Legal People

Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that banking attorney Hebba Aref has joined the firm as a member based in the Detroit office.

Aref represents financial institutions in commercial lending transactions, including the structuring, negotiating and documenting of loan transactions, including syndicated loans, bilateral loans, subordinated loans and participations. She also has experience assisting corporate clients with borrowing and re-financing transactions, including secured and unsecured credit facilities, asset-based lending facilities, leveraged lending facilities, mezzanine financings, project financings, aircraft financings, acquisition financings, and lease financings.

Before joining Bodman, Aref practiced in the New York, Minneapolis, and Palo Alto offices of Dorsey & Whitney, where she was a member of the commercial finance group representing lenders, borrowers, and private equity firms in a variety of transactions. Prior to that position, she practiced with global law firm DLA Piper in Kuwait, Dubai, and London, where she advised local and international clients on complex corporate and finance matters. As part of her business law practice, Aref was seconded to Emirates, where she worked with the in-house legal team on aircraft deliveries, redeliveries, and other finance matters.

Aref was named the 2013 Minnesota State Bar Association "North Star Lawyer" and was named to Lawyers of Color's inaugural Hotlist for the Midwest Region. She is fluent in spoken Arabic and conversant in Spanish. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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Dinsmore & Shohl LLP has been named one of the top trademark practices in Michigan by World Trademark Review (WTR). The firm was one of seven in the Great Lakes State recognized in the 2018 edition of WTR 1000, a listing of standout firms and attorneys in trademark law.

The listing gives special attention to Detroit partner Thomas Anderson, who is recognized for managing portfolios with "real finesse." Anderson has more than 30 years' experience in counseling clients on IP matters and extensive experience in litigation.

"We are honored to be part of such a selective list," said Detroit office managing partner Mark Schneider. "It's always nice to be recognized for providing strong customer service to our clients, including in the area of trademarks, as we continue to grow and expand our service offerings."

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Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy, & Sadler PLC announced that members of the firm spoke at the ICSC Michigan Continuing Education Program for Real Estate Professionals on Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Managing Member Ed Dawda made the announcement.

John Mucha, who concentrates his practice in the areas of land use planning and general civil litigation, and Sam Kokoszka, who concentrates his practice in commercial real estate and business transactions, led a roundtable discussion titled "Dealing with Expiring REAs."

Alfredo Casab, who concentrates his practice on real estate and business transactions, led a roundtable discussion titled "Blame H-I-M (Harvey-Irma-Maria) for Everything! A Discussion of the Legal Aspects of Disaster Preparedness."

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OPERA America, the national service organization for opera and the nation's leading champion for American opera, is pleased to announce local attorney R. Jamison Williams as one of the the recipients of its 2018 National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards.

Now in their 11th year, the awards honor outstanding trustees of U.S. opera companies for their exemplary leadership, generosity and audience-building efforts on behalf of their respective organizations.

A managing partner of Williams, Williams, Rattner, & Plunkett PC in Birmingham, Williams is in his 15th year as chair of Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT). After leading the company through the 2008 recession, which hit Detroit harder than most other cities, and its near financial collapse four years later, Williams reached his defining moment as chair. He relentlessly negotiated with the company's consortium of debtors to forgive $7 million of debt in return for paying $11 million cash within six months. He then provided a significant personal leadership gift and influenced other MOT supporters to join him. The debt was restructured, and a new $5 million mortgage was negotiated - by Williams - thus avoiding foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Today, Michigan Opera Theatre is a vibrant, healthy and growing company in the midst of an ambitious $50 million "Historic Path to a Bold Future" campaign for which Williams has again stepped up with a critical leadership gift.

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Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC recently hired Jonathan Schwartz as a partner in the firm's Litigation Practice Group. Schwartz will concentrate his practice on representing clients in a variety of business, commercial, employment, real estate, intellectual property and entertainment legal matters.

