LEGAL PEOPLE

Trott & Trott PC has been named a recipient of USFN's 2011 Award of Excellence for the 14th consecutive year. Trott & Trott President and Managing Partner David A. Trott made the announcement.

The Award of Excellence program was initiated in 1993 to recognize and encourage member firms to develop and maintain high standards of excellence in service to industry clients and their communities. The Award of Excellence is given annually to USFN member firms who meet rigorous standards, which evaluate professional activities, industry volunteerism, and community and charitable involvement the firm.

"We are honored to be recognized for our commitment to the industry and the community," said Trott. "Our employees continue to show their dedication to professional development through their consistent engagement within the industry. We are truly privileged to have such driven individuals on the Trott & Trott team."

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Best Lawyers has named LeRoy H. Wulfmeier III of Giarmarco, Mullins, & Horton PC as the "Detroit Best Lawyers Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year" for 2012.

Wulfmeier is a partner in the Litigation Group with more than 35 years of experience defending health care providers in complex medical malpractice cases. Wulfmeier has acted as chief trial counsel in more than 400 medical malpractice cases, and has represented physicians in all specialties as well as dentists, nurses, and hospitals in a variety of malpractice and disciplinary proceedings.

With more than 75 successful defense jury verdicts under his supervision, Wulfmeier has served as a special mediator and arbitrator in serious injury malpractice and personal injury cases.

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Weltman, Weinberg, & Reis Co., LPA, celebrating more than 80 years of service to clients, is pleased to announce that partner Stuart A. Best was recognized as a 2011 Super Lawyer by Michigan Super Lawyers magazine.

Best was among the top five percent of Michigan's licensed attorneys to receive the honor of Michigan Super Lawyer. He is a partner based in the Michigan office who practices in the Litigation & Defense Group of WWR, which includes matters in Consumer Finance Defense Litigation, Commercial Banking, Business, and Real Property Evictions and Litigation in both Federal and State courts. He is also a part of the integrated Real Estate Default Group and handles complex legal foreclosure and title issues, as well as state law foreclosure compliance.

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Butzel Long attorneys Claudia Rast, Robin Luce Herrmann, Joseph E. Richotte and Jennifer A. Dukarski were among the featured speakers during the Walsh Business Leadership Institute's fifth annual BusinessLIVE small business conference on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Walsh College Troy campus.

Rast co-presented a program with Mark Sanderson, Mobility Division Manager, Clean Energy Coalition, titled, "Turning Clean into Green ($$)." The Clean Energy Coalition (CEC) is a Michigan Small Business success story with impeccably green credentials. Rast shared how a "green" company like the CEC attracts jobs and investment, and how strategic implementation of energy-saving infrastructure and fleet programs can result in substantial savings for small businesses.

Herrmann, Richotte, and Dukarski presented a program titled, "Protect Your Internet Assets." They discussed a wide-range of important information regarding the Internet, including Terms of Use and Privacy Policies, copyright, trademark and advertising law and what companies place on their websites.

Additionally, attorney Benjamin Fan Wu has joined Butzel Long practicing in the firm's Detroit office. Wu concentrates his practice on corporate matters and international business law, with an emphasis on Chinese businesses. Previously, Wu was an attorney with Borda Lorenz PC.

Wu has been the principal counsel to many domestic and foreign manufacturers for mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. He represents small- to mid-sized enterprises and has helped new entrepreneurs understand and prioritize their legal needs in a cost-effective manner. Wu's clients also include counties and schools (both at the k-12 and at the university level). He has worked closely with various economic development groups and county representatives to attract investment to Michigan.

He was a consultant for the National Center for Dispute Resolution (NCDR) regarding its China projects, where he coordinated recruitment and training plans for mediators and arbitrators in Sino-American disputes.

Wu is the past president of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MAPABA) and current Treasurer. He is a member of the Detroit Chinese Business Association (DCBA), the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC), and the Chinese Americans of Greater Detroit (CAGD). In May 2010, Wu was invited by President Obama to attend the White House Reception Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Wu also is a member of the American Bar Association's Business Law Section; the State Bar of Michigan's Legal Outreach and Education Committee; and the State Bar of Michigan's Legal Milestones Committee. He has received his Civil Mediation Certificate from the State Bar of Michigan. Wu is a mediator with the Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan, and he has served as a judge during the American Bar Association's Regional Mediation Competitions. He also is accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and represents veterans on a pro bono basis through the University of Detroit Mercy Law School's Project Salute.

Wu is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (B.A., 1994), where he studied cellular molecular biology, political science, and economics. He also graduated from Michigan State University College of Law (2007).

Wu is fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and English.

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Rebecca M. Decoster has joined Varnum LLP as an attorney in Family Law group in Varnum's Novi office.

