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SHARON WOODS NAMED AS ONE OF TOP 250 WOMEN IN LITIGATION NATIONWIDE BY BENCHMARK

Sharon is the chairperson of BSDD’s litigation department and served as BSDD’s managing member for twenty-four years, after joining BSDD in 1972 as its first woman attorney. She is known for handling “bet the company” business litigation and specializes in legal and accounting malpractice defense, construction law, employment law, business torts, and alternative dispute resolution.

Sharon was elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1989 and was elected to its national Board of Regents for 2001-2005. She was elected a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers in 2003.


SHARON WOODS

Sharon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree (magna cum laude) in biology and mathematics and a law degree (summa cum laude), both from the University of Detroit. Sharon resides with her husband, attorney Thomas Woods, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

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EUGENE DRIKER RECEIVES COOKFRIEDMAN CIVILITY AWARD

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that Eugene Driker has been awarded the Julian Abele Cook, Jr. Bernard A. Friedman FBA Civility Award for 2014 by the Federal Bar Association’s Eastern District of Michigan Chapter.

The annual award recognizes a civil practitioner who is an outstanding example of professional excellence and civility. Criteria include demonstration of the highest levels of legal competency and professionalism and adherence to the highest standards of professional integrity and personal courtesy. The award is named for former Chief Judge Julian Abele Cook, Jr., and former Chief Judge Bernard A. Friedman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Eugene is a founding member of BSD&D and a lifelong resident of the City of Detroit. He specializes in complex business and antitrust litigation and in corporate and business counseling.

Eugene was appointed as a Special Mediator in the City of Detroit bankruptcy by Chief Judge Gerald E. Rosen of the Eastern District of Michigan. He is also a member of the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

Eugene received a Bachelor of Science degree from Wayne State University, graduated first in his class from Wayne State University Law School, and received a Master of Laws degree from The George Washington University Law School.

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Bob Kass recently presented a 1-hour webinar on Equine Estate Planning


BOB KASS

Bob Kass recently presented a 1-hour webinar on Equine Estate Planning, including estate planning for pet owners , with a focus on estate planning for horse owners. An archived version of the webinar may be accessed at www.thoughtfulequestrian.com (in the EquiClass Archives). Bob is the co-author of Kass & Carrie, “Who Will Care When You’re Not There? Estate Planning for Pet Owners,” and has prepared Special Reports on estate planning for pet owners and for horse owners, available on request to rkass@bsdd.com.

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ATTORNEY MARC E. SEYBURN JOINS BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER


Marc Seyburn

Marc specializes in structural planning, flow-through taxation, cash-flow modeling, and investment opportunities. He also designs estate plans with a focus on both income taxes and estate taxes.

Marc has experience in jet acquisitions and in the use of Michigan's incentives for digital productions, such as apps, motion comics, interactive websites, and console games.

Marc is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School. He also has a Master of Accountancy Degree with high honors from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. He is a resident of Oakland County, Michigan.

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BOB KASS TO GIVE SEMINAR ON ESTATE PLANNING FOR PET OWNERS, AND HORSE OWNERS, MARCH 15, 2014

 

Robert E. Kass

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker member Bob Kass will be giving a seminar on estate planning for pet owners, with a special discussion of issues facing horse owners, on Saturday, March 15, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, in Highland, Michigan. See the article at the following link for details. If you can't attend the seminar but would like copies of the handouts, email rkass@bsdd.com.

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/lifestyle/20140307/highland-township-estate-planning-course-offered-for-people-with-pets

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BEST LAWYERS NAMES EUGENE DRIKER AS DETROIT ANTITRUST LITIGATION LAWYER OF THE YEAR FOR 2014

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that Best Lawyers has named Eugene Driker as Detroit Antitrust Litigation Lawyer of the Year for 2014.

Eugene is a founding member of BSD&D and a life-long resident of the City of Detroit. He specializes in complex business and antitrust litigation and in corporate and business counseling.

Eugene Driker

Eugene was recently appointed as a Special Mediator in the City of Detroit bankruptcy by Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen for the Eastern District of Michigan. He is also a Member of the Board of Governors at Wayne State University.

Eugene received a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University, graduated first in his class from Wayne State University Law School, and received a Master of Laws degree from The George Washington University Law School.

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BEST LAWYERS NAMES SHARON WOODS AS
DETROIT PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE DEFENSE
LAWYER OF THE YEAR FOR 2014

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that Best Lawyers has named Sharon M. Woods as Detroit Professional Malpractice Defense Lawyer of the Year for 2014.

Sharon specializes in business litigation, including commercial and complex litigation, construction, securities, intellectual property litigation, employment litigation, class action litigation, professional malpractice defense, and alternative dispute resolution. She is a senior member of BSDD and is chairman of its litigation department. She is a fellow and former regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Sharon.M.Woods

Sharon graduated magna cum laude from the University of Detroit and summa cum laude from the University of Detroit School of Law.

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BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER PROMOTES
MELONIE L. M. STOTHERS TO MEMBER

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that Melonie L. M. Stothers has become a member of the firm.

Melonie joined the firm after graduating cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law. She is an experienced commercial litigator who defends employers in court and before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Melonie also handles employment compliance matters, advising employers before problems arise.

MELONIE L. M. STOTHERS

Melonie has a special interest in electronic discovery, with experience in all aspects, from litigation holds to collection, review, and production of electronically stored information.

Active in the community, Melonie serves on the Board of Directors for the Children's Heart Foundation Michigan Chapter and on the committee that organizes the annual Congenital Heart Walk of Southeast Michigan. Melonie has served as Secretary for the State Bar of Michigan’s Law Practice Management and Legal Administrator Section. She has also served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President for It’s My Heart—Metro Detroit.

Melonie was recognized by Super Lawyers Michigan as a Super Lawyer in 2013 and a Rising Star in 2012 and was recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as an Up & Coming Lawyer in 2011. Melonie is a resident of Troy, Michigan.

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November 15, 2013

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, P.L.L.C., RECEIVES OUTSTANDING RANKINGS AMONG 2014 BEST LAW FIRMS

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers ranked BSD&D among the top law firms in the country for 2014. BSD&D was ranked nationally (Tier 3) for Commercial Litigation and Real Estate Litigation; locally (Tier 1) for Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Ethics & Professional Responsibility Law, Labor & Employment Litigation, Real Estate Law and Litigation, Professional Malpractice Defense, and Trusts & Estates Law; and locally (Tier 2) for Banking & Finance Law, Antitrust Litigation, Construction Litigation, and Securities Litigation.

