Southfield Attorneys Selected as 2021 Michigan Super Lawyers and “Rising Stars”

Southfield, Mich. —Two attorneys from the Southfield office of Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC have been selected to the 2021 Michigan Super Lawyers list while four others have been selected as “Rising Stars.”

*In addition to being listed in Super Lawyers, Julie Fershtman was also listed in the “Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers” and the “Top 50 Women Michigan Super Lawyers”.

The 2021 Michigan Super Lawyers and their area(s) of practice for which they are listed:

Julie I. Fershtman* – Civil Litigation: Defense
Paul J. Millenbach – Business Litigation

The 2021 “Rising Stars” List and their area(s) of practice for which they are listed:

Adam A. Fadly – Civil Litigation: Defense
Joseph B. Gale – Civil Litigation: Defense
Robert A. Hamor – Real Estate
Rachel G. Olney – General Litigation

Only five percent of the lawyers in Michigan are selected by Super Lawyers while the “Rising Stars” list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state.

Super Lawyers is a research-driven rating system of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Annual selections are made using a multiphase process that includes peer nominations, independent research by Super Lawyers and evaluations from a highly credentialed panel of attorneys.

To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years of age or younger, or been in practice for 10 years or less.

Fershtman Reappointed to Serve on the ABA House of Delegates

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The State Bar of Michigan (SBM) Board of Commissioners has reappointed Foster Swift Shareholder Julie I. Fershtman to serve another term on the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates. It is a two-year term beginning in August 2021.

The ABA House of Delegates is the policy-making body of the association. Control and administration of the ABA is vested in the House of Delegates. As the national representative of the legal profession in the United States, the 596-member House of Delegates debates and adopts recommendations on issues facing the justice system, the profession, and the public.

A past president of the State Bar of Michigan, Fershtman’s practice focuses on business litigation, insurance law, civil litigation, insurance coverage, and equine law. She has tried cases in four states. Fershtman has authored four books and spoken at conferences in 29 states. She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Insurance Law and Commercial Litigation. Michigan Super Lawyers® listed her among the “Top 100” Lawyers in Michigan and one of the state’s “Top 50 Women Lawyers.”

Foster Swift in dbusiness 2021 Top Lawyers

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Foster Swift attorneys Michael R. Blum and Julie I. Fershtman are both listed in the Top Lawyers 2021 list by dbusiness magazine, published in its November/December 2020 issue. Both attorneys practice from the firm’s Southfield office.

The attorneys listed in dbusiness Top Lawyers are based on a peer-review survey sent to certified lawyers in the metro Detroit area. Many votes were cast honoring excellence in the legal field. Listings in Top Lawyers cannot be purchased and are based solely on one’s standing within their peer group.

Blum is listed in the area of Labor and Employment Law. He represents both private and public employers in employment litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

Vice President of the firm’s Southfield office, Fershtman is listed in the area of Insurance Law and focuses her practice on business litigation, insurance coverage, insurance defense, and equine law.

For more information on dbusiness Top Lawyers, visit

Foster Swift Listed in “Best Law Firms” 2021


LANSING, Mich. — The law firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC is included in the 2021 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list. The firm is rated a Tier 1 law firm in 25 practice areas with the Lansing office receiving 19 Tier 1 ranked practice areas, with five more Tier 1 rankings for their Grand Rapids office and one more for their Southeast Michigan offices.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process. The process includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review and review of additional information provided by law firms regarding demographic and background information on the firm and its attorneys.

To be considered for inclusion on the list, law firms must have at least one lawyer who is included in Best Lawyers in that particular practice area and metro. Foster Swift had 44 lawyers included in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers.

For a complete list of rankings, visit

Foster Swift Adds Sydney Steele to Firm


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Foster Swift is pleased to welcome new associate Sydney T. Steele. Sydney will practice from the firm’s Southfield office as a member of the Litigation practice group. Steele earned her Bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin Madison and earned her Juris Doctor after attending Wayne State University Law School. Steele was also a summer associate and Law Clerk at Foster Swift before joining the firm as an associate this spring.



Since 1902, Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC has provided comprehensive legal services to businesses, municipalities and individuals. The firm employs 100-plus attorneys and over 100 support staff in six locations; Lansing, Detroit, Southfield, Grand Rapids, Holland and St. Joseph.  For more information about the firm, its attorneys and to access recent publications, visit


Is your college student considering law school?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—September 17, 2019

Lansing, Mich. –Have you ever heard your college-aged son or daughter utter the words “I’m thinking about going to law school”? If the answer is yes, Foster Swift Collins & Smith has crafted a complimentary, half-day program geared for aspiring attorneys. The event will be held Saturday, October 19.

Undergraduate students considering a career in the legal field can learn about the realities of the profession from those who have experienced it firsthand. Attendees will learn about the process of becoming a lawyer in Michigan from current Foster Swift attorneys. The attorneys’ experiences provide valuable information to allow students to gain a better understanding of the path to becoming an attorney, as well as what it takes to succeed in private practice.