Decoster comes to Varnum after eight years with Kotz, Sangster, Wysocki, & Berg PC. As a member of the Commercial Litigation Group, she represented clients at every stage of the litigation process in state and federal courts. She served as the Practice Group Leader of the firm's Family Law Group and established the Family Law Practice Group in 2009.

Decoster is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. She is also a member of InForum, a professional women's alliance.

Decoster earned her law degree from the University of Utah College of Law and also earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Utah. She was selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as an Up & Coming Lawyer in 2009.

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Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP is pleased to announce that Matthew S. Disbrow, a partner in the firm's Labor and Employment Department, recently addressed attendees at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's Asset Management Fall Conference. Disbrow's topic of discussion was "Medical Marijuana - What It Means to Affordable Housing Landlords," which included information about federal laws governing this issue and their application to federally-subsidized properties.

Disbrow concentrates his practice on labor-related matters, including wage and overtime issues; harassment and employment discrimination lawsuits; and drafting and implementing work rules, policies, procedures, and employee handbooks that will appropriately match the employers' specific business requirements. He represents both public and private companies in a wide range of industries, including property management companies, building contractors, lending institutions, technology companies, advertising agencies, automobile manufacturers and automotive parts manufacturers.

Disbrow has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by Michigan Super Lawyers from 2008 through 2010. He earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Additionally, David Foltyn, chairman and CEO of Honigman, has been named chair of the Community Legal Resources (CLR) Law Firm Appeal. In this role, Foltyn will lead the effort to raise funds within the legal community to help CLR continue to expand its pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations with an emphasis on economic development and serving low-income communities across Michigan.

As a partner and member of Honigman's Corporate and Securities Department, Foltyn counsels publicly- and privately-held businesses, boards of directors and financial service firms in corporate mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, financial transactions, public offerings and private placements of securities and debt. He also advises clients on applicable state and federal corporate governance laws.

Foltyn has been recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business from 2004 to 2011 and as one of the top Corporate/M&A lawyers in Michigan. He has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America from 1995 to 2012 and by Michigan Super Lawyers as one of Michigan's top 100 lawyers from 2006 to 2011.

Foltyn is a member of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit Board of Governors; the Temple Beth El Board of Directors and Executive Committee; and a JVS past chair.

Foltyn earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan.

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Patricia E. Kefalas Dudek of Patricia E. Kefalas Dudek & Associates has been honored for her work as an advocate for seniors and people with disabilities.

Dudek has been named to the Michigan Super Lawyers list as one of the top lawyers in the state for 2011.

DBusiness has named Dudek a Top Lawyer for 2012 and she is featured in the September 26, 2011 publication.

Best Lawyers has named Dudek as a Michigan Lawyer of the Year for 2012. Recipients of this honor are selected by receiving high ratings from their peers, demonstrating that she has earned the respect of those in her field.

Dudek has additionally been named to the 2012 list of Top Attorneys in Michigan by the New York Times.

She was selected to be a National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Fellow. Dudek is also a member of NAELA's Council of Advanced Practitioners, a membership available only to preeminent elder law attorneys who have made substantial contributions to elder or special needs law.

She has served on the board of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, the Bonnell Foundation, and United Cerebral Palsy.org.

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In recognition of his notable and sustained service and leadership in Michigan and beyond, Richard Bernstein will receive the University of Michigan 2011 James T. Neubacher Award on Oct. 28 The award will be presented by U-M Regent Julia Donovan Darlow.

Blind since birth, Bernstein is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University School of Law. He is an attorney with the Sam Bernstein Law Firm in Farmington Hills.

Bernstein successfully partnered with the U. S. Department of Justice to force the City of Detroit to fix broken wheelchair lifts on its buses. He also is working to affect change at Detroit Metro Airport to make the airport more accessible to travelers who have disabilities. He fought the State of Michigan and won to preserve special education funding throughout the state.

Further, Bernstein represented the Paralyzed Veterans of America in an action against the University of Michigan's plans for disabled seating in Michigan Stadium, and represented disabled residents who sued the Oakland County Road Commission after roundabout traffic circles were built without disabled access.

Bernstein serves on the board of directors for several not-for-profit organizations and teaches a political science course in social activism at U-M. He also served an eight-year term on the Board of Governors at Wayne State University in Michigan, elected by voters statewide, and served as chair for the last two years of his term.

In his spare time, he is an avid runner, completing 14 marathons- - including six New York City marathons - the Ironman triathlon in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, in 2008 and the 2011 Israman triathlon in Eilat, Israel.

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Four attorneys in the Troy law firm of Frank Haron Weiner PLC have been included as 2011 Super Lawyers by Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine.

