Legal People

Wayne State University Law School
Wayne State University Law School Assistant Professor Kirsten Matoy Carlson was selected to present a paper at the Conference on Empirical Legal Studies in October in St. Louis.

Her paper, “Congress, Tribal Recognition, and Legislative-Administrative Multiplicity,” was chosen from among nearly 340 other submitted papers after “substantial peer review,” according to officials from the Society for Empirical Legal Studies, an international organization of scholars.

Carlson’s paper will be published this winter in the Indiana Law Journal.

The first empirical study to consider the role of Congress in the recognition of Indian nations by the United States, her paper debunks common misunderstandings about federal recognition. It demonstrates that federal recognition is not a uniform administrative process run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rather, parallel legislative and administrative processes exist and often intersect in complex ways.

“My findings force us to admit the far-reaching implications of the misconceptions we have about federal recognition,” Carlson said. “Almost 40 years of critiques and reforms – possibly misguided ones – have flowed from this myopia. It is time to rethink and re-evaluate now that we can see federal recognition for what it is – a legislative-administrative multiplicity.”

Her study also identifies “a new kind of jurisdictional overlap” that has been overlooked and shows the “complicated interactions among agencies and Congress and raises questions about these relationships,” she said.

The paper shows how scholars can use empirical investigation to check prevailing assumptions. Better knowledge of the way American Indian nations are recognized by the different branches of the federal government may produce better policy, she said.

At Wayne Law, Carlson teaches American Indian Law and Civil Procedure. She serves on the State Bar of Michigan Standing Committee on American Indian Law.

Her research focuses on legal advocacy and law reform, with particular attention on the various strategies used by Indian nations and indigenous groups to reform federal Indian law and policy effectively. Carlson’s research integrates traditional legal analysis with social science methodologies for studying legal and political advocacy.

From May 2014 through July 2016, she has a National Science Foundation Law and Social Science Program grant to fund her research project, “Legal Mobilization, Rights Claims, and Federal Indian Policy Reform.” Carlson previously received a National Science Foundation dissertation research grant to study the constitutional entrenchment of aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada. As a Fulbright Scholar, she researched attitudes toward the Waitangi Tribunal and the treaty claims settlement process in New Zealand.

Her articles have been published in the American Indian Law Review, Georgia State Law Review, Michigan Law Review, and Michigan State Law Review.

Prior to joining Wayne Law, she advocated nationally and internationally to protect the rights of Indian nations as a staff attorney at the Indian Law Resource Center. She led the center’s advocacy efforts to restore criminal jurisdiction to Indian nations to end violence against women in Indian Country.

Carlson earned a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from Johns Hopkins University; master of arts degree in Maaori studies from the University of Wellington, New Zealand; and law degree and doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan.


Demorest Law Firm, PLLC
Demorest Law Firm PLLC is pleased to announce that two attorneys have been selected by “Super Lawyers” in 2015 for the state of Michigan. Managing Member Mark Demorest was recognized as a Super Lawyer in the Business & Transactions category for the ninth consecutive year, while associate Melissa Demorest was named a Rising Star for the sixth time.

Mark Demorest graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1983. His professional experience includes more than 30 years of practice. He founded the Demorest Law Firm PLLC in September of 1998. He is on the Board of Directors for the Harvard Club of Eastern Michigan and is an interviewer for Harvard College Admissions Office.

Melissa Demorest focuses her practice on business formation, mergers and acquisitions, and other business transactions. She serves as outside general counsel for many small businesses, providing guidance in employment, real estate, contract, and other business matters. She also has particular experience with woman-owned businesses, leads the firm’s appellate practice, and serves as chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce.


Bodman PLC
Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that 51 of its attorneys have been listed in the 2015 edition of Michigan Super Lawyers.

