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Butzel attorney and shareholder Claudia Rast was a featured panelist during the (virtual) Michigan Cybersecurity Conference on January 21.  The topic was “The Power of a Functioning Incident Response Plan.”

Rast, who chairs Butzel’s Intellectual Property, Cybersecurity and Emerging Technology Practice Department, blends her expertise in law, business, and science to assist companies in their strategic use of technology, counseling clients in the areas of privacy, cybersecurity, data security and governance, intellectual property licensing and registration, and the forensic preservation and analysis of electronically stored information.

The unchecked growth of cyber threats combined with the heightened vulnerability of businesses as employees continue to work from home has made Rast’s background in digital forensics
and data breach response invaluable when counseling companies both on how best to defend against, and respond to, the inevitable cyber attack.

Over the past several years, Rast has worked within both the IT entrepreneur community and the automotive supplier network to negotiate contracts covering innovative technologies associated with autonomous and connected vehicles, addressing security, privacy, IP ownership, and to counsel on the impacts of new laws and regulations, ranging from the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU to the new consumer privacy laws in California, Virginia, and Colorado.

Rast was appointed to a three-year term to co-chair the American Bar Association (ABA) Cybersecurity Legal Task Force in 2020. Prior to that, she had been appointed to successive one-year terms since 2013.

In addition, Butzel immigration law attorney Reginald A. Pacis has been invited by his alma mater, James Madison College at Michigan State University, to participate in an “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the Workplace” panel program on Tuesday, January 25.

The virtual event is part of a multi-day program titled, “Identity in the Workplace,” designed to provide a platform for students and staff to hear from alumni about the challenges and triumphs that individuals with a range of identities have experienced across their careers as well as the positive work they are doing for diversity in the workplace.

Pacis focuses his practice in immigration law and has handled a variety of immigration matters including H-1B specialty occupation cases, L-1 Intracompany transfers, Labor Certification matters, Immigrant Visa Petitions/Adjustment of Status applications and interviews, TN Free trade cases, H-1B Department of Labor Investigations, I-9 employer verification compliance, and U.S. Port of Entry airport and land port interviews.

In 2021, Pacis was appointed a trustee to the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC), which helps address the needs and concerns of the Asian Pacific American (APA) communities in Michigan. Previously, he was a commissioner to the MAPAAC.

Pacis was named Immigration Lawyer of the Year 2013 in the field of Immigration Law by The Best Lawyers in America and has been listed in Best Lawyers for several years.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Samahang Pilipino Ng Oakland Filipino organization. He served two consecutive one-year terms from 2003 to 2005 as chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA and was a member of the AILA National Board of Governors for those terms.

Pacis also served as vice chair (2008 to 2009) and later chair (2009-2010) of U.S. Customs and Border Protection AILA liaison committee; vice chair (2013 to 2014) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Operations AILA liaison committee; member (2014 to 2015) of the  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services National Benefits Center AILA liaison committee; and has served as a member (2015) and later chair (2016) of the AILA Election committee. He has presented in a number of AILA Annual Conferences Nationally and Internationally from 2004 to 2019.

Pacis is a vice president and board member of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit. He also is a speaker in demand on immigration law matters.

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Kemp Klein is pleased to welcome attorneys Ed Sadik, Casey Callahan, and Stavi Varlamos who joined the firm last fall.

Sadik counsels individuals and businesses in tax planning, estate planning, and transactional matters. He is a shareholder of the firm and brings talent, focus, and experience to his legal practice, giving him an edge when obtaining optimal results for his clients. Sadik’s experience also includes advising trustees and successfully representing clients in highly contested litigation.

Callahan is an associate practicing in the areas of estate planning, business and corporate planning, and post-death administration. He assists businesses, families, and individuals in achieving the best possible legal outcomes by counseling his clients and giving a voice to his clients’ concerns. Callahan is experienced in working with clients to establish and implement estate plans tailored to their goals.

Varlamos is an associate attorney, specializing in probate litigation. With a commitment to honesty and an outgoing, open personality, He is dedicated to assisting her clients with handling the litigation process and serving their unique needs. Working alongside experienced attorney Joseph P. Buttiglieri, Varlamos aims to expand her skill set and work tirelessly to understand the needs of both businesses and individual clients. Her natural eye for detail and her talent for handling legal disputes has led her to become a promising probate litigator.

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Dykema recently announced that its Executive Board elected several new members to the firm effective January 1. Dykema’s new local partners, their resident office, and practice descriptions are:

John D. Black – Products Liability Defense, Bloomfield Hills

Black represents manufacturers and other companies in high-exposure product liability, catastrophic injury/wrongful death, commercial, and MDL/class action litigation throughout the United States, and has developed a particular specialty defending motor vehicle manufacturers and suppliers in automotive crashworthiness cases.

In 2021, Black was recognized by the Legal 500 U.S. as one of only four “Rising Stars” in automotive litigation nationally. In addition to his work across the United States, Black also maintains an active practice in Canada and has appeared as counsel of record in six provinces.

