Legal People

Laura M. Neme has joined Secrest Wardle's Troy office as an associate attorney. She is a member of the Motor Vehicle Litigation practice group. Neme specializes in first and third party no-fault auto insurance litigation. She has experience with all aspects of case management ranging from client intake to arguing motions.

Neme earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan with a major in Philosophy and dual minors in Law and Society and Political Science.

Neme earned her law degree at Michigan State University College of Law. While in law school, she also participated in the MSU Law Study Abroad Program in London, England.

Neme was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 2016. She is a member of the Criminal Law, International Law, Marijuana Law, Real Property Law, and Young Lawyers State Bar of Michigan sections.

In addition, Secrest Wardle Executive Partner Margaret A. Scott attended the Jan. 13 Women Officials Network (WON) Foundation's Quarterly Networking Breakfast. The event took place in Bloomfield Hills and offered guests the opportunity to network with one another. Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Joan E. Young served as guest speaker at the event, leading a program exploring the topic, "Then and Now: Women in the Legal Profession." Scott, who attended the event on behalf of Secrest Wardle, is an active member of the Foundation.

Scott, an executive partner located in Secrest Wardle's Troy office, is a member of the firm's Motor Vehicle Litigation, Municipal, and Property, Fire and Casualty Practice Groups. Scott received the Bob Sattler Award by the North Central Regional Chapter-International Association of Auto Theft Investigators in 2007. She also received an Award for Professional Excellence for services provided to the Michigan State Police characterized by outstanding performance of duty and a personal commitment to the excellence associated with the prosecution of a 1998 Western Wayne Auto Theft Unit investigation.

Scott has been awarded the William V. Liddane Award by the Help Eliminate Auto Theft (H.E.A.T.) Organization in recognition of her advocacy in reducing auto-theft related crimes in Michigan. Scott is a member of the Michigan Lawyers Weekly Class of 2015 "Women in the Law," recognized for her meaningful and inspiring contributions made to the legal community. She is past chair of the Michigan Anti-Car Theft Campaign Committee. Currently, Scott serves as chair of the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee's Governmental Resource Committee. Scott has also been awarded a Challenge Coin by the North Oakland County Veteran's Treatment Court for her involvement in the program in her role as a district court prosecutor.

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Bodman PLC is pleased to announce Laura L. Brownfield, a trusts and estates attorney, has joined the firm as a member of the High Net Worth Practice Group in the Troy office.

Prior to joining Bodman, Brownfield served as the leader of the trusts and estates practice group for another large Detroit-area law firm. In more than twenty years of practice, Brownfield has gained experience in estate, financial and gift planning, probate and trust administration, and advising closely held businesses. She also has experience with real estate and other business transactions, including complex commercial transactions, debt and equity transactions, structuring the ownership entity, financing and disposing of real estate, and protesting real property tax assessments.

She also has experience as an educator, serving as a clinical assistant professor of law at her alma mater, The University of Michigan Law School, as part of a fellowship program.

Brownfield is an active participant in the local legal community as a member of the Michigan State Bar and the Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit. She also serves on the Karmanos Cancer Institute Advisory Committee and as a trustee of the Judson Center Foundation, a Southeast Michigan non-profit dedicated to helping disabled, autistic, or severely emotionally damaged children.

In addition, Bodman is pleased to announce that Nathan D. Dupes, Thomas J. Rheaume Jr., and Katherine Razdolsky Rothstein have been admitted as members of the firm. All were previously associate attorneys with Bodman.

Dupes represents clients involved in commercial and environmental litigation and counsels clients on a wide variety of environmental matters, including permitting, regulatory compliance, and environmental risk in real estate transactions. He currently serves as an executive board member of the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter. He also serves as vice president and secretary of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing environmental challenges facing the Great Lakes region.

Dupes is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School. He is based in Bodman's Detroit office.

Rheaume represents clients involved in complex commercial litigation matters and serves as local counsel for national and international law firms. He has written appellate and amicus briefs in state and federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Rheaume serves as vice president of the Michigan Chapter of the Federalist Society. He is also a board member of the Detroit Economic Club's Young Leader Program and serves as a volunteer mentor to students at Cornerstone Schools, a Christ-centered chartered K-12 school system located in Detroit. Before joining Bodman, Rheaume served as a law clerk to Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Markman.

Rheaume is a graduate of Michigan State University and Michigan State University College of Law. He is based in Bodman's Detroit office.

Rothstein assists clients with the review, preparation, and negotiation of vendor agreements and other commercial contracts. Her practice focuses on matters relating to treasury management products, services, and systems, such as drafting and updating clients' standard forms and agreements, negotiating contracts with software and service providers, and counseling clients on mitigating risks associated with treasury management products and services. In law school, she served as the director of oral advocacy on the Executive Board of Wayne State's Moot Court and served as president of the Wayne State University Law Chapter of the American Constitution Society. She serves on the boards of directors of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center and the Detroit Treasury Management Association.

Rothstein is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School. She is based in Bodman's Troy office.

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Joseph A. Richotte, an attorney and shareholder with Butzel Long, has been appointed to the State Bar of Michigan's Appellate Practice Section Council.

The Appellate Practice Section works to advance the administration of justice in the appellate courts so that the bench and bar may better serve the public interest.

Honored by DBusiness as a top appellate lawyer in Detroit, Richotte chairs the firm's appellate practice. He focuses on high-stakes civil appeals, criminal appeals, appeals from government enforcement actions, and media appeals.

