External advisory committee

  • Judge Bruno Simma

    Honorary Chair

    Iran-United States Claims Tribunal

    Judge Bruno Simma is the honorary chair of the External Advisory Committee to the Program for International Legal Studies. He was a member of the International Court of Justice from 2003 to 2012. Since December 2012, he has been a judge at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, also in The Hague. Judge Simma delivered the keynote lecture inaugurating the Program for International Legal Studies at Wayne Law in October 2009.

    Judge Simma is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading academicians, scholars and experts in international law. As an academic, Judge Simma has been a faculty member since 1973 at the University of Munich, where he also served as dean of the law faculty. He also has taught at the University of Michigan Law School for nearly 30 years, since 2012 as a professor of law (on leave during his tenure at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal). He twice has served as director of Studies at the Hague Academy of International Law, where in 2009 he offered the prestigious General Course. As a legal expert, Judge Simma has been a member of the United Nations International Law Commission and the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. He has served as an arbitrator both in inter-state and foreign investment arbitrations and is also a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Judge Simma received his doctorate of law from the University of Innsbruck, Austriaand a doctorates honoris causa from the University of Macerata, Glasgow and Innsbruck. In 2012, he was awarded the Manley O. Hudson Medal by the American Society of International Law.

  • Frederick Acomb

    Miller Canfield, Detroit

    Frederick Acomb is the chairman of the International Dispute Resolution Section at Miller Canfield, Paddock and Stone, one of Michigan’s oldest and largest law firms. Over the last decade, more than 95% of Acomb’s caseload has focused on litigation or arbitration on behalf of or adverse to corporations headquartered outside the U.S. He has appeared before arbitration tribunals in multiple continents including Asia, Europe and North America. He has also served as an arbitrator in a number of sales agency disputes and serves as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Acomb is listed in the Best Lawyers in America in two separate categories, Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation. Acomb earned his bachelor’s from Northwestern University and his J.D. from the University of California at Hastings.

    Read more about Acomb (Oakland County Legal News, Jan. 8, 2014)

  • David A. Clanton '69

    Baker and McKenzie, Washington, D.C.

    David Clanton is a partner at Baker and McKenzie in Washington, D.C. where he is the co-chair of the firm’s Global Antitrust and Competition Group. The Group includes more than 300 lawyers and other professionals in 36 countries. Prior to joining Baker and McKenzie, Clanton served as a commissioner and acting chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

    Clanton represents clients on a wide variety of antitrust matters, including multi-jurisdictional merger and cartel investigations. He often deals with the antitrust aspects of M&A transactions, especially in responding to second requests, negotiating settlements and defending clients in litigation. He also represents clients in cartel investigations, such as negotiating amnesty agreements, responding to grand jury subpoenas and defending follow-on private treble damage lawsuits.

    Clanton earned his bachelor’s from Andrews University and his J.D. from Wayne Law.

  • Michael T. Cone, '94

    FSB FisherBroyles, New York

    Michael T. Cone practices in the areas of administrative law, customs and international trade with FSB FisherBroyles in New York. His administrative expertise includes matters falling under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, the Food and Drug Administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Products Safety Commission, and a variety of other administrative bodies that regulate the importation and sale of merchandise. He also represents clients in all phases of litigation before federal and state courts, including the U.S. Court of International Trade. 

    Before entering private practice, Cone served as a law clerk to the Hon. R. Kenton Musgrave of the U.S. Court of International Trade. In 2008, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of International Trade appointed Cone to serve on the Court’s advisory committee for a five-year term. Advisory committee members work with the court to enhance its internal operations and amend its rules in order to improve practice before the court.

    Cone earned his bachelor’s from the University of Michigan, his J.D. from Wayne Law and his LL.M. from American University's Washington College of Law.

  • Richard G. Goetz

    Dykema Gossett PLLC, Detroit


    Richard G. Goetz leads the International Practice Group of Dykema Gossett PLLC in Detroit. This interdisciplinary group helps meet the evolving legal needs of clients in a global economy whether they are entering the U.S. from abroad or pursuing opportunities outside the U.S. Goetz joined Dykema following a 32-year career with Ford Motor Company where, as associate general counsel-international, he was responsible for legal matters affecting the company's international operations as well as providing strategic advice and counsel to senior company management.