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BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER ATTORNEY RECEIVES CHAMPION OF JUSTICE AWARD FROM STATE BAR OF MICHIGAN

Detroit law firm Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that member Eugene Driker has received the State Bar of Michigans Champion of Justice Award. The award honors those who demonstrate integrity and adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession; superior professional competence; and an extraordinary professional accomplishment that benefits the nation, the state, or the local community. No more than five such awards are presented each year.

Eugene Driker

Eugene is a founding member of BSD&D and a life-long resident of the City of Detroit. He specializes in complex business litigation and corporate and business counseling.

Eugene was recently appointed as a Special Mediator in the City of Detroit bankruptcy by Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen for the Eastern District of Michigan. He is also a Member of the Board of Governors at Wayne State University.

Eugene received a Bachelor degree from Wayne State University, graduated first in his class from Wayne State Law School, and received a Master of Laws degree from The George Washington University of Law School.

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BOB KASS AUTHORS ARTICLE ON CONTINGENT FEE HEIR FINDER AGREEMENTS

Robert E. Kass

September 16, 2013

FIFTEEN BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER LAWYERS HONORED BY  SUPER LAWYERS IN MICHIGAN FOR 2013

Twelve attorneys from Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, PLLC, have been named to the 2013 Michigan Super Lawyers list, and three have been named to the Rising Stars list.

The attorneys on the Super Lawyers list are members Eugene Driker, William Barris, Sharon Woods, Stephen Glazek, Robert Kass, Daniel Share, Morley Witus, James Fontichiaro, C. David Bargamian, Todd Mendel, Dennis Barnes and associate Melonie McKenzie Stothers.  The attorneys on the Rising Stars list are members Erica Fitzgerald, Matthew Bredeweg.

Driker was ranked among the Top 10 attorneys, and Woods was ranked among the Top 50 women attorneys.  Both were also ranked among the Top 100 attorneys.

Attorneys

From left to right are: (First Row) Eugene Driker, William G. Barris, Sharon M. Woods, Stephen E. Glazek, Robert E. Kass, Daniel M. Share, (Second Row) Morley Witus, James S. Fontichiaro, Daniel J. LaCombe, C. David Bargamian, Todd R. Mendel, Dennis M. Barnes, (Third Row) Erica L. Fitzgerald, Melonie McKenzie Stothers, Matthew Bredeweg.

The publication recognized Driker, Mendel, Witus, Woods, Barnes, and Glazek for excellence in the field of business litigation; Barris, Share, Fontichiaro, and Bargamian for excellence in the field of real estate law; and Kass for excellence in the field of estate planning and probate law.

Fitzgerald and Bredeweg were recognized as Rising Stars in the field of business litigation, and Gibson was recognized as a Rising Star in the field of bankruptcy & creditor/debtor law.

The Super Lawyers list is limited to the top 5% of lawyers in the state, and the Rising Stars list is limited to 2.5% of lawyers in the state. 

Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a rigorous, multiphase rating process, in which peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research.  Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.  Selections are made on an annual basis with the objective of creating a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel. 

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August 16, 2013

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, P.L.L.C., ATTORNEYS RECOGNIZED IN 2014 EDITION OF THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA®

DETROIT, MI - Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is proud to announce that twelve of its members were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 (Copyright 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.), the definitive guide to legal excellence. Those attorneys are Eugene Driker, William G. Barris, Sharon M. Woods, Stephen E. Glazek, Robert E. Kass, Daniel M. Share, Morley Witus, James S. Fontichiaro, Daniel J. LaCombe, C. David Bargamian, Todd R. Mendel, and Dennis M. Barnes.

Attorneys

Pictured (top row): Eugene Driker, William Barris, Sharon Woods, Robert Kass, Daniel Share, and Morley Witus; (bottom row): James Fontichiaro, Daniel LaCombe, David Bargamian, Todd Mendel, Dennis Barnes, and Stephen E. Glazek.

Driker, Barris, and Woods have been recognized for over twenty years. Driker was named 2014 Detroit Litigation - Antitrust "Lawyer of the Year," Woods was named 2014 Detroit Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants "Lawyer of the Year."

Both Driker and Woods were recognized for their excellence in "Bet-the-Company" Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law. Driker was also recognized for excellence in Antitrust Litigation. Woods was also recognized for excellence in Construction Litigation, Labor & Employment Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Securities Litigation, and Professional Malpractice Defense.

Barris, Share, Fontichiaro, and Bargamian were recognized for excellence in Real Estate Law. Witus, LaCombe, Mendel, and Barnes were recognized for excellence in Commercial Litigation. Kass was recognized for his excellence in Trusts and Estates. Witus and Glazek were recognized for excellence in Appellate Practice, and Bargamian was recognized for excellence in Banking and Finance Law and Real Estate Litigation. Glazek was also recognized for excellence in Corporate Law.

Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become generally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 41,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.9 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."

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BSDD Tax Partner Bob Kass and Estate Administrator Yuh Suhn Kim Author Comprehensive Layman's Guide to Michigan Estate Settlement
Executors Companion

BSDD Attorneys Offer Legal Perspective to UM Graduate Students on Revitalizing Packard Plant

A team of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker attorneys recently hosted a luncheon meeting with University of Michigan Conservation Studies graduate students and Professor Anya Sirota to discuss legal considerations involved in redesigning challenged urban facilities, such as the City of Detroit’s Packard Plant. Jim Fontichiaro, Dan Share, and Laura Ragold shared their legal expertise in the areas of real property ownership, foreclosure, liability, tax credits, and environmental law to help the students tackle their semester-long project of publishing a revitalization plan for the now-vacant plant. It was a rewarding experience for all, and BSDD congratulates the students for taking on such a challenging project that will undoubtedly pay great dividends to the City and its citizens.

Laura Cadarette RagoldDaniel ShareJames S. Fontichiaro

ROBERT KASS SPEAKS ABOUT ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCESS

Robert Kass, head of BSD&D's tax and estate planning department, made presentations on "Keys to Achieving Peace and Harmony When Settling an Estate” to the Michigan Fellows of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel in October 2012, and to residents of Henry Ford Village and members of Eleanor Roosevelt Hadassah in February 2013. Please contact Robert Kass at rkass@bsdd.com if you would like more information.

Robert E. Kass

U.S. Senators from Michigan Appoint Eugene Driker to Chair Federal Judicial Advisory Committee

Eugene Driker, a founding member of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, has been appointed by U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow to chair an Advisory Committee that will evaluate applicants for judgeships on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and make recommendations to the senators. The senators will then make recommendations to the President for possible nomination to the Court.

