Attorney's new firm focuses on estate law

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By Kurt Anthony Krug
Legal News

For David B. Mammel, the 1987 death of his father Dr. Bernie Mammel, an internist in private practice, inspired him to go into estate law.

What compounded the grief of Mammel’s family was having a non-responsive attorney who was handling his father’s estate.

Eventually, his mother Judy fired this attorney and retained another who resolved all the financial frustration and anxieties through a caring, organized approach.    

“This is why I have dedicated my legal career of more than 20 years to doing things the right way for my clients — doing things with care, compassion, organization, and drive,” explained Mammel, 49. “I understand that my estate planning clients have diverse goals and needs for their families, loved ones, favored charities, and themselves.”

Creating the plan isn’t just a matter of preparing a set of documents, he said.

“It requires helping my clients define their needs and goals so that they can be properly carried out in their plan,” Mammel said. “It requires implementing the plan to ensure the assets are properly funded into their trusts, for wealth preservation and family financial security, while avoiding probate court. This approach limits the stress of estate administration once loved ones have passed away.”

Mammel graduated from the University of Michigan in 1989, earning his undergraduate degree in political science, along with achieving honors in communications.

In 1994, he earned his juris doctorate from Indiana University.

He has been a practicing attorney for more than 20 years.

Mammel lives in Rochester Hills with his wife, Filippa, whom he was “blessed to marry in 1992.”

Together, they have two children: Jono, a freshman majoring in musical theatre at Western Michigan University, and Angela, a sophomore at Rochester High School.

During his time at U-M, Mammel was sports director of the U-M Campus Broadcasting Network, covering one of the golden eras of Wolverine athletics, including legendary coach Bo Schembechler’s football team winning the 1989 Rose Bowl and the U-M basketball team capturing the 1989 NCAA title.

He interned at CNN during the Iran Contra hearings on Capitol Hill and in the sports programming department at WDIV (Channel 4 in Detroit).

After graduation, Mamel was an assistant producer/director for the Detroit Tigers, working with George Kell and Al Kaline, both legendary Tigers alumni turned broadcasters.

“Despite really enjoying my time in broadcasting, there were a number of reasons I ultimately selected law as my career.” Mammel said. “First, in television, you rarely get an opportunity to directly assist people, whereas in law, you are sitting down and meeting directly with clients and discussing anything from goals to issues or problems they have, and then you devise a plan to achieve those goals or solve those problems. Second, I realized that, in broadcasting, if I would have achieved my ambition of being a sportscaster for a local newscast or announcing games play-by-play, I would have given up quality family time (given the unconventional schedules of news anchors),” said Mammel.

For eight years, Mammel practiced medical malpractice law, defending physicians, before mainly focusing on his growing estate planning and business planning practice.

He began practicing at what is now the Chapman Law Group in Troy from 2001 until earlier this year, although he still maintains an “of counsel” relationship.

He recently founded his own law firm called Mammel Law in Troy, which specializes in estate and business planning.

Mammel said he started his own firm because he “wanted to have direct and sole control of my business just like my father had in his medical practice.”

“While, like my father, I am blessed to have many great professional colleagues whom I enjoy seeing on a regular basis, there is a certain level of satisfaction that comes with managing all aspects of the business for the clients with whom I have been blessed to work,” he said. “Thankfully, the Lord has provided me that opportunity.”

In his new endeavor, Mammel is joined by fellow lawyer Rebecca K. Wrock.

Wrock earned her undergraduate degree in brain, behavior and cognitive science from U-M in 2010 and her juris doctorate in law from Wayne State University in 2014.

Currently, she is working on her master’s degree in tax law from the University of Alabama School of Law with a projected graduation date of 2016.

A proponent of animal welfare, Wrock won the Wanda A. Nash Award, State Bar of Michigan Animal Law Section in 2014.

“Clients have truly appreciated Rebecca’s insight in a wide range of issues from tax-planning to taking care of their own pets,” said Mammel.

Mammel stated that his firm will grow as his clients’ needs grow.

He and Wrock will continuing serving the needs of clients regarding estate planning, estate administration, probate, business planning, business transactions, and real estate by enabling them to take control of their lives and their finances and to achieve their goals in life. 

“Estate and business planning involves truly getting to know a client and learning about all the issues that may affect the client’s life or business,” Mammel said. “Often, before the client comes to see us, the client may not know about some of these issues and how they can take control of obtaining a favorable outcome or avoiding pitfalls.”

The best part of the job, Mammel said, “is the satisfaction I get from completing a matter with a pleased client, who realizes that, by paying detailed personal attention to their needs, we have established a great plan that took into account far more than just a few surface level concerns but dug much deeper and reached far wider to address the client’s goals and needs.”

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