Law School Newsletter - Raising the bar
April 2014 Make a Gift

Wayne Law News

Equal Justice Initiative founder
to speak at Law School Commencement

Bryan A. Stevenson, one of America's leading social justice and human rights attorneys, will receive an honorary degree and serve as keynote speaker Monday, May 12, at Wayne Law's Commencement.

Cody students to present their solutions
to Detroit issues May 9 at Wayne Law

Leaders and residents will hear solutions for critical issues facing Detroit from high school students of the Cody Academy of Public Leadership during a symposium Friday, May 9, at Wayne Law.

Registration open for June 2 Wayne Law Golf Outing; sponsorship opportunities available

Registration is open and sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2014 Wayne Law Golf Outing, set for Monday, June 2, at the Country Club of Detroit.

Great Lakes Environmental Law Center,
law clinic celebrate 'fantastic' first five years

The first five years of a new business venture typically are known as the "survival years" – a time when a great many such ventures stumble and fall. But, against all odds, the first five years for the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center and its partner, Wayne Law's Transnational Environmental Law Clinic, have proved to be an unmitigated success.

Panelists offer insights on Detroit,
encouraging its economic renaissance

About 70 people attended a panel discussion, "Detroit's Renaissance: The Intersection Between Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and the Law" presented April 9 by the Dean's Office.

Travon Martin family's attorney shares
stand-your-ground law repeal campaign

Benjamin Crump, the attorney who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, discussed reasons for seeking the repeal of Michigan's stand-your-ground law April 14 at Wayne Law.

Experts discuss advancing equity,
inclusion in financially distressed cities

A conference featuring noted national experts exploring ways to advance equity and inclusion in cities facing bankruptcy and financial crisis took place April 7 and 8 at Wayne Law.

Auto safety pioneer speaks on GM ignition
switch issues at Robb lecture series

Auto safety pioneer Joan Claybrook presented "GM and NHTSA: Who is Covering for Whom?" on April 2 in the second installment of the annual Dean A. Robb Public Interest Lecture Series, which is presented by Wayne Law's Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights.

Wayne Law alumni use environmental law
to shape the future in many areas

Studying environmental law at Wayne Law has prepared alumni to make an impact locally and beyond in a broad range of areas – from small companies to huge utilities to government agencies.

Student awarded labor law fellowship

Carrie Floyd, a second-year Wayne Law student, has been awarded a Peggy Browning Fund labor law fellowship.

Two second-year students honored
by Women Lawyers Association Foundation

Wayne Law second-year students Farah Al-Khersan and Shahar Ben-Josef were among 10 named Outstanding Women Law Students 2014 by the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Foundation.

Clinic urges new environmental study
for proposed Interstate 94 expansion

At Wayne Law, students in the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic are trying to make sure a new environmental review is performed for a proposed $2.7 billion expansion to Interstate 94 in Detroit.

Winners announced in Wayne Law's Barris competition; trial advocacy program grows

Winners of the winter semester 2014 Donald E. Barris Trial Competition at Wayne Law are second-year students Jack McIntyre and Royce Nunley.

Two students win Moot Court competition

The final round of Wayne Law's Moot Court competition was March 26, and the winning finalists were third-year student John Gaviglio and second-year student Frank Moran.

Wayne Law transactional team competes
in nationals; new course planned

Wayne Law’s team of Christopher Attar and Justin Hanna finished fourth in drafting and sixth in negotiations at the 2014 National Transactional LawMeet.

Moot Court elects officers for 2014-15

Seven second-year students have been elected as Wayne Law Moot Court program officers for 2014-15.

Team members named for Jessup
international moot court competition

Wayne Law's team members for the 2014-15 Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court competition have been named.

Environmental clinic works to protect
public health from mounds of petroleum coke

Students in Wayne Law's Transnational Environmental Law Clinic have been at the forefront of research and action into concerns about storing mountains of petroleum coke near local rivers and residential areas.

Upcoming Events

May 1 - American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters

May 6 - Wayne Law Intellectual Property Law Reception

May 9 - Why the D? Detroit Youth Offer Solutions

May 12 - Law School Commencement

May 29 - STOPfakes.gov Roadshow - an intellectual property rights seminar

June 2 - Wayne Law Golf Outing

More Events

Alumni Accomplishments

Brian Aquart, '09, joined the Human Resources Adminstration in the Department of Social Services in New York City as deputy director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. Aquart helps to ensure the administration maintains a respectful work environment, makes employment decisions fairly and with equal opportunity, and makes reasonable accommodations for qualified employees. He oversees investigations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints and implementation of reasonable accommodations.

Susan Burkhart, '81, was named Best Lawyers 2014 Raleigh Insurance Law "Lawyer of the Year." Burkhart is chair of the Insurance Law and Coverage practice in the Raleigh, N.C., office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP and has been with the firm since its founding in 1992.