    Goetz is the chair of the International Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and program director of the Conference Board’s Council of Senior International Attorneys. He is a member of the advisory boards of the Institute of International and Comparative Law, and the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership. He is a trustee and director of the Michigan Opera Theatre.

    Goetz earned his bachelor’s from Southern Illinois University and his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law. In 2007, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Law.

  • Silvia M. Kleer '95

    Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Mich.

    Silvia Kleer is an attorney in the Global Trade and Transactions Group of the Office of the General Counsel of Ford Motor Company. Her work involves two primary areas. The first is export distribution, which involves all aspects of commercial distribution business to the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa, Caribbean and Central America. The second area is regulatory compliance. Kleer counsels Ford and its international subsidiaries on export controls and economic sanctions laws and regulation including the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce, trade and economic sanctions maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) maintained by the U.S. Department of State.

    Prior to joining the Global Trade and Transactions Group, Kleer worked on consumer and commercial finance issues in both the legal office of Ford Motor Credit Company from 2001 to 2006 and the Office of General Counsel at Chrysler Financial Company from 1994 to 2001.

    Kleer earned her bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Wayne Law.

  • Michael M. Ostrove

    DLA Piper, Paris

    Michael M. Ostrove is a partner in the Paris office of DLA Piper where he leads the firm’s International Arbitration Practice Group. Prior to joining DLA Piper, Ostrove served as international counsel in the Paris office of Debevoise and Plimpton LLP. His practice focuses on international disputes involving sovereign states and cross-border commercial matters. He also advises frequently on multi-jurisdictional white collar criminal investigations. Ostrove has experience advising and representing clients in complex litigations, arbitrations and mediations. During the last decade, Ostrove has worked on matters heard by U.S., French and other national courts, the International Court of Justice and ICC, LCIA, ICSID, ZCC tribunals, as well as ad hoc arbitration panels operating under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. He is a member of the New York and Paris Bars.

    Ostrove earned his bachelor’s from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

  • Angelo A. Paparelli '76

    Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles

    Angelo A. Paparelli, a partner in the 900+ attorney international law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP, practices immigration law in Los Angeles and New York. He focuses on business and employment-based immigration, the immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions and the E-2 and EB-5 Immigrant Investment visa categories. Admitted to practice law in Michigan, California and New York, Paparelli founded and served as president of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, a worldwide alliance of leading immigration lawyers. He has been rated three times as the World’s Leading Immigration Lawyer by the International Who’s Who of Corporate Lawyers and a “Star” by Chambers and Partners in several annual rankings, and is a California-Certified Immigration and Nationality Law Specialist.

    Paparelli is a recipient of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s prestigious Edith Lowenstein Award, and blogs on our dysfunctional immigration system at www.nationofimmigrators.com. Paparelli earned his J.D. from Wayne Law.

  • Justice Andreas Paulus

    Federal Constitutional Court of Germany

    Andreas Paulus was sworn in as a justice of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in March 2010 and has been a rapporteur in cases dealing, inter alia, with intellectual property cases. He also holds the chair in public and international law at the Georg-August-University Göttingen where he teaches public law, international and European law, constitutional history and legal philosophy.

    In 2003-04, Justice Paulus was visiting assistant professor at the University of Michigan Law School. From 1999-2006, he was assistant professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, where he also concluded his habilitation (2006) and received his doctoral degree (2000). He also studied law in Göttingen, Geneva, Munich and at Harvard Law School.

    Justice Paulus served as counsel and adviser to the Federal Republic of Germany before the International Court of Justice in the LaGrand (Germany v. United States) and Certain Property (Liechtenstein v. Germany) cases. He is a member of the advisory board of the Goettingen Journal of International Law and a member of the advisory council of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg.

  • Oday Salim '08

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

    Oday Salim is a clinical assistant professor of law and director of the Environmental Law & Sustainability Clinic, as well as a staff attorney at the National Wildlife Federation in its Great Lakes Regional Center. Prior to joining the clinical program, Professor Salim practiced environmental law in Pennsylvania and Michigan focusing on stormwater management, water quality permitting, water rights, environmental justice, land use and zoning, utility regulation, mineral rights, and renewable energy. He has litigated in administrative and civil courts at the local, state, and federal level, and also has done transactional work for individuals and nonprofits.

    Salim received his J.D. from Wayne Law and his LL.M. in environment and natural resources from Lewis and Clark Law School. Prior to law school, he studied history, literature and philosophy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and l’Université de Poitiers (France).

