Legal People (March 22)

Jaffe Raitt Heuer

& Weiss, P.C.

KEVIN PLUMSTEAD has been named partner at Southfield-based JAFFE, RAITT, HEUER, & WEISS PC. Jaffe CEO Richard Zussman made the announcement.

Plumstead is a member of the firm's Real Estate and Environmental Law Practice Groups, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial real estate acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, tax deferred exchanges, development projects, financings, condominiums and environmental matters.

A member of numerous professional committees and associations, Plumstead is a 1999 graduate of Central Michigan University and 2003 graduate of Wayne State University Law School.


Demorest Law Firm, PLLC

DEMOREST LAW FIRM PLLC is pleased to announce that one of its attorneys, STEPHEN J. DUNN, helped develop the forthcoming CCH Wolters Kluwer treatise on Federal Tax Practice and Procedure, and will serve as a co-author of the treatise. The treatise will be a premier work on federal tax practice and procedure.

Dunn represents taxpayers throughout the United States in civil and criminal tax litigation. He also performs estate planning for business owners. In addition to practicing law, Dunn is an adjunct lecturer in the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business, teaching graduate courses on Tax Practice and Procedure and Estate Planning and Taxation.

He earned B.S.B.A. in Accounting from Aquinas College in 1978, his law degrees from Notre Dame Law School in 1985 and from Washington University in St. Louis in 1991. Before law school he was an auditor with Ernst & Young, and earned the Michigan CPA designation.


Nemeth Burwell P.C.

Attorneys PATRICIA NEMETH and LINDA BURWELL, founding partners of Detroit-based employment law firm NEMETH BURWELL PC, were among eight women honored recently by the Michigan Business and Professional Association at its 14th Annual Women and Leadership Symposium and Awards Event at the Fairlane Club in Dearborn. The award recognizes extraordinary professional women who have excelled in seven distinct categories. Nemeth and Burwell were recognized in the small business category.

Nemeth founded Nemeth Burwell in 1992. Since that time she and Burwell, who joined Nemeth in 1994, have grown the firm to 15 attorneys and 14 support staff. Nemeth Burwell is now the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

Nemeth is a member of the State Bar of Michigan -- Labor and Employment Section and International Section, and the American Bar Association -- Labor Section and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. In addition to being a litigator, Nemeth is certified as a mediator. She is vice chair of Vista Maria in Dearborn Heights. Nemeth has been named a "Michigan Super Lawyer" since the honor began in the state in 2006. She was included in the 2010 edition of the "Best Lawyers in America®" in the specialty area of labor and employment law and in DBusiness magazine's exclusive 2010 Martindale-Hubbell list of metro Detroit's finest barristers. Nemeth was also named one of "25 Leaders in the Law" in 2009 by Michigan Lawyers' Weekly magazine.

Nemeth earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and her law degrees from Wayne State University Law School. In 2009, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Wayne State. Nemeth is also a member of the Illinois Bar.

Burwell is a member of the American Arbitration Association's Employment Law Advisory Panel, a volunteer mediator for the Attorney Grievance Commission, and a regular presenter on employment law topics, serving as a legal expert throughout the United States and locally for The Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) seminars. Burwell is past chair of Operation ABLE and previously served as vice chair for two years. She is past president of the Executive Committee and Board of the Human Resources Association of Greater Detroit, and recently served on the Association's Advisory Panel. Burwell is a member of the Programs and Communication Committees for The National Association for Minority and Woman-owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) and is also past member of the State Council for the Society for Human Resource Management.

Burwell was named a "Michigan Super Lawyer" for the past two years and was included in DBusiness magazine's exclusive 2010 Martindale-Hubbell list of metro Detroit's finest barristers. She was also named one of 25 Leaders in the Law in 2010 by Michigan Lawyers' Weekly magazine and will be honored for that award later this month.

Burwell earned her law degree from Wayne State University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the federal and the United States Supreme Court Bars.