Sidney L. Frank, David L. Haron, and J. Laevin Weiner were selected for excellence in the area of Business Litigation. Haron has been named as a Super Lawyer every year since 2007. Mercedes Varasteh Dordeski was also selected as a Rising Star in the area of Health Care Law for the second consecutive year.

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Andrew B. Wachler of Wachler & Associates PC, along with Karen Dropping, manager of Quality and Service Support, Beaumont Hospital in Troy, spoke to attendees of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice at the group's Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice is the nation's largest trade association representing the interests and concerns of home care agencies, hospices, home care aide organizations, and medical equipment suppliers. The group provides professional development and advocates for better regulation for its members.

In addition, Wachler provided insight on audit contractors working with state and federal health coverage entities at the HCAM & MCAL Annual Convention and Expo in Mt. Pleasant. He co- presented with Cathy Niland, Organizational Integrity Manager with Trinity Health. Wachler has been practicing health care law for more than 25 years. He counsels health care providers and organizations nationwide in a variety of health care legal matters. In addition, he writes and speaks nationally to professional organizations and other entities on health care law topics such as Medicare appeals, Stark and fraud and abuse, HIPAA, and other topics.

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Southfield-based Sommers Schwartz is proud to announce that 17 lawyers were selected as 2011 Michigan Super Lawyers and two lawyers were selected as Michigan Rising Stars.

Robert Darling was named among the Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers 2011.

Class Action/Mass Torts, Business Litigation, Personal Injury Plaintiff: General

* Jason L. Thompson.

Employment Litigation: Plaintiff

* Daniel D. Swanson.

Family Law

* William M. Brukoff.

Government/Cities/Municipalities, Employment & Labor, Alternative Dispute Resolution

* Allen Kovinsky.

Personal Injury Plaintiff: General, Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products & TOP 100

* Robert H. Darling.

Personal Injury Plaintiff: Medical Malpractice

* Richard D. Fox.

* Norman D. Tucker.

* Scott Weidenfeller.

Personal Injury Plaintiff: Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Plaintiff: General

* Charles R. Ash.

* Michael J. Cunningham.

* Matthew G. Curtis.

* Richard L. Groffsky.

* Jeffrey N. Shillman.

* Kenneth T. Watkins.

* David J. Winter.

Personal Injury Plaintiff: Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products

* Robert B. Sickels.

Personal Injury Plaintiff: General, Personal Injury Plaintiff: Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products

* Samuel A. Meklir.

Rising Stars:

Business Litigation, Employment Litigation: Plaintiff, Intellectual Property Litigation

* Kevin J. Stoops.

Personal Injury Plaintiff: General, Personal Injury Plaintiff: Medical Malpractice

* Lisa M. Esser.

In addition, the firm is alsoproud to announce that 10 of its lawyers were selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers 2012.

The following were recognized as Best Lawyers:

Employment Law

* Daniel D. Swanson.

Family Law

* William M. Brukoff.

Medical Malpractice Law

* Robert B. Sickels.

* Norman D. Tucker.

Personal Injury Litigation

* Richard D. Fox.

* Joseph E. Grinnan.

* Richard L. Groffsky.

* David J. Winter.

Tax Law

* Steven J. Schwartz.

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Nemeth Burwell PC announces it has been included on Crain's Detroit Business 2011 list of Cool Places to Work. The nominations were judged by Crain's and the American Society of Employers. All award winners will be recognized at an event on November 10th at The Henry Ford in Dearborn.

According to a September 5th article in Crain's announcing the winners, this year's award paid special attention to "companies...that take talent attraction and retention seriously." Speaking in that same issue, Linda G. Burwell said of Nemeth Burwell that it doesn't foster the competition that can exist in other firms. "Here, we have a mentality that every client who comes to the firm is a firm client. It's a very collegial atmosphere."

Nemeth Burwell, which has 29 staff members, was ranked among companies in the 1-50 category and was nominated by attorney Erin Behler, who joined the firm in 2009 after previously serving as a law clerk.

"It seems few people can say they really enjoy their job and look forward to going to work every day. But, I really do! I attribute my excitement for work every day to the people I work with and the type of work that I do, and I see that same excitement and passion in all my co-workers," offers Behler.

Patricia Nemeth says workplace awards such as Cool Places to Work and the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For award the firm received last month for the tenth year, validate the firm's commitment to workplace issues.

"We counsel employers every day on creating positive work environments where management and staff work together on mutual goals," explains Nemeth. "When we are given awards for our own workplace as judged by external experts, it is confirmation that we continue to be in the lead on understanding and implementing supportive policies and practices and optimizing our employee's career enjoyment and opportunities."

