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Wolfson Bolton PLLC

MELISSA S. BYRD has joined the Troy-based law firm of WOLFSON BOLTON PLLC as an associate. The announcement was made by Wolfson Bolton member Scott A. Wolfson.

Byrd concentrates her practice in the areas of bankruptcy law and related litigation.

Previously, Byrd was an associate with the Detroit-based firm Dykema Gossett PLLC.

Prior to her law firm experience, Byrd served as a law clerk to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Walter Shapero, Eastern District of Michigan, and as a research attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals.

She is currently a board member of the Michigan Network of the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation and a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute.


Brooks Kushman P.C.

ANESSA OWEN KRAMER, a shareholder at BROOKS KUSHMAN P.C. has been honored as a 2010 "Leader in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Kramer, one of seven women named to this year's list, was celebrated at a luncheon in Troy.

At Brooks Kushman, Kramer manages the 27-member trademark practice group and helps direct the firm's marketing activities. Kramer manages the worldwide trademark portfolio for a number of famous brands.

Additionally, she works to expand Brooks Kushman's reputation in trademark expertise on a national and international level and leads new business pitches to major companies. One of her biggest legal accomplishments at Brooks Kushman was helping to convince Ford Motor Co. to consolidate and outsource U.S. and international trademark legal work with the law firm, saving Ford millions of dollars and tripling Brooks Kushman's revenue.

Kramer is an active member of the International Trademark Association, where she sits on the Law Firm Committee, and is a member of the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association and Michigan State Bar IP Law Section. She was named to the Crain's Detroit Business "40 Under 40" list in 2007, has published articles on trademark issues and has spoken to various groups on brand protection.

Kramer has a leadership role in numerous community and non-profit organizations, and is liaison for the Board of Directors of The Jewish Fund. She is also active in the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, serving on the Women's Board and one of the organization's committees.

Kramer earned her law degree from The George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University.


Dickinson Wright PLLC

DICKINSON WRIGHT PLLC has received national recognition, according to The American Lawyer magazine's 2010 "Diversity Scorecard."

W. ANTHONY JENKINS, Dickinson Wright's chief diversity officer, acknowledged that Dickinson Wright's ranking in the "Diversity Scorecard" reflects the firm's commitment to a diverse workplace.

"We place a high value on offering our clients different perspectives when considering their legal issues," Jenkins said. "Because of our firm-wide commitment to encouraging diversity in both our people and our approach to our clients' complex legal matters, we make it a priority to recruit, retain and develop a diverse group of attorneys and staff."

As Dickinson Wright's chief diversity officer, Jenkins, a member in the firm's Detroit office, is responsible for oversight and strategic planning of the firm's diversity initiatives.


Wage & Hour

Defense Institute (WHDI)

A group of employment and labor attorneys from across the country -- including Michigan -- have formed the WAGE & HOUR DEFENSE INSTITUTE (WHDI), a national legal network and educational platform to help employers contend with pressing areas in wage-and-hour law.

Wage-and-hour concerns continue to be a major issue for so many businesses as a result of the surge in class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act in the past several years, along with a rise in new federal and state legislation penalizing employers for failures in wage-hour compliance. The number of wage and hour cases filed in the courts across the nation now eclipse the number filed on any other employment law topic including employment discrimination.

The Institute is a forum for highly experienced employment counsel to stay at the "cutting edge" in the evolving wage-and-hour landscape throughout the country. In addition to providing legal updates on recent cases and legislative initiatives, the WHDI has an active schedule of conferences for helping employment counsel advance defense strategies. The group also hopes to empower its members in influencing wage-hour laws and public policy.

The WHDI also hosts a blog, with contributions by member lawyers, addressing current cases and related topics. Some recent postings discuss questions of proper classification of employees and independent contractors, as well as employees' claims for wages and overtime pay for alleged "off the clock" work. The WHDI also sponsors various seminars for in-house counsel and senior human resources executives.

The Institute was launched by a group of employment defense attorneys who are also members of the Litigation Counsel of America, the premiere national honorary society for trial lawyers. Current WHDI members include a roster of nearly 20 attorneys from firms across the country, from each of the 12 federal judicial circuits. As a result, members and their clients can access wage and hour counsel in virtually any jurisdiction.

Co-founders are Chair Susan Eisenberg of Miami-based Akerman Senterfitt; Chair-Elect ROBERT BOONIN of Michigan's Butzel Long; and Vice Chair Jonathan Keselenko of Boston-based Foley Hoag LLP.

Butzel Long's Boonin expressed that by having this network of leading wage and hour defense attorneys, they are able to identify litigation trends and strategies being employed in this complex and nuanced area from across the nation. "The WHDI is the only organization of its kind and its members are uniquely positioned to provide insight and extraordinary representation to employers as they grapple with wage and hour claims."