Thomas Cameron, '96, was appointed to the Third Circuit Court in Detroit by Gov. Rick Snyder. Cameron has been Criminal Justice Bureau chief for the Michigan Department of Attorney General, where he supervises several large divisions. He has been with the department since 2003, previously serving as an assistant attorney general and Criminal Division chief. Cameron began his law career at the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office. He fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Amy Hathaway.

Joseph DeVito, '95, was named Deal Maker of the Year - Advisor Category by Crain's Detroit Business in partnership with the Association for Corporate Growth, Detroit Chapter. He is with Howard & Howard PLLC, where he concentrates his practice on business and financial transactions and real estate matters. He formerly served as assistant general counsel responsible for mergers and acquisitions for ThyssenKrupp in North America and also has served as interim general counsel for corporate clients in the automotive, technology and service industries.

Homayune Ghaussi, '01, was selected as a board member for the Friends of the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan. He is a partner with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. He'll serve on the 15-member board for the nonprofit group, which was established in 2007 as a joint initiative of the U.S. State Department  and leading national law firms to empower Afghan lawyers to contribute to the establishment of the rule of law in their nation. The organization administers a program of scholarships for Afghan legal scholars. Ghaussi has a diverse litigation practice with his law firm.

Marie Godush, '02, was named as shareholder at Vedder Price. She is a member of the firm's Finance & Transactions group in the Chicago office and focuses her practice on representing banks and other financial institutions, lenders in bankruptcy-related workout matters and borrowers in the area of finance.

Krista Hosmer, '05, joined Rader Fishman & Grauer PLLC in its Bloomfield Hills office. Her practice is focused on intellectual property litigation as well as complex business disputes.

Robert Hudson, '72, has been instrumental in planning the May 23 annual gala and awards ceremony of the French American Chamber of Commerce Michigan Chapter. Hudson is president emeritus of the chapter and a shareholder with the Detroit office of Butzel Long. The chamber is a not-for-profit business organization committed to the improvement of economic, commercial and financial relations between France and the United States.

Edward Joseph, '87, was appointed to the Third Circuit Court in Detroit by Gov. Rick Snyder. Joseph has been an attorney in private practice since 1991, focusing on civil, probate, juvenile and criminal litigation. He also has been serving as a special assistant attorney general. Joseph previously served as secretary and general consul at Mercom Inc. in Bloomfield Hills. He fills the vacancy created by the removal of Judge Wade McCree.

Shirley Kaigler, LL.M., '93, was honored as a 2014 Leader in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. She is a member of the Estate, Wealth Planning and Probate Practice Group at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss PC.

Lawrence Katz, '72, was presented with the 2013 Barbara R. Levine Award in Recognition of Excellence in Appellate Advocacy by the Appellate Defender Commission in March 2014. The annual award honors a Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System roster member whose appellate advocacy achieves outstanding results or who demonstrates extraordinary commitment on behalf of appellate assigned clients. His article, "Preserving Issues for Appeal in Criminal Cases," appeared in the October 2013 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal. His article, "Amanda Knox: An American's Journey through the Italian Justice System," appeared in the fall 2013 issue of the National Italian American Bar Association News.

Judge Damon J. Keith, LL.M., '56, was awarded the Wolverine Bar Association's Living Legacy Award at the organization's April 12 Barristers' Ball in Detroit.

Jon Muth, '71, was recognized by the Grand Rapids Bar Association with the Donald R. Worsfold Distinguished Service Award. He served as president of the State Bar of Michigan for two terms and was given the Robert P. Hudson Award for his impact on influencing the direction of the profession. Muth has supported and served community organizations including the Grand Rapids Art Museum and Grand Rapids Ballet. The group his name is most connected with is the Legal Assistance Center. He was instrumental to the center's early success and has dedicated more than 10 years to this initiative, which serves more than 17,000 people annually. He is with law firm Miller Johnson of Grand Rapids.

Robert Palmer, '80, was recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of its 2014 Leaders in the Law. A partner at Pitt McGehee Palmer and Rivers in Royal Oak, Palmer specializes in labor and employment law but also handles personal injury, medical malpractice, police misconduct, criminal defense and civil rights violations matters. In addition, he has served as appointed special independent counsel to the Detroit City Council since 1981, advising the council on numerous legal issues involving the separation of powers.

Timothy Pickard, '74, retired after 20 years as judge in Lenawee County Circuit Court. He also has signed an agreement with the Michigan Court Administrative Office to serve on special assignments in Lenawee County and the northern Michigan counties of Charlevoix, Emmet, Mackinac and Muskegon, as well as on state appeals court panels.

David Points, LL.M., '97, was invited to speak at the University of Akron's seventh annual Black Male Summit on April 12. He is a retired Michigan public school educator and the former director of the Joint Information Bureau, Joint Task Force -160, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was recalled to active duty in February 2002 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He remained director while the Joint Information Bureau transitioned to U.S. Army and Rhode Island Army National Guard personnel. He was awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.

