Legal People ...


Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that several of its attorneys have been named “Lawyers of the Year” for 2022 by the publisher of The Best Lawyers in America.

Local Bodman attorneys included as 2022 Lawyers of the Year, with metropolitan area and practice area designation are:

J. Adam Behrendt, Troy, Michigan Lawyer of the Year – Litigation-Banking and Finance
Barbara A. Bowman, Troy, Michigan Lawyer of the Year – Securities/Capital Markets Law
David P. Larsen, Detroit, Michigan Lawyer of the Year – Litigation-Trusts and Estates

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Senior attorney John R. Stevenson recently joined the Commercial Litigation and Banking, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights practice groups of Plunkett Cooney.

A member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, Stevenson focuses his practice on the areas of commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, corporate bankruptcy and auto supplier issues. Throughout his nearly 20-year legal career, he has represented creditors, creditors’ committees, distressed businesses, and other parties in bankruptcy matters in various industries, including automotive, technology, telecommunications, construction, housing, and food service and hospitality.

Whether through negotiated settlements or litigation, Stevenson has helped numerous clients navigate through insolvency and litigation matters to successful conclusion. These assignments include multi-million-dollar disputes and proceedings with complex elements.

Stevenson is licensed to practice in the states of Michigan and California and admitted to practice in the federal courts of the eastern and western districts of Michigan and the central and northern districts of California. In addition, he is a member of the Turnaround Management Association, a global organization of professionals in the corporate restructuring, renewal and corporate health space.

Stevenson received his law degree from the University of California-Hastings College of the Law in 2002 and his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1993.

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Brooks Kushman
is proud to announce that President Frank Angileri and CEO Sangeeta Shah were both named in the latest edition of IAM Strategy 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists by IAM.

Angileri focuses his practice on IP litigation and post-grant proceedings. With nearly 30 years of experience representing small, medium-sized, and large corporations on a variety of contested IP matters, Angileri has successfully tried patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright cases in the federal courts nationwide, the Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Federal Circuits, and the International Trade Commission. His litigation experience spans various technologies and industries including automotive, consumer electronics, industrial technologies, food and beverage, and home appliances. More recently, he served as trial counsel for Ford Motor Company in a patent lawsuit involving 13 design patents. Concluding the trial, he obtained an award of almost $3 million in profits and attorneys’ fees, as well as the entry of a permanent injunction.

Prior to becoming president of Brooks Kushman, Angileri was co-chair of the firm’s Post-Grant Proceedings practice. He has been instrumental in bolstering the firm’s national reputation while successfully representing clients in more than 70 IP rights proceedings where he managed proceedings through to the final written decision where the PTAB held that 273 patent claims were unpatentable.

Shah is responsible for leading the firm’s Executive Committee. In addition to serving as the CEO, Shah maintains an active docket as an IP practitioner with over 20 years of experience in managing patent portfolios, PTAB matters, patent litigation, and opinions. As an early leader in inter partes review proceedings, she remains at the forefront of post-grant practice. She has experience successfully implementing enforcement programs that leverage the interplay of IPRs, reexaminations/reissues, strategic prosecution, and patent litigation—resulting in seminal PTAB, district and federal circuit decisions on such issues as standing for an appeal to challenge a PTAB final written decision and the use of newly added claims from a reexamination in pending litigation.

Shah works closely with several Fortune 500 clients for whom she provides strategic counseling and guidance on global intellectual property portfolios. Her patent expertise has resulted in national recognition from Managing IP, Best Lawyers, IAM, AIPLA, and the PTAB Bar Association.

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Butzel employees were not surprise that the firm has been named to Crain’s 2021 Cool Places to Work, ranking 44th (and the highest ranked Detroit-based law firm on the list).

“Recognition as one of Crain’s Cool Places to Work is a testament to our employees themselves, and the culture and working environment they have helped to create and sustain,” said Justin G. Klimko, president and CEO. “We strive to foster a workplace where our employees can be challenged, derive a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and enjoy the collegiality of their co-workers. This in turn maintains our single-minded focus on meeting our clients’ needs.”

