Kurt M. Brauer, a partner with Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP, has been elected chair of the Environmental Law Council of the State Bar of Michigan. Brauer will serve a one-year term on the council helping it fulfill its mission to provide education, information, and analysis regarding laws and regulations dealing with the conservation and development of the natural resources of Michigan. At Warner Norcross, Brauer counsels clients in economic development and environmental compliance and regulatory matters with an emphasis on brownfield development and business incentive packages. He also assists them in resolving complex real estate matters. He is recognized in Best Lawyers in America and as a DBusiness Top Lawyer. Brauer was recently selected to participate in Leadership Detroit Class XXXV. He serves on the executive board and as chair of the legislative committee for the Michigan Chapter of the National Brownfield Association and as secretary for the board of the Farmington Hills Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. He is a founding member of the Michigan Wetlands Association and sits on its board of directors. Brauer is also a member of the Michigan Economic Developers Association and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, for the seventh year in a row, Warner Norcross has been named one of Metro Detroit's 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For. Warner Norcross, which has offices in Southfield and Sterling Heights, was evaluated on the basis of communication, community initiatives, compensation and benefits, diversity, employee development, employee engagement and commitment, recognition and retention, recruitment and selection, and work-life balance. The organization indicated that the competition drew an increased number of entrants this year. The firm's Grand Rapids office has also been recognized as a Best & Brightest Company in West Michigan. Warner Norcross recently received recognition from The Detroit Free Press for the fifth year as one of Michigan's Top Work Places. * * * Serving the Detroit area since 1998, Demorest Law Firm celebrates 15 years in providing outstanding legal services "We are proud to celebrate our 15th anniversary as a law firm," said Managing Member Mark Demorest. "Our clients have called on our services time and again. In fact, many of our clients have been with us for the entire 15 years. This loyalty is a great endorsement of our service to our clients. We look forward to many more years." Serving as outside general counsel to small and medium-sized businesses, and helping larger companies and other law firms with specific projects, Demorest Law Firm PLLC, provides a full range of legal services for businesses. The firm also represents individuals in certain matters. The firm has particular expertise in the areas of business law, real estate and construction matters, litigation, employment law, hospitality law, condemnation, and inverse condemnation. * * * Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Daniel R.W. Rustmann shared best practices in pricing negotiations and how to leverage contract language during a program presented by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) and IRN, Inc. on Oct. 3. Rustmann discussed negotiation and contracting strategies, including written communications, difficult meetings and disputes. He'll also discuss the dos and don'ts for attempting to obtain price increases, pushing back on requests for pricing decreases, and countering common purchasing techniques. Based in Butzel Long's Detroit office, Rustmann's practice has been devoted principally to litigation. He has handled cases in a wide variety of substantive areas, including UCC supply chain litigation, sales representative commission disputes, non-compete disputes, shareholder disputes, and other complex, commercial litigation. He frequently advises clients on contract negotiation and drafting. As a co-chair of Butzel Long's Global Automotive Practice Group, Rustmann has developed experience representing tier 1 and tier 2 automotive suppliers in various matters. Rustmann is a graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law (1989) and Valparaiso University (B.A., 1986). * * * Corbet, Shaw, Essad, Tucciarone, & Bonasso is pleased to announce that Sarah Tupica Berard has been promoted to associate principal, in recognition of her legal skills, commitment to clients and contributions to the firm. Berard, who earned her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy, joined the firm in 2009. Her practice focuses on medical malpractice and insurance defense. In 2012, Berard was selected to serve on the newly-formed Patient and Family Advisory Board (PFAB) at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC). The PFAB is a partnership of patients, family members, healthcare providers and the community that works to ensure the highest quality of patient and family-centered care at UMCCC. Berard was also elected as the PFAB Nominations and Governance Officer. In 2010 and 2011, Berard was named a Michigan Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in the practice area of Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice. * * * Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP is pleased to announce that Ann T. Hollenbeck, a partner and a leader of the firm's Health Care and Higher Education Practice Groups has been named one of 25 "Women in the Law" for 2013 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Hollenbeck was honored at a special luncheon on Sept. 26, at the Detroit Marriott in Troy. Hollenbeck advises hospitals, physicians and other providers on the implications of health care reform, human subjects research matters and fraud and abuse. She advises clients on academic, medical center and health system structures and arrangements, as well as clinical affiliations and physician compensation. Hollenbeck also represents clients in transactional matters such as creating ancillary services arrangements, negotiating joint ventures and developing physician-hospital relationships. She has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America from 2012 through 2014, by Michigan Super Lawyers from 2009 through 2013 and by DBusiness magazine as a "Top Lawyer" from 2010 through 2013. Hollenbeck co-chairs the American Health Lawyers Association's Program Committee for its annual Academic Medical Center/Teaching Hospitals seminar, which attracts both lawyers and academic medical center leaders. She is also a member of the Legislative Policy Panel