Butzel attorney Laura E. Johnson named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s ‘Go To Lawyers’ for Business Law

TROY, Mich. – Butzel attorney and shareholder Laura E. Johnson is one of 22 attorneys named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “Go To Lawyers” for Business Law for 2022. The program honors leading lawyers in a particular field of law as nominated by their peers. Honorees will be profiled in a special section in the May 30 edition.

Notably, a “Michigan Go To Lawyer” is:

  • An expert in his or her field, well-versed in the nuances of the case law, statutes and regulations clients will encounter.
  • Experienced, and enjoys a record of success, with many cases and/or transactions that give testimony to the quality advice he or she can provide.
  • A lawyer to whom other lawyers make referrals because of his or her expertise and accomplishments.
  • A lawyer who can think creatively and identify all options for a client.
  • A lawyer you would name when a friend from another state calls and says she has a client who needs some legal help in a given part of our state.

Johnson practices in the area of business and corporate law. She practices primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, nonprofit organizations, corporate governance, entity formation and general corporate and business law. She advises clients in venture capital and private equity transactions.

She is the co-chair of Butzel’s Pro-Bono Committee and a member of the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She serves as a council member of the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section. Johnson previously served as a member of OESA’s Young Leadership Council 3 and a member of its Talent Retention subcommittee.

Moreover, Johnson was named to DBusiness magazine’s 2021 Class of “30 in Their Thirties,” which profiles metro Detroit business professionals who have achieved notable success in their respective fields. She also was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “Women in the Law” for 2021.
She is admitted to practice in Michigan State Courts, New York State Courts and the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Johnson is a member of the Federal Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan.

Johnson is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2009) where she was a member of Law Review and Executive Editor (2008-09). She also graduated from the University of Michigan (B.A., with honors, 2006).

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Butzel attorney Mitchell Zajac named to DBusiness magazine’s ‘30 in Their Thirties’

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel attorney and shareholder Mitchell Zajac has been named to DBusiness magazine’s 2022 Class of “30 in Their Thirties,” which profiles metro Detroit business professionals who have achieved notable success in their respective fields. Zajac also was named to DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers of Metro Detroit, Intellectual Property and Patent Law, 2021 and 2022. He is profiled in the May/June 2022 edition of DBusiness.

Zajac is a member of Butzel’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group, one of the firm’s largest practices areas. His practice also includes a focus on automotive, intellectual property, regulatory and emissions compliance, and sports law, to name a few. He is a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Before joining Butzel as a summer associate in May 2017, while attending law school full time, Zajac was an engineer at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). He moved quickly through the ranks at FCA. He was responsible for multiple ground-breaking development projects, led the international engineering team producing the Ram ProMaster City, and had a leading role in FCA’s corporate audit group with responsibilities in safety/regulatory compliance, quality and purchasing.

He has practiced in six federal courts, the U.S. Patent Office, the Court of International Trade, and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Zajac’s career as an attorney builds on his strengths and experiences he gained while at FCA and has helped him to grow his practice beyond the automotive industry. Zajac has helped several clients manage and craft IP portfolios in other unique industries, like medicine, light-weighting, and industrial manufacturing. He also has experience in complex patent, trade secret and commercial litigation cases.

Zajac attended WMU-Cooley (J.D., 2017) after graduating from Western Michigan University with Bachelors’ degrees in Mechanical Engineering and German (2012) and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering (2013). He was a Rhodes Scholar finalist (2012); interned for Congressman Fred Upton; and was a four-year starter on the Division 1 football team at WMU. Zajac was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2020 Class of Up & Coming Lawyers. Moreover, he received the Detroit Bar Association’s “One to Watch” Award in 2019. Zajac has been named to Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch, Commercial Litigation, 2022.

He is active in the community. He was elected to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners. Moreover, Zajac is an appointed member on the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School Board of Directors.

Zajac is an advocate for continuous education and public service. He’s the Association for Child Development (ACD) President, a non-profit organization facilitating ~$30M/annum through the USDA CACF Program providing healthy meals to children across the Midwest. He has helped achieve financial stability, organizational structure, and leads strategic expansion of ACD programs to more children and to provide education to more families. He also dedicates hundreds of hours each year coaching high school football and track in Howell.

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Butzel attorney featured during Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Conference in Detroit

TROY, Mich. – Bushra Malik, Butzel attorney and shareholder, will be a featured panelist during the Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Conference May 13-14, 2022 in Detroit. Malik will participate in a panel program on May 14 titled, “Independents’ Day: Developments in L, E, and TN Practice.” The panel will address complex Intracompany Transfer L-1 issues; key Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor E issues and difficult TN NAFTA Professional / USMCA cases.

Malik, based in Butzel’s Troy office, practices in the area of immigration law, focusing on the representation of multinational and domestic clients’ inbound and global migration needs. Her experience includes Employment based (Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher, Multinational Manager, and PERMs) and Family based Permanent Residence Petitions, Non-Immigrant Petitions (H-1B/Specialty Occupation, J-1/ Exchange Visitor, L-1/Intracompany Transfers, O-1/Extraordinary Ability, TN/ NAFTA); Employer Compliance (I-9 Audits and H-1B Public Access File Audits); J-1 waivers; Compliance under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiate (WHTI); U.S. Passports; complex naturalization matters; and currency seizures.
She was named to the 2022 edition of Best Lawyers® second annual Best Lawyers in the Midwest publication. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected guide to the legal profession.