  • Lada Soljan

    International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

    Lada Soljan is an appeals counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), where she has worked since 2005.  She had previously served as a legal officer and associate legal officer in the Tribunal’s Trial Division.  As trial counsel Soljan was a member of the prosecution trial team in Prosecutor v. Popovic et al., a case involving seven men charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to the fall of Eastern Bosnian enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa in the summer of 1995. The Trial Judgment in this case was issued on June 10, 2010, and resulted in convictions for all seven accused, including two convictions for genocide and a conviction for aiding and abetting genocide,.

    Prior to joining the ICTY, Soljan practiced private international litigation for five years in New York City. She has worked on a number of pro bono asylum cases and consulted on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and on national laws implementing the Statue.

    Soljan earned her bachelor’s from Smith College and J.D. from NYU School of Law.

  • David P. Stewart

    Georgetown University Law Center

    David Stewart is a visiting professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches public and private international law and foreign relations law, directs the Global Law Scholars Program and co-directs the Center for Transnational Business and the Law. 

    From 1976 to 2008, Stewart served in a variety of senior positions in the Office of Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State, including assistant legal adviser for private international law, diplomatic law and litigation, African affairs, human rights and refugees, law enforcement and intelligence, and international claims and investment disputes, as well as special assistant to the legal adviser. Before joining the government, he was in private practice with Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine in commercial and antitrust litigation.  In 2012 Stewart was re-elected to the Inter-American Juridical Committee.

    Stewart earned his LL.M. in International Legal Studies from New York University,  J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.A. in International Relations from the Yale Graduate School and an A.B. from Princeton.

  • Bruce C. Thelen

    Dickinson Wright PLLC, Detroit

    Bruce Thelen is a member of Dickinson Wright PLLC in Detroit, where he chairs the international practice team composed of lawyers from all of the firm's substantive groups.

    Thelen has a wide ranging practice in international trade and commerce extending to all regions of the world.  Although his practice covers many industries, he has extensive background in the automotive sector. For two years, while remaining a member of Dickinson Wright, he served as in-house international counsel for Chrysler Corporation.

    Thelen has held numerous positions in civic and professional organizations, including service as an officer of the International Bar Association and as chair of the Michigan Bar's International Law Section. Since 1995, he has served by appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on the Michigan District.

    Thelen earned his bachelor’s from Michigan State University and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

  • C. Peter Theut

    China Bridge, Ann Arbor, Mich.

    C. Peter Theut is president and chief executive officer of China Bridge. Prior to founding China Bridge, Theut was a partner at Butzel Long for 22 years. At Butzel he chaired the firm’s Global Trade and Transaction Practice, the firm’s China Initiative, and served as a member of the executive committee of the China Alliance. He serves on the advisory boards of the Detroit China Business Association and University of Michigan Confucius Institute and sits on the Board of Visitors at the Wayne State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

    In addition to his China expertise, Theut has extensive experience with the financing, environmental and commercial aspects of waterfront development, and with admiralty and maritime law.

    Theut is co-founder of Global Community Outreach, a nonprofit organization that functions in coordination with various non-governmental organizations worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to remote parts of the world, with particular focus on Africa, China and Mexico.

    Theut earned his bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

  • Edward M. Zelenak '77

    Lincoln Park, Mich.

    Edward Zelenak is the city attorney for the municipalities of Lincoln Park and Southgate, Michigan. He is legal counsel to the St. James Police Civic Committee in Jamaica and frequently lectures on law enforcement policy and procedures for the Jamaica Constabulary Force. He has served as legal counsel to numerous other communities and governmental entities, as well as represented presidential candidates and public officials in Michigan election law matters.

    Zelenak is honorary consul for the Slovak Republic, a lifetime appointment he received in 2001. He has been an advisor to the Slovak Ambassadors to Washington and the United Nations, as well as to members of the Slovak parliament and others in the political leadership in Bratislava. In 1990 he assisted in devising strategies for the first free elections in Czechoslovakia.

    Zelenak is a member of the Board of Visitors of Wayne State University Law School and a past president of the Law School’s alumni association. He is the recipient of the 2010 State Bar of Michigan Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Servant Award.

    Zelanak earned his bachelor’s from Wayne State University and his J.D. from Wayne Law.