Some of the aspects of Butzel that make it stand out as a cool place to work include:

  • The firm provides profit-sharing opportunities.
  • New attorneys are matched with a mentor within the firm.
  • Butzel recently updated its technology offerings and is currently updating its offices.
  • Butzel’s male/female executive ratio is 50/50
  • Butzel employees get paid time off for community service

In addition, Butzel attorney Diane M. Soubly will address a variety of labor and employment matters during a Lorman Education webinar from on Wednesday, September 29. The webinar is titled, “Increase Your Confidence As You Address the Complex Interaction of ACA and Other Federal and State Laws.”

“Changes in Congress and changes in administrations often result in wholesale change, while Supreme Court decisions sometimes bend toward uniform administration of employer health care plans and other times tolerate state and local variations that complicate the national administration of such plans,” said Soubly. “Added to that quicksand, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in additional uncertainty.”
Soubly practices in the areas of labor and employment law and litigation, ERISA and employee benefits law and litigation, Native American law, and appellate litigation.

Soubly is one of a select few attorneys nationally who have been elected Fellows of both the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. She also is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Included in Best Lawyers for many years, Soubly is a member of the Michigan and Illinois bars, and she has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in both Illinois and Michigan.

With more than 35 years of experience, Soubly is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court and the First, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Eleventh Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. She is an adjunct professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, for which she developed two courses: Employee Benefits Law and Litigation (for its nationally recognized Labor and Employment certification program) and Native American Law.

Butzel is also pleased to announce that attorney and shareholder Laura E. Johnson has been named as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “Women in the Law” for 2021.

Johnson is one of 34 female attorneys who will be honored during a ceremony on September 9.

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.

Recently, Johnson was named to DBusiness magazine’s 2021 Class of “30 in Their Thirties.”

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 (2009). She also graduated from the University of Michigan (2006).

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Wayne State University Law School welcomes new faculty members Nancy Chi Cantalupo, Daniel Ellman, Jamila Jefferson-Jones, and Hillel Nadler.

Cantalupo is a nationally respected voice on Title IX, sexual harassment and gender-based violence. She has contributed to U.S. public policy, including as a member of the 2013-14 Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for the Violence Against Women Act. Her scholarship focuses on using the law to combat discriminatory violence and draws from her more than two decades of work as a researcher, campus administrator, victims’ advocate, attorney and policymaker.

She joins Wayne Law as an assistant professor of law. She was previously a faculty member at California Western School of Law.

Ellman is a former trial lawyer at New York City’s Bronx Defenders. He joins the faculty after clerking for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard H. Bernstein and teaching in the Sociology Department at the University of Michigan. Drawing in part on his work at the Bronx Defenders, he has been instrumental in launching Wayne Law’s new Holistic Defense Partnership with the university’s School of Social Work.

Ellman joins Wayne Law as an assistant professor (clinical) of law and director of externships.

An expert in property and wealth attainment by marginalized communities, Jefferson-Jones examines the ways in which members of favored racial groups enforce the racial segregation of public and private spaces to perpetuate racist notions of supremacy. Her work draws on critical race theory and focuses in part on the use or threat of police action against members of disfavored groups. She is a nationally sought-after speaker on issues of race and the law and holds multiple leadership positions within the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools.

Jefferson-Jones joins Wayne Law as a professor of law and associate director of property, equity and justice for the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. Prior to Wayne Law, she was a faculty member at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law.

Nadler, whose research focuses on taxation and financial regulation, previously practiced tax law at Ropes & Gray and clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, Seventh Circuit. Prior to Wayne Law, he was a senior research fellow for the Program on International Financial Systems, where he wrote on issues that impact the global financial system.

Nadler joins Wayne Law as an assistant professor of law.

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Howard & Howard is pleased to welcome Dane M. Lepola to the firm. He joins the business litigation group and will practice out of the firm’s Royal Oak office.

Lepola focuses his practice on business disputes in federal and state courts. To best serve his clients, he relies on experience gained while litigating in private practice and serving as a judicial law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Stephen J. Murphy III, Eastern District of Michigan.

Lepola earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School.