William D. Booth (’62)
Mr. Booth, a senior shareholder and former managing partner
of Plunkett Cooney, recently received one of the Oakland
County Bar Association’s (OCBA) highest honors – the
Professionalism Award. The OCBA Professionalism Award is
presented each year to an individual who is a model of civility
and respect in the legal profession. Booth, who recently celebrated
50 years of service with the firm, received the award
due to his consistent adherence to the highest standards of
integrity, fairness, and excellence in the practice of law.
Frederick W. Lauck (’69)
Mr. Lauck has penned a memoir, Children of the Greatest
Generation: An Emotional History. Born and raised in Detroit,
the trial lawyer and author writes in a lyrical story format
about the events of his life. The book’s press release reads,
“Turn to any chapter, any page and you land in the middle of
an entertaining story where you see yourself, someone you
know now, or someone you knew when. Jump on the author’s
magic carpet ride and be transported through the compelling
‘lives and times’ of that most fortunate generation . . . Children
of the Greatest Generation.”
Robert H. Martin (’66)
Mr. Martin is now serving as a mediator in the practice
of law, with a preference for the areas of construction
and employment mediation. He served on the Board
of Directors of the UDM Law Alumni Association for
25 years and was instrumental in establishing the criteria
for the Alumnus of the Year award. Mr. Martin has received
glowing recommendations from Michigan Supreme Court
Justice Michael F. Cavanagh (’66) and Former Justice Maura D.
Corrigan (’73). When asked to comment, Mr. Martin stated,
“Success as a mediator comes in many different forms. In this
instance, it’s bringing about the agreement between Justice
Cavanagh and Justice Corrigan regarding myself as
Samuel J. Bienenstock (’77)
Mr. Bienenstock and his wife, Lauren, of Bienenstock Court
Reporting & Video, were honored at the Holocaust Memorial
Center Zekelman Family Campus 27th Anniversary Dinner in Southfield, Michigan. The Bienenstocks,
who were recognized at the annual fundraising event for
their dedication and commitment to the center, founded
Bienenstock Court Reporting & Video in 1995. The business
now has eight offices throughout Michigan and provides
services to clients in all 50 states. Mr. Bienenstock’s father,
Abraham, and his mother, Bajla Lewkowicz, were both
|Robert R. Cleary (’77)
Mr. Cleary has joined the firm of Dean & Fulkerson as a
shareholder in Troy, Michigan. He was previously a member
of Warner Norcross & Judd in Southfield, Michigan. Mr.
Cleary has experience in both the traditional labor setting,
representing management in collective bargaining situations,
and in the employment litigation setting, where he has
managed and defended a variety of discrimination and
harassment cases advanced in state and federal courts and
state and federal agencies. He represents clients from a diverse
range of industries, including manufacturing, transportation,
property management, construction, retail, public and private
education, and the public sector.
|Hon. Maura Corrigan (’73)
Judge Corrigan, who is the director of the Michigan Department of Human Services after serving on the Michigan Supreme Court since 1999, was honored with the Dennis W. Archer Award from the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation. The award is made annually to a member of the legal profession in metro-Detroit for outstanding public service. It is named after attorney Dennis Archer, who also served on the Michigan Supreme Court, was mayor of Detroit, and served as president of the American Bar Association.
Scott L. Gorland (’77)
Mr. Gorland was a litigation partner at Pepper Hamilton
LLP’s Detroit office for 27 years. When he retired recently,
the partners and employees of Pepper Hamilton contributed
$10,000 to establish the Scott L. Gorland Scholarship Fund
in support of Boys Hope Girls Hope (BHGH), a non-profit
organization in metropolitan Detroit. The gift will be used to
support BHGH’s residential scholarship program designed for
at-risk youth with strong academic capabilities. The program
provides youth the structure and home stability they need
to successfully matriculate through a college-preparatory
environment while developing leadership skills.