Paul Rosen, '64, was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2013 as the Detroit Lawyer of the Year in the field of personal injury law. He is with Mindell Malin Kutinsky Stone and Blatnikoff in Southfield. He has served as president of the Michigan Trial Lawyer's Association and president of the American Board of Trial Attorneys and is a member of Wayne Law's Board of Visitors. Rosen has taught at various law schools, including Wayne State University, University of Michigan, University of Detroit and New York University.

Holli Targan, '85, was honored by PaymentsSource, an information resource for news, trends and analysis in the payments industry, as one of the year's Most Influential Women in the Payments Industry. Selected for her achievements in a traditionally male-dominated industry, Targan is one of only 20 women recognized for helping redefine the way people and businesses handle money. Targan serves as chair of the Electronic Payments practice group at Jaffe Raitt Hewitt & Weiss PC, where she is a partner.

Mark Wilkinson, '05, was appointed to the Labor and Employment Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association. He is a partner with Franczek Radelet and represents both private and public sector employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including general litigation.

More Alumni Accomplishments

Student Accomplishments

Karinne Marcolini wrote a blog entry, Addressing the Great Lakes Prescription Drug Problem, for the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. She is a second-year student and has worked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and at the Crisis Centre in Nassau, Bahamas, during her law school studies.

Steve Knox, incoming editor-in-chief of Wayne Law's The Journal of Law in Society, and Erica Shell, incoming managing editor, participated in a team-building event April 4 at Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park. They joined with students from Macomb Community College and bagged 4,700 pounds of pizza kits for needy families. Knox and Shell are second-year students.  

Eric Shovein has been selected as a 2014 Presidential Management Fellowship finalist. The fellowship program is designed to attract to federal service outstanding men and women from graduate schools in various academic disciplines. Fellowships offer paid employment and training with federal agencies for two years and are considered elite leadership training ground. Shovein, a third-year student, is interested in international human rights law and immigration law.

Patrick Tully wrote a blog entry, Students working in Wayne Law's Transnational Environmental Law Clinic challenging massive highway expansion in midtown Detroit, for the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. He is a third-year student who received a Wayne Law Public Interest Fellowship to work with Massachusetts Department of Conservation, Office of the General Counsel. He also interned at the Michigan Court of Appeals and worked at a large Michigan law firm, where he will be returning to practice this fall.

Pamela Wall, a second-year student in Wayne Law's Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Clinic, wrote a guest post, Finding Community in a Courtroom, about some of her experiences. Her article is published on the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan website.

More Student Accomplishments

Faculty Accomplishments

Laura Bartell spoke April 23 to the Municipal Law Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association about the Detroit bankruptcy proceedings during the committee's regular meeting at the association's office in Bloomfield Hills.

Susan Cancelosi was a panelist and co-convener of the AARP forum Keep the Promise: Retirement Security in Michigan on April 3. The roundtable forum on retirement security was convened in cooperation with Wayne Law, Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel to address Michigan's overall state of financial security in retirement and the specific issues facing city of Detroit pensioners.

Paul DubinskyGregory Fox and Brad Roth prepared and presented "Treaties as Law of the Land? Change and Uncertainty in the Domestic Effects of International Agreements" during the Academic Symposium on April 4 that was part of the two-day inauguration celebration for Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson.

Peter Hammer was a panelist April 24 when the Flint branch of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan examined the impact of Michigan's emergency manager law on the voting rights of citizens in cities and school districts. The discussion, "Emergency Management: The End of Democracy in Michigan Cities," was part of the branch's annual meeting at the INNN Center in Flint.

More Faculty Accomplishments

Professors in the News

Laura Bartell continues to be sought by news reporters as an expert on the topic of Detroit's bankruptcy proceedings. She was quoted in a Reuters news story printed in the Chicago Tribune, Detroit pension deal approved by one retirement system, as well as interviewed on several radio stations and quoted in Detroit newspapers and beyond.

Jocelyn Benson wrote a guest column, Supreme Court ruling deals a devastating blow to democracy, published in the Detroit Free Press.

Peter Hammer was quoted and focused on in Detroit News columnist Laura Berman's piece, Offer of a fresh perspective might help Detroit out of bankruptcy.

Peter Henning was quoted in a PBS "Frontline" report, Can Steven Cohen Move On From SAC's Insider Trading Past?

John Mogk was quoted in a Detroit News article, After Joe Louis Arena, Detroit riverfront site's future up in air.   

Nick Schroeck was quoted in a World News Network report, Wayne Law clinic urges new environmental study for I-94 expansion, and in other news sources on the same topic.

Robert Sedler was quoted in a Detroit News article, AG to ask judge to dismiss challenge to Michigan's emergency manager law.

Michael Steinberg was quoted in an Associated Press story on MLive, Michigan ban on same-sex benefits for public workers back in court.

More Professors in the News

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