of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. In the community, Hollenbeck is the first vice chair of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, chair of its Policy Committee and a member of its Executive Committee. In addition, she chairs the Young Discipleship Core Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church. She earned her law degree from Indiana University McKinney School of Law and a B.S. in accounting from Butler University. * * * David H. Fink, managing partner of Metro Detroit based Fink & Associates Law, was recently named chair of the Eastern District of Michigan Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel, following his appointment to the panel by the judges of the Eastern District of Michigan. The panel is responsible for reviewing candidates for appointment to the federal magistrate judge position in Bay City and reporting to the court the five nominees the panel determines are best qualified. Fink is the founder of Bloomfield Hills-based Fink & Associates Law where he focuses his practice on complex commercial and class action litigation in the areas of business disputes, antitrust, consumer fraud, environmental law, intergovernmental disputes, securities fraud, shareholder derivative litigation, and construction contracts. Fink also serves on the State Bar of Michigan Judicial Qualifications Committee and the State Officer's Compensation Commission. In 2011, Fink was named a "Leader in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and has been listed as a Super Lawyer in Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine every year since 2007. He is a graduate of Harvard College and a graduate of Harvard Law School. * * * Wayne State University Law School Professor Nick Schroeck has been elected by his peers to a seat on the State Bar of Michigan's Environmental Law Section Council. He's the only public-interest attorney and academic on the council. Schroeck, a 2007 alumnus of Wayne Law, directs the school's Transnational Environmental Law Clinic and is executive director of the nonprofit Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. The State Bar's environmental law section offers education, information and analysis of issues through public service programs and publication of the Michigan Environmental Law Journal. Schroeck has been active with the group for years. In addition to his new three-year post on its governing council, he serves as co-chair of the section's Great Lakes and Inland Waters Committee. Schroeck said he's honored to be chosen, and that he has some definite goals for the group. "I would like to help increase the programmatic offerings of the section," he said. "Another goal of mine is increasing the engagement with law students. I want to help law students get involved with the section, both in law school and once they are in practice. There are lots of great learning and networking opportunities for law students and young lawyers." He said he hopes to hold some of the section's programs at Wayne Law in the coming year. "Beyond that, I want to help make the section responsive to members and help to provide excellent educational opportunities for section members so that we can always continue learning and providing great services to clients in the private and public sectors." Schroeck frequently speaks at meetings and conferences and appears in the media as an expert on high-profile environmental law issues, including the dispute over how to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, the controversy over oil and gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," and the recent concerns over petroleum coke piles stored in the open on the Detroit River shoreline. In May, Schroeck received the Recent Alumni Award from Wayne State University's alumni association for outstanding professional achievement, community contributions and service to the university. Schroeck has worked for the National Wildlife Federation, America's largest conservation organization, out of their Great Lakes Natural Resources Center in Ann Arbor. He also was a Sea Grant Fellow with the Great Lakes Commission. Schroeck earned his bachelor's degree in urban studies and political science from Elmhurst College in Illinois. Additionally,Schroeck has been invited to participate in the final stage of a U.S. and Canadian project to assess the past and future of the St. Lawrence River Basin. The Great Lakes Futures Project is a venture of the Transborder Research University Network for Water Stewardship, a partnership established in 2007 of 21 Canadian and U.S. research institutions, including Wayne State University. "I will be there to listen to and engage with that discussion," Schroeck said. "Then we will continue the discussion among a smaller group of legally oriented scholars in an effort to tease out, critique and hopefully build upon the findings. I will then be drafting a short memo analyzing some of the legal and governance implications of the Great Lakes Futures Project. The idea is that the discussion and memos will lay the foundation for a special issue of a journal or a dedicated book on the future of the Great Lakes' St. Lawrence River Basin, in which I will contribute an article. Using a rigorous scenario analysis methodology, this initiative engaged more than 30 faculty, 25 graduate students, representatives from non-governmental organizations and government officials from the United States and Canada." * * * Miller Canfield announces that Christy Baas, manager of global branding and media (Detroit office), has been appointed as a member-at-large of the 2014 board of directors of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Midwest Chapter. She also sits on the executive committee of the LMA's Detroit Chapter. Baas joined Miller Canfield in 2002. She earned her B.A. in corporate communication/public relations from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She received the UM-D 2010 "Young Alumnus of the Year" award. * * * Southfield-based Collins Einhorn Farrell announced attorney Sarah E. Blalock has joined the firm's General and Professional Liability Practice Groups. Blalock will focus her practice on the defense of general and professional liability claims. Prior to her arrival at Collins Einhorn, she gained experience as a trial lawyer while working for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. She earned her law degree from Case Western Reserve School of Law. She also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing from Youngstown State University. Blalock is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and