Foster Swift Elects EC Members for 2022

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. –The law firm of Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC elected officers to serve on its executive committee for 2022: Anne M. Seurynck, Michael R. Blum, Joel C. Farrar, Todd W. Hoppe, Douglas A. Mielock and David R. Russell.

Seurynck will continue as the firm’s president and head of the executive committee. Elected firm president in 2020 and the first woman president elected in the firm’s 120-year history, Seurynck practices municipal and public entity law, library law, and school law services.

Blum will serve as vice president of the firm’s Southfield office. Blum represents both private and public employers in employment litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

Farrar will continue as the firm’s secretary and will also serve as co-vice president of the Lansing office. He is a business lawyer with specialties in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), legal issues surrounding start-up businesses, and executive compensation planning.

Hoppe will continue to serve as the firm’s treasurer and will also serve as vice president of the firm’s Grand Rapids office. He advises clients with respect to business organization and planning, transactions, succession planning and estate planning.

Mielock will serve as co-vice president of the Lansing office. Mielock represents and counsels clients in the following areas: estate planning, estate litigation, estate administration and marital agreements.

Russell will continue to serve as co-vice president of the firm’s Lansing office. Russell’s practice serves a wide-range of client needs, including commercial litigation, business law, real estate law, sports and entertainment law and food, hospitality and liquor law.

In addition to its executive committee members, Foster Swift announced Warren H. Krueger III will serve as the firm’s trusts & estates practice group leader. Krueger practices in the firm’s Lansing office, focusing in the areas of estate planning, estate administration and probate, civil litigation, and real property.

Below is the full list of the firm’s practice group leaders for 2022:
• Business & Tax – Mindi M. Johnson & Nicholas M. Oertel
• Employer Services – Brian G. Goodenough
• Finance, Real Estate & Bankruptcy – Patricia J. Scott
• General & Commercial Litigation – Paul J. Millenbach, and Andrew C. Vredenburg
• Municipal & Public Entity – Michael D. Homier
• Trusts & Estates – Warren H. Krueger III

Foster Swift Elects Four Shareholders

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. –Foster Swift Collins & Smith, P.C. attorneys Mark J. DeLuca, Taylor A. Gast, Rachel G. Olney and Tyler J. Olney have been elected as shareholders of the firm entering 2022. All four joined the firm together as associates in 2015.

Mark DeLuca practices from Foster Swift’s Lansing office as a member of the trusts and estates practice group. DeLuca advises and counsels clients in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, business organization and planning, and probate litigation. DeLuca also serves as a board member for the Capital Region Community Foundation, Sparrow Foundation, and Highfields, Inc.

Taylor Gast practices from the firm’s Lansing office. Gast helps businesses and organizations of all sizes and at all stages of development grow and solve problems. He provides practical and thoughtful advice on issues including technology law, data privacy and cybersecurity, startups, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, employee benefits and contracting.

Rachel Olney is a litigator in the firm’s Southfield office where she focuses her practice on a broad range of complex insurance coverage litigation matters including first and third party no-fault, insurance defense, medical malpractice defense, business and commercial litigation, and mass tort defense cases.

Tyler Olney focuses his practice in general litigation and workers’ compensation defense from the firm’s Southfield office. Olney has extensive experience representing employers, insurance carriers, and third-party administrators in workers’ compensation matters throughout the state. He is experienced in counseling employers on labor and employment issues and the intersection between employment and workers’ compensation laws.
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Foster Swift Listed in “Best Law Firms” 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—November 5, 2020

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 bestlawfirms.usnews.com.

Legal Publication names Cowan among ‘Leaders in the Law’

Plunkett Cooney partner Dennis G. Cowan was recently nominated as a member of the Class of 2020 “Leaders in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly (MLW), an industry publication serving the state’s legal community.

Cowan and the 29 other honorees were selected for, among other things, their significant contributions to the practice of law in Michigan, their expertise and their leadership in improving the state’s justice system, as well as seeking improvements to the legal and local communities and setting an example for other lawyers.

The 12th Annual Leaders in the Law awards ceremony will be held virtually on Aug. 3 starting at 6 p.m. The “Lawyer of the Year,” as selected by a vote of the class, will be announced during the COVID-compliant online event. All of the 2020 honorees will also be profiled in a special section of the MLW issue that will be distributed beforehand.

A Co-leader of the firm’s Governmental Affairs and Business Planning & Transactions practice groups, Cowan has the distinction of having previously served as President & CEO of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest full-service law firms.