Local Bodman attorneys listed in Michigan Super Lawyers (including practice area) include:

Marc M. Bakst (Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights).
Andrew H. Curoe (Estate & Probate).
Michelle Thurber Czapski (Business Litigation).
Laurence B. Deitch (Business/Corporate).
Robert J. Diehl Jr. (Bankruptcy & Creditor-Debtor Rights).
Fredrick J. Dindoffer (Environmental).
James T. Heimbuch (Banking).
David M. Hempstead (Estate & Probate).
Kathleen O’Callaghan Hickey (Banking).
R. Craig Hupp (Environmental).
Joseph J. Kochanek (Banking).
David P. Larsen (Estate & Probate).
Marguerite M. Lentz (Estate Planning & Probate).
Dennis J. Levasseur (Securities Litigation).
Edwin J. Lukas (Business/Corporate).
Ralph E. McDowell (Bankruptcy & Creditor-Debtor Rights).
Jeffrey G. Raphelson (Business Litigation).
Maureen Rouse-Ayoub (Employment & Labor).
Nicholas P. Scavone Jr. (Real Estate).
Joseph J. Shannon (Business Litigation).
E. William S. Shipman (Health Care).
Larry R. Shulman (Banking & Finance).
Brian R. Trumbauer (Bankruptcy & Creditor-Debtor Rights).
Courtland W. Anderson (Intellectual Property).
John C. Cashen (Employment & Labor).
David W. Hipp (Real Estate).
Christopher P. Mazzoli (Employment & Labor).
Karen L. Piper (Employment & Labor).
Gary D. Reeves (Construction Litigation).
Andrew Z. Spilkin (Real Estate).
Thomas J. Tallerico (Business Litigation).
Thomas Van Dusen (Business Litigation).
David B. Walters (Employee Benefits).
Wendy L. Zabriskie (Banking).
Local Bodman attorneys recognized under the Rising Stars category are:
Michael T. Brennan (Real Estate).
Michael R. Colasanti (Insurance Coverage).
Brandon M. Dalziel (Health Care).
Jason R. Gourley (Business Litigation).
Thomas J. Rheaume Jr. (Business Litigation).
Jaimee L. Witten (Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights).
Jonathan S. Berg (Business/Corporate).
Timothy P. Bliss (Real Estate).
Andrew J. Schuster (Technology Transactions).


Fraser Trebilcock
Fraser Trebilcock is pleased to announce that Paul C. Mallon, Jr. has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Mallon practices in the areas of Complex Commercial Litigation, Real Property and Corporate Law, Appellate Practice, and Labor, Employment, and Civil Rights Law.

Mallon returns to Michigan after practicing law in Chicago for more than seven years. He served as vice president of and Legislative Liaison for the Local Government Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.

Mallon has a B.A. in Business Administration from Michigan State University, and received his law degree from Chicago-Kent School of Law.


Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP
Three Warner, Norcross, & Judd LLP attorneys have been selected to participate in executive leadership programs in southeast Michigan.

The attorneys are:

Jeena S. Patel, a partner with the firm who specializes in automotive supplier and commercial contract disputes, will participate in Leadership Detroit.

Jayne M. Kogan, an associate with the firm who focuses her practice in labor and employment litigation, data solutions and dispute resolution, will participate in Leadership Oakland.

Patrick B. Tully, an associate with the firm who focuses his practice in resources, energy and environmental concerns, will participate in Leadership Macomb.

Select business professionals and community and government leaders are chosen each year to take part in the nine-month Leadership Macomb, Detroit, and Oakland programs.  The programs give emerging leaders opportunities to learn about and explore key issues that impact Macomb, Wayne, and Oakland counties in Southeast Michigan.


Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers
Jesse Reiter of Reiter & Walsh, ABC Law Centers was elected  by his peers on the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) Executive Board to sit on the American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Board of Governors. The Board of Governors assists in guiding the association, whose members work “to promote a fair and effective justice system.”

Being elected to the Board of Governors reflects on Reiter’s commitment to helping his clients and their families see the justice they deserve when affected by birth injury.  Reiter has won numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients and gives personal attention to every family he helps.

Prior to being elected to the Board of Governors, Reiter has been involved in both the MAJ and the AAJ, serving as MAJ president and as chair of the AAJ’s Birth Trauma Litigation Group and Professional Negligence Section.


George W. Gregory, PLLC
The publication Best Lawyers in America just announced that attorney George W. Gregory, of the law firm George W. Gregory, PLLC in Troy, has been designated as one the Best Lawyers in the specialty of Trusts and Estates and in the area of Litigation Trusts and Estates. This is the 15th consecutive year of selection as a Best Lawyer.

Gregory is also accomplished in the areas of tax controversy, business succession planning, probate and presenting expert testimony.