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Miller Canfield recently announced that 11 of its lawyers were selected by their peers as "Lawyers of the Year."

The following local Miller Canfield lawyers have been named Best Lawyers' 2012 Lawyers of the Year.

Detroit

* Amanda Van Dusen, Education Law.

* Anna M. Maiuri, Environmental Law.

* Jerry T. Rupley, Public Finance Law.

* Joseph F. Galvin, Litigation - Municipal Lawyer.

* Kathryn L. Ossian, Information Technology Law.

* Leonard D. Givens, Labor Law - Management Lawyer.

* Marjory G. Basile, Litigation - Patent Lawyer.

Additionally, Miller Canfield has the most women recognized as 2011 Top 50 Super Lawyers in Michigan. Receiving the highest point totals in the Michigan Super Lawyers 2011 nomination, are firm principals Megan P. Norris, leader of the Employment and Labor practice and a managing director of the firm; Anna M. Maiuri, leader of the Environmental, Energy and Regulatory practice and former chair of the Managing Directors; Amy M. Johnston, litigator specializing in the oil and gas industry; Joanne B. Faycurry, litigator and leader of the State and Local Tax practice; Pamela C. Enslen, litigator specializing in employment and commercial litigation; and Marjory G. Basile, litigator specializing in copyrights, patents and trademarks, inaugural leader of the Intellectual Property practice, and creator of the firm's successful "Women of Miller Canfield" business relationship building initiative.

Top 10 Michigan Super Lawyer, Thomas W. Cranmer, a litigator specializing in criminal defense and white collar crime, received more points than any lawyer in Michigan.

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Michigan Super Lawyers magazine once again has placed Wayne State University Law School first on its list of law schools whose graduates are among the most accomplished in the state. According to the 2011 issue of the magazine, 428 - or 35 percent - of Michigan's top lawyers are Wayne Law graduates.

Two of the Top 10 Michigan Super Lawyers for 2011 are Wayne Law alumni: WSU Governor Eugene Driker, '61, Barris Sott Denn and Driker PLLC; and E. Powell Miller, '86, The Miller Law Firm PC.

Wayne Law graduates represented a nearly a quarter of the top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers: Daniel J. Bretz, '82, Clark Hill PLC; Robert M. Carson, '68, Carson Fischer PLC; Robert H. Darling,'75, Sommers Schwartz; Douglas A. Dozeman, '83, Warner Norcross and Judd LLP; Eugene Driker, '61, Barris Sott Denn and Driker PLLC; David F. DuMouchel, '75, Butzel Long; Mark R. Granzotto, '78, Mark Granzotto PC; William P. Hampton, '63, Secrest Wardle Lynch Hampton Truex and Morley PC; Elizabeth P. Hardy, '84, Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy and Pelton PLC; Barry F. LaKritz,'72, Barry F. LaKritz PC; Lawrence D. McLaughlin, '77, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; Bruce A. Miller, '54, Miller Cohen PLC; E. Powell Miller, '86, The Miller Law Firm PC; Jon R. Muth, '71, Miller Johnson Snell and Cummiskey PLC; Michael L. Pitt, '74, Pitt McGehee Palmer Rivers and Golden PC; Michael A. Robbins,'82, Law Office of Michael A. Robbins; Linda S. Ross, '88, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; Mary Massaron Ross, '90, Plunkett Cooney PC; William A. Sankbeil, '71, Kerr Russell and Weber PLC; Noreen L. Slank, '80, Collins Einhorn Farrell and Ulanoff PC; Gerald E. Thurswell, '67, The Thurswell Law Firm; John R. Trentacosta, '83, Foley and Lardner LLP; I. W. Winsten, '79, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP.

Additionally, 15 of the top 50 women Michigan Super Lawyers are Wayne Law alumni: Tracy Lee Allen, '80, Global Resolutions, PLLC; Theresa Asoklis, '89, Collins Einhorn Farrell and Ulanoff PC; Judy B. Calton, '86, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; Pamela Enslen, '81, Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone PLC; Elizabeth P. Hardy, '84, Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy and Pelton PLC; Anna M. Maiuri, '92, Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone PLC; Patricia Nemeth, '90, Nemeth Burwell PC; Julie Robertson, '90, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; Carol A. Rosati, '80, Johnson Rosati LaBarge Aseltyne and Field PC; Linda S. Ross,'88, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; Mary Massaron Ross, '90, Plunkett Cooney PC; Noreen L. Slank, '80, Collins Einhorn Farrell and Ulanoff PC; Judith A. Susskind, '87, The Thurswell Law Firm; Wendy L. Zabriskie, '91, Bodman LLP; and Susan H. Zitterman, '81, Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti and Sherbrook.

Published: Mon, Oct 24, 2011

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