Currently, Cowan focuses his legal practice on obtaining governmental approvals for clients at the local, county and state levels. He has particular experience advocating on behalf of clients who are seeking zoning, site plan and other land use approvals. Cowan also represents clients before state administrative boards, as well as with the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

Additional areas of his expertise include banking law, business law and transactions and cannabis law.

A 1984 magna cum laude graduate of the Detroit College of Law, now known as the Michigan State University College of Law, Cowan has been involved in some of the state’s largest and most significant business deals, including a bid to build a Detroit casino, securing approvals for multi-million-dollar developments in suburban communities, and assisting with the financing package that helped make the city of Detroit’s “Grand Bargain” bankruptcy possible in 2014.

Cowan, who received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts/Boston in 1978, is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association; the Real Property Law, Corporation and Business Law, and Public Corporations Law sections of the State Bar of Michigan; and the State and Local Government Section of the American Bar Association.

During his more than 30 years of practice, Cowan served 14 years as a member of the Royal Oak City Commission. After six years as a City Commissioner, he was elected and served four consecutive two-year terms as Royal Oak Mayor. As a result of his extensive experience as a public official, Cowan offers a unique perspective to advising clients on legal issues related to all levels of government.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of transactional and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms.

For more information about Dennis Cowan’s selection as a 2020 Leader in the Law, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or via email at jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

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Howard & Howard Congratulates New Partners

ROYAL OAK, Mich., January 8, 2019 – Rounding out another successful year, Royal Oak-based law firm Howard & Howard is pleased to announce that nine attorneys have become shareholders in the firm – the largest single-year class in firm history.

Named shareholders for their significant contributions to the firm are:

  • Daniel R. Chojnowski
  • Jonathan W. Fountain
  • Timothy D. Gronewold
  • Jonathan F. Karmo
  • Alexander M. Leonowicz
  • Paul S. Mazzola
  • Laurie A. Perez
  • Jason P. Weiland
  • Evonne Xu

Chojnowski focuses his practice in building and maintaining intellectual property value for his clients.

Fountain concentrates his practice in intellectual property litigation, entertainment law, and commercial litigation.

Gronewold concentrates his practice in commercial litigation, labor and employment law, and municipal law.

Karmo concentrates his practice in commercial and corporate litigation in the federal and state courts in Michigan.

Leonowicz concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate, health care, and cannabis law, as well as business transactions.

Mazzola concentrates his practice in all aspects of domestic and international patent prosecution in the electromechanical arts.

Perez focuses her practice on labor and employment, financial services, and general commercial litigation matters.

Weiland concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation and business and corporate law.

Xu concentrates her practice in the areas of automotive, manufacturing, technology, and international law.

About Howard & Howard:  

Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is a full-service law firm with a national and international practice, providing legal services to businesses and business owners. With more than 160 attorneys, the firm has offices in Michigan (Ann Arbor and Royal Oak), Illinois (Chicago and Peoria), Las Vegas, Nevada, and Los Angeles, California.  For more information, please visit howardandhoward.com.

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Plunkett Cooney moves Petoskey office to Chemical Bank building

Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, announces that its office in downtown Petoskey, Michigan has moved to the nearby Chemical Bank building.

The new office address is:

406 Bay Street
Petoskey, MI 49770
General: (231) 347-1200
FAX (248) 901-4040

Plunkett Cooney’s new office space is located on the 3rd floor of the building, which overlooks Little Traverse Bay. Visitors are greeted by a contemporary design concept and employees enjoy an open floor plan.

The Petoskey office is home to six attorneys, one paralegal and four support staff members who provide a range of legal services to clients in the public and private sectors. The firm has maintained an office presence in downtown Petoskey since 1988.

Plunkett Cooney provides an array of transactional and litigation services to clients in such diverse industries as healthcare, manufacturing, professional services, retail, insurance, banking and finance, real estate and many others. The firm’s clients include Fortune 500 corporations, privately-held companies, municipalities and nonprofits.

Plunkett Cooney employs approximately 145 attorneys in eight Michigan cities and one each in Columbus, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading international directory of law firms, and it is listed among the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.”

For more information about the firm’s new office location, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John E. Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

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Bernstein named American College of Bankruptcy Fellow

Douglas C. Bernstein, a partner at Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, was recently selected as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

Fellows are selected on an invitation-only basis. Recommended by the Circuit Admissions Council in each federal judicial circuit, nominees for fellowship are extended a request to join based on a record of achievement in the insolvency process by professionals who have distinguished themselves in their practice and in their contribution to the insolvency field.

