LEGAL PEOPLE

Attorney Rick Berg has joined Butzel Long as a shareholder in the firm's Detroit office. Berg concentrates his practice on commercial law and commercial litigation.

Berg 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. Berg represents media clients in connection with their commercial interests, dispute avoidance, and defamation issues.

In addition to commercial litigation, 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. Berg 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.

Berg is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.A., 1981) and of Wayne State University Law School (1985). 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. Berg 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.

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Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have recently joined the firm. New attorneys include Nathan D. Dupes, Peter M. Leto, Matthew R. Rechtien, Alexander Simpson, Susan E. Wagner, Maya K. Watson, and Nichole R. Weber.

Dupes is a 2011 graduate of the Wayne State University Law School, practicing in the firm's Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group.

Dupes was a judicial intern to United States District Court Judge Arthur T. Tarnow, Eastern District of Michigan, from May 2009 to August 2009. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.

Leto, a 2011 graduate of the Wayne State University Law School, practices in the Bodman's Banking Practice Group. Leto served as a judicial intern to United States District Court Chief Judge Gerald Rosen, Eastern District of Michigan in spring of 2011. He also completed internships with the Detroit Free Legal Aid Clinic and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

Leto has an undergraduate degree in business administration from Western Michigan University.

Rechtien, a 2007 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, is a member of the firm's Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution practice group. Prior to joining Bodman, he was an associate at a large Detroit business law firm for four years, where he specialized in commercial and construction litigation. Prior to that, he spent five years as a consulting structural engineer in Texas where he designed structures for buildings and stadiums.

Rechtien earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan.

Simpson is a 2011 graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law practicing in Bodman's Enterprise Procurement Practice Group.

Simpson earned his bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Wagner, a member of Bodman's Banking Practice Group, counsels financial institutions on bank regulatory and consumer finance issues. Prior to joining Bodman, she worked as a compliance officer and assistant general counsel for University Bank, as a compliance officer for Peoples State Bank, and as a CRA officer and associate legal counsel for the First State Bank of East Detroit.

Wagner graduated from the Wayne State University Law School and received her bachelor's degree from Cleveland State University.

Watson, a 2007 graduate of the Wayne State University Law School, is a member of the firm's Banking Practice Group. Prior to joining Bodman, she practiced with another large Detroit-based law firm where she represented financial institutions. She is a member of the Leadership Detroit Class XXXIII (2011-2012) and was named Barrister of the Year in 2010 by the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. Watson was a member of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's 2009 Crisis Turnaround Team.

She has an undergraduate degree from Lincoln University.

Weber is a member of Bodman's Business Practice Group. Prior to joining Bodman, she worked as an attorney at a New York-based law firm, specializing in general corporate issues. In law school, she served as a judicial law clerk to Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Kathryn Streeter Lewis.

Weber graduated from the Temple University Beasley School of Law and received her bachelor's degree from Hillsdale College.

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The Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has elected attorney Howard H. Collens of Huntington Woods-based Galloway and Collens PLLC as the 2011-2012 president.

A Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce member for nine years, Collens has served on the Chamber's Board of Directors since 2008. He has been actively involved with the Ambassador Committee since February 2006, serving as chairman for 4 years. In addition, he co-chaired the Chamber's By-Laws Committee and helped manage the 2010 Chamber by-law rewrite. Collens received the 2007 Ambassador of the Year award and differentiates himself by regularly wearing a bow tie while attending Chamber coffees, after-hours, special events and forums.

Collens is a co-founding member of his own law firm, Galloway and Collens PLLC, which has been a member of the Chamber since the firm began. A member of the State Bar of Michigan since 1995, he currently serves as a member of the State Bar's Probate and Estate Planning section and the Elder Law and Disability Rights section. Additionally, Howard has obtained the ICLE Probate and Estate Planning Certificate and practices law in the areas of estate planning, estate administration and elder law.

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The law firm of Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that the following people have been elected principals of the firm effective Jan. 1.

Detroit office:

Steven D. Mann, from associate to principal. Mann focuses his practice on serving the needs of public agencies. He serves as bond counsel helping clients understand the options available for financing public improvements, including water and sewer projects, building and facilities improvements, street and drainage improvements, and economic development initiatives.

He also specializes in all facets of tax increment financing, special assessments, construction contracts for public projects, and complex issues related to the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act.

Mann earned his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and his B.B.A. from Cleary College.

Nelson O. Ropke, from senior attorney to principal. Ropke has expertise in all aspects of state and federal commercial litigation. He assists clients with all pre- and post-judgment remedies including receiverships, sale of collateral, foreclosures, repossessions, evictions, debt sales and debt restructures.

His practice has a particular emphasis on commercial litigation and creditors rights resolution with a concentration on loan enforcements, insolvency, bankruptcy and receiverships.

He earned his law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School and his B.A. from Michigan State University Honors College.

Saura J. Sahu, from associate to principal. Sahu specializes in complex class action, multi-party and single-party litigation in matters ranging from employment discrimination and employee-benefit cases to fraud, corruption, and government-contract related disputes.

In the criminal defense practice area he assists with felony and misdemeanor litigation from pre-charge investigation through trial and appeal.

He received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and his A.B. from the University of Michigan.

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Potestivo & Associates PC is pleased to announce the hiring of attorney, Daren S. O'Connell. O'Connell joined the attorney team on Monday, Jan. 30. Based in the firm's Rochester Hills office, he will serve as an associate attorney supporting the firm's Michigan Foreclosure Department.

O'Connell brings years of experience providing counsel in default management services. His experience and training in business law provide him with the background to counsel clients on a wide variety of legal issues including property management, as well as, commercial and residential landlord/tenant matters. He has also served as a judicial law clerk and court officer at the 51st District Court in Waterford.

O'Connell earned his law degrees. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a B.A. in History, with a minor in International Studies from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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Jules Olsman, president of Olsman, Mueller, Wallace, & MacKenzie in Berkley was elected by the Huntington Woods City Commission as mayor pro-tempore of Huntington Woods for 2012.

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Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the appointment of Oakland County 48th District Court Judge Kimberly Small as one of eight new members to the Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity.

All eight individuals will serve three-year terms, expiring June 21, 2014. The appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

The commission seeks to reduce the causes and effects of poverty as well as help foster self-sufficiency for low-income Michiganders.

Small has served as a judge for the 48th District Court in Oakland County for the past 15 years. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the Detroit College of Law. She will represent elected public officials.

Published: Mon, Feb 6, 2012

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