Oakland County Bar Association. * * * Sommers Schwartz PC is proud to announce that four of the firm's attorneys have been selected to the 2013 list of Rising Stars. The Sommers Schwartz attorneys listed among the 2013 Michigan Rising Stars are: * Lisa M. Esser-Weidenfeller. * Tad T. Roumayah. * Kevin J. Stoops. * Jesse L. Young. Roumayah, Stoops, and Young practice in a variety of areas at Sommers Schwartz focused on class action, employment litigation, commercial law and intellectual property. Esser-Weidenfeller's practice is focused on medical malpractice and personal injury. * * * Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Steven M. Van Beek has joined the firm. He will practice out of the firm's Royal Oak Office. Van Beek concentrates his practice in the area of financial regulations. He has knowledge of regulations and guidance issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Reserve Board as well as the underlying legal statutes. Beyond the regulations, Van Beek has knowledge of the operational issues facing credit unions and best practices credit unions can follow to reduce compliance, strategic and reputation risks. Van Beek is a frequent speaker at national and regional industry events delivering information on new and existing laws and regulations impacting financial institutions. Prior to joining Howard and Howard, Van Beek served as the vice president of Regulatory Compliance and Senior Federal Counsel at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). There, he was responsible for all aspects of NAFCU's compliance assistance program and compliance-related products and services. In this role, he authored compliance articles for NAFCU publications, including the popular NAFCU Compliance Blog. His goal remains to help credit unions and other financial institutions navigate the complex web of laws, regulations, and guidance that impact operations. Van Beek earned his B.A. from Hope College in 2004 and his law degree from George Mason University School of Law in 2007. He is a member of the American Bar Association and is licensed to practice in the state of Virginia. * * * The Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys is pleased to announce that Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm was elected as president of the organization at its Annual Meeting held in Detroit on Sept. 20. Grigg Bluhm, who has served as MAMA's vice president for the past two years, said she was honored to be selected as president and excited about the excellent MAMA programs that have been initiated to improve the complicated and multi-faceted municipal law practice. "I hope to carry on the tradition of exemplary leadership," Grigg Bluhm said. "In my term as president, I hope to encourage greater interest and participation in the Academy of Municipal Attorneys, the municipal externship program, our active legislative committee and publications committee and the wonderful educational opportunities, all of which directly benefit local government." Grigg Bluhm was appointed Troy city attorney in 2001 after previously serving the city as its assistant city attorney since 1995. She is a member of the Board of Public Corporations Section of the State Bar of Michigan and served as past chairperson. She has been a certified fellow of the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) since 2004 and was a graduate of the inaugural class of the MAMA Academy of Municipal Attorneys. In addition, she is past chair of the municipal law committee of the Oakland County Bar Association and member and past president of the Troy Kiwanis Club. Grigg Bluhm earned her bachelor's degree from Albion College in 1989 and graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 1992. * * * Michigan Lawyers Weekly has selected Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss Partner Liz Luckenbach for inclusion in their "Women in the Law" award. Jaffe CEO Bill Sider proudly made the announcement. Luckenbach joined Jaffe in 2005, and became a partner just two years later. She is a member of the firm's Estate & Wealth Planning and Litigation practice groups, specializing in probate litigation, special needs planning and elder law. Her practice has evolved to include high-profile clients and cases, requiring innovative problem solving and fierce negotiation. Luckenbach has been elected to distinguished leadership positions, including president of the Oakland County Bar Foundation (2012-2013), president of the Wayne County Probate Bar Association (2013-2015) and a board member of the Oakland County Bar Association (2013-2016). She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University and her law degree from DePaul University College of Law. Luckenbach is also a board member of the Children's Center for Wayne County and a volunteer with the Detroit Zoological Society. * * * The Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation has appointed four new trustees as of the organization's September meeting. The new trustees are Tamira T. Chapman (Ford), Ebony L. Duff (Garan Lucow), Thomas G. McNeill (Dickinson Wright PLLC), and Steven A. Roach (Miller Canfield). "We're thrilled to have such highly-qualified candidates join us," said DMBAF Co-Chair E. Christopher Johnson, Jr. "In addition to being outstanding attorneys, each of our new trustees has proven their dedication to community service. This makes them a perfect fit for our organization, which exists to provide legal and other supports to those in need here in metro Detroit." In addition to their professional achievements, Duff, Chapman, and Roach have all been active participants in the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, while McNeill has served in leadership positions with the Federal and State Bars. Each of the new trustees has also been recognized by the legal community. Among other awards and recognitions, Chapman is the recipient of the 2011 DMBA "Barrister of the Year Award;" Duff received the Michigan Super Lawyers "Rising Star" award in 2013; McNeill is listed in Best Lawyers in America in four disciplines; and Roach was listed at a Top Lawyer in Banking by DBusiness Magazine in 2011. "Our new trustees bring an impressive breadth and depth of professional expertise and personal experiences to the job - they exemplify the high standards that metro Detroit's legal community tries to set for our leaders," said DMBA Foundation Executive Director Lorraine Weber. "I look forward to welcoming and working with them on this November's Archer Award event and beyond." Published: Mon, Oct 7, 2013