Assets International LLC

Southfield-based ASSETS INTERNATIONAL LLC (, an assets location company that reunites individuals and companies with non-real estate cash assets and a global leader in finding missing or unknown heirs, and VERITAS GLOBAL LLC, a Bloomfield Hills-based business intelligence firm recently announced a strategic alliance between the two companies. The announcement was made by Assets International President Michael Zwick and Veritas Global President & CEO Gregory Suhajda.

Under this arrangement, Assets International and Veritas Global will utilize each other's complementary knowledge, skills and contacts to provide enhanced service to their respective client base.

"This strategic alliance will allow both companies to increase our level of service and expand our global reach," said Zwick. "At Assets International, we have significant experience digging into sometimes decades old government records to locate people whose identities and whereabouts are unknown. Veritas Global will add to our international reach with contacts worldwide to assist us in locating missing or unknown heirs."

The strategic alliance is effective immediately. The companies will not be combining business operations.


Miller Canfield

MILLER CANFIELD'S MATTHEW P. ALLEN, a principal and business and securities lawyer in the firm's Litigation and Trial Group, and MARK J. BENNETT, senior counsel and team leader of the firm's Climate Change practice, recently published their analysis of new interpretations of corporate proxy and disclosure rules by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in an article entitled, "SEC Opens the Door for Climate Change-Related Shareholder Proposals and Disclosure Requirements, With Potential New Liabilities for Public Companies," published in the "Bureau of National Affairs" (BNA) Securities Regulation & Law Report.

In the article, Allen and Bennett, along with contributing author and Wayne State University law student Eric M. Jamison, examine the development of new SEC interpretations of important shareholder proxy and disclosure rules and regulations on climate change, and provide procedural examples of how some shareholders and companies are proceeding under the new rule interpretations. The article also analyzes new and developing climate change disclosure rules and regulations at the state level, including provisions affecting insurance companies and state insurance regulators.

The BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report provides federal and state news and developments in the regulation of securities and futures trading and accounting, with objective coverage of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, industry, courts, and Congress.

Allen is a business, securities, and intellectual property litigator and trial lawyer who assists businesses and executives in an array of SEC and governmental-related inquiries, investigations and enforcement actions. He is also a skilled appellate lawyer who has handled a variety of cases in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

He earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School and his B.A. from the State University of New York College at Fredonia. He also served as a judicial law clerk in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

At Miller Canfield, Bennett has combined his dual training in real estate and environmental law into his position as leader of the Climate Change team, managing a broad array of issues in this emerging area of law. His practice also includes a focus on advising clients in the acquisition and development of commercial real estate, as well as guiding companies in conducting environmental due diligence in real estate transactions.

He earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School and B.A. from Michigan State University.


Foley & Lardner LLP

FOLEY & LARDNER LLP announced that JOHN A. SIMON has been elected to partnership in the Detroit office. Simon is a member of the Bankruptcy and Business Reorganizations Practice. Simon focuses his practice on national corporate restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy matters. He represents borrowers, debtors-in-possession, creditors' committees, asset purchasers, shareholders, customers, suppliers, landlords and other constituents in complex high-stakes, troubled company situations.

Simon is experienced in both the transactional and litigation aspects of the insolvency practice. His representative engagements include extensive work in the following matters: the out-of-court restructuring of a national aftermarket automotive part distributor; the Chapter 11 restructuring of one of the world's largest producers of ductile castings to the automotive industry, with approximately $1 billion in annual revenues; the out-of-court restructuring of a broadcasting company with operations in several states; the chapter 11 restructuring of a major plastic parts manufacturer with annual revenues of approximately $2 billion; the representation of the committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy of one of the country's largest subprime auto loan servicers, with over $1.8 billion in loans under management; and the representation of the committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 case of an automotive supplier with over $500 million in annual revenues.