“Doug is highly respected by his clients and colleagues because of his expertise, character and integrity,” said Thomas P. Vincent, Plunkett Cooney’s President & CEO. “He represents the highest standard of professionalism in the law, and his selection to the American College of Bankruptcy is well deserved.”

The college board approved Bernstein’s nomination to become a fellow during its October meeting in Las Vegas. He is the only Michigan attorney, as well as the only attorney from the federal Sixth Circuit, nominated for the 2018 class. He will join 21 other attorneys from Michigan who are also fellows in the college.

A member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office and the firm’s Banking, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group Leader, Bernstein concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, loan restructuring, commercial loan documentation, bankruptcy, banking-related litigation and appeals.

Prior to joining Plunkett Cooney, Bernstein worked as an in-house attorney at Michigan National Corporation for over 20 years. He subsequently joined the Standard Federal Bank Legal Department when the bank merged with Michigan National Corporation in 2001.

Bernstein earned his undergraduate degree in 1978 from Wayne State University and his law degree in 1982 from the Detroit College of Law. He has received several honors for his legal work, including an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading peer-to-peer professional ratings service, and selection as a Michigan Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine from 2008 to 2017 and a Best Lawyers in America® from 2014 to 2018.

Criteria for selection in the college includes the highest standard of professionalism, ethics, character, integrity, professional expertise and leadership in contributing to the enhancement of bankruptcy and insolvency processes; sustained evidence of scholarship, teaching, lecturing or writing on bankruptcy or insolvency; and commitment to elevate knowledge and understanding of the profession and public respect for the practice.

In order to be selected for fellowship, judges, lawyers, international fellows, and accountants must be licensed to practice for at least 15 years, work primarily in the bankruptcy and insolvency areas for at least 10 years, and in the case of judges, serve on the bench for five years. The college’s board of regents is responsible for the nomination and selection of qualified candidates to fellowship.

Organized in 1989, the college has over 800 fellows, and it is the largest financial supporter of bankruptcy and insolvency-related pro bono legal service programs in the United States. The college plays an important role in sustaining professional excellence and supports educational and pro bono efforts in local communities around the country.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs approximately 300 employees, including 150 attorneys in eight Michigan cities, as well as in Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm, which provides a range of transactional and litigation services, has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell. Fortune magazine has also named Plunkett Cooney among the top commercial firms in the United States.

For more information about Douglas Bernstein’s selection as a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

Orlans PC Expands Across Midwest, Mid Atlantic, Northeast

The mother-daughter team of Linda and Alison Orlans launched Orlans PC today, the second largest Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certified women-owned law firm in the United States. Linda Orlans will serve as Executive Chair, and Alison Orlans will assume the role of President and Chief Executive Officer.

Orlans PC is the result of a merger of Orlans Associates P.C. (Troy, Mich.), Orlans Moran PLLC (Waltham, Mass.) and Atlantic Law Group LLC (Leesburg, Va.).

Combining teams and resources allows Orlans PC to enhance client service by refining processes, leveraging shared technology and increasing collaboration. Clients now have the benefit of national firm capabilities and resources with localized, face-to-face service. The merger also allows the firm to maintain top compliance standards to meet the growing needs of existing clients, while leveraging a broader range of capabilities to attract new clients.

“The future goes to those prepared to change ahead of the times,” Linda Orlans said. “The legal world is changing and our mission is to be on the forefront and help affect that change for the better. This unified law firm represents a dramatic step forward in creating a more capable, more responsive and more efficient entity to serve a growing client base.”

Orlans PC provides legal services to local and national banks, credit unions, consumer loan finance companies, loan servicers, investors, government agencies, landlords, municipalities, utilities, title insurance companies and private individuals. It operates in eight jurisdictions including Washington DC, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Virginia, and is headquartered in Troy, Mich. The firm is certified by (WBENC), as women owned and operated.

Linda Orlans launched Orlans PC in the Detroit area in 1998, and has expanded over the years to serve hundreds of clients in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. Over the past decade, the number of women-owned law firms has grown five times faster than the national average, and Linda has been at the forefront of a new wave of woman-owned law firms opening across the country.

“Legal expertise fused with lean six sigma principles has allowed us to build a different kind of firm, where our attorneys can perfect legal processes, collaborate, and focus on results,” said Alison Orlans. “This merger allows us to think more creatively – and more entrepreneurially – about the services, support and process we put in place for our clients.”

About Orlans PC

Established in 1998 by Linda Orlans, Orlans PC is a Michigan-based law firm that serves the real estate and financial services industry. Decades of extensive experience includes: representing investors, lenders, banks and servicers in loan transactions, default, bankruptcy proceedings, land contract disputes and default, title issues, secured and unsecured asset recovery and real estate transactions.

Veteran Banking Attorney Raheem Joins Plunkett Cooney Law Firm

Former Bank of America Senior Vice-President and Assistant General Counsel Rasul M. Raheem recently joined Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms.

A 30-year veteran of the banking industry, Raheem works in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills, Michigan office as a senior attorney in the Banking, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group. He focuses his practice in all aspects of banking law, as well as business transactions and regulatory law.

“We’re very fortunate to have Rasul as a member of our firm,” said Douglas C. Bernstein, Plunkett Cooney’s Banking, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group Leader. “He’s extremely knowledgeable about the litigation and regulatory aspects of banking, and he has a great approach to client service.”

In his role as in-house counsel to Bank of America, N.A. (and previously to LaSalle Bank Corp and its predecessor Michigan National Bank), Raheem advised senior management on finance and lending relationships, credit issues, restructuring and recovery strategies, reputational risk, treasury services, bank policy and regulatory issues. He also managed outside counsel and related litigation with law firms across the country.

Raheem is active in the community, having recently been appointed by Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan to serve as a member of the Detroit Land Bank Authority Board of Directors. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity & Inclusion. Raheem serves as a hearing panel member for the state of Michigan’s Attorney Discipline Board. His bar memberships include the American, National, D. Augustus Straker and Oakland County bar associations.

Raheem received his Master of Law in Corporate and Finance and Juris Doctorate degrees from Wayne State University Law School in 2003 and 1984, respectively. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1979.

The members of Plunkett Cooney’s Banking, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group represent banks, savings and loan associations, mortgage companies, credit unions, finance companies and loan servicers. Group members, who have approximately 200 years of combined experience as in-house bank counsel prior to joining the firm, provide an array of services, including acquisition of new banking powers, regulatory law, loan origination and all aspects of litigation, including bankruptcy proceedings and creditors’ rights matters.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs approximately 150 attorneys in nine Michigan cities; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms.

For more information about Rasul M. Raheem joining Plunkett Cooney’s Banking, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

What employers need to know to remain compliant in 2017 is the focus of Nemeth Law’s Raising the Bar series on Jan. 18

Raising the Bar, an educational series raising employer awareness of current issues in employment and labor law and offered by Detroit-based management side labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law, P.C., returns Jan. 18 to cover the topic of How Labor and Employment Law has Changed Over the Past Year and What You Need to Know to Remain Compliant in 2017.

The past year was a roller coaster ride for employers and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down in 2017, according to Terry Bonnette, a partner at Nemeth Law.

“In mid-2016, the Department of Labor issued new overtime regulations that would have affected 4.2 million exempt salaried employees if those regulations had not been blocked in November by a federal court order. Plus, a Presidential election always brings numerous questions about the new administration’s policies and how they will influence federal agencies, the Supreme Court and multiple areas of labor and employment law – and this election perhaps even more so,” Bonnette said.

At the Jan. 18th Raising the Bar session, Nemeth Law attorneys will discuss how these changes can affect employment practices over the coming year. Topics include:

  • The impact of the new administration on employment, labor and employee benefits law: what employers should expect and what they shouldn’t
  • The current status of the overtime regulations and best practices for employers
  • The EEOC’s new expansive anti-retaliation guidance
  • Transgender employee bathroom access: litigation trends and federal agency guidance
  • Hot Button Issues – the EEOC’s new Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017-2021
  • Sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII: Are protections for LGBT expanding or contracting?
  • Supreme Court, EEOC and NLRB regulatory and litigation updates

Raising the Bar will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Management Education Center, 811 West Square Lake Road, Troy, 48098. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. The program begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m. with one 15-minute break. The cost of the event is $75 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, e-mail Pamela Perkowski at pperkowski@nemethlawpc.com or call 313.567.5921.

About Nemeth Law, P.C.

Celebrating 25 years in 2017, Nemeth Law specializes in arbitration, mediation, workplace investigations, employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation/training for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.