Malik currently serves on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Department of State National Liaison Committee. She previously served as the Chair of the AILA Michigan Chapter; is the past Chair of AILA’s Global Migration Section; and speaks regularly at AILA national and international conferences.

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Butzel adds Employee Benefits Law attorney Nicholas Nahat

TROY, Mich. – Butzel has added attorney Nicholas Nahat to the firm’s growing Labor and Employment Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in employee benefits law and traditional labor law.

Nahat has worked extensively with several administrative agencies such as the IRS, the Department of Labor (DOL), Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

He earned a LL.M. in Labor Law from Wayne State University Law School in 1997; a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law in 1992; and, a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1990.

Nahat has been a member of the Michigan Bar Association since 1994.

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Butzel attorney Beth Gotthelf appointed Chair of the Michigan Manufacturers Association Environmental Policy Committee

TROY, Mich. – Butzel attorney Beth S. Gotthelf has been appointed Chair of the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) Environmental Policy Committee effective April 19, 2022. Members actively monitor water, solid waste, remediation and other environmental issue areas to develop environmental policy priorities for MMA.

Gotthelf is Butzel’s Director of Innovation and External Relations, Co-Chair of the Energy & Sustainability Practice, and Co-Chair of the Aerospace & Defense industry team.

Notably, Gotthelf started her career in the environmental law arena and remains a leader to this date. She has served in a range of roles including general counsel to the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Surface Finishers (1990-present). In 2021, Gotthelf received the National Association’s prestigious Award of Merit. She created the first wetland bank in Michigan and has been active in a variety of enforcement cases both on behalf of government and industry, most involving multi-million dollar corrective actions. Her counseling includes compliance, emergency response, remediation, redevelopment, tax incentives, enforcement, occupational safety and health, and insurance coverage.

She has counselled the Association and its members on a wide variety of issues throughout the years providing solid, practical and timely insight on ever changing regulations and of late, COVID issues. She also has guided members through the many challenging PFAS impacts in the facility, air, wastewater, stormwater, and soil, not to mention the financial challenges. Her guidance and sage timely advice has helped members make good decisions to help them be successful in business.

Gotthelf brings a pragmatic and holistic approach to clients’ issues, assisting them in reaching their business goals, often matchmaking clients’ needs and acting as an outside general counsel.

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Butzel featured during Michigan Defense Exposition (MDEX) and Detroit Arsenal Opportunities Conference April 20-21, 2022 in Warren; Law firm will exhibit at the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association Pavilion

DETROIT, Mich. – While Michigan is deeply rooted in the automotive industry, it also is ranked nationally in the defense and defense aerospace industries – areas where Butzel’s Aerospace & Defense Industry team excels. Butzel has extensive experience with international aerospace companies across a variety of practice areas addressing a myriad of legal, business, and regulatory issues.

Notably, Butzel will be represented at a top industry event – the Michigan Defense Exposition (MDEX) and Opportunities Conference April 20-21, 2022 at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich. Butzel is among more than 75 organizations exhibiting at the conference.

“A&D is an evolving industry facing intricate global challenges,” said Beth Gotthelf, co-chair of Butzel’s A&D Industry team. “Our proficiency in this space spans the critical areas necessary to navigate the specialized and often complex regulatory environment associated with this industry.”

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Butzel attorney recently participated in Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association delegation meeting with top space organizations; Meetings coincided with Michigan Legislature declaring March 30 Space Day

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel attorney Beth S. Gotthelf, co-chair of the firm’s Aerospace & Defense (A&D) Industry team, was among a group of business leaders and lawmakers who participated in a delegation to Florida organized by the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA).

Participants met with space organization Blue Origin to discuss the current space ecosystem and how to attract space ventures to Michigan.

The delegation visit coincided with the Michigan Legislature declaring March 30 Space Day, which recognizes the 600-plus aerospace-related companies in the state that produce more than $3 billion in annual revenue.

Notably, Butzel has extensive experience with international space and aerospace companies across a variety of practice areas addressing a myriad of legal, business, and regulatory issues. The firm has assisted both privately held and market-leading publicly held companies. Butzel has deep international and cross-border expertise on operational, strategic, and legal issues.

Butzel’s Specialized Space, Aerospace and Defense industry capabilities include:

• Legal issues and tax incentives considerations in opening or expanding a facility;
• Compliance with government regulations, including ITAR and EAR;
• Government Contracts and Compliance Programs Practice;
• Bid Protests;
• Contract Administration, Changes, Disputes & Terminations;
• Suspension and Debarment; and,
• Compliance Programs.

“Butzel is a strong supporter of space initiatives in Michigan,” said Gavin Brown, MAMA Executive Director. “The firm’s depth and breadth of experience is important as Michigan expands its footprint in the space industry.”