Prior to joining Jaffe, Schwartz served as a senior attorney at Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith PC in Southfield. From 2011 to 2016, he was an attorney at a local business law firm in Southfield after starting his career as an associate at a local trial and appellate firm in Farmington Hills. During law school, Schwartz interned for the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver.

Actively involved in a number of organizations, Schwartz is the co-founder and president of the Jewish Bar Association of Michigan and chair of the Arts, Communications, Entertainment and Sports Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He also serves as a board member of NEXTGen Detroit, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit, Humble Design, the Patriot Week Foundation and the Oakland County Prosecutor's Foundation for Kids.

Schwartz earned a law degree from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Among other awards, he has been named one of the Detroit Jewish News and The Well's "36 under 36," and the Oakland County Executive's Elite 40 Under 40.

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Dykema recently announced that William J. Kohler, a senior counsel in the firm's Detroit office, has been reappointed to the East Michigan District Export Council by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Kohler was appointed to a four-year term that will expire on December 31, 2021.

The East Michigan District Export Council is a volunteer council of regional business leaders with experience in international business, established to advise Michigan firms on trade matters. The group works with the Commerce Department's U.S. Commercial Service to promote the country's export mission.

Kohler is a member of Dykema's Corporate Finance Practice Group. He focuses much of his practice on the automotive industry, where, before he joined Dykema in 2016, he served as general counsel for domestic and international matters at several automotive companies. He has led some of the automotive industry's larger and more complicated acquisitions and divestitures, negotiated specialized supply agreements, created important joint ventures, and established international operations and distribution networks. Kohler is also an authority on legal issues related to autonomous and connected vehicles. In 2017, he wrote "International Distribution Relationships: Commercial and Legal Perspectives" for Texas CEO Magazine, in which he described the roles of principles and distributors engaged in international commerce, certain applicable conventions and made recommendations for the legal terms of such agreements.

He earned both his B.A. and law degree from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from Michigan State University's Broad College of Business.

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Collins, Einhorn, Farrell PC is pleased to announce that attorney Sam S. Mate Jr. has joined the firm's Automotive Liability practice group. Mate's practice focuses on first- and third-party litigation matters and no-fault claims. He brings to the firm a strong background in defending first- and third-party automobile liability claims from start to finish.

Mate graduated from the James Madison College at Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy in 2010. He attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and graduated with his law degree in 2014. During law school, Mate served as a clerk, assisting with property loss and subrogation matters. He also worked as a student public defender at the Oakland County 52-4 District Court representing and appearing on behalf of indigent clients throughout their criminal prosecutions.

Mate is licensed with the State Bar of Michigan and is admitted to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan. He is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association.

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Garan, Lucow, Miller has announced that Steven Ashton and Joseph Conte recently joined the firm in its Detroit and Troy offices.

Ashton, a shareholder in the firm's Detroit office, is an experienced litigator in the no-fault arena, focusing primarily on insurance defense law, including bodily injury, PIP, UM, UIM, declaratory actions, dram shop, wrongful death, premises liability and insurance coverage disputes, with an emphasis in handling Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP) litigation.

He is a Kalamazoo College graduate receiving his law degree from DePaul University College of Law, where he served on the Law Review editorial board. He is licensed to practice in all Michigan courts as well as the U.S. District Courts in Michigan and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He formerly was a partner at the Draugelis & Ashton law firm for more than 20 years.

Conte, a shareholder in the firm's Troy office, focuses his practice on the areas of automobile no-fault and insurance law. He has 31 years of experience litigating cases throughout southeastern Michigan and he has tried more than 150 jury cases. He also has vast experience advising clients on contractual interpretation issues and coverage matters.

A member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Oakland County Bar Association, Conte received his B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame.

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the reappointment of Arthur Weiss to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES).

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.

Weiss is president of Arthur Jay Weiss & Associates PC and has been practicing law for more than 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 continue to represent the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan.

He will serve a four-year term expiring on Dec. 31, 2021. Appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Published: Mon, Feb 12, 2018

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