Carl L. Gromek (’73)
Mr. Gromek, Michigan State Court Administrator since 2004,
has retired from public service. In addition to his role as State
Court Administrator, he also served as Supreme Court Chief
of Staff. From 1998 to 2001, he was chief clerk and research
director for the Court of Appeals. Prior to that, Mr. Gromek
was managing partner of the Detroit law firm of Gromek,
Bendure & Thomas. At Florida State University he was an
Academic All-American baseball player, following in the
footsteps of his father, Steve Gromek, who was an All-Star
American League pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and the
Robert T. King (’73)
Mr. King, UAW president, delivered the keynote speech at the
opening reception of the 64th annual Labor and Employment
Law Conference at St. John’s in Manhattan, cosponsored by
NYU Law School, Cornell ILR, and the American Arbitration
Association. The theme of this year’s conference was The
Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on the Workplace.
Daniel P. Malone (’78)
Mr. Malone has returned to Butzel Long law firm and is
based in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills, Michigan office. He is of
counsel and is the firm’s Director of Korean Client Relations
and Vice Chair of the Asia Practice. Previously, Mr. Malone
was Director of Asian Client Initiatives at Dykema in Detroit.
He has traveled widely in Asia and represents companies
from Korea and other Asian nations in international business
matters. He assists foreign companies with doing business in
the United States. Mr. Malone has extensive automotive and
product safety litigation experience, and he counsels foreign and
domestic automotive suppliers on federal compliance matters.
Alan Tilchen (’72)
After practicing law, Alan Tilchen decided he could help people even more by combining his legal expertise with his undergraduate degree in business to assist them with their personal financial goals. He established The Tilchen Corporation in Birmingham, Mich., an independent insurance and financial services business, to do just this.
“Becoming financially independent, and remaining financially independent, means people can reach their career goals, support their families and give back to their communities,” says Tilchen.
Understanding wills, trusts, accounting and tax planning can be daunting for any person. Acting as a facilitator, Tilchen works with his clients’ attorneys, CPAs, and other advisors. Tilchen combines his knowledge of these areas with his expertise in financial tools, such as life and disability insurance, long-term care options and mutual fund investments.
“When I was a UDM student, so many students had to pay their own way. I worked in many different jobs and as a substitute teacher, while studying for my law degree. Today, I help families identify their goals so they can set aside funds for their children’s college education and their retirement,” Tilchen says. “Having a plan means a better standard of living, less stress and more peace of mind as we cycle through life’s challenges.”
Tilchen also provides guidance on how individuals can give back to their schools, religious organizations, churches or social services as part of their estate planning. “Leaving a legacy is very important for many people. Yes, they want to leave their children an inheritance, but they also want to build a better world,” says Tilchen.
Tilchen believes in the UDM philosophy to serve and is very active in the community working behind the scenes to improve lives. A key component of his legacy will include his daughter, Lindsay. She joined his company in 2001. “Lindsay grew up discussing economics at the dinner table,” says Tilchen. “She also believes that we are here to serve and help others find success.”
Kelly L. Bidelman (’89)
Ms. Bidelman, managing attorney of the Oakland and Macomb county offices of the Legal Aid Defender Association (LADA), was a speaker at a November LADA presentation. The Advancing Justice Initiatives breakfast was the second in a series intended to introduce LADA to federal, state, and county government officials. Ms. Bidelman told the audience that LADA’s work in Oakland county includes the Free Legal Information Help Desk at the Oakland County Courthouse, a Mentor Program for new attorneys, and a Lawyer of the Day program at the 43rd District Court in Ferndale.
Michael S. Bogren (’82)
Mr. Bogren was re-elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Board
of Directors of Plunkett Cooney. He has held that position
for eight consecutive years. In addition to his Board duties,
Mr. Bogren manages Plunkett Cooney’s Kalamazoo office
and serves as the firm’s Regional Office Department and
Governmental Law Practice Group Leader. He was recently
selected as co-chair of the Newsletter and Public Relations
Committee for the newly created Civil Rights Section of the
Federal Bar Association.