Eugene Driker

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, P.L.L.C., RECEIVES TOP RANKINGS FROM U.S. NEWS–BEST LAWYER®

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that it has been ranked among the top law firms in the country by U.S. News–Best Lawyers® for 2012-2013. In the metropolitan Detroit rankings, the firm was placed in Tier 1 for Commercial Litigation, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, Real Estate Litigation, Eminent Domain & Condemnation Litigation, and Real Estate Law. The firm was also ranked in five other categories in metropolitan Detroit and in two categories nationally.

The U.S. News–Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. The rankings are available online in their entirety.

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, P.L.L.C., ATTORNEYS HONORED IN BEST LAWYERS® FOR 2013

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is proud to announce that twelve of its members were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 (Copyright 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.), the definitive guide to legal excellence. Those attorneys are Eugene Driker, William G. Barris, Sharon M. Woods, Robert E. Kass, Daniel M. Share, Morley Witus, James S. Fontichiaro, Daniel J. LaCombe, C. David Bargamian, Todd R. Mendel, Dennis M. Barnes, and Kevin Kalczynski.

Driker, Barris, and Woods have been recognized for over twenty years.

Pictured (first row): Eugene Driker, William Barris, Sharon Woods, Robert Kass, Daniel Share, and Morley Witus; (second row): James Fontichiaro, Daniel LaCombe, David Bargamian, Todd Mendel, Dennis Barnes, and Kevin Kalczynski.

Pictured (first row): Eugene Driker, William Barris, Sharon Woods, Robert Kass, Daniel Share, and Morley Witus; (second row): James Fontichiaro, Daniel LaCombe, David Bargamian, Todd Mendel, Dennis Barnes, and Kevin Kalczynski.

Both Driker and Woods were recognized for their excellence in “Bet-the-Company” Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law. Driker was also recognized for excellence in Antitrust Litigation. Woods was also recognized for excellence in Construction Litigation, Labor & Employment Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Securities Litigation, and Professional Malpractice Defense.

Barris, Share, Fontichiaro, and Bargamian were recognized for excellence in Real Estate Law. Witus, LaCombe, Mendel, Barnes, and Kalczynski were recognized for excellence in Commercial Litigation. Kass was recognized for his excellence in Trusts and Estates. Witus was also recognized for excellence in Appellate Practice, and Bargamian was recognized for excellence in Banking and Finance Law and Real Estate Litigation.

Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become generally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 41,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.9 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

September 26, 2012

FIFTEEN BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER LAWYERS HONORED BY SUPER LAWYERS IN MICHIGAN FOR 2012

Eleven attorneys from Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, PLLC, have been named to the 2012 Michigan Super Lawyers list, and four have been named to the Rising Stars list.

The attorneys on the Super Lawyers list are members Eugene Driker, William Barris, Todd Mendel, Dennis Barnes, Stephen Glazek, Daniel Share, Morley Witus, C. David Bargamian, James Fontichiaro, Robert Kass, and Sharon Woods. The attorneys on the Rising Stars list are members Kevin Kalczynski, Erica Fitzgerald and associate Melonie McKenzie Stothers.

Driker was ranked among the Top 10 attorneys, and Woods was ranked among the Top 50 women attorneys. Both were also ranked among the Top 100 attorneys.

From left to right are (First Row) C. David Bargamian, Dennis M. Barnes, William G. Barris, Eugene Driker, James S. Fontichiaro, Stephen E. Glazek, (Second Row) Robert E. Kass, Todd R. Mendel, Daniel M. Share, Morley Witus, Sharon M. Woods, (Third Row), Kevin Kalczynski, Erica Fitzgerald, Leo J. Gibson, and Melonie L. McKenzie Stothers.

From left to right are (First Row) C. David Bargamian, Dennis M. Barnes, William G. Barris, Eugene Driker, James S. Fontichiaro, Stephen E. Glazek, (Second Row) Robert E. Kass, Todd R. Mendel, Daniel M. Share, Morley Witus, Sharon M. Woods, (Third Row), Kevin Kalczynski, Erica Fitzgerald and Melonie L. McKenzie Stothers.

The publication recognized Driker, Mendel, Witus, Woods, Barnes, and Glazek for excellence in the field of business litigation; Barris, Share, Fontichiaro, and Bargamian for excellence in the field of real estate law; and Kass for excellence in the field of estate planning and probate law.

Kalczynski, Fitzgerald, and Stothers were recognized as Rising Stars in the field of business litigation, and Gibson was recognized as a Rising Star in the field of bankruptcy & creditor/debtor law.

The Super Lawyers list is limited to the top 5% of lawyers in the state, and the Rising Stars list is limited to 2.5% of lawyers in the state.

Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a rigorous, multiphase rating process, in which peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual basis with the objective of creating a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.

BSDD Attorneys Bob Kass and Betty Carrie were recently interviewed by Fox Business about their book, Who Will Care When You're Not There?, which focuses on estate planning for pet owners.

 
Robert E. Kass Betty Carrie

Click title to view article

BSDD Named to State Bar of Michigan's Pro Bono Circle of Excellence for 2012

Pro Bono Circle of Excellence

  

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER P.L.L.C. AND THREE ATTORNEYS HONORED BY CHAMBERS USA FOR 2012

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., has been named as one of the top three firms in Michigan for general commercial litigation by Chambers USA for 2012. The firm also earned Chambers USA’s third highest ranking (“Band 3”) for real estate practice in Michigan.

The publication also honored three BSD&D members.  Recognized as “an icon of the profession,” Eugene Driker earned a “senior statesman” honor for commercial litigation. Sharon Woods earned the highest ranking for commercial litigation attorneys in Michigan. William G. Barris earned the highest ranking for real estate attorneys in Michigan.

Eugene Driker Sharon.M.Woods William.G.Barris

Chambers USA is published by Chambers and Partners, a premier guide to the legal profession.  Each year, Chambers conducts in-depth research and interviews with clients and attorneys throughout the United States to identify the top firms and lawyers in various practice areas.  Law firms and lawyers are ranked in bands from 1 to 6, with 1 being the best.

BSDD MEMBER MATT BREDEWEG'S PRO BONO SERVICE

Matthew Bredeweg

MORLEY WITUS AUTHORS LAW REVIEW ARTICLE ON INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR VANDALISM AND THEFT

Witus

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER PROMOTES MATTHEW BREDEWEG TO MEMBERS

Detroit law firm Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that Matthew Bredeweg have become member of the firm.

Matthew Bredeweg Leo Gibson

Matt graduated magna cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 2004 and graduated cum laude from Hope College with a bachelor of arts degree in 1998. During law school, Matt received a fellowship for study at The Hague Academy of International Law. His practice covers all aspects of commercial litigation. Matt is a resident of Pleasant Ridge, Michigan.