He received a law degree from the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Nazneen S. Hasan – Tax, Bloomfield Hills

Hasan focuses her practice on taxation and advising clients on trust and estate issues such as estate planning and trust and estate administration. She also represents clients in matters involving fiduciary probate litigation such as conservatorships, guardianships, contested trust and estate matters, and dispute resolution.

Prior to joining Dykema, Hasan was a vice president and senior fiduciary advisor at a private wealth management company, serving the needs of ultra-high net worth individuals and families, and prior to that, she was the practice leader for the probate department at a boutique law firm based in Southfield. She is a regular faculty member for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education presenting on Trust and Estate topics and serves as a Council member for the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

She earned a law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School as well as a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Massachusetts.

Thomas T. Moga – Intellectual Property, Bloomfield Hills

Moga has more than 30 years of experience in domestic and international intellectual property portfolio development and enforcement. He is an experienced patent prosecutor in various fields, including the mechanical, chemical, biochemical, and pharmaceutical arts. Moga has also been qualified and testified as an expert witness in patent disputes.

As an IP portfolio developer, Moga’s experience includes the development of domestic and foreign patent portfolios, the acquisition of registrations for trademarks and copyrights, licensing, and policy development. Within the discipline of IP rights enforcement, he manages patent enforcement and anti-counterfeiting actions in Asia, including overseeing initial counterfeit product investigation, selecting and working with local investigators, selecting and working with local counsel, preparing administrative and judicial documents, and participating in raids. Moga is also a pioneer in protecting and enforcing IP rights in China and has represented foreign companies in China for more than three decades.

Moga received a law degree from the St. Louis University School of Law. He also earned an M.A. in English Language & Literature as well as a B.A. in both English Language & Literature and Political Studies (with a China concentration) from the University of Michigan. Moga also received a B.S. in Biochemistry from Madonna University.

In addition, Dykema is proud to announce that its Automotive and Transportation industry group was recognized as a “Practice Group of the Year” for 2021 by Law360. Dykema was chosen as one of only three firms recognized in the area of Transportation. This marks the second time in the past three years that the firm received this recognition, as Dykema was also earned the same honor for 2019.

Later this year, Dykema’s Automotive Industry Group will be featured in a firm profile by Law360 corresponding with its Transportation Practice Group of the Year recognition.

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Daniel Chojnowski, a partner at Howard & Howard, has been named chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. Jon Kreucher, president and CEO of Howard & Howard, made the announcement.

Chojnowski focuses his practice on global patent procurement, opinion work, freedom-to-operate investigations and global IP portfolio management in the chemical, mechanical and medical device industries. He also has experience in preparing and prosecuting U.S. and foreign design patent applications.

In addition, Chojnowski is the creator and classroom leader of a group of volunteer patent attorneys in a formal partnership with the Detroit Public Schools, where he and his team mentor 5th to 8th grade students as they compete in the Invention Convention Michigan.

Chojnowski was one of 25 Michigan attorneys recently recognized as “Leaders in the Law – Class of 2021” by legal publication Michigan Lawyers Weekly for their outstanding contributions to the practice of law and setting an example for others in the profession.

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Retired Judge Laura Mack took the helm of the Northwest Wayne County chapter of Families Against Narcotics on January 1. The chapter’s founder and former president, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Professor Lauren Rousseau, has moved into the secretary position.

Families Against Narcotics (FAN) was born out of a town hall meeting held in 2007—a result of two teen heroin overdoses just weeks apart in the small, middle-class suburban community of Fraser, Michigan. Today, there are 20 FAN chapters in Michigan, with more in the process of being organized.

The Northwest Wayne County chapter was launched in 2017 by a small group of committed individuals, all of whom had been impacted by addiction in some way. The chapter’s mission is to save lives by empowering individuals and communities through education, prevention, and support. By partnering with treatment professionals, the legal community, public safety, schools, and other help organizations, the Northwest Wayne FAN chapter hopes to facilitate change in the way addiction is viewed and treated in the Northwest Wayne County communities.
The chapter hosts free monthly forums on the first Monday of every month, where speakers educate the audience about addiction and recovery. The group also offers a bi-monthly meeting of a group called Stronger Together, which provides support to families affected by the addiction of a loved one. Forums and Stronger Together meetings are currently held virtually in light of the ongoing pandemic. The next public forum, scheduled for February 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., is titled “Enabling: What it is, Why We Do It, and How We Can Stop.”  For additional information on the forum, visit familiesagainstnarcotics.org.

Mack acknowledges that the last two years have been challenging for FAN, but is hopeful that 2022 will be a better year. Goals for the year include expanding Hope Not Handcuffs to more Northwest Wayne County police departments and continuing the recovery home scholarship program that was started in 2020. Hope Not Handcuffs is an initiative of Families Against Narcotics through which people seeking treatment for addiction can go to a participating police station and ask for help. The desk sergeant then calls the Hope Not Handcuffs Coordinator, who dispatches a volunteer “Angel” to the police department. The Angel then helps the person get into a detox or rehab facility. The Hope Not Handcuffs program launched Wayne and Garden City in March of 2021.