LEGAL PEOPLE

Varnum is pleased to announce that local attorneys Brendan Best and Julia Perkins have been made partners of the firm.

Best focuses his practice on business reorganizations and workouts, representing companies, creditors, and other parties in a wide variety of industries and matters.

Best is a frequent writer and speaker, is the president-elect of the Detroit chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, and the current chair of the Debtor and Creditor Rights Section of the Detroit Bar Association. He is based in the firm’s Detroit office.

Perkins works with clients in matters including divorce, child custody, child support, and parenting time matters. She has experience with international custody cases and valuation and division of high net worth marital assets.

Perkins is a member of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Bar Association and an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.

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Daniel Soleimani
has been named partner at Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC.

As a partner in the firm’s Tax Practice Group, Soleimani advises publicly held and closely held corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and individuals on all aspects of federal, state and local tax laws, as well as helps clients facilitate wealth preservation and transfer. He joined Jaffe as an associate in March 2012.

Soleimani earned an executive LL.M in taxation from New York University School of Law and has contributed expert opinions on tax and estate planning topics to numerous business and trade magazines. 

Soleimani earned his law degree from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government from State University of New York at Buffalo.

In addition, Samuel A. Schiffer has been named partner at Jaffe.

Schiffer joined Jaffe as an associate in the firm’s distinguished Real Estate Practice Group in March 2012. Schiffer has a national real estate practice with a concentration on acquisitions, dispositions, financing and leasing of commercial, retail and hospitality properties. Schiffer represents real estate developers, operators, and users in their real estate investments and operations, including a leading national provider of upscale coworking space. Schiffer returned to Michigan from New York City in 2012 to be a part of the city’s revitalization through business and volunteer efforts.

Schiffer earned a law degree from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business in East Lansing.

He has been admitted into the Michigan, New York and New Jersey state bars. Schiffer is active in Temple Israel’s Cause We Care Community Outreach programs.

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Bodman PLC is pleased to announce Brian J. Stone, a banking attorney, has joined the firm’s Troy office as a senior associate.

Stone concentrates his practice on the representation of financial institutions and other lenders in middle market and real estate finance transactions and in equipment lease finance matters. He has experience relating to a wide variety of corporate and commercial real estate transactions.

Before joining Bodman, Stone was an associate with a Detroit area law firm where he represented lenders and borrowers in commercial and real estate loan transactions and handled general corporate law assignments. He began his legal career as a research attorney with the Michigan Court of Appeals where he prepared research reports and drafted proposed opinions for all of the court’s judges. While at the Michigan Court of Appeals, he also served as an interim law clerk for Judge Kirsten Frank Kelly and Judge Kurtis T. Wilder.

Stone earned his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

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Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the appointment of Julie McMurtry to serve as executive director of the Michigan Administrative Hearing System.

Housed within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the Michigan Administrative Hearing System was created to develop standards for the conduct of administrative hearings in order to ensure fairness and efficiency.

McMurtry was appointed interim executive director in July 2017 and previously served as a division director. Prior to working
with the Michigan Administrative Hearing System, she was the juvenile division chief of the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office and served 12 years in various roles in the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

McMurtry earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.

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Detroit law firm Kerr Russell is pleased to announce its support of the 25th anniversary Southeast Michigan American Heart Association Metro Detroit Heart Walk. The Heart Walk will take place on May 12, 2018 on Wayne State University’s campus in Detroit.

Jason W. Bank, member of Kerr Russell, will serve as the firm’s representative on the Heart Walk Executive Cabinet.

The American Heart Association’s metro Detroit Heart Walk executive leadership team invited other metro Detroit executives to join the cabinet and thereby cultivate and sustain a culture of health in Detroit, support communities where the healthy choice is the easy choice, and help employees and customers live longer, fuller, healthier lives. The work of the cabinet will be to raise friends, funds, and awareness and to bolster the health and welfare of everyone in and around southeast Michigan.

Proceeds from the Metro Detroit Heart Walk go directly to the AHA for cardiovascular research and heart health educational programs, locally and nationwide. During its 24-year history, the Metro Detroit Heart Walk has hosted more than 12,000
attendees annually and raised more than $17 million dollars.

“I’m honored to be part of this important effort,” notes Bank. “Kerr Russell opened its doors in Detroit in 1874, and we’ve been committed to the city and this region ever since. I can’t imagine a better way of showing our appreciation than by helping create a broad-reaching culture of wellness to ensure the vitality of everyone who lives here. I’m excited to collaborate with Roy and Wright, my fellow cabinet members, and the AHA team in this essential work.”

Bank has 20 years of experience in bankruptcy and restructuring and general corporate law. He focuses his practice in the areas of commercial bankruptcy, out-of-court workouts, corporate restructuring and creditors’ rights. He is the chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Department.