Timothy J. Cassady (’88)
Mr. Cassady is a full time associate professor and adviser at Ferris State College, a transition he made after over 20 years as an assistant prosecutor in Genesee County. His journey from law clerk and court officer at the Waterford District Court, to working in a firm, to private practice, to prosecutor, to college professor is chronicled in an article in the Detroit Legal News. Mr. Cassady teaches several criminal law classes at Ferris, as well as advising students.
|Vernon (“Ven”) R. Johnson (’86)
Mr. Johnson has opened a new firm, Johnson Law PLC.
Initially located in Southfield, Michigan, the firm moved
to Detroit’s historic Buhl Building due to rapid growth. Over
the years, Mr. Johnson has built a renowned reputation as a
trial attorney by securing and winning several multi-million
dollar verdicts for his clients during his years as the leading
partner at the Fieger Law Firm. Johnson Law specializes in the
areas of personal injury, including product liability, medical
malpractice, automobile negligence, and police misconduct.
Rochelle E. Lento (’87)
Ms. Lento was interviewed by the Detroit Legal News for her work helping to bring affordable housing to Detroit. She is senior counsel for Dykema and leads the firm’s Affordable Housing Project in the Real Estate Department. Ms. Lento chose to be a lawyer to help achieve social and community change. Among the many projects she has worked on in the course of her career is the NSO Bell Building, which is being converted into apartments for adults transitioning out of homelessness.
|Steven D. Sallen (’84)
Mr. Sallen, President and CEO of Hauser, Wartell, Roth
& Heller, PC, was among the featured panelists at the
International Council of Shopping Center (ISCS)
Michigan Idea Exchange at the Suburban Collection
Showplace in Novi, Michigan. He participated in a discussion
titled, “My Loan Went to the Special Servicer. Now What?”
Mr. Sallen concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate
law, environmental law, and corporate law.
Richard A. Sundquist (’80)
Mr. Sundquist was re-elected as a Director-at-Large of the
Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan headquartered in
Detroit, Michigan. He has chaired the Girl Scouts’ Property
Committee since 2009 and has acted as legal counsel and
held many other positions since 2002. As a member of Clark
Hill, PLC, he also acted as legal counsel for the merger of
four Michigan Girl Scout Councils and was influential in the
passage of new legislation involving tax exemptions for the
|Brian M. Akkashian (’96)
Mr. Akkashian joined Anthony R. Paesano at Paesano, PLC to form Paesano Akkashian, PC in downtown Birmingham, MI. Paesano Akkashian, PC specializes in corporate and business litigation and transactional work as well as estate and trust planning.
Terese L. Farhat (’91)
Ms. Farhat joined the Birmingham, Michigan office of Clark
Hill, PLC as Senior Counsel in the firm’s Health Care Practice
Group. Her expertise involves numerous aspects of health
care law, including litigation, transactional matters, regulatory
compliance, labor and employment, risk managementand
patient safety, and medical investigational research involving
human participants. In addition to providing health care legal
services to various clients, she is the director of the firm’s
Health Care Compliance Program.
Maryanne B. Foster (’94)
Ms. Foster rejoined Plunkett Cooney as an insurance
coverage attorney. She spent four years honing her skills
as corporate coverage counsel for a property and casualty
insurance company. She represents and counsels insurance
companies in insurance coverage matters. She also has
underwriting experience and has defended clients in general
civil litigation matters.
|Amy Johnston (’94)
Ms. Johnston moderated and presented at a seminar on the hydraulic fracturing—or “fracking”—method of energy extraction. The seminar, titled “Natural Gas Exploration in Michigan: What You Need Know and Why,” was hosted by her firm, Miller Canfield. The seminar featured three experts who deal with the scientific, business, and legal aspects of fracking.
Mark C. Knoth (’92)
Mr. Knoth joined Kerr, Russell & Weber, PLC in Detroit.