Strobl & Sharp P.C.

MURRAY FELDMAN, shareholder at STROBL & SHARP P.C., was inducted into the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers at a ceremony held March 6th in Phoenix, Arizona.

Established in 2007, the College of Workers' Compensations Lawyers honors distinguished attorneys in the field of workers' compensation.

Members have been nominated for the traits they have developed in their practice of 20 years or longer, representing plaintiffs, defendants, serving as judges, or acting or the benefit of all in education, overseeing agencies and developing legislation.

Feldman was just one of five Michigan lawyers inducted into the College this year. Since its formation, the College has made twenty Michigan lawyers Fellows.


Miller Canfield

The law firm of MILLER CANFIELD is pleased to announce that AMANDA VAN DUSEN, principal, has been appointed leader of the Public Finance Group. Van Dusen served as co-leader of the Public Finance Group for the past two years with William J. Danhof, a principal in the Lansing. office.

Van Dusen has a background in all aspects of public-sector finance and in addition to serving as bond counsel in financing transactions, focuses on such areas as elections, campaign finance compliance, state and federal tax issues, and general finance including budgets, revenue sources and cash flow. She earned her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and B.A. from Williams College.

Miller Canfield also announces that associate ROSE WILLIS recently completed and passed the Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) Examination through the Compliance Certification Board (CCB) to earn her certification in healthcare compliance (CHC) .

At Miller Canfield, Willis practices health and general corporate law, assisting health industry clients and as well as businesses with their corporate, commercial transactions, and mergers and acquisitions needs.

She earned her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law and her B.B.A. from Saginaw Valley State University.

The Compliance Certification Board (CCB), established by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA), is an organization developed to determine and recognize individual knowledge of relevant regulations and competency in the practice of healthcare compliance.


Maddin, Hauser, Wartell,

Roth, & Heller P.C.

The Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA) has announced that JOHN P. GONWAY, a shareholder at MADDIN, HAUSER, WARTELL, ROTH & HELLER P.C., a Southfield-based law firm, is now its Director of Advocacy.

As Director of Advocacy, Gonway will counsel the MMBA on legal and political issues that impact the organizations' mission to promote responsible mountain biking and to work toward the goals of common land access and natural resource protection through interaction with policy makers, the cycling industry, race promoters, mountain bikers and other trail users.

An avid biker, Gonway concentrates his practice at Maddin Hauser on complex real estate and commercial transactions. His experience includes the acquisition, financing, construction, development and leasing of all types of commercial real estate, as well as the representation of clients in all aspects of corporate law, commercial law, mergers and acquisitions and commercial transactions

Gonway graduated from James Madison College at Michigan State University with a B.A. in 1993 and earned his law degree from the Wayne State University School of Law in 1996. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, where he is a member of the Real Property, Business Law and Taxation sections, and is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association.


Butzel Long

BUTZEL LONG attorneys DEBRA A. GEROUX, MAX R. HOFFMAN JR. and ROBERT H. SCHWARTZ, have co-authored a guest article that will appear in the April edition of "The Health Lawyer," a bi-monthly magazine of the American Bar Association, Health Law Section. The article is entitled, "Penalizing Substandard Care: The Next Step In Combating Healthcare Fraud & Abuse."

Schwartz summarized the content of the article by saying: "The government has and continues to take action to improve the 'quality of care' through legislation and regulations which reward the government definition of good behavior (the carrot) and punish the interpretation by the government of bad behavior (the stick) by providers and others. Improvements in measurable quality have been achieved. Caution needs to be exercised in these approaches to health care quality to assure that innovation is not a victim of the legislation and regulation. Providers are cautioned that medical malpractice actions are not the only concerns when it comes to quality of care issues and that providers must act to improve quality of care."

Schwartz is a shareholder practicing in Butzel Long's Bloomfield Hills office. As chairman of the Health Care Industry team, Schwartz's practice includes corporate and health care activities. He has extensive experience in business planning, mergers and acquisitions and in assisting health care and hospital clients in the health care regulatory areas including reimbursement, fraud and abuse, and hospital physician relations, among others.

Schwartz is a member of the Health Law Sections of the American Bar Association and State Bar of Michigan, the American Health Lawyers Association, the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, as well as the State Bar of Michigan. He is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.Schwartz is a frequent lecturer on various topics relating to health care.

Geroux, an associate attorney, and Hoffman, a shareholder, both practice in Butzel Long's Lansing office.


Plunkett Cooney

PLUNKETT COONEY'S Business Law Department Leader DENNIS G. COWAN was recently appointed to a three-year term as a member of the Walsh College Board of Trustees.

"I am honored to have been appointed to the Board of Trustees," said Cowan, who currently serves as Plunkett Cooney's Business Law Department Leader. "Walsh College is an outstanding business college, and I look forward to supporting its tradition of excellence in any way I can."

