Winners named in Jaffe Transactional Law Competition

Photo of current and former competition chairs and coach Eric ZacksDETROIT - Forty-six Wayne State University Law School students competed Friday, Nov. 9 in the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition.

Winners were:

  • Negotiations (seller's counsel) - Second-year students Asma Al-Khshali and Jamila Garmo, both of West Bloomfield
  • Drafting (seller's counsel) - Third-year students Jeremy Bleier of Berkley, Adomas Rauckis of Imlay City and Hayley Johnson of Franklin
  • Negotiations (buyer's counsel) - Second-year students Alexander Krasuski of Milford and Fadee Nakkash of Farmington Hills
  • Drafting (buyer's counsel) - Second-year students Megan Hoberg of Clinton Township, Joseph Zannetti of Warren and Ryan Tactac of Sterling Heights

The live-round competition is part of a one-credit course created and supervised by Associate Professor Eric Zacks of Huntington Woods. Third-year students Arthur Griem of Grosse Pointe and Ahmad Sabbagh of Dearborn Heights were the chairpersons of the competition. The program is supported by the Jaffe Transactional Law Competition Fund, established earlier this year by Michigan-based law firm Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss.

"This course provides students with a practical transactional law experience," said Griem. "Students have the chance to interact with, and get feedback from, some of the area's top transactional attorneys, many of whom are Wayne Law graduates."

Photos of students competitingThe winners from the negotiation rounds will represent the Law School at a future state or regional competition and will receive a Book Award from the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. The winners for drafting will help the negotiation teams prepare, including assisting with the drafting that will be required for competitions and conducting practice negotiation rounds.

"The judges were incredibly impressed by our students' level of preparation and mastery of the issues, particularly given that this was their first 'transaction,'" said Zacks. "I am excited and grateful that, due to the support of Jaffe, we will continue to be able to provide this valuable transactional skill-building experience to Wayne Law students for years to come. The program has continued to grow, with the most students ever participating this year."

After weeks of drafting and revising, the day of the live negotiations competition brought the teams together for two rounds of negotiations. The panel of judges - composed of 24 attorneys - offered feedback after each round.

Wayne Law alumnus Justin Hanna of Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss served as one of the judges. "The competition is an invaluable experience for any student interested in transactional law," said Hanna. "It puts participants in a position to be ahead of their peers as first-year associates thanks to the opportunity to work through the basic structure and gain a ground level understanding of the mechanics of an M&A deal. I was very impressed by the students' abilities and am excited about Jaffe's partnership with the program as it continues to prosper."

Attorneys serving as judges were:

  • Gabriel Appel '17, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss
  • Allison Bach '04, Dickinson Wright
  • Christopher Banerian '14, LogicalisUS
  • Don Baty, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
  • Amber Beebe, Beebe Law Group
  • David Billings, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
  • Laura Davis, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
  • Georgette Dulworth '93, Dematic Corp
  • David Geiss, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Blair Gould '14, Dickinson Wright
  • Nezar Habhab '18, Project: Worldwide
  • Justin Hanna '15, Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss
  • David Joswick '69, Miller Canfield
  • Barbara Kaye, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
  • Michael Khalil '14, Lumberg Freeman Gleeson Hicks and Khalil
  • Steven Migliore '08, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
  • Rachel Myung '16, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
  • Stephen Reaume '17, Kerr Russell and Weber
  • Clara Seymour, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
  • Eric Tilds '98, Logicalis
  • Apollo Upshaw '14, Ford Motor Company
  • Matt VanWasshnova, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
  • Arius Webb '15, Ford Motor Credit Company
  • Christopher Webb, Webb ADR

Photo 1 (download high-res):

Current Transactional Law Competition co-chairs, from left, Arthur Griem and Ahmad Sabbagh, stand with Jaffe attorneys and former competition chairs Gabriel Appel and Justin Hanna, and faculty advisor Eric Zacks.

Photo 2 (download high-res):

Wayne Law students, from left, Roy Greenia and Yezi Yan, compete in the 2018 Jaffe Transactional Law Competition. For more photos, visit

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Contact: Kaylee Place

Phone: 313-577-4629


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