Mantese Honigman attorney receives Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award


Douglas L. Toering, a partner with Mantese Honigman, P.C. in Troy, has been named the recipient of the 15th Annual Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award by the State Bar of Michigan’s Business Law Section.  This prestigious award honors Michigan business lawyers who consistently exemplify the characteristics the Business Law Section seeks to foster and facilitate: the highest quality of professionalism, the highest quality of practice, and an unwavering dedication to service, ethical conduct, and collegiality within the practice of law.

At Mantese Honigman, Toering handles business litigation, shareholder disputes, business transactional matters, and healthcare law.  Before joining Mantese Honigman, Toering practiced as in-house counsel for General Motors Corporation, later as a partner at a national litigation firm, and then as a principal at his own firm. Over a distinguished career, Toering has represented Fortune 500 companies in commercial litigation as well as small businesses and their owners in litigation and transactional matters.

Toering joins other experienced and accomplished business law attorneys who received the Schulman Award.  Some of his most substantial contributions to the Business Law Section and the practice of business law include having served as chair of the Business Law Section and the Section’s Small Business Forum and Law Schools Committee and being a leader in the development of the state’s business courts. Currently, Toering chairs the Commercial Litigation Committee and the Business Courts Committee for the Business Law Section.  Toering has been involved with the Section for many years and is “humbled by the award.” 

Reflecting on the work of the Business Law Section, Toering said this award inspires him to continue working for the development of business law in Michigan, and that he is thankful for everything the Section and its members are doing to support business law in the state.

“The Section provides excellent opportunities for business lawyers to learn from other excellent business attorneys and to enjoy the collegiality that this brings.  Getting involved in the Business Law Section also gives lawyers an opportunity to have input into the practice of business law in Michigan.” 

Toering is a highly accomplished author of many articles on business law. Since 2018, he has authored or co-authored a regular column on the Michigan Business Courts for the Michigan Business Law Journal with a goal of fostering greater communication among the business court bench and bar.  The column is titled, “Touring the Business Courts.”  He also serves on business court advisory committees for Macomb County and Oakland County. Toering’s pro bono work includes serving as a director of Christian Legal Aid of Southeastern Michigan. 

Following up on years of work done by past Schulman Award recipient Diane Akers, Toering has focused much of his work in the Business Law Section over the past 10 years on the business courts.  He was invited to attend the signing of the business courts legislation in October 2012. Apart from this, Toering has served on a Business Law Section committee that drafted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief to the Michigan Supreme Court in 2013 and currently chairs another amicus curiae committee.  He also serves on a Section subcommittee focusing on shareholder oppression litigation. 

Toering earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School, where he took Professor Schulman’s business planning class. “At that time, I never would have thought that I would someday receive an award honoring Professor Schulman,” Toering said. “Professor Schulman was extremely knowledgeable about Michigan business law and his influence continues to be felt on the practice of business law today.” 

Toering will be introduced at the Schulman Award Ceremony, held in conjunction with the Section’s annual meeting on September 28 at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel. As a result of his involvement in the Section, Toering has become an enthusiastic advocate of the advantages that membership and participation in the Section can offer business lawyers at every stage of their careers.  New and established attorneys alike can benefit from the networking and training that the Section offers, noted Toering.

“New attorneys can check out committees to see what interests them. With work and dedication, they can move into leadership positions in the Business Law Section,” Toering said. He also recommends that lawyers attend the Business Law Institute and other programs sponsored by the Business Law Section and the Institute for Continuing Legal Education and consider authoring articles for the Michigan Business Law Journal.

Toering also encourages law firms of all sizes to encourage their attorneys to become involved in the Business Law Section, or other sections of the State Bar of Michigan.  “Law firm support is very important,” Toering said.  He appreciates the support of his colleagues at Mantese Honigman, who have encouraged and supported his efforts in the Business Law Section. 

The Business Law Section established the Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award in 2006, to be presented annually. Past recipients of the Schulman Award include Cy Moscow, Martin Oetting, Hugh Makens, and Jim Bruno in 2006; Charlie McCallum and Verne Hampton in 2007; Ann Baker in 2008; Justin Klimko in 2009; Alex DeYonker in 2010; Jim Cambridge in 2011; Jeff Ammon in 2012; Dan Minkus in 2013; Diane Akers in 2014; Larry Schultz in 2015; Timothy Damschroder in 2016; John Trentacosta in 2017; Dee Fuller in 2018; and Erik Lark in 2019.

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