As an employment law attorney, he brings a wealth of
experience in all areas of employment and labor law, including
civil rights and anti-discrimination laws; wage and benefit
issues; reductions in force; collective bargaining agreements;
employee benefit claims; affirmative action; employee
misconduct; and employee handbooks, contracts, and policies.
|Edwin J. Lukas (’92)
Mr. Lukas was elected chair of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Prior to beginning this new role, he was secretary, treasurer, and vice chair for the Business Law Section, all within the past 6 years.
|Anthony R. Paesano (’99)
Mr. Paesano began Paesano, PLC in downtown Birmingham, MI. Brian M. Akkashian (’96) joined Paesano to form Paesano Akkashian, PC. Paesano Akkashian, PC specializes in corporate and business litigation and transactional work as well as estate and trust planning.
Gregory T. Stremers (’93)
Mr. Stremers is the recipient of the Michigan Association
of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA) Distinguished Municipal
Attorney Award. The award was presented at the MAMA
Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Abed A. Ayoub (’05)
Mr. Ayoub is now the Legal Director for the American-Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in Washington, D.C.
He served as moderator for a two-hour panel
on civil rights that was televised on C-Span2. The ADC hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to highlight the positive relationship between Arab-American communities and law enforcement.
Ryann O’Boyle Bunch (’04)
Ms. Bunch is an associate with the Port Huron law firm
of Kelly, Whipple, Zick & Keyes, PLLC. She was previously a
senior associate with the law firm of Bodman and Associates
in Troy, Michigan for seven years specializing in business, real
estate, and finance law. She also has represented lenders in
structuring, documenting, and negotiating land development,
construction, and mortgage loans.
Kathleen S. Corpus (’00)
Ms. Corpus joined Whiteford Taylor & Preston’s Products
Liability & Environmental Litigation group as a partner in the
firm’s new office in Dearborn, Michigan. Ms. Corpus, who was
previously at LeClair Ryan, focuses on product liability and
commercial litigation. In particular, she has handled asbestos
discovery matters nationwide on behalf of one of the “Big
Three” auto companies based in Michigan.
John A. Cullis (’00)
Mr. Cullis, a partner at Chicago-based Neal Gerber Eisenberg,
has been identified by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company
as among the “most talented young attorneys working in
Illinois” in its annual “40 Under Forty” publication. Mr. Cullis
co-chairs the firm’s Cross-Border Practice Group and is a
member of its Intellectual Property Practice Group.
Kathryn Cushman-Tillman (’02)
Mrs. Cushman-Tillman was inducted into the Madonna University Athletics Hall of Fame. The all-time women’s basketball scoring leader at MU, she scored 1,752 points in her four-year career to hold the top spot in the Madonna annals by almost 200 points. A two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-WHAC selection (1998 and 1999), she also garnered NAIA All-America honorable mention honors (1996 and 1997), leading MU to the 1997 NAIA National Tournament for the first time in program history. Cushman-Tillman double majored at MU in sign language studies and criminal justice before coming to UDM Law. She is currently practicing law at Hickey, Cianciolo, Fishman and Finn, PC, in Troy, MI.
Nicole L. DiNardo (’02)
Ms. DiNardo, an associate in Dykema’s Automotive Industry
Group and Litigation Department, was named Chair of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel’s (MDTC) Southeast Region. Ms. DiNardo focuses her
practice on complex commercial litigation, catastrophic product liability defense, automotive supplier contract disputes, premises liability, and consumer lending litigation.
Zenna Faraj Elhasan (’04)
Ms. Elhasan was appointed by Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano (’77) to lead the Wayne County Corporation Counsel’s office. She was previously a partner in Allen Brothers, Attorneys & Counselors, PLLC, and also
served as a magistrate and probation director of the 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Ms. Elhasan is an active member of the Arab American community and serves on the advisory board of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and as secretary for the Arab American Political Action Committee.
Roxana Gale (’09)
Ms. Gale joined the Bloomfield Hills office of Butzel Long.
