group of Plunkett Cooney.

Licensed to practice in Illinois and Michigan, Rojas focuses her practice exclusively in the area of healthcare law. She assists clients with healthcare regulatory, transactional and corporate matters, including: healthcare fraud and abuse issues; healthcare joint ventures and business transactions; healthcare lease arrangements; practitioner employment agreements; HIPAA and state privacy and security laws; certificates of need; managed care contracting; and Medicare enrollment, billing and reimbursement issues.

A member of the firm's Bloomfield Hills office, she represents a variety of healthcare businesses and professionals, including: physicians and other practitioners; group practices; hospitals; imaging centers; laboratories; pharmacies (including compounding and specialty pharmacies); durable medical equipment companies; medical device companies; home health agencies; assisted living facilities; behavioral health providers; and healthcare compliance consultants.

To compliment her work in healthcare law, Rojas serves on the Board of Directors for the Mental Illness Research Association, an organization that raises money for brain research and educational programs to raise awareness of, and combat the stigma associated with, mental illness. She is also involved in the Paraguayan-American Association of Physicians, which raises money for the medical school at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción in Paraguay.

Rojas received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 2008. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2004. She is active in the American Bar Association (Health Law Section), the State Bar of Michigan (Health Care Law Section), the Chicago Bar Association (Health Law Committee) and the Womena's Bar Association (Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Oakland County region).


Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that the firm has received ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, becoming the first law firm headquartered in Michigan to achieve certification.

"ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification is an important step in ensuring that Dickinson Wright's information technology services are secure and efficient for our clients," said Michael Kolb, chief Information & Security officer. "This is an important next step in Dickinson Wright's evolution to provide high-quality service and technology to our clients. ISO certification allows us to continually improve the firm's information security management system and process while streamlining our efforts to provide additional security for our clients when handling highly-sensitive matters concerning their business."

Dickinson Wright's Information Technology department worked for several years to achieve ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification for the firm's Document Management Service, Email Service, Remote Access Service, Client-Share Service and Mobile Device Management. Certification is maintained through periodical surveillance audits.

Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski

Ackerman Ackerman & Dynkowski recently announced that partner Darius Dynkowski will serve as program co-chair of the upcoming conference "Eminent Domain: Current and Emerging Issues for Litigators," presented by Continuing Legal Education International (CLE). Managing Partner Alan Ackerman made the announcement.

The conference will take place in Las Vegas from Sept. 29 through Sept. 30. As program co-chair, Dynkowski will perform opening speeches on both days of the conference, and will participate in a panel of expert eminent domain attorneys to discuss practical advice on litigation strategy and trial tactics. Topics will include partial takings, just compensation, exactions, attorney fees, municipal takings of private water companies and special purpose properties.

"I'm happy to be returning as a CLE International eminent domain expert to co-chair this highly focused conference," says Dynkowski. "There is no shortage of complication in the practice of eminent domain law, and I'm fortunate to be able to use my personal experiences and lessons learned to help other lawyers and business professionals navigate this particular practice area."

Dynkowski has been avidly defending landowners throughout the country since 1996. In addition to his work with CLE International, Dynkowski serves as the representative for the Owners' Counsel of America and is an adjunct professor for the Michigan State University College of Law. He earned his bachelor's and master's degree from Wayne State University, and received his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.


Baskin Law Firm PC

Best Lawyers has recognized Henry Baskin of the Birmingham-based Baskin Law Firm PC as one of The Best Lawyers in America for 2017, recognized for his work in Family Law.

In the legal industry for more than 50 years, Baskin specializes in matrimonial, litigation and personal service contracts. The past chair of the Oakland University Board of Trustees, he established the Baskin Family Foundation to support scholarships for children of single parent households attending the university.

Additionally, he is highly involved in charitable causes throughout Metro Detroit.


Western Michigan University

A U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin A. Drain, Eastern District of Michigan, has been selected to receive the highest honor Western Michigan University can confer on its alumni-the WMU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award.

Established in 1963, the Distinguished Alumni Awards program honors and celebrates alumni who bring distinction to their alma mater through professional accomplishments and who have achieved a high level of success in their careers. Alumni are nominated by their peers and selected by the WMU Alumni Association Board of Directors.

This year, WMU's 53rd Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will be recognized during a homecoming weekend reception at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, on campus.

Drain was nominated by President Barack Obama to become a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and was confirmed for the position by an act of the U.S. Senate in 2012. Throughout his career, Drain has worked in various positions in the legal system, beginning in 1972 as a law clerk for Michigan's Third Circuit Court.