Leo graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2002 and graduated magna cum laude from Boston College with a bachelor of arts degree in 1998. Leo was named as a Michigan Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2010. His practice covers commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, and real estate law. Leo is a resident of Southfield, Michigan.

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER ATTORNEYS APPOINTED AS BOARD MEMBERS OF NONPROFIT ARTS ORGANIZATIONS IN ANN ARBOR

Detroit law firm Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that two of its members, Morley Witus and Erica Fitzgerald, have been appointed as board members of nonprofit arts organizations in Ann Arbor. Morley was appointed to the board of directors of The Ark, which is dedicated to the presentation, preservation and encouragement of folk, roots and ethnic music and related arts. Erica was appointed to the board of trustees of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, whose mission is to present a world-class celebration of arts and entertainment that enriches the cultural, economic, and social vitality of the region.

Witus Fitzgerald

Morley concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and has authored many articles, including a recent article in the Wayne State University Law Review titled “The Paradox of Insurance Coverage for Vandalism But Not Theft” and a forthcoming article in the Michigan Bar Journal titled “A Checklist for Legal Argument”. Morley is the immediate past president of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association.

Erica specializes in business litigation and immigration. She has been honored as an “Up and Coming” lawyer by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and as a Michigan “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine.

Both Morley and Erica are residents of Ann Arbor and are graduates of the University of Michigan Law School.

DAN SHARE INTERVIEWED ABOUT NON-COMPETE AGREEMENTS FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

Dan Share

BSDD PUBLISHES SPECIAL REPORT ON ESTATE PLANNING BASICS: 7 ESSENTIAL POINTS TO REMEMBER

Robert E. Kass

BSDD PUBLISHES SPECIAL REPORT ON HOW TO KEEP PEACE IN THE FAMILY WHEN SETTLING AN ESTATE

Robert E. Kass

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER ATTORNEY HONORED AS “UP & COMING LAWYER” BY MICHIGAN LAWYERS WEEKLY

Detroit law firm Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that its associate Melonie L. McKenzie Stothers was selected as one of twenty “Up & Coming Lawyers” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for 2011.  This annual selection recognizes outstanding young attorneys in their first ten years of practice.  Melonie will be honored at an awards luncheon and profiled in a Michigan Lawyers Weekly special supplement.

Melonie

Melonie graduated cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in 2002, where she also received a Certificate in Law, Technology & Management.  She graduated cum laude from Michigan Technological University with a bachelor of science in mathematics in 1999.  Melonie’s practice covers all aspects of commercial litigation, with a special emphasis on electronic discovery.  She has served as vice present and a board member of It’s My Heart–Metro Detroit and now volunteers with the Children’s Heart Foundation, raising support and awareness of congenital heart defects.  Melonie is a resident of Royal Oak, Michigan.

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, P.L.L.C., RECEIVES STELLAR RANKINGS FROM U.S. NEWS AND BEST LAWYERS®

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that it has been ranked among the top law firms in the country by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers® for 2011-2012. In the national rankings, the firm was placed in Tier 3 for Commercial Litigation. In the metropolitan rankings, the firm was placed in Tier 1 for Commercial Litigation, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, Municipal Law, and Real Estate Law; in Tier 2 for Arbitration, Banking and Finance Law, Antitrust Litigation, Construction Litigation, Labor & Employment Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Professional Malpractice Defense Law, and Trusts & Estates Law; and in Tier 3 for Appellate Practice.

The metropolitan rankings are featured in the "Best Law Firms" standalone publication, which will be distributed to 30,000 general counsel and 58,000 private practice lawyers worldwide. The rankings in their entirety are available online.

These U.S. News-Best Lawyers® rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. The rankings incorporate 3.9 million evaluations of 41,284 individual leading lawyers collected by Best Lawyers® in its most recent annual survey.

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, has named three of its members as “Detroit Best Lawyers”:

  • Eugene Driker has been named as the Best Lawyers’ 2012 Detroit Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Lawyer of the Year. Driker, one of the firm’s founding members, holds a bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate degree from Wayne State University and a master’s of law degree from The George Washington University School of Law.
  • Sharon M. Woods has been named as the Best Lawyers’ 2012 Detroit Litigation - Construction Lawyer of the Year. Woods, the firm’s managing member and Litigation Department Chairperson, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Detroit and summa cum laude from the University of Detroit School of Law.
  • James S. Fontichiaro has been named as the Best Lawyers’ 2012 Detroit Real Estate Law Lawyer of the Year. Fontichiaro graduated with high honors from Michigan State University and cum laude from Wayne State University Law School.
Eugene Driker Sharon.M.Woods James Fontichiaro

Driker, Woods, and Fontichiaro have all been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012 (Copyright 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.) for many years. Both Driker and Woods have been recognized for their excellence in “Bet-the-Company” Litigation, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, and Commercial Litigation. Driker was also honored for his abilities in Antitrust Litigation. Woods has also been honored for her abilities in Construction Litigation, Labor & Employment Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Securities Litigation, and Professional Malpractice Law. And Fontichiaro has been honored for his excellence in Real Estate Law.

The “Detroit Best Lawyers -- Lawyer of the Year” recognition, however, is a singular honor. After more than a quarter of a century in publication, Best Lawyers is designating “Lawyers of the Year” in high-profile legal specialties in large legal communities. Only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is being honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.”

Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. The current, 18th edition of The Best Lawyers in America (2012) is based on more than 3.9 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.

The lawyers being honored as “Lawyers of the Year” have received particularly high ratings in Best Lawyers surveys by earning a high level of respect among their peers for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

Steven Naifeh, President of Best Lawyers, says, “We continue to believe - as we have believed for more than 25 years - that recognition by one’s peers is the most meaningful form of praise in the legal profession. We would like to congratulate Eugene Driker on being selected as the ‘Detroit Best Lawyers Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Lawyer of the Year’ for 2012, Sharon M. Woods on being selected as the ‘Detroit Best Lawyers Litigation - Construction Lawyer of the Year’ for 2012, and James S. Fontichiaro on being selected as the ‘Detroit Best Lawyers Real Estate Law Lawyer of the Year’ for 2012”

Fourteen Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker Lawyers honored as 2011 Michigan Super Lawyers

Twelve attorneys from Barris, Sott, Denn, & Driker, PLLC, have been selected for inclusion on the 2011 Michigan Super Lawyers list and two others have been selected for inclusion on the Rising Stars list.