While attending UDM Law, she was a member of the School’s
Law Review (2007-2009), the Board of Directors for Moot
Court (2007-2008), the Dean’s Honor Society (2007-2009),
and the Frank Murphy Honor Society. Prior to joining Butzel
Long, Ms. Gale worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
for Oakland County, where she prosecuted criminal cases in
district court and tried jury and bench trials. Prior to that, she
was an intern at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
Ziyad I. Hermiz (’08)
Mr. Hermiz, an attorney in Butzel Long’s Detroit office,
was elected Vice President of the Chaldean American Bar
Association (CABA). He previously served on the Board of Directors
of the CABA.
Storm T. Kirschenbaum (’03)
Mr. Kirschenbaum was honored by Detroit’s business journal,
dbusiness, with the Thirty in their Thirties Award.
The award is given to regional business professionals in
their 30s who are advancing their companies, industries,
and communities. He is the President of Metis Sports
Management, LLC, a leading baseball and football
representation firm in Michigan. He is a Certified MLBPA
Player Agent and NFLPA Contract Advisor. He has
represented over 140 professional athletes in Major League
Baseball and the National Football League.
Miles T. Macik (’01)
Mr. Macik joined Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC in
its Royal Oak, Michigan office. He focuses his practice on
a wide range of litigation matters and disputes. Prior to
joining Howard & Howard, Mr. Macik represented clients in
litigation matters in the state and federal courts of Michigan,
Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, California, Maryland, Florida, and
Massachusetts. He is a former professional football player
with the Detroit Lions and was a small business owner.
Nannette E. Meyette (‘04)
Ms. Meyette recently partnered with attorney Kelly Riegel-
Green to form their own law firm, Meyette, Green and
Associates, PLLC in Clinton Township, Michigan. Their
practice concentrates in criminal, family law, special
education, and immigration.
Robert M. Nemzin (’06)
Mr. Nemzin, of Butzel Long, was appointed to two
leadership positions by the American Bar Association’s
Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law. He serves as
co-vice chair of the Estate Planning and Administration for
Business Owners, Farmers and Ranchers Committee in the
Business Planning Group. In addition, he serves as vice
chair of the Young Lawyers Network.
Brandon M. Podolski (’01)
Mr. Podolski is an entity member for Southfield based
Plante Moran CRESA. He provides industrial sector
leadership in real estate transaction management for the
firm, which delivers integrated real estate advisory and
consulting services. Mr. Podolski is a member of the Michigan
Manufacturers Association and is a European and North
American committee member of the Detroit Regional
Economic Partnership. Crain’s Detroit Business honored him
as one of its “40 under 40." The award honors the
best and brightest in Southeast Michigan who have made
their marks in business before age 40.
Curtis A. Robertson (’06)
Mr. Robertson was elected president of the Michigan Creditors
Bar Association. He is an associate with Weber & Olcese, PLC
in Troy, Michigan. He also serves as a committee member for
the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys.
Elizabeth A. (Horbach) Solomon (’07)
Ms. Solomon joined the Ann Arbor, Michigan law firm of
Nichols, Sacks, Slank, Sendelbach & Buiteweg, PC. The firm
focuses on mediation and other non-adversarial methods to help
divorcing couples settle their disputes without going to court.
Dawn T. Yeaton (’09)
Ms. Yeaton became an associate attorney for Maddin, Hauser, Wartell, Roth & Heller, PC, a Southfield, Michigan-based law firm. She specializes her practice in title and mortgage litigation, as well as quasi-litigation. Prior to joining Maddin Hauser, Ms. Yeaton served as an associate at Dykema in Bloomfield Hills, MI, where she was also a summer associate in 2008. While there, she served as a litigator on real estate issues. A member of the State Bar of Michigan, Real Property Law Section, Oakland County Bar Association and American Inns of Court, Yeaton has been published in the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review and Michigan Appellate Practice Journal. While at UDM Law, she served as an intern for Hon. Michael J. Talbot (’71) of the Michigan Court of Appeals.