A graduate of Wayne State University Law School, Bank has served as an adjunct professor of law at the Michigan State University College of Law on the subject of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. He is the immediate past president of the Detroit Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association and has served on the TMA’s Board of Directors since 2012. He frequently lectures to professional and trade associations, and publishes on the subjects of bankruptcy and restructuring.

Bank has been recognized as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters and was named one of the Top 100 Attorneys in Michigan by this publication for 2015-17. He was named a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness Magazine in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights.

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Farmington Hills-based Young & Associates announced the addition of retired Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Henry William Saad to its professional legal team. Saad is the former chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals and will be Of Counsel to the firm. Young & Associates Founder and President Rodger D. Young made the announcement.

Saad will leverage his years of experience and legal counsel to the team that represents both plaintiffs and defendants in actions across the country, and executes day-to-day responsibilities for a variety of multi-million dollar cases focused on complex business litigation in areas ranging from automotive and antitrust to complex contract and intellectual property.

In a career that spans more than 40 years, Saad’s experience includes 20 years at the law firm of Dickinson Wright, where he served as partner and specialized in complex drug liability litigation, media, employment and school law. At the same time, he taught evidence, ethics and labor law at Wayne State University (WSU) and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. In 1994, former Governor Engler appointed Saad to the Michigan Court of Appeals, a role he held for 23 years, including a term as chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals. Saad was nominated for federal appointments by both President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush.

“I feel very fortunate to join a firm with the national stature and prestigious reputation of Young & Associates,” said Saad. “It is a great opportunity and privilege to share my 40 years of experience as a lawyer and a jurist with the team. For many years, I have had the highest respect for Rodger Young, who I consider to be one of the leading business trial lawyers in the United States, and his talented associates and am thrilled to become part of the firm.”

Saad graduated from WSU Business School, and WSU Law School. Over the years, he has devoted great effort to several charitable initiatives, including Detroit Public Television, Michigan Heart Association, McLaren Macomb Hospital and Brother Rice High School, where he served as the chair of the Board of Trustees.

Saad retired from the bench in December 2017.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Laura M. Bassett has joined the firm’s Troy office as Of Counsel.

Bassett is an experienced public law and municipal finance attorney. As bond counsel, she advises municipalities, school districts and other governmental entities on tax-exempt and taxable financings, including debt issued in connection with intergovernmental and public-private collaborations and distressed government restructuring. Her public law experience includes advising clients on election and campaign finance laws, K-12 and charter school laws, open meeting matters, special assessment procedures and zoning regulations.

Bassett also has experience with tax increment laws and procedures, including downtown development authorities and brownfield redevelopment authorities, and she has drafted governing documents, including intergovernmental agreements, bylaws and rules of procedure, for many types of public entities.

Bassett is a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Government Law Section and is a member of Michigan Women in Finance. She also serves as an honorary advisory board member for The Heidelberg Project. She is recognized as a leader in her field by Michigan Super Lawyers “Rising Star.”

Bassett received her B.A. from Kalamazoo College, her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and her law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

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The Law Firm of Goodman Acker PC has named Tim Sulolli, Brad Peri, and Jordan Acker as partners.

“I’m truly honored to be a partner here at Goodman Acker.  The practice that Jerry Acker and Barry Goodman built has developed into a firm with an outstanding reputation statewide, and I am looking forward to continuing to build that reputation in the years to come” said Sulolli. 

“Growing up around this firm, I know what a wonderful place it is. I am honored to be a partner here, and continuing in the great Goodman Acker tradition” Acker stated. 

Peri added, “Throughout tireless nights in law school, I always dreamed of becoming a partner at a law firm. When I first started at Goodman Acker, I knew this was the law firm where I wanted to be long term.”

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Southfield law firm Maddin, Hauser, Roth, & Heller PC is pleased to announce that R.J. Cronkhite has been elected secretary of the Governing Council for the State Bar of Michigan Litigation Section.

The Governing Council unanimously elected Cronkhite as secretary after he served as a council member over the past two years. In his new role, Cronkhite will better facilitate the mission of the Governing Council: to serve the membership of its Litigation Section.

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

Cronkhite is a member of Maddin Hauser’s Complex Litigation and Risk Advisory Practice Group. His litigation experience encompasses business and contract disputes, with emphasis on trade secret litigation and technology-related disputes.

A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Cronkhite practices in Michigan state and federal courts. Michigan Super Lawyers® recently named him as a Rising Star in Business Litigation.

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Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC
is pleased to announce that Mark C. Vanneste has joined the firm. He will practice out of the firm’s Royal Oak office.

Vanneste concentrates his practice in commercial litigation, with a focus on supplier-focused automotive litigation, contract disputes, class actions, construction, and real estate.

Vanneste earned a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2009 as well as a B.S. in Human Biology and a B.A. in Economics from Michigan State University in 2002. He is licensed to practice in the State of Michigan and before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

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Plunkett Cooney
recently expanded its administrative law and regulatory practice with the addition of attorney Melissa M. Card.

