Miller Canfield to expand pro bono ?practice; longtime attorney to retire

Clarence Pozza Jr. to ­partner with two federal judges to open JAMS office

Miller Canfield announced that longtime principal Clarence “Rocky” Pozza Jr., will retire from the firm to partner with two federal judges, well-known for their recent work on the City of Detroit bankruptcy, to start a Detroit office of Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS).

Pozza was a managing director of Miller Canfield for 10 years, and headed the firm’s litigation group for eight years. He and former Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan Gerald Rosen, who was a mediator in the city’s bankruptcy, and now-retired U.S. bankruptcy court Eastern District of Michigan Judge Steven Rhodes, who oversaw the Detroit bankruptcy, plan to open JAMS in April 2017.

Pozza has been with Miller Canfield since 1974. He welcomes the opportunity to work with two federal judges who are so widely respected.

“This is the perfect opportunity for me to transition at this point in my life,” Pozza said. “I have been at a great law firm for 42 years, and have many wonderful friends and colleagues there. I am doing many mediations now and want to remain active in this area of practice.”

Though he has not said how large the JAMS office will be, Pozza said that the office will be full-service and will include services such as evaluations, investigations, and master and receiver work.

“While we will miss Rocky when he retires, we are all happy for him and excited about his future venture,” said Miller Canfield CEO Mike McGee. “We are also pleased that he will again be working with Judge Rosen, who was a partner here until he was appointed to the bench.”


Firm hires Wendy Richards to expand pro bono practice

Wendolyn Wrosch Richards has rejoined the firm in the role of pro bono counsel. Richards’ role is a new position in the firm.

“The creation of the Pro Bono Counsel position is a reflection of Miller Canfield’s serious commitment to supporting pro bono services, and our investment in the communities where we work and live,” said firm CEO Michael McGee. “During the past year, the firm has contributed more than $60,000 to pro bono endeavors and our attorneys have performed more than 5,000 hours of pro bono services. Under Wendy’s leadership, we can do even more.”

Richards previously worked as a senior litigation attorney, spending nine years working on numerous multimillion-dollar actions involving securities, intellectual property and general complex litigation.

In 2013, she left the firm to work for a Michigan nonprofit focused on improving communities through pro bono legal and technical services to nonprofits. There she helped launch the Small Business Legal Academy Detroit and led initiatives to develop community support for fundraising and entrepreneurship in underserved areas. She is active in professional and civic group such as the State Bar of Michigan Justice Initiative, Pro Bono Initiative Committee, New Economy
Initiative’s Neighborhood Business Initiative Worktable and Greening of Detroit Policy and Advocacy Committee.

In addition to her work as pro bono counsel at Miller Canfield, Richards will also work in the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution group.


Mann elected to Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys Board

Steven Mann has been elected to serve a three-year term on the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys Board of Directors.

Mann is a principal in Miller Canfield’s Detroit office, and is a member of the firm’s Public Finance Group, representing public agencies as bond counsel. His practice covers all facets of infrastructure financing, tax increment financing, special assessments and economic development.

Mann serves as City Attorney for the City of Milan and as general counsel for the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority and the Michigan South Central Power Agency. He is a trustee on the Charter Township of Plymouth Board of Trustees, and previously served as the Township’s elected Township Supervisor.

Mann has authored several amicus curiae briefs for the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court, arguing on behalf of public bodies and municipal associations in cases involving complex issues related to the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act. He is a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

The Municipal Association of Municipal Attorneys is a chartered section of the Michigan Municipal League, a nonprofit corporation.


Olson named a Fellow of American College of ­Mortgage Attorneys

Heather M. Olson has been inducted as a fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys. She is one of 15 ACMA fellows in the state of Michigan.

Olson is a senior attorney in the firm’s Real Estate Group. She has extensive experience representing lenders, special servicers and receivers in commercial real estate loan workouts, foreclosures, receiverships and real estate (REO) sales. Her practice includes litigation and transactional matters.

She is the 2017 chair of the Outreach Committee for Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Detroit Chapter, and a member of Commercial Real Estate Financial Council and Commercial Real Estate Finance Council Women’s Network.

The American College of Mortgage Attorneys comprises more than 400 North American attorneys who are experts in mortgage law, and who have distinguished themselves through their skills and experience, professional association activities, lecturing and authoring articles in the field of real estate mortgage.


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