He subsequently served as counsel for the Detroit Department of Transportation, an attorney in the Federal Defender's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, a judge on what had been the Recorder's Court for the city of Detroit, and a judge on Michigan's Third Circuit Court.

Additionally, Drain has served on many boards for community and religious organizations, and was named Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News in 1997. He played football for the WMU Broncos between 1967 and 1970 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education from WMU in 1970. He also earned a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1972 and a Master of Judicial Studies from the University of Nevada-Reno in 1991.


Bodman PLC

The Best Lawyers in America has named two local Bodman PLC attorneys "Lawyers of the Year" for 2016: Ralph E. McDowell and David B. Walters.

McDowell, who is chairman of Bodman's executive management committee, has been named 2017 Detroit Lawyer of the Year for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law. McDowell assists clients primarily in the areas of commercial bankruptcy, debtors' and creditors' rights, and workouts. He has represented the interests of banks and other financial institutions in pre-bankruptcy workout situations, commercial bankruptcy cases, and troubled credit situations.

Outside of the firm, McDowell is a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Hebrew Free Loan of Metropolitan Detroit, on the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Dean's Advisory Board, and on the Audit Committee of the Detroit Institute of Arts. He is also listed in the 2017 Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, and Litigation Bankruptcy. McDowell was previously named Detroit Lawyer of the Year for Litigation Bankruptcy in 2015.

Walters has been named 2017 Troy Lawyer of the Year for Employee Benefits. In addition to this award, he is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2017 for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law. Walters concentrates his practice in employee benefits, corporate law and estate planning. He has more than 25 years of experience counseling employers on all aspects of employee benefit plan formation, administration, and taxation.

Walters serves on the Great Lakes Area TE/GE Council, which maintains lines of communication between the Great Lakes Area TE/GE Division of the Internal Revenue Service and the practitioner community and provides input and advice regarding tax policies and procedures related to employee benefit tax issues. Walters is a repeat honoree, having been named 2015 Troy Lawyer of the Year for Employee Benefits.



William B. Balke, office managing shareholder in the Detroit office of Littler has been recognized as Best Lawyers Labor Law Management "Lawyer of the Year" in Detroit.

Balke counsels and represents managementin numerous areas of employment and labor law, including arbitration of disputes, wage and hour, whistleblower and retaliation, discrimination and harassment, disability and accommodation, and wrongful termination. He regularly appears in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

A member of the American Bar Association and Federal Bar Association, Balke earned his law degree in 1983 from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.


United States District Court

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has selected journalist David Ashenfelter to serve as its new public information officer.

Ashenfelter, who won Pulitzer Prizes at the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press during a news career spanning four decades, succeeds Rod Hansen, a former WJR radio reporter who recently passed away.

In his new role, Ashenfelter will handle media inquiries, issue news releases and advisories in high-profile court cases and assist the court on other media matters. He will begin his duties on September 1.

"I'm excited about putting my skills to work for the same court I covered during 15 years of my news career," Ashenfelter said.

Ashenfelter co-authored a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of stories in 1981 that chronicled the difficulties parents encountered when they pressed the U.S. Navy for details about their children's deaths in the peacetime service. He also was part of the reporting team that won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for the corruption scandal that resulted in the resignation and imprisonment of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Ashenfelter grew up in Ohio and Indiana. After receiving a journalism degree from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1971, he joined the Detroit News as a suburban reporter. He eventually covered Detroit City Hall, state government and a presidential campaign. He joined the Free Press in 1982 and specialized in investigative, court and legal reporting. He retired from the Free Press in late 2012 and he has worked as a freelance journalist.


Maddin, Hauser, Roth, & Heller P.C.

Southfield-based multi-specialty law firm Maddin, Hauser, Roth, & Heller PC is pleased to announce that Stephanie C. (Kamykowski) Mellin has joined the firm.

The announcement was made by the firm's president and CEO, Steven D. Sallen.

Mellin is an associate in the firm's Consumer Finance Regulatory Compliance and Real Property Litigation practice group. Focusing her practice in this area since 2010, she uses her expertise to implement advantageous solutions for clients.

Mellin received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2007 from Michigan State University where she majored in Political Science. She earned her law degree in 2010 from Wayne State University Law School.

Mellin is currently licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, and the Michigan Tribal Court.

Published: Mon, Aug 29, 2016