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Butzel attorney Thomas A. Kabel elected to firm’s Board of Directors

TROY, Mich. – Attorney and shareholder Thomas A. Kabel has been elected to Butzel’s Board of Directors. He also is Butzel’s Corporate/ Real Estate Practice Department Chair.

“Tom’s leadership skills and experience and analytical abilities will further strengthen our Board,” said Justin G. Klimko, President and CEO, Butzel. “His election reflects the continued emergence of our next generation of leadership.”

Based in the firm’s Troy office, Kabel concentrates his practice in the area of commercial real estate and real estate-related finance. He has been involved in all facets of acquisition, disposition, leasing, financing and development of real property throughout his career.

Kabel’s real estate practice spans a wide range of diverse areas and clients, representing developers, automotive companies, colleges and universities in all aspects of their real estate needs. He also has extensive experience representing commercial lenders in conventional financing and has served as bank and bond counsel on numerous industrial revenue and other tax-exempt financings.

He also is certified by the Small Business Administration to close SBA loans under the SBA’s 504 loan program. Currently, Kabel is Chair-Elect of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and is a former Chair of the Section’s CLE Committee. He is the author of Equitable Subrogation: Why the Refinance Lender’s Security Interest May Not be as Secure as it Thinks (Michigan Real Property Review) and has participated as a speaker and/or author in numerous seminars and other continuing legal education programs over the years. Kabel is a member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Kabel is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1999), where he was Senior Articles Editor of the Wayne Law Review, and Grand Valley State University (B.S. 1995).

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Butzel immigration law attorney featured during AILA webinar on March 31, 2022

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel immigration law attorney Reginald A. Pacis, will be a featured panelist during an American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) webinar on Thursday, March 31, 2022. The program is titled, “Treaty-Based Visa Processing: TN, E-3, and H-1B1 Processing Challenges with USCIS and CBP.”

Notably, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and Singapore nationals are increasingly turning to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing given the backlogs at U.S. consulates. Applicants may find different adjudication standards being applied by USCIS and CBP.

Panelists will discuss strategies for seeking alternatives to consular adjudication for applicants to avoid the risk of overseas travel and disruption in work authorization.

Pacis focuses his practice in immigration law and has handled a variety of immigration matters including H-1B specialty occupation cases, L-1 Intracompany transfers, Labor Certification matters, Immigrant Visa Petitions/Adjustment of Status applications and interviews, TN Free trade cases, H-1B Department of Labor Investigations, I-9 employer verification compliance, and U.S. Port of Entry airport and land port interviews.
In 2021, Pacis was appointed a trustee to the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC), which helps address the needs and concerns of the Asian Pacific American (APA) communities in Michigan. Previously, he was a commissioner to the MAPAAC.

Pacis was named Immigration Lawyer of the Year 2013 in the field of Immigration Law by The Best Lawyers in America and has been listed in Best Lawyers for several years.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Samahang Pilipino Ng Oakland Filipino organization. He served two consecutive one-year terms from 2003 to 2005 as Chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA and was a member of the AILA National Board of Governors for those terms.

Pacis also served as Vice Chair (2008 to 2009) and later Chair (2009-2010) of U.S. Customs and Border Protection AILA liaison committee; Vice Chair (2013 to 2014) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Operations AILA liaison committee; Member (2014 to 2015) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services National Benefits Center AILA liaison committee; and has served as a Member (2015) and later Chair (2016) of the AILA Election committee. He has presented in a number of AILA Annual Conferences Nationally and Internationally from 2004 to 2019.
Moreover, Pacis is a vice president and Board Member of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit. He also is a speaker in demand on immigration law matters.

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Butzel attorney John C. Valenti appointed to Better Business Bureau of Detroit & Eastern Michigan Board of Directors

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel attorney and shareholder John C. Valenti was recently appointed to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Detroit & Eastern Michigan Board of Directors.

Based in Butzel’s Detroit office, Valenti is a member of the firm’s litigation practice group, focusing his practice primarily on toxic tort litigation, products liability defense litigation, personal injury defense litigation, premises liability defense litigation, commercial litigation and general litigation. His experience also includes medical malpractice defense litigation, construction litigation, corporate risk management, and insurance defense litigation.

As a trial lawyer, Valenti has dedicated a substantial portion of his practice to the handling of complex, toxic tort litigation on a nationwide scale, working with clients to craft and implement comprehensive, cost-effective approaches to achieve their individual objectives when dealing with litigation risks.

He has substantial experience representing clients at all levels of State and Federal trial courts, as well as in complex multi-jurisdiction settlement negotiations. As lead counsel, he has supervised complex investigations, detailed document imaging and cataloging projects, and coordinated discovery strategy across multiple jurisdictions. As lead counsel, he has coordinated complex medical and scientific defenses resulting in many pre-trial dismissals of actions for his clients.

He has been named to DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Personal Injury Product Liability, 2012, 2020-2022.

Valenti is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School (J.D., 1996) and James Madison College at Michigan State University (B.A., 1993).

About Butzel

Butzel is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Troy, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long