To learn more about this seminar, watch the following video at

Topics covered during the session will include:
• Information to know before applying to law school
• The law school admission process
• Law school summer programs
• First steps after law school
• Private practice and common myths
• Future of the legal field

One of the goals of this program is to showcase private practice opportunities in mid-Michigan to future lawyers. Foster Swift will host the seminar from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at its Lansing office (313 S. Washington Square, Lansing, MI 48933). For more information and to register, visit

10 Southfield Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

Ten attorneys from Foster Swift’s Southfield office were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 list. Firm-wide, 45 attorneys were included. Each year’s new edition is launched for the following calendar year.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. For more information, visit Listed attorneys and their areas of practice are as follows:

Dirk H. Beckwith-Construction Law

Michael R. Blum-Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management

Julie I. Fershtman-Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law

Gilbert H. Frimet-Health Care Law

Lisa J. Hamameh-Municipal Law

John M. Kamins-Corporate Law

Frank T. Mamat-Labor Law – Management

Paul J. Millenbach-Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants

Brian J. Renaud-Administrative/Regulatory Law

Bruce A. Vande Vusse-Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants

Attorney Howard Named to Novi Planning Commission

Foster Swift attorney Katila Howard was recently appointed to the Planning Commission for the City of Novi. Her term will last from January 2018 until June 2019.

Made up of seven members appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council, the Planning Commission reviews and approves site plans and special land use permits for new commercial and residential development for the City. The Commission may also make recommendations to the City Council in regards to rezoning applications and proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.

Katila is a member of her firm’s Business & Corporate practice group where she practices employee benefits matters, ERISA, 409A and Internal Revenue Code compliance matters. Additionally she also works with both tax exempt organizations and nonprofits.

Crain’s Detroit Names Julie Fershtman in 2017 Notable Women Lawyers

Foster Swift shareholder, Julie I. Fershtman, has been named to Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s inaugural list of the “2017 Notable Women Lawyer in Michigan.” Women selected for the list were nominated by their peers for setting legal precedent, managing high-profile cases, serving on boards, and mentoring others.

Julie has shown an excellent record of representing her clients in business, contract, equine and insurance litigation. Her leadership includes serving as president of the State Bar of Michigan (2011-2012), only the fifth woman in 80 years to be elected to this role, and as co-chair for its 21st Century Practice Task Force (2015-2016). Lastly, her strong commitment to mentoring young attorneys and educating both clients and collegues has captured the admiration of her peers. Previously, Fershtman was named the “2016 Woman of the Year” for the State of Michigan by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

“Members of the firm gravitate toward Julie for her sage advice and wise counsel on both business and personal matters,” said Michael D. Sanders, president of Foster Swift. “She thrives on lifting the performance and enabling the success of all those around her.”

Julie practices out of Foster Swift’s Southfield office. A lawyer for 31 years, she has tried cases before juries in four states and has been a speaker at conferences in 29 states. She has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2013 in the categories of Commercial Litigation and Insurance Law.

Five Foster Swift Attorneys Named to dbusiness 2018 Top Lawyers

Foster Swift attorneys Alexander A. Ayar, Julie I. Fershtman, Lisa J. Hamameh, Frank T. Mamat and Jonathan H. Schwartz have been named to the 2018 Top Lawyers list by dBusiness magazine, Detroit’s premier business journal.

Alex Ayar is listed as a Top Lawyer in the area of Commercial Litigation, concentrating his practice on complex litigation matters involving business, data privacy and cyber security, non-competes, real estate and entertainment. Alex practices in the Southfield and Detroit offices of Foster Swift.

Julie Fershtman is listed in the area of Insurance Law and practices in the areas of insurance defense, insurance coverage, commercial litigation, and equine law. She has successfully represented insurers on coverage cases and matters around the country. Julie practices in the Southfield and Detroit offices of Foster Swift.

Lisa Hamameh is listed as a Top Lawyer in the category of Land Use and Zoning law. She compliments her practice in the following related areas: municipal law, representing cities, townships and villages; liquor licensing law, representing business owners; as well as condominium and homeowners’ association law. Lisa practices in Foster Swift’s Southfield office.

Frank Mamat is listed in the area of Labor and Employment Law. Frank is one of the nation’s preeminent labor law attorneys and focuses his practice on complex labor issues such as union matters and unfair labor practice litigation. Frank practices in the Southfield and Detroit offices of Foster Swift.

Jonathan Schwartz is listed as a Top Lawyer in the area of Commercial Litigation. Jonathan’s practice focuses on representing companies and individuals in business, complex commercial, employment, real estate and entertainment litigation matters. Jonathan practices in the Southfield and Detroit offices of Foster Swift.

This is the second year in a row that all five attorneys were listed as Top Lawyers.

For more information on dbusiness Top Lawyers, visit