Gregory’s practice includes the areas of IRS tax controversy, business succession planning, probate, real estate, corporations and presenting expert testimony in these practice areas. A
current member of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, (ACTEC) as well as a Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) member, Gregory is the current chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association, a former chair of the Probate and Estate Council and the Taxation Section Council, both of the State
Bar of Michigan. He is also a frequently invited presenter to these groups as well.


Cardelli Lanfear PC
Cardelli Lanfear PC proudly announces that Robert A. Kaatz and Paul M. Kittinger have become partners and shareholders in the firm.

Kaatz graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 2002.  Prior to law school, he was an active duty tank officer in the United States Army for four years.  While in law school, Kaatz worked full time as a court clerk at Oakland County Circuit Court. 

Kaatz has successfully litigated a wide variety of litigation, including the Michigan No Fault Act, commercial litigation, and product liability. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Michigan, the U.S. Eastern District of Michigan, the U.S. Western District of Michigan, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and he has been admitted pro hac vice in several states.

Kittinger received his law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 2008.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy/Sociology) degree from the University of Michigan in 2008.  Kittinger is admitted to practice in Michigan and Illinois, along with the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan.

Kittinger joined the firm in 2009.  He specializes in commercial litigation, construction law, product liability and personal injury cases.  He has obtained summary disposition/judgment and voluntary dismissals without payment in scores of cases.  He has tried one jury trial to verdict.


Michigan State Bar Foundation
The Michigan State Bar Foundation has selected Judge Harold Hood (posthumously) as the 2015 recipient of its Founders Award, which recognizes lawyers who exemplify professional excellence and outstanding community contributions.

Hood was a trustee for the Michigan State Bar Foundation for 23 years and was a Life Fellow of the Foundation. He provided important stewardship for the Foundation’s program of public service, particularly helping to lead a grants committee assisting improvements in the administration of justice, public understanding about the law and expanded delivery of legal services to those in need. He also served the lawyers and citizens of his state and nation in many other capacities since his admission to the practice of law in 1960, including becoming judge of the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court (Wayne County) in 1978 and being appointed in 1982 to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Among his many honors were the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation’s Dennis W. Archer Award for Public Service (2011); the Founders Award from the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness (2011); the State Bar of Michigan Champion of Justice Award (1990); and the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame Phillip A. Hart Award (1991).

Hood helped lead many civic and professional committees, including: founding chair of the Association of Black Judges in Michigan; founding member of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts; chair of the Michigan Supreme Court Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Issues in the Courts; co-chair of the State Bar’s Open Justice Commission; member of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association; member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association; member of the American Judicature Society; member of the Michigan Judges Association; chair of the Ecumenical Theological Seminary; member and past president of the Old Newsboys Goodfellows Fund of Detroit; member of the Advisory Commission of the National Institute on Alcoholism and Addictions.  He served as faculty for the graduate division of Central Michigan University, the Michigan Judicial Institute, the National Judicial College, and Cooley Law School.

Hood completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan and received his law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

The Michigan State Bar Foundation selected Marilyn Mullane for its 2015 Access to Justice Award which honors persons who have significantly advanced access to justice for the poor in Michigan.

Mullane has been the director of Michigan Legal Services since 2000. Under her leadership, the agency has provided impact-oriented legal services in the Detroit metropolitan region and operates an anti-homelessness project. Working closely with the United Community Housing Coalition, MLS has conducted outreach services to and assisted numerous families facing foreclosure in Detroit.

Mullane has specialized in housing and community development law for the past 30 years, with experience also working on access to utilities, public benefits, health and mental health care. She partners with many other legal aid providers; one example is working with Community Legal Resources, a program of Michigan Community Resources, to use volunteer business lawyers to assist nonprofit organizations throughout Michigan with transactional legal problems. MLS has served as counsel to a number of nonprofit community groups.

Mullane has been a founding member or served on the board of directors for several organizations: the Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice (1991 to 2012); Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation (1980 to present); The Heat Warmth Fund (THAW); Michigan Community Resources (1998 to present); Bridging Communities (2000 to present) and Center for Community Change, Public Housing Advisory Board (1988 to 1998).  Mullane has received the National Lawyers Guild award; the Judith E. Magid Award; the Social and Economic Justice Award; the Ernest Goodman Award; several awards from the Detroit City Council for her work in housing, most recently in Tax Foreclosure Prevention; the Community Health Hero of the Year Award (2011) from MichUHCan and the Sol Schwartz Award (1999) for work on mental health issues from the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Oakland County.