Wachler & Associates PC

ANDREW B. WACHLER spoke at The National Medicare RAC Summit on March 4 in Washington, D.C. The RAC program is the latest federal CMS program to assure proper payments are made for Medicare services. The new RAC model uses contingency fees to incentivize regionally assigned contractors to find and recoup overpayments to providers. The program has significant financial and regulatory implications for providers.

Wachler's presentation, "The Basics of the MAC, MIC, and RAC Appeals process," was part of the Medicare RAC Boot Camp portion of the program and focused on successful appeal strategies for audits, using examples from California, Michigan and New York. Wachler also participated in a roundtable discussion focused on efforts he is leading, on behalf of hospital associations and health systems, to modify CMS policy to allow reimbursement for outpatient services when inpatient services are denied by the RAC.

Wachler is the principal of WACHLER & ASSOCIATES PC. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1974 from Wayne State University Law School in 1978.


Howard & Howard

HOWARD & HOWARD ATTORNEYS PLLC has been selected as a Litigation "Go-To Law Firm" in the In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies 7th Annual Edition (from the publishers of Corporate Counsel magazine). Data on each company's primary law firms is gathered first by surveys sent to General Counsel at each of the top 500 companies and second through research in various key databases such as, ALM Legal Intelligence, LitigationMonitor, Westlaw and others. Criteria for selection as a "Go-To Law Firm" were: (1) firms named as a "primary law firm" by a General Counsel at a top 500 company; or (2) law firms that were either utilized two or more times in the practice area specified since 2008 and/or counseled the client on a significant transaction/matter.


Honigman Miller Schwartz

and Cohn LLP

HONIGMAN, MILLER, SCHWARTZ, AND COHN LLP (Honigman) is pleased to announce that CARL W. HERSTEIN, a partner in its Real Estate Department, has been elected to the Board of the Sphinx Organization for a two-year term. Sphinx is a national non-profit arts and youth development organization based in Detroit and New York City whose mission is to increase the participation of Blacks and Latinos in classical music.

Herstein's law practice focuses on real estate, real estate finance and real estate tax appeals, interest/usury and equine law. He currently serves on the University Musical Society Board of Directors, of which he is the immediate past chair. He is also the secretary of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society. His professional accolades include listings in "The Best Lawyers in America" (2008-2009), "Michigan Super Lawyers" (2007-2009) and "Who's Who in American Law."

Herstein earned his law degree from the Yale Law School and a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Michigan.


Dickinson Wright PLLC

DICKINSON WRIGHT PLLC recently announced that EDWARD H. PAPPAS and JAMES A. SAMBORN have been elected as chairmen of the firm. Pappas and Samborn succeed Dennis W. Archer, who has assumed the position of chairman emeritus.

Pappas, a member of the firm's Bloomfield Hills office, focuses his practice in complex commercial and business litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has more than 36 years experience in all forms of civil litigation, but is recognized as an expert in business tort litigation, having written the definitive treatise on Michigan Business Torts.

He is listed in "Best Lawyers in America" for Commercial and Bet-The-Company Litigation, "Chambers USA" Leading Lawyers for Business, "Michigan Super Lawyers," and "Benchmark Litigation" as a local lLitigation star. Pappas also is a certified mediator and a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, having mediated hundreds of complex civil cases, and serves as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association's Large Complex Case Panel.

Pappas is the immediate past president of the State Bar of Michigan, and is a past president of the Oakland County Bar Association. He has served on the boards of trustees of Oakland Community College and Oakland Mediation Center, as well as President of the former Oakland Livingston Legal Aid. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and in 2009 was selected as one of the Top 25 Leaders in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Pappas earned both his B.B.A. in Business Administration and his law degree from the University of Michigan.

In addition to his practice as a commercial litigator specializing in the areas of construction law and alternative dispute resolution, Samborn for the past 10 years served as the firm's CEO. He is a member in the firm's Detroit and Ann Arbor offices. Throughout his career, he has been lead counsel in a wide variety of sophisticated and complex construction and commercial litigation matters in various state and federal courts, and in arbitration and other ADR proceedings. He has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, representing owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and engineers.