Richotte also maintains an active criminal defense practice. Recognized as a "rising star" within the white-collar defense bar by Michigan SuperLawyers, he regularly counsels corporations, executives, and other professionals who are under investigation or charged with white-collar crimes or facing increasingly common parallel civil proceedings, such as securities fraud actions, asset forfeitures, debarment actions, and private civil suits capitalizing on the government's investigation.

Richotte also is a member of the firm's media practice. He is assistant general counsel to the Michigan Press Association and represents national and local media organizations and journalists. He handles First Amendment cases, defamation actions, and open-government issues.

In addition, Butzel Longattorney and shareholder Frederick (Rick) A. Berg is one of 30 attorneys named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly's "Leaders in the Law" Class of 2017. Honorees will be recognized at a luncheon and awards celebration on March 23 at the Detroit Marriott Troy.

Berg concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial law and commercial litigation.

He represents businesses in an array of complex commercial disputes, arising from equipment and transfer line purchase agreements, supply chain controversies, security agreements, trade secret disputes, and other manufacturing/sale of goods contracts. He also litigates corporate governance issues and complex corporate disputes that involve majority and minority groups in limited liability companies and corporations. He represents media clients in connection with their commercial interests, dispute avoidance, and defamation issues.

In addition, Berg has experience drafting and reviewing complex commercial agreements, including purchase orders, supply agreements, equipment purchase agreements, manufacturing and license agreements, manufacturer's representative agreements, special tool and molder's lien issues, and security agreements. His practice has focused on the automobile manufacturing and supply industries, the construction industry, media companies, and numerous small- to medium-sized businesses.

He also counsels clients who deal with bankruptcy or insolvency issues, either as a debtor or as a creditor. He assists with secured creditor workouts, preference claims, fraudulent conveyance claims, recovery of collateral, protection of a client's right to payment from an insolvent customer, and other related disputes.

In 2016, Berg was one of 14 attorneys profiled by Crain's Detroit Business in a special report on lead attorneys behind recent and major court action. He along with a team of Butzel Long attorneys, are representing the City of Flint in defense of almost 20 class action and individual lawsuits filed in state and federal court arising from the city's water crisis.

Berg is the recipient of Wayne State University Law School's Donald E. Barris Trial Advocacy Award. He is admitted to the State Bar of Michigan, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the State Bar of Michigan's Debtor/Creditor Rights Committee, and the American Bankruptcy Institute's Secured Creditor and Uniform Commercial Code Committees.

Berg has been recognized by DBusiness magazine in its annual Top Lawyers edition-Real Estate Law. Berg also is an eight-time recipient of the Federal Bar Association's Pro Bono Award.

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Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that BTI has named Jennifer Sabourin and Douglas Crim among the BTI Client Service All-Stars for 2017

Crim is a principal in the firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution and Energy and Environmental groups. He has successfully defended manufacturing, construction, retail and higher education clients in litigation. He performs confidential environmental health and safety audits to identify gaps in compliance and helps his clients develop methods that enable them to comply with regulations while maintaining efficient operations.

Sabourin is a principal and deputy group leader in the firm's Employment and Labor Group. In addition to counseling employers in all facets of the employment relationship and compliance with state and federal employment laws, she is experienced in providing national training for employees, managers and executives on topics such as best practices in hiring, evaluating and disciplining workers, and drafting employee handbooks, policies and contracts.

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Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced appointments to the newly-revised Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) created by legislation he signed in Oct. 2016 to modernize policing standards.

MCOLES is mandated by statute to set standards for the selection, employment, licensing, retention, and training of law enforcement officers in the state of Michigan, and to promulgate rules to govern these functions.

Members of the state bar that were appointed include:

Arthur (Art) Weiss of Farmington Hills is president of Arthur Jay Weiss & Associates PC and has been practicing law for over 40 years. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology, sociology, and public address from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. He will represent the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. His term expires Dec. 31, 2017.

Thomas Zulch of Clawson is a senior attorney for the Police Officers Labor Council. He previously served as a police officer, fire fighter, and medical first responder for the City of Berkley Public Safety Department. Zulch earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from the Michigan State University Detroit College of Law. He will represent the Michigan Police Officers Labor Council. His term expires Dec. 31, 2017.

After initial appointments, members will serve four-year terms. Appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

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Southfield-based multi-specialty law firm Maddin, Hauser, Roth, & Heller PC is pleased to announce the addition of associate attorney R.J. Cronkhite to its Complex Litigation and Risk Advisory practice group.

The announcement was made by the firm's President and CEO, Steven D. Sallen.

Cronkhite's litigation expertise encompasses business and contract disputes, construction law, employment law, probate litigation, non-compete agreements and real estate disputes.

Before entering the field of law, Cronkhite studied America's colonial government and early U.S. constitutional history, obtaining his bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University. Cronkhite then attended the University of Chicago Law School where he participated in moot court and interned with the New Mexico Supreme Court.

In 2016, the State Bar of Michigan's Litigation Section elected Cronkhite to its Governing Council.

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McKeen & Associates welcomes Wanda Lovelace as its new firm administrator.

Before joining McKeen & Associates, Lovelace was the office and accounting manager at The Fieger Law Firm in Southfield. She also worked as a senior accountant at Aerodynamics Inc., an aircraft management company in Waterford; and as manager/controller for Robovitsky Incorporated, a construction firm in Southfield.

Lovelace earned her associate's degree in business from Fort Worth School of Business and is certified through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, where she holds a membership.

Published: Mon, Feb 20, 2017

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