The attorneys on the Super Lawyers list are members Eugene Driker, William G. Barris, Todd R. Mendel, Dennis M. Barnes, Stephen E. Glazek, Daniel M. Share, Morley Witus, C. David Bargamian, James S. Fontichiaro, Robert E. Kass, Eric S. Rosenthal, and Sharon M. Woods. The attorneys on the Rising Stars list are Kevin Kalczynski

Eugene Driker William.G.Barris Todd Mendel Dennis Barnes Stephen Glazek

Daniel Share Morley Witus C David Bargamian James Fontichiaro Robert Kass

Eric Rosenthal Sharon.M.Woods Kevin Kalczynski

Driker and Woods were named as two of the top 10 attorneys in the state, with Driker as the third top point-getter. An interview with Woods also appeared in the publication.

The publication recognized Driker, Mendel, Rosenthal, Witus, Woods, Barnes, and Glazek for excellence in the field of business litigation; Barris, Share, Fontichiaro, and Bargamian for excellence in the field of real estate law; and Kass for excellence in the field of estate planning and probate law.

Kalczynski, a member, was recognized as a Rising Star in the field of business litigation, and Stefan, an associate, was recognized as a Rising Star in the field of real estate law.

No more than 5% of the lawyers in the state are named to the Super Lawyers list, and no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list.

Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a rigorous, multiphase rating process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis with the objective of creating a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is proud to announce that seven of its members were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is proud to announce that seven of its members were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012 (Copyright 2011 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.), the definitive guide to legal excellence. Those attorneys are Eugene Driker, William G. Barris, Sharon M. Woods, Daniel M. Share, Robert E. Kass, James S. Fontichiaro, and Todd R. Mendel.

Best Lawyers |  The World's Premier Guide

Driker and Barris have been recognized for over twenty years.

Both Driker and Woods were recognized for their excellence in "Bet-the-Company" Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law. Driker was also honored for his abilities in Antitrust Litigation. Woods was also honored for her abilities in Construction Litigation, Labor & Employment Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Securities Litigation, and Professional Malpractice Law.

Barris, Share, and Fontichiaro were honored for their excellence in Real Estate Law, and Kass was honored for his excellence in Trusts and Estates. Listed for the first time in Best Lawyers, Mendel was honored for his excellence in Commercial Litigation.

Driker, one of the firm's founding members, holds a bachelor's degree and juris doctorate degree from Wayne State University and a master's of law degree from The George Washington University School of Law.

Woods, the firm's managing member and Litigation Department Chairperson, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Detroit and summa cum laude from the University of Detroit School of Law.

Barris, an attorney at the firm since its inception in 1968, holds a bachelor's degree and juris doctorate degree from the University of Michigan.

Share received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School.

Fontichiaro graduated with high honors from Michigan State University and cum laude from Wayne State University Law School.

Daniel Share Eugene Driker James Fontichiaro Robert Kass Sharon.M.Woods Todd Mendel William.G.Barris

Kass graduated with honors from the University of Michigan Law School and received a master's of law degree in taxation from New York University Law School.

Mendel holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a juris doctorate degree from Ohio State University College of Law.

Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become generally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 41,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.9 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, P.L.L.C., MEMBERS APPOINTED TO MICHIGAN STATE BAR POSITIONS

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is pleased to announce that Daniel M. Share, a member, was appointed to the State Bars Standing Committee on Judicial Qualifications.

Daniel M. Share

These appointments demonstrate BSD&Ds continued commitment to service to the legal profession and the public. Dan join BSD&D members Dennis Barnes, a member of the State Bar Board of Commissioners; Eric Rosenthal, a member of the State Bar Representative Assembly; and Todd Mendel, Kevin Kalczynski, and Josh Moss, are members of a State Bar District Character and Fitness Committee.

Dan has a broad-based commercial practice with an emphasis on real estate, general corporate affairs, and resolution of business disputes.

Dan is a resident of Birmingham and Michigan is a resident of Northville, Michigan.

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, PLLC, RECOGNIZED IN STATE BAR'S 2011 PRO BONO CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, PLLC, has been recognized in the State Bar of Michigan's 2011 Pro Bono Circle of Excellence. Reserved for law firms whose attorneys have fully complied with the State Bar Voluntary Pro Bono Standard, the Circle represents "the finest of our profession in addressing the tremendous unmet legal needs of the poor and in inspiring other lawyers to join in that service," according to W. Anthony Jenkins, the State Bar President. BSDD is honored to receive this recognition and is proud of its attorneys' hard work and commitment to making the justice system accessible to all.

ROBERT E. KASS AND ELIZABETH CARRIE AUTHOR NEW BOOK URGING PET OWNERS TO INCLUDE THEIR PETS IN THEIR ESTATE PLANS AND SHOWING THEM HOW TO DO IT

Robert E. Kass and Elizabeth A. Carrie, members of the Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker Tax, Estate Planning & Probate group, have recently authored a layman's guide to estate planning for pet owners, "Who Will Care When You're Not There?" The book was featured in an article in the Michigan Lawyers Weekly edition of April 18, 2011. For a press release about the book, click here.

Commenting on the book, noted animal law expert Prof. David Favre, of Michigan State University College of Law, said it is "comprehensive yet easily understood. . . . I have never seen as clear a road map to peace of mind for the future of our pets."

Since many non-lawyers are intimidated by legal guides, the book includes 14 full-color illustrations by nationally known animal artist, Jill Flinn, and inspirational quotes to lighten it up. It looks more like a coffee table book than a legal guide. "We intend to draw in the pet owner by the attractiveness of the book," says Kass, "and once they begin flipping through it, they will see the important issues they need to address.

Bob Kass and Betty Carrie will be presenting seminars on estate planning for pet owners for Leader Dogs for the Blind on May 12, 2011. For information and to register, contact Kristy Hansbro at Leader Dogs, mailto:khansbro@LeaderDog.Org%20or (248) 650-7110, ext. 1127.

 Bob Kass  Elizabeth A. Carrie

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, P.L.L.C. RECEIVES CORPORATE INTL MAGAZINES 2010 LEGAL AWARD FOR REAL ESTATE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR IN MICHIGAN


Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. is pleased to announce that it received Corporate INTLs 2010 Legal Award for Real Estate Law Firm of the Year in Michigan. The firm thanks its real estate attorneys for their efforts: William G. Barris, Daniel M. Share, James S. Fontichiaro, Robert Epstein, C. David Bargamian, Laura C. Ragold.

These annual awards are granted by Corporate INTL to the very best law firms in each country worldwide in several practice areas. Corporate INTL is firmly established as one of the leading monthly publications for business leaders, professional advisers and providers of finance throughout the world.

Corporate INTL Legal Awards  

FIVE BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, P.L.L.C. MEMBERS APPOINTED TO STATE BAR OF MICHIGAN'S CHARACTER AND FITNESS COMMITTEE FOR DISTRICT H

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. is pleased to announce that five of its members, Kevin Kalczynski, Eric S. Rosenthal, Todd R. Mendel and Josh J. Moss were appointed to the State Bar of Michigan District H Character and Fitness Committee for a two-year term beginning on January 1, 2011. District H covers the Lenawee, Monroe and Wayne Counties.

Kevin KalczynskiEric RosenthalTodd MendelJosh J. Moss

ELAINE FIELDMAN ELECTED TO MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW'S BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, PLLC is proud to announce that Elaine Fieldman was elected to the Michigan State University College of Laws Board of Trustees on September 29 and will be serving as one of four members of the Board of Trustees.

The Michigan State University College of Law is an independent, non-profit corporation. Its affairs are managed by a Board of Trustees composed of an elite group of leaders in the business, professional and civil life of Detroit and Michigan.

Ms. Fieldman joined Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. in 1979, became a member in 1986 and became Of Counsel to the firm in 2000. She focused her practice on real estate transactions with an emphasis on commercial mortgage lending, professional responsibility matters and employment counseling. She graduated cum laude from Detroit College of Law and earned a master of laws degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1986.

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, PLLC AND THREE ATTORNEYS RECEIVE HONORABLE RECOGNITION IN BENCHMARK LITIGATION FOR 2011

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. is pleased to announce that the firm and three of its members, Eugene Driker, Sharon M. Woods and Kevin Kalczynski, were honored in the 2011 edition of Benchmark Litigation, an annual leading guide to America's top litigation firms and attorneys. Eugene was recognized as a "litigation star" in the State of Michigan for his practice in general commercial litigation and Kevin was named as a "Future Star". The firm itself was named as one of 6 "recommended" law firms in Michigan and lauded as an "extremely ethical, high-quality bunch.". Eugene was also described in the publication as "the dean of trial lawyers in the state" and "like a broker to the stars" by separate competitors. The firm's managing member Sharon M. Woods was also described by her peers as "top-flight, one of the top ten in the state, and definitely one of the best commercial litigators around."

Eugene DrikerSharon M. WoodsKevin Kalczynski

Benchmark Litigation's researchers look for attorneys and firms nationwide who can handle the most complex, high-stakes litigation cases and also highlight the most consistently recommended "bet-the-company" firms and professionals in various business litigation practice areas and poll the leading legal professionals, in-house counsel and business owners in each of these practice areas to determine the nation's top firms and top partners in each category. Recognition in the publication is reflective of those individuals who were recommended consistently as reputable and effective litigators by peers, competitors and clients.

Eugene, one of the founding members of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., practices primarily in complex business litigation and provides corporate and business counseling. He has served as lead or co-lead trial counsel in numerous business cases, including the representation of one of the state's largest utilities in a $500 million fraud and breach of contract action brought by a major industrial firm. He has also represented numerous lawyers and law firms, including several of the largest in the state, in professional liability, disciplinary and partnership dissolution matters. Mr. Driker also has significant experience in alternate dispute resolution, both as an advocate and as an arbitrator/mediator.

Sharon concentrates her practice in the area of business litigation (commercial and complex litigation, construction, securities, intellectual property litigation, employment litigation, class action litigation, professional malpractice defense, and alternate dispute resolution). She is a senior member of the firm and serves as Chairman of its Management Committee and of its Litigation Department. She is a Fellow and former Chairman of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Kevin's practice focuses on litigation, representing plaintiffs and defendants in business tort and breach of contract matters. He also has significant experience in legal malpractice, director and officer liability claims, supplier disputes, lease disputes, trade secrets, non-compete agreements, construction and lender liability litigation. Active in the community, Kevin is currently a member of the State Bar of Michigan Judicial and Professional Ethics Committee and the Royal Oak Zoning Board of Appeals.

SIX ATTORNEYS NAMED IN BEST LAWYERS® FOR 2011

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker is proud to announce that 6 of its attorneys have been named to the 2011 edition of Best Lawyers® (Copyright 2009 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.), the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. They are: William G. Barris, Sharon M. Woods, Eugene Driker, Daniel M. Share, Robert E. Kass, and James S. Fontichiaro.

William G. BarrisSharon M. WoodsEugene DrikerDaniel M. ShareRobert E. KassJames S. Fontichiaro

Both Driker and Woods were recognized for their practice as commercial litigators as well as being called to take on "Bet-the-Company" litigation and for their expertise in Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law.

Woods was also named as a Best Lawyer in the field of professional liability defense litigation. Kass was named a Best Lawyer in the field of Trusts and Estates. Barris, Share, and Fontichiaro were named Best Lawyers for their real estate expertise.

First published in 1983, Best Lawyers® is based on an exhaustive annual peer-review survey. For the new U.S. edition, more than 50% of the lawyers listed in Best Lawyers® cast more than 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in the same and related specialties.

Because of the rigorous and transparent methodology used by Best Lawyers®, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers® is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers® "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."

SHARON M. WOODS, WAS HONORED BY MICHIGAN LAWYERS WEEKLY AS ONE OF TWENTY WOMEN IN THE LAW FOR 2010

Sharon M. WoodsBarris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. is pleased to announce that its managing member, Sharon M. Woods, was honored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of twenty Women in the Law for 2010. The honorees will be recognized at the inaugural Women in the Law luncheon on September 16, 2010 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

The women were selected by a Michigan Lawyers Weekly editorial panel based on several factors, including commitment to excellence in the practice of law; service as inspiring and accomplished leaders in the legal profession; service as mentors to other women; and contributions of significant time and effort to volunteerism and pro bono work.

Ms. Woods concentrates her practice in the area of business litigation (commercial and complex litigation, construction, securities, intellectual property litigation, employment litigation, class action litigation, professional malpractice defense, and alternate dispute resolution). She is a senior member of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. and serves as Chairman of its Management Committee and of its Litigation Department. She is a Fellow and former Chairman of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER, P.L.L.C AND THREE OF ITS MEMBERS RECEIVE TOP TIER RECOGNITION FOR LITIGATION AND REAL ESTATE IN CHAMBERS USA FOR 2010

Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. was once again recognized by Chambers USA as one of America's top law firms in Chambers USA's 2010 publication. This year's annual publication ranked the firm as one of the four tier 1 litigation law firms in Michigan. In its publication, Chambers noted that "[t]his litigation boutique is widely recognized for the depth of its talent." Indeed, Chambers also ranked the firm's real estate practice highly, giving it tier 3 recognition.

Sharon M. WoodsWilliam G. BarrisEugene Driker

The publication also individually honored three of the firm's attorneys: Chambers recognized Eugene Driker and Sharon Woods as tier 1 commercial litigation attorneys in Michigan and recognized William G. Barris as a tier 1 real estate attorney in Michigan.

Chambers USA is published by Chambers and Partners, a premier guide to the legal profession. Each year, Chambers conducts in-depth research and interviews with clients and attorneys throughout the United States to identify the top lawyers in various practice areas. Law firms and individual lawyers are ranked in bands from 1-6, with 1 being the best.

Eric S. RosenthalDennis M. BarnesDENNIS M. BARNES AND ERIC S. ROSENTHAL ELECTED TO MICHIGAN STATE BAR POSTIONS

Dennis M. Barnes, a member, was elected to the State Bar of Michigan’s Board of Commissioners for District H (Wayne, Monroe, and Lenawee Counties) and Eric S. Rosenthal, a member, was elected to the State Bar’s Representative Assembly for the 3rd Circuit (Wayne County).

Denny and Eric both have a sophisticated business litigation practice. They have each lent their skills and energy to many court, bar and community activities in the past, and they both care deeply about the practice of our profession here in Michigan. Their experience and energy will be of significant value to the State Bar of Michigan in the coming term.

For more information about the 2010 State Bar of Michigan Election Results, please visit the State Bar's website.

Morley WitusBSDD MEMBER MORLEY WITUS INSTALLED AS PRESIDENT OF THE DETROIT METROPOLITAN BAR ASSOCIATION

Morley Witus, a member of BSDD, was installed as President of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association (DMBA) on May 27, 2010. Morley has been active in the DMBA serving on the Board of Directors for several years and on the Executive Committee for the last two years.

BSDD Mourns the Death of Donald E. Barris -- Founding Partner, Mentor, and Friend

Donald E. Barris, a founding member of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., died peacefully in Bingham Farms on May 10, 2010 at the age of 91. As the son of an immigrant father who worked at Ford Motor Company on the assembly line and as one who experienced the Great Depression, Don came from a very humble background and his lifetime achievements were truly the result of his remarkable, passionate efforts.

Donald BarrisDon attended Wayne State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree and law degree.  His legal career began in 1939 with Friedman, Meyers & Keys.  In 1968, he co-founded Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, PLLC, and remained with the firm until his death.  During his remarkable seventy-year legal career, Don cultivated a well-earned reputation as a highly-skilled, tenacious and passionate litigator. 

Don’s loyalty and allegiance to his clients was legendary.  Their legal problems became his personal crusades.  He spared no effort on behalf of his clients.  That many of them continued to seek his counsel right up to his final days is testimony to how much his counsel was valued.

Throughout his career at Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, he litigated significant zoning, construction, real estate, corporate, partnership and probate matters. Employers and labor unions also turned to Don as an impartial mediator or arbitrator in resolving labor disputes.  Don also represented Motown and owner Berry Gordy during the heydays of Motown in Detroit. 

Don was a devoted advocate for pro bono legal work even before the term “pro bono” was coined.  Several ecclesiastical institutions and nonprofit organizations benefitted tremendously from his expertise, without charge.   He was also a generous benefactor to his alma mater, Wayne State University Law School.

Outside his commitment to his legal practice and his clients, Don was a mentor to his fellow attorneys and a loving husband to Miriam, now deceased; father to William G. Barris, Peggy Ellman, and Karen Bragman; and grandfather, otherwise known as “Papa,” to his seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  He was truly the patriarch of the family as well as a legend to the metropolitan Detroit legal community.

BSDD LEGAL SECRETARIES ELECTED TO EXECUTIVE BOARD OF NALS OF DETROIT

Three of BSDD's legal secretaries were elected to the Executive Board of NALS of Detroit for the 2010-2011 term. NALS is a national leader in the networking and continuing education of legal professionals. NALS of Detroit serves as its local chapter in the metropolitan Detroit area.

Mary Tortomose, Secretary to Attorneys Sharon Woods and Melonie L. M. Stothers, will begin her third term as President. Mary joined the firm in 1984 and joined NALS in 1999. In previous terms, she served as the Detroit Chapter's Vice President and Treasurer.

Lynne M. Bussinger, Secretary to Attorney Michael Reynolds, is the Vice President/Membership Chair of the Detroit Chapter. Lynne Bussinger joined the firm in November of 1994 and joined NALS in 1992. She served as the Detroit Chapter's President in 2002, 2007, and 2008.

Cindy Taylor, Secretary to Attorneys Erica Fitzgerald is the Treasurer and Corporate Secretary of the Detroit Chapter. Cindy Taylor joined BSDD in 2005 and joined NALS in 2006. In 2006, she passed the NALS Professional Legal Secretary examination to become a certified legal secretary.

Eugene DrikerEUGENE DRIKER TO PROVIDE REFLECTIONS ON LIFE AS A TRIAL LAWYER AT DEPOSITION SKILLS WORKSHOP HOSTED BY ICLE

Eugene Driker will be speaking at a Deposition Skills Workshop hosted by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) on Tuesday, May 18, 2010. His topic will be "Reflections on Life as a Trial Lawyer."

Driker, one of the founding members of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C., is a WSU alumnus and a member of the University's board of governors. He practices primarily in complex business litigation and provides corporate and business counseling. He has served as lead or co-lead trial counsel in numerous business cases, including the representation of one of the state's largest utilities in a $500 million fraud and breach of contract action brought by a major industrial firm. He has also represented numerous lawyers and law firms, including several of the largest in the state, in professional liability, disciplinary and partnership dissolution matters. Mr. Driker also has significant experience in alternate dispute resolution, both as an advocate and as an arbitrator/mediator.

MORLEY WITUS PUBLISHES TWO ARTICLES IN LOCAL PUBLICATIONS

Morley WitusBSDD Member Morley Witus recently published two articles, one in the January/February 2010 issue of Detroit Lawyer titled "The Curious Case of Michigan's Statute of Limitations for Fraud" and the other in the March 18, 2010 issue of the Detroit Legal News, titled "Will the Michigan Supreme Court 'Overrule the Overrulings'?"

Morley has a busy practice in commercial litigation and has extensive experience in a wide variety of complex business disputes, including contract, real estate, probate, securities, municipal, insurance, legal malpractice, intellectual property and employment matters.

ELIZABETH CARRIE PRESENT AT TECHTOWN

Elizabeth CarrieBSDD members Elizabeth Carrie, presented before entrepreneurs at TechTown in Detroit for the FastTrac New Venture Program on March 30, 2010. The topic of the program was "Legal Structures and Management Teams." Betty discussed the advantages and disadvantages of various legal forms of doing business and key factors influencing the decision of which legal form to do. TechTown is a sophisticated incubator for start-up companies and entrepreneurs in Detroit.

Betty practices in the areas of taxation, corporate, partnership and limited liability company law, estate planning and administration. She has been involved in tax and non-tax related planning for business relationships of all types, with a particular emphasis on partnership and limited liability company issues. She is a 1992 graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she also received an L.L.M. in taxation in 1993.

BSSD recently published an important newsletter for its friends and clients with regard to unanticipated consequences of Federal estate tax repeal in 2010 and other related law changes. If you have questions with regard to how these changes may affect your own estate plan, please call us at 313-965-9725.
 

Daniel ShareDANIEL M SHARE PRESENTS AT THE COLORADO BAR ASSOCIATION'S NATIONAL LEGAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE ABOUT DISPUTE RESOLUTION


Daniel M. Share, a member, presented at the Colorado Bar Association's National Continuing Legal Education Conference in Vail, Colorado on January 9, 2010.  His topic was "A Neglected Minefield: What Transactional Lawyers Need to Know about Dispute Resolution." 

Dan's practice includes a broad and busy commercial practice, with an emphasis in business dispute resolution, real estate and general corporate affairs. He has been active on behalf of financial institutions and real estate developers in matters involving real estate finance, complex zoning, land planning and assembly, leasing, foreclosures and work-outs.  He has also assisted clients with asset and stock sales and purchases, anti-trust, structuring, restructuring and on-going advice to corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and non-profit corporations.

Dan is a neutral commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.

12 BSDD ATTORNEYS RECOGNIZED IN SUPER LAWYERS 2010 CORPORATE COUNSEL EDITION

Law & Politics Media, Inc. recently recognized twelve members of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker in the 2010 Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers magazine. Eight members were recognized as among the nation's leading Business Litigation attorneys: Dennis M. Barnes, Eugene Driker, Stephen E. Glazek, Todd R. Mendel, Josh J. Moss, Eric S. Rosenthal, Morley Witus, and Sharon M. Woods. In addition, four members were recognized as among the nation's leading Real Estate attorneys: C. David Bargamian, William G. Barris, James S. Fontichiaro, and Daniel M. Share.

12 BSDD Attorneys Recognized by SuperLawyers 
Pictured Clockwise: Dennis M. Barnes, Eugene Driker, Stephen E. Glazek, Todd R. Mendel, Josh J. Moss, Eric S. Rosenthal, Morley Witus, Sharon M. Woods, C. David Bargamian, William G. Barris, James S. Fontichiaro, and Daniel M. Share.

In Super Lawyers, Law & Politics Media, Inc. compiles annual lists of leading attorneys by area of practice based upon a rigorous selection process that includes a statewide survey of practicing attorneys, independent research by the publisher's attorney-led research staff and a peer review of candidates. Only 5% of lawyers in any state are chosen. The Corporate Counsel edition is separate from the state and regional Super Lawyers publications because it targets over 12,000 U.S. companies and is circulated to in-house counsel, CEOs, and attorneys nationwide.

  

Bob KassROBERT E. KASS NAMED AS "VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR" AT NATIONAL PHILANTHROPY DAY EVENT


BSDD member Robert E. Kass was recently honored as "Volunteer of the Year" at the annual National Philanthropy Day event sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He was recognized for his work as Chairman of the Speakers Bureau of LEAVE A LEGACY® Southeast Michigan, a program of the Planned Giving Round Table of Southeast Michigan.

Erica Fitzgerald ERICA L. FITZGERALD RECOGNIZED AMONG 20 "UP & COMING LAWYERS" IN MICHIGAN LAWYERS WEEKLY

BSDD member Erica L. Fitzgerald was selected as one of 20 "Up & Coming Lawyers" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for the year 2009. This annual selection recognizes the best and brightest young attorneys in the state. Ms. Fitzgerald was honored at an awards luncheon and profiled in the November 2 issue of the Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Todd MendelTODD R. MENDEL RECOGNIZED FOR PRO-BONO EFFORTS

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has recognized BSDD member Todd Mendel for his outstanding pro bono legal work. As detailed in the November 11, 2009 issue of the Detroit Legal News, Mr. Mendel spent hundreds of hours over three separate years diligently pursuing a prisoner civil rights case, including conducting a jury trial, before the Honorable Avern Cohn.

Eugene DrikerEUGENE DRIKER ELECTED AS CHAIRMAN OF WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION

Eugene Driker was elected as second chairman of the Wayne State University Foundation board. Driker, one of the founding members of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, is a WSU alumnus and a member of the University's board of governors. He is currently working to help the law school raise $5.7 million to fund the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights building. To date, they have raised approximately $4 million.

Bob KassROBERT E. KASS PRESENTS BEFORE HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM

Robert E. Kass recently gave a presentation to Major Gift Officers of Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), on planned giving in the current economic climate and in view of likely changes in the estate tax, hosted by Jeanne Katz Maxbauer, Senior Director, Principal Gifts and Planned Giving of HFHS.

Kass' practice is concentrated in the areas of estate planning, wealth preservation, and planned giving. He is a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and the Board of Directors of LEAVE A LEGACY® Southeast Michigan, and pro bono advisor to numerous local and international charities.

SIX BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER ATTORNEYS HAVE BEEN NAMED TO THE 2010 EDITION OF BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA


William G. Barris, Sharon M. Woods, Eugene Driker, Daniel M. Share, Robert E. Kass, and James S. Fontichiaro have been named as Best Lawyers In America for the 2010 edition of the publication.  Barris and Driker have been recognized for over twenty years.  Barris was also recently named by Best Lawyers in America as the “Detroit Best Lawyers Real Estate Lawyer of the Year” for the year 2009.  Both Driker and Woods were honored for their practice as commercial litigators as well as being called to take on “Bet-the-Company” litigation.  Woods was also named as a Best Lawyer in the field of professional liability defense litigation.  Kass was named a Best Lawyer in the field of Trusts and Estates.  Barris, Share, and Fontichiaro were named Best Lawyers for their real estate expertise.

 Six BSDD Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers In America
Pictured Clockwise: William G. Barris, Eugene Driker, Sharon M. Woods, Daniel M. Share,
Robert E. Kass, and James S. Fontichiaro.

Bob KassGUIDING LEGACIES: ATTORNEY BOB KASS HELPS HIS CLIENