Potestivo & Associates is pleased to be able to represent the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) as outside counsel in Michigan and Illinois.

Brian A. Potestivo, president-managing attorney stated, "Our firm is fully committed and stands ready to represent the interests of the FDIC."

For more than twenty years, Potestivo & Associates PC has been providing legal services to the real estate finance and credit industry. Headquartered in Rochester Hills, the firm also maintains full-service operations in Grand Rapids and Chicago.

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Darryl Bressack has joined Bloomfield Hills-based Fink & Associates Law as an associate. Managing Partner David H. Fink made the announcement.

Bressack, who joins Fink & Associates Law from Rochester Hills-based Miller Law Firm PC, focuses his practice on commercial litigation, including individual and class actions, in the areas of antitrust, securities fraud and consumer fraud.

Bressack earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He has been listed as a Rising Star in Michigan "Super Lawyers" Magazine each year since 2009 and is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan.

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Garth Wootten, Oakland County's Veterans' Services Division manager, will be elevated to president of the Michigan Association of County Veterans Counselors (MACVC) on June 4.

"I am deeply honored to assume this position," said Wootten. "I know with the support of the membership, we will be able to continue to train and support county veterans counselors to ensure our veterans receive the services they deserve."

MACVC is an organization of county veterans counselors from 68 counties in Michigan. Founded in 1963, its mission is to "assist veterans and their families in obtaining any and all county, state, and federal benefits to which they are entitled."

Wootten has been with Oakland County for 14 years, rising through the ranks from veterans counselor II to Veterans' Services Division manager--a post he will keep while serving as MACVC president. He has been division manager since 2009. Wootten is an attorney who served as a Navy officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps.

Oakland County Veterans' Services Division helps veterans and their families obtain and maintain all veterans-related benefits from federal, state and local government agencies. For additional information, go to or call (248) 858-0785.

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Attorney Shannon L. H. Phillips recently joined Plunkett Cooney as a member of its Insurance Law Practice Group.

Phillips, who is a member of the firm's Bloomfield Hills office, represents insurance providers throughout Michigan and the Midwest. Her experience includes the defense of complex insurance coverage disputes in such areas as environmental contamination, construction defect, product liability, bad faith and personal and advertising injury.

In addition to her insurance law practice, Phillips has experience working in various areas of commercial litigation, including automotive liability, business torts and fraud, class action defense, ERISA, product liability, trademark infringement, unfair competition and the Uniform Commercial Code.

Phillips is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan and Federal bar associations, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, and the DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar. She is admitted to practice in the state and the federal courts in Michigan.

Phillips received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 2008 and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2004.

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Daniel D. Quick, a member at Dickinson Wright PLLC, was elected to a three-year term on the Oakland County Bar Association Board of Directors. His term will end June 30, 2014.

"I am so proud to be elected to the Board of the OCBA," said Quick. "I have been very active in the OCBA over the years, and now will be able to make even more of a difference. It is a great organization and one of the best parts about being a lawyer in this community."

Quick specializes in commercial and intellectual property litigation. He received his B.A. and law degree from the University of Michigan. He is co-chair of the copyright litigation subcommittee of the American Bar Association.

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On May 18, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren was honored with the "Women's Bar Association Distinguished Jurist Award." The Women's Bar Association, Oakland County Region of the Women's Lawyers Association of Michigan, presented the award at its annual installation and awards dinner at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. The award was presented by Jill Krolikowski, past president of the Women's Bar Association and co-chair of the annual dinner, in recognition of the Warren's commitment to serve judicially with efficiency and integrity.

Warren received the award "because of his professionalism in the courtroom, dedication to the expediency of the legal process, and his tireless contributions to the dignity of the American judicial system," stated Krolikowski.

Warren, on the circuit bench since 2002 and the presiding judge of the Civil/Criminal Division, was truly grateful to receive the award. "I am deeply honored to have been given this very special award," said Warren. "The award is especially meaningful in light of the strong influence women lawyers have had on my career, and the importance of the Women's Bar Association in maintaining our society's respect for the First Principle of equality."

Besides his judicial role, Warren is very involved in the community. He and his daughter Leah co-created Patriot Week ( Patriot Week renews America's spirit by celebrating the First Principles, Founding Fathers and other Patriots, vital documents and speeches, and flags that make America the greatest nation in world history. Warren is recognized as a published author of "America's Survival Guide--How to Stop America's Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles" (

He currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Cornerstone Schools Association, a member to the Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions, a board member for The New Common School Foundation, and trustee of the Michigan Council on Economics Education.

He has written various articles, commentaries and opinions on subjects regarding the law, education and American Civics, some of which have been published in the Wayne State Law Review, the Institute for Continuing Education, Oakland Press, Detroit News, and Detroit Free Press.

In addition, Warren spoke at Cornerstone Schools Association's 20th Anniversary Celebration on May 19. A former employee at Cornerstone, Warren currently serves as the chair of the Board of Directors of the independent, Detroit based elementary and middle schools.

"Cornerstone has 20-year record of academic excellence, providing a shining model of achievement by bringing together a broad and beloved community to change Detroit one child at a time," Warren stated. "Cornerstone is strongly supported by the business community, including many lawyers. In fact, four out of five of Cornerstone's Board of Directors are lawyers."

Addressing a crowd of more than 500, Warren explained how Cornerstone was able to overcome the precipitous drop-off of donations when the Great Recession hit. Warren chaired a strategic planning subcommittee that led to the creation of two new charter schools at two of three of Cornerstone's campuses.

"These converted schools secured the financial viability of Cornerstone Schools Association while at the same time allowing the Cornerstone model to reach more children through the public school sector," Warren explained. "In addition, this process is allowing Cornerstone Schools Association to open a new leadership and business high school this fall."

In 2010, Excellent Schools Detroit named Cornerstone the #1 elementary school in the city. The elementary school has the best MEAP scores in the City of Detroit. Defining differences for Cornerstone also include the 11-month school year, rigorous academic curriculum, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish language instruction beginning in Kindergarten, university collaborations, uniforms, Partner mentor program, comprehensive music program (including vocal music, strings and piano), wide range of after-school programs, and competitive sports.

"Cornerstone prepares children for life and leadership. On this journey we will seek to follow Jesus as a sure path to a fulfilling life and servant leadership," Warren remarked. "I am so pleased that we have built a solid foundation to continue success for the next 20 years." To learn more, visit

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Clark Hill PLC attorney Reginald Turner has been appointed chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. The commission is a partnership between corporate legal departments and law firms working together to create leadership and economic opportunities for diverse lawyers within the ABA and the legal profession.

"I am honored to have been appointed to this position by ABA President William Robinson, and look forward to working on this committee to advance diversity in the legal profession on a national level," Turner said.

In the coming year Turner will work to increase participation in the Commission's successful Minority Counsel Program, which promotes diversity through continuing legal education programs and by building relationships between corporations and racially and ethnically diverse lawyers.

Turner will also preside over the commission's Spirit of Excellence Awards program, which celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more diverse legal profession.

"The Commission has done tremendous work in the past, particularly under the leadership of founding chair Dennis Archer, and current chair Fred Alvarez. We look forward to continuing to build upon this platform," Turner said.

Turner is resident in Clark Hill's Detroit office, where he is a member of the Labor and Employment Group, as well as a member of the Government and Public Affairs Group.

Turner has been in practice for more than 20 years, and has been recognized by several legal industry organizations and publications for his professional accomplishments including repeated recognition in "The Best Lawyers in America" and Law & Politics Magazine's "Super Lawyers® Top 100" publication.

He is a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He was also recognized by Crain's Detroit Business as a Power Lawyer. Turner is a past president of the National Bar Association and past president of the State Bar of Michigan.

Turner earned his B.S. from Wayne State University, and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

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To help members of the medical community better protect their ideas and inventions, Brooks Kushman law firm's William G. Abbatt will present "Protecting Your Patent Ideas as a Doctor" during the 12th Annual New Cardiovascular Horizons Conference (NCVH) in New Orleans from June 1 to 4. Abbatt, a shareholder and registered patent attorney, is slated to present on Saturday, June 4. This is the second consecutive year that Abbatt has been asked to speak at the NCVH conference.

During the presentation, Abbatt, an experienced counselor, litigator and educator in all aspects of patent law, will discuss the strategies, challenges and pitfalls medical professionals need to know when bringing a product or technology to market. Specifically, Abbatt will explain how patents might touch a medical doctor and the doctor's practice, discuss the importance of patenting an idea in the medical industry and provide an overview of the sensitivity involved with intellectual property (IP) issues.

"With more than 25 years as a patent attorney, I know first-hand the importance of obtaining the appropriate legal protection for inventions," Abbatt said. "I look forward to discussing some of the top concerns and strategies that the medical community should consider when looking to bring an innovation to the market."

With an active practice in all aspects of IP law, Abbatt has hands-on experience in defining and protecting inventions. He has a special affinity for working with small and mid-sized emerging entities whose value can be enhanced by effective management of IP.

* * *

Honigman, Miller, Schwartz, and Cohn LLP is pleased to announce that Edith M. Bowman, Ph.D., has joined Honigman as an attorney in the firm's Real Estate Department. She will be located in Honigman's Detroit office.

Bowman will focus her practice on general real estate transactions, including sales and acquisitions, commercial leasing, property management issues, construction and permanent financing, and tax credit/tax investor transactions.

She earned a law degree from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Chicago. In addition, Bowman earned a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Administration of Justice from Howard University.

Bowman is admitted to the Illinois State Bar and her admission to the State Bar of Michigan is pending.

She joins Honigman from Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago.

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Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Daniel M. Wagnitz has been promoted from Intellectual Property intern to associate with the firm. He will practice out of the firm's Royal Oak Office.

Wagnitz concentrates his practice in intellectual property law with a focus on patent preparation/prosecution and opinion work, primarily in mechanical arts. He has worked on a variety of technologies, including automobile shifters, differentials, transfer cases, axles, chassis components, automotive interior systems, pedal assemblies, cable assemblies, vehicle door and window seals, exhaust systems as well as other vehicle-related products, medical and dental devices, building and construction components, sheet metal forming and punching devices, deburring equipment, and fastener assemblies.

Wagnitz joined Howard & Howard in 2007 as an intern in its intellectual property internship program. He trained in the practice of patent law by preparing and prosecuting patent applications as well as conducting patentability investigations and drafting numerous patentability and infringement opinions. Wagnitz received his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2011. He is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan.

Prior to joining Howard & Howard, Wagnitz received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University in 2001. While an undergraduate, he worked for Kamax LP as a design engineer co-op, designing cold forming tools for fastener manufacturing, as well as authoring his thesis, Cold Forming Die Material Comparison. More recently, Wagnitz worked for ArvinMeritor Inc. as a product development engineer/program manager, where he was responsible for the design and validation of exhaust system components, as well as managing costs and timing for various programs.

Published: Mon, May 30, 2011