Varnum is pleased to announce that Michael Zavier (partner) has joined Varnum’s Litigation and Trial Team. He is based in the firm’s Birmingham office.

Zavier is a trial attorney representing clients in a range of complex disputes, including first- and third-party auto claims, premises and general liability matters, medical service provider recovery, and other complex civil litigation matters.  His clients include numerous medical service providers where he litigates disputes over No Fault eligibility, coverage, causation and priority disputes under Michigan’s No Fault Insurance Act.

Prior to joining Varnum, Zavier worked for a law firm in Southfield where his practice concentrated on representing medical providers involving catastrophic personal injury and No Fault insurance matters. For the past three years, he has been named by Michigan Super Lawyers® as a “Rising Star.”

Zavier is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School.  He received his B.A. in General Business Administration from Michigan State University Eli Broad School of Business.

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The Michigan Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (MIAAI), a professional association of fire investigation experts, united by a strong commitment to combat the crime of arson through professional fire investigation, has awarded Macomb County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Sian Hengeveld the Prosecutor of the Year Award for 2023.  

Hengeveld and Anthony Sorentino conducted a five day jury trial on a murder and arson case.  On April 24, Dangelo Hubbard of Detroit was found guilty on all charges in the death of Lisa Marrone from Roseville by a Macomb County jury.  

On February 4, 2022, Hubbard drove to Marrone’s residence, stabbed her over 75 times and inflicted blunt force trauma to her head resulting in her death.  The next day Hubbard returned to the victim’s residence and set it on fire.

During the trial, Hengeveld questioned Roseville Fire Investigator Lori Goldwater and David Stayer from Rehmann Corporate Investigative Services, regarding the origin and cause of the fire. Both Goldwater and Stayer, through pictures and testimony, helped tell the story of this crime.  

Hengeveld will be recognized during the MIAAI Arson School Banquet on Wednesday, May 24, at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing.  MIAAI’s goal is to serve as the global resource for those working in and associated with the fire, arson, and explosion investigation profession with respect to fire safety and prevention; arson investigation, determination, and prosecution; and fire loss claims and litigation.

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Homayune Ghaussi, a partner with Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, has been named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  Ghaussi was nominated by peers and elected by the ABF board.

Ghaussi practices in Warner’s Detroit office and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee and chair of its Supply Chain Litigation Practice Group and newly established Supply Chain Industry Group. He focuses his practice dually, and somewhat uniquely, on both supply chain litigation and commercial contract negotiation, representing clients in complex litigation and commercial disputes, including through jury trials and arbitration hearings. He also regularly serves as transactional and contracts counsel for automotive, manufacturing and raw material suppliers throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Active professionally and in the community, Ghaussi is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, State Bar of California, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, and Oakland County Bar Association. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Commercial Arbitration Panel and serves on the board of the Friends of the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan.

Ghaussi has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America© in commercial litigation as well as Michigan Super Lawyers and DBusiness as a top lawyer in litigation and commercial and intellectual property law. Lawyers of Color named Ghaussi on both its Power List and as a Law Firm Leader. He is a graduate of Leadership Oakland and served on its board from 2012–16.

Ghaussi earned his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. He is fluent in both Farsi and Persian.  

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Wayne State University Law School
extends congratulations to Professor Jonathan Weinberg appointed to the rank of distinguished professor on April 28 by the Wayne State University Board of Governors.  The Distinguished Professor Award was created in recognition of academic excellence, to support academic advancement.

Weinberg joined the Wayne Law faculty in 1988 and was the associate dean for research and faculty development from 2018 to 2022.

He has been a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg; a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies; a law firm associate in Washington, D.C; a professor in residence at the U.S. Justice Department; a legal scholar in residence at the Federal Communications Commission; and a visiting scholar at Cardozo Law School. He chaired a working group created by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, an international body that administers the Internet domain name system) to develop recommendations on the creation of new Internet top level domains.

Weinberg has published articles on a wide-ranging set of topics including privacy, internet law, immigration and citizenship law, the first amendment, communications law and administrative law.

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The National Black Lawyers organization has selected Sean Bowen to its Top 40 Under 40 list for the state of Michigan, recognizing the McDonald Hopkins attorney for his exemplary legal representation in the areas of data privacy and cybersecurity.

A former attorney for the New York City law department and a U.S. Army veteran, Bowen advises clients on how to prevent and respond to cybersecurity incidents. He is skilled at managing ransomware attacks and email compromises and regularly coordinates forensic investigations. Bowen also handles media and third-party communications with regulators, represents clients in connection with government investigations, and counsels clients on state data protection and breach notification laws.

Bowen is accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a certified information privacy professional for the U.S.

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Zausmer Shareholder Janetta Ksar participated in a webinar for the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (MDTC) on April 12.

The webinar, titled “Collecting the Dirt: A Guide to the Preservation, Collection, & Admissibility of Digital Evidence,” provided a legally defensible path to collecting, preserving, and authenticating data for evidence admissibility.

Ksar’s presentation revolved around the admission of electronic evidence and discovery in the form of social media, surveillance, cell phone data/app downloads, cell tower GPS locations, Fit Bits/Apple Watches (i.e., activity trackers), and infotainment systems in cars. Additionally, her presentation covered how to obtain that evidence, properly lay a foundation for its admissibility, admitting it into evidence, and presenting it to a jury.

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Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is pleased to announce that attorney Clifford G. Prebay has joined the firm.   

Prebay is a member of the firm’s General and Automotive Liability Practice Group.  He has devoted his practice for more than twenty years to the defense of first and third-party auto cases, premises liability, product liability, general liability, and construction defects. Prebay also has experience in defending trucking cases, general liability cases, Telephone Communications Protection Act cases, and Lanham Act cases. During his time in practice, he has developed unique skills in coverage analyses, and has been approved as coverage counsel for several insurers.

Prior to his legal career, Prebay was an insurance adjuster for 12 1/2 years where he handled product liability, premises liability, general liability and fleet auto claims for General Motors Corporation, Sedgwick, and several prominent auto insurers.

Prebay has been recognized by Lawyers of Distinction for his skill as an attorney and high ethical standards.

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced the following appointments to the Military Appeals Tribunal  and Board of Law Examiners:

—Military Appeals Tribunal  

Deanne L. Bonner Simpson is the founding attorney of RCR Veterans Law PLLC and a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University – San Marcos and a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Bonner is reappointed to represent an individual licensed to practice law in the state, for a term commencing May 18, 2023, and expiring April 16, 2027.  

The Military Appeals Tribunal has appellate jurisdiction, upon petition of an accused, to hear and review the record in all decisions of a court-martial after the review provided in the Michigan code of military justice.  

This appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

—Board of Law Examiners

Judge Brian Sullivan is a judge on the Wayne County Circuit Court, first elected in 1998. He earned a Bachelor of Philosophy from Wayne State University, his Master of Arts in Philosophy from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and his law degree from the Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University College of Law). Sullivan is reappointed for a term commencing May 18, 2023, and expiring June 30, 2028.

The Board of Law Examiners is responsible for investigating and examining all persons who initially apply for admission to the Michigan bar. The Board may adopt suitable regulations, subject to approval by the Supreme Court, concerning the performance of its functions and duties.

This appointment is not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.