Daily Briefs

Founding member of Sommers Schwartz dies

Sommers Schwartz mourns the passing of Leonard B. Schwartz, who died on August 27, 2017. A founding member of the firm,  Schwartz was most recently Of Counsel to the firm.

“Leonard was such a strong presence here and within the larger legal community,” said Joseph H. Bourgon, CEO and Senior Shareholder. “He was not only an esteemed and accomplished litigator in his own right, but also a devoted mentor to up-and-coming lawyers, many of whom have become outstanding trial attorneys themselves. He will be sorely missed.”

Schwartz graduated with honors and distinction from the University of Michigan Law School in 1959. He started his practice in New York, but returned to join the firm of Sugar Schwartz, which later became Sugar, Schwartz, Silver & Tyler. After many successful years, that firm then merged with Sommers & Gordon to become Sommers Schwartz, P.C., a group of attorneys known for their litigation talents, courtroom accomplishments, and commitment to their clients – attributes that Mr. Schwartz engendered and promoted.

In addition to the State Bar of Michigan, Schwartz was a member of the American Bar Association, Oakland County Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, and Michigan Defense Trial Counsel. He also served as a mediator for the Oakland County Circuit Court. Highly regarded and respected by his fellow attorneys, Mr. Schwartz long held an AV Preeminent Lawyer rating by Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the pinnacle of ethics and professionalism as determined by peer reviews.

Schwartz is survived by his wife Gail; children Peter, Matthew, and Lauren; three grandchildren; and other loving family.
Funeral services were held on August 29, 2017 at Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield, Michigan. Donations in Leonard Schwartz’s honor may be made to Almost Home Animal Rescue League and Haven.


Court affirms ‘Master Bob’ murder conviction

GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has affirmed the murder conviction of a former Rotary Club president who was accused of arranging his wife’s death so he could devote himself to a life of bondage with other women as “Master Bob.”

The court says the case against Bob Bashara was “straightforward,” despite twists and turns before and during trial. Bashara attacked the performance of his attorneys, but the court says he was given a vigorous defense.

The 3-0 decision was released Thursday.

Bashara’s wife, Jane, was strangled by a handyman in their Grosse Pointe Park garage in 2012. Her body was discovered in her Mercedes-Benz in a Detroit alley.

The trial revealed that Bob Bashara hosted men and women at a sex dungeon under a bar called the Hard Luck Lounge.


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