Card joins the firm as an of counsel member of the Administrative & Regulatory Law Practice Group and the Foodservice & Hospitality Industry Group. Her practice includes experience and expertise in the areas of food and beverage regulatory compliance and the defense of related litigation. Her clients include food manufacturers, packaging suppliers, restaurants and other businesses in the food chain industry.

Card’s regulatory expertise includes advising clients with respect to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Food Safety Modernization Act, and other state and federal statutes pertaining to food, food additives and labeling requirements.

In addition to her affiliation with Plunkett Cooney, Card serves as a professor of global food law at Michigan State University College of Law. She also serves as associate director of the university’s Institute for Food Laws & Regulations. Card is a sought-after speaker and author, nationally, on the topic of food law, food and drug labeling and prescription medications.

A member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Health Law Section and the Food and Drug Law Institute, Card received her law degree from University of Minnesota Law School in 2014. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2011.

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Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy, & Sadler PLC recently announced that 18 of its attorneys have been recognized by Leading Lawyers as 2018 Leading Lawyers in their respected legal practice areas. Managing Member Ed Dawda made the announcement.

The following Dawda Mann attorneys were recognized as 2018 Leading Lawyers:

• Brian R. Balow: Computer & Technology Law; Copyright & Trademark Law; Data Privacy; Intellectual Property Law.

• Paul A. Bringer: Real Estate Law: Commercial; Real Estate Law: Finance.

• Edward C. Dawda: Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Mergers & Acquisitions Law; Publicly Held Corporations Law; Real Estate Law: Commercial; Real Estate Law: Finance.

• Ted M. Gans: Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Franchise & Dealership Law; Tax Law: Business; Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law.

• Daniel M. Halprin: Real Estate Law: Commercial.

• Theresa C. Joswick: Employee Benefits Law.

• Adam B. Kutinsky: Commercial Litigation; Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law.

• Christopher M. Mann: Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Health Law; Tax Law: Business; Tax Law: Individual; Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law.

• Curtis J. Mann: Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Health Law; Tax Law: Business; Tax Law: Individual; Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law.

• Jeffrey D. Moss: Association & Non-Profit Law; Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law.

• John Mucha III: Commercial Litigation; Employment Law: Management; Land Use, Zoning & Condemnation Law; Real Estate Law: Commercial.

• Michael D. Mulcahy: Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Corporate Finance Law; Mergers & Acquisitions Law; Real Estate Law: Commercial; Real Estate Law: Finance.

• Susan J. Sadler: Energy Law; Environmental Law.

• Todd A. Schafer: Real Estate Law: Commercial, Real Estate Law: Finance.

• Leon M. Schurgin: Real Estate Law: Commercial.

• Wayne S. Segal: Corporate Finance Law; Creditor’s Rights/Commercial Collections Law; Real Estate Law: Commercial; Real Estate Law: Finance; Secured Transactions Law.

• Tyler D. Tennent: Environmental Law; Land Use, Zoning & Condemnation Law; Real Estate Law: Commercial.

• Robert A. Wright, III: Creditor’s Rights/Commercial Collections Law; Real Estate Law: Commercial; Real Estate Law: Finance.

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The Cannabis Legal Group recently announced the addition of Nickolas Galendez to its legal team. Galendez joins the firm as a cannabis attorney.

Galendez brings a rich history and knowledge to The Cannabis Legal Group having most recently worked at Pollicella & Associates, representing caregivers and patients under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Galendez also has provided representation and legal advice to businesses and individuals seeking state and local licenses under the Michigan Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.

Galendez received his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law and earned his BA from University of Michigan.

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Brooks Kushman Shareholder and Chief Diversity Officer Sangeeta Shah is one of four founding organizers of the newly formed Chicago Regional Chapter of Chiefs in Intellectual Property (ChIPs), a non-profit organization that is focused on advancing and connecting women in technology, law and policy. The purpose of the Chicago chapter is to expand ChIPs influence and ability to positively impact communities in the Midwest. The organization believes that diversity of thought, participation and engagement are pivotal to innovation and success. Founded in 2005, ChIPs decision to expand in to Chicago will help the organization grow their member base and influence within the legal community.

Shah serves as the firm’s chief diversity officer and co-chair of Post-Grant Proceedings. With more than 20 years of experience, Sangeeta`s practice includes all aspects of intellectual property litigation, prosecution and counseling, with a special focus on post-grant challenges and patent opinions. She represents several Fortune 500 clients for whom she provides strategic counseling and guidance on their global intellectual property portfolios.

As chief diversity officer, Shah is instrumental in building the firm’s organizational pipeline dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and STEM. Brooks Kushman has been a long-time supporter of ChIPs and is a sponsor of their annual meeting every year.

Shah earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Economics from Kalamazoo College, and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

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