The Walsh College Board is responsible for maintaining the organization's fiscal integrity and accountability, ensuring academic quality and rigorous compliance with applicable federal, state and local requirements.

Cowan, who is also a member of the Walsh College Foundation Board of Directors, manages over 40 attorneys in the firm's Michigan, Ohio and Indiana offices who provide clients with a broad range of transactional, business and litigation services.

In December 2001, Cowan completed 14 years of service on the Royal Oak city commission. After six years as a city commissioner, he was elected and served four consecutive two-year terms (1993-2001) as Royal Oak mayor.

In addition to his involvement with the Walsh College Board of Trustees, Cowan currently serves on the President's Advisory Council. He previously served on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of South Oakland County, the Ticker Club, Inc. -- Children's Hospital of Michigan and the Royal Oak Children's Choir. He is also a former chair of the Oakland County Republican Party (2004-2008).

A graduate of The Detroit College of Law, Cowan earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts/Boston. He is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association; the Real Property Law, Corporation and Business Law, and Public Corporations Law sections of the State Bar of Michigan, and the Corporate, Banking and Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.


Kelly & Kelly PC

KELLY & KELLY PC, a boutique law firm based in downtown Northville that has been aggressively serving clients throughout Michigan since 1988, has opened a new office in Downtown Ann Arbor.

The new office is located at 208 East Washington, Ann Arbor, 48104, sharing commercial space with Swisher Realty, a commercial real estate firm. The office phone number is (734) 369-3522; office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and otherwise by client appointment.

Kelly & Kelly is owned by husband and wife attorneys, John Kelly and Michele Kelly. Their daughter Ryan Steele joined the firm in 2008 after graduating from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Kelsey Enrici joined the firm in 2010 and is a 2009 graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

"In our more than two decades of experience serving the diverse legal needs of our business and individual clients, we've had the privilege of forming connections all over the state," said John Kelly. "We felt that opening an additional office location in Ann Arbor close to the courthouse would allow us to better serve our clients in Southeast Michigan, and Ann Arbor's potential growth - thanks, in part, to the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Hospital System - offers a unique opportunity for us to develop a new area of our work in the family law areas of collaborative divorce and as parenting coordinators."

Kelly & Kelly has a range of experience in a variety of legal matters, including business law, contract disputes, criminal defense, divorce and family law, parenting time coordination, drunk driving and traffic offenses, wills and trusts, elder law, estates and probate, real estate, tax law and LGBT issues.

"Our goal is to give each of our clients the personal attention they deserve and to give each matter our full attention," said Michele Kelly. "Protecting and defending our client's rights is what we do. We are aggressive lawyers and work hard for our clients."

For more information, go to or call (734) 369-3522.


Wachler & Associates PC

AMY K. FEHN has been named partner at WACHLER & ASSOCIATES PC. Wachler & Associates' Managing Partner Andrew B. Wachler made the announcement.

Fehn frequently writes and speaks nationally on various health law issues, including HIPAA, the Medicare RAC program, the Medicaid Integrity Program, and other regulatory matters. She and principal of the firm, Andrew Wachler, recently co-authored articles on the new HIPAA HITECH Breach Notification Rules and the Medicaid Integrity Program which were published in the ABA's Health Lawyer Publication.

Fehn has represented physicians and health care organizations in health care regulatory and corporate matters, as well as the defense of Medicare and other third party payor audits, for the past 12 years. Prior to graduating from law school, she served as a registered nurse and clinical systems analyst.


Fabian, Sklar & King PC

STUART A. SKLAR, shareholder with Farmington Hills-based law firm FABIAN, SKLAR KING PC, a law firm specializing in fire injury, explosion and property damage claims, served as an expert guest lecturer at the 21st Annual National Arson Investigation Training Seminar sponsored by the Insurance Committee for Arson Control (ICAC) in Savannah, Ga.

Sklar's presentation served as an update about the NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations and NFPA 1033, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator from the perspective of a plaintiff's attorney. He is the only attorney representing policyholders and those injured or killed in fires and explosions as a principal member of the National Fire Protection Association's Technical Committee on Fire Investigations, the committee responsible for NFPA 921. Sklar is also a principal member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Investigator Professional Qualifications, which is responsible for NFPA 1033.

He earned the credential of Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) through the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). Sklar is also a co-founder of the International Symposium on Fire and Investigation Science and Technology (ISFI), a biennial professional symposium designed to bring together international fire investigation professionals to present and discuss the latest in fire investigation science, research, technology and methodology.

Additionally, he has given expert testimony on fire scene investigation methodologies and has testified before a subcommittee of the Michigan Legislature on pending insurance litigation. He has lectured extensively on fire and explosion litigation issues throughout the United States, Canada and England.

Published: Mon, Mar 29, 2010


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