Samborn is a member of the American Arbitration Association's Large, Complex Case Panel of Arbitrators and its Panels of Construction and Commercial Arbitrators, and is a member of the ABA's Forum on the Construction Industry.

Samborn earned both his B.S.E. and his law degree from the University of Michigan.


ALS of Michigan, Inc.

ALS OF MICHIGAN, INC. (Lou Gehrig's Disease) is pleased to announce the election of the following president for a two-year term to its Board of Directors: JAY WELFORD, with Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC.

The board and staff extend their appreciation to the following outgoing president: LISA ALTERI, Auslander and Alteri PC.

ALS of Michigan, Inc. is a non-profit organization which provides services, education and support to people with ALS, their families and caregivers in Michigan, to help them live as fully as possible. It also supports research into the cause, treatment, and cure for ALS.


Cooley Law School

COOLEY LAW SCHOOL Professor and Assistant Dean MARTHA MOORE will be honored by the Detroit Renaissance Alumni Chapter of Alabama A&M University Alumni Association with their "Most Distinguished Mark of Excellence Award." The honor is given out each year to recognize "outstanding citizens in the metropolitan Detroit area who have made countless contributions to improve the quality of life for our citizens." Moore will be honored at the association's Founder's Day Luncheon, Saturday, March 27, in Livonia.

Moore was both appreciative and nonplussed regarding the award "Frankly, I know that there are numerous, numerous people more deserving of this award and I don't feel worthy to receive it. These types of awards are for extraordinary service. I don't believe that I should get any special recognition for simply doing things that I know to be right. Doing what is right is not extraordinary, but routine. I am an ordinary person trying to do the best that I can in life."

Moore said she finds her direction from her faith. "The book that guides my life is the Bible. It tells me and helps me to do what's right when no one else is looking. The Bible also tells me that I am not the owner of anything, rather I am a steward and that I am to use what has been entrusted to me to do good and benefit others."

Moore mentors young girls at her church and in school; makes meals for the ill and bereaved, as well as for new mothers; provides home-cooked holiday meals for senior citizens at her church; decorates halls for families' special events; and provided pro bono legal services to many. Moore and her husband regularly visit nursing homes with gift bags, participate in Angel Tree (providing gifts to children of incarcerated parents) and canned food drives, invited needy people to their home for holiday and regular meals, purchase food for the need, counsel couples with marital difficulties, and provided a ready and willing ear to their friends and friends' children.



DAVID NAY and WILLIAM KREGEL of DYKEMA each gave presentations at the March 5 FastTrac TechVenture program, hosted by Wayne State University's TechTown.

Nay covered intellectual property issues and other legal challenges facing today's start-up companies, including patentable inventions, the use of confidentiality agreements, protecting trade secrets, and the policies and procedures of non-compete agreements.

Kregel discussed the fundamental tax and legal considerations for start-up entities, including choosing the appropriate organization type.

"It's important for entrepreneurs to learn about the legal aspects of successfully launching and building a business," said Nay. "With a good understanding of the challenges that lie ahead, entrepreneurs are better prepared to develop a solid strategy and assess business feasibility."

FastTrac TechVenture is a practical business development program designed to help entrepreneurs hone the skills needed to starting, operating, funding or growing a technology- or life sciences-based company. It is part of a three-year initiative to reshape Southeast Michigan's economy by encouraging entrepreneurship and small businesses.

TechTown, the Wayne State University research park and business incubator, is a key partner in the project, providing services and resources to empower and encourage entrepreneurs in Detroit.

Nay focuses his practice on all aspects of intellectual property law, with a specific emphasis on patent and trademark prosecution, patent litigation, and advising clients on advanced design and risk assessment.

Kregel's practice focuses on general corporate and securities matters, including public and private company mergers and acquisitions; financing transactions; venture capital, angel investor, and strategic partner financings; and SEC reporting, disclosure and compliance.

Published: Mon, Mar 22, 2010