Before her work at MLS began in 1983, Mullane was a legal aid lawyer at Legal Aid and Defender and Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, attended graduate school at Columbia University and received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Both awards will be presented on behalf of the Foundation at the October 7 State Bar Awards Banquet during the State Bar’s Annual Meeting in Novi, Michigan.


Butzel Long
Butzel Long has been named one of Michigan’s Best and Brightest in Wellness™, 2015. The initiative recognizes and celebrates quality and excellence in health awareness. This unique program highlights companies, schools, faith-based groups, and organizations that promote a culture of wellness; and those that plan, implement, and evaluate efforts in employee wellness to make their business and the community a healthier place to live and work.

Butzel Long is among several southeast Michigan organizations that will be honored at a wellness symposium and awards gala on October 8 at The Henry in Dearborn. Moreover, winners will be featured in Corp! magazine, both in the print and digital editions.

“Wellness is part of the Butzel Long culture,” said Lori A. Thomas, director of Human Resources, Butzel Long. “Our wellness initiative focuses on the importance of physical fitness, healthy eating and preventative healthcare. We are honored to receive this noteworthy recognition.”


Wayne State University Law School

Lauren Rennert, who graduated in May from Wayne State University Law School, has won the $1,000 third prize in the 2015 Founding Fathers Religious Liberty Student Writing Competition.

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University sponsor this competition, which is in its sixth year.

The purpose of the competition is to promote legal and academic studies in the field of religious liberty by law students and students pursuing related graduate studies.
Rennert’s piece, “Get While the Getting is Good: An Analysis of Civil Remedies as a Solution to the Agunah,” is about the resolution of Jewish law and constitutional law in regard to a get (a Jewish divorce). Under Jewish law, the only way a marriage can be dissolved is the death of a spouse or by deliverance of a get. In the absence of a get, a Jewish woman is deemed an agunah (chained woman), who isn’t able to remarry. Alternatively, a man may freely remarry in the absence of a get. Rennert’s paper analyzes case law, Jewish law and various civil remedies that serve as potential constitutional solutions to the plight of the agunah.

According to the J. Reuben Clark Law Society Writing Competition Committee, this year’s competition had the largest number of participants.

Rennert will accept her award at a dinner in October in Washington, D.C. She works in patent litigation at Brooks Kushman.


Rotter and Stone PC

The law firm of Rotter and Stone PC of Franklin, Mich., proudly announces that Harriet B. Rotter has been named to The Best Lawyers in America list for the 22nd consecutive year.  This peer distinction recognizes Rotter’s work in the practice of Family Law.

Rotter was also named to the 2015 Michigan Super Lawyers list in the practice of Family Law and selected for inclusion among Super Lawyers Top 50 Women Lawyers in the State of Michigan.

Additionally, Rotter is ranked among the Top 25 Women Consumer Attorneys in Michigan by Hour Detroit magazine.


McDonald Hopkins
Dominic A. Paluzzi, an attorney in the national Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice at McDonald Hopkins, has been elected to the firm’s membership.

Based in Detroit, Paluzzi works with a national team of 21 data privacy and cybersecurity attorneys and has counseled clients through more than 425 data breaches and privacy incidents in a multitude of industries.

A frequent speaker and writer on data privacy law, Paluzzi has conducted some 165 breach response workshops for clients. His expertise includes advising clients regarding data privacy and cybersecurity risks on both a national and international basis, including proactive compliance, incident response strategies and management, and defense of regulatory enforcement actions and single-plaintiff and class action litigation.

Paluzzi works closely with state and federal law enforcement, forensic investigators and third-party vendors to offer his clients efficient and effective breach response services in compliance with the numerous state, federal, international and industry-specific legal obligations. He also has experience defending organizations in third-party and regulatory enforcement actions arising out of a data breach.

The Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice, which is led by James J. Giszczak, was a 2015 finalist for the Advisen Cyber Risk Award for Pre-Breach Team of the Year.

Paluzzi’s experience also encompasses the area of trade secret and non-compete law in which he has prosecuted and defended employers and employees in non-compete, non-solicit, non-disclosure, and trade secret litigation. He earned his law degree, MBA, and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Paluzzi has been selected for inclusion in Michigan Rising Stars for the last three years. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the St. John Hospital and Medical Center Guild, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Alumni Association and the University of Detroit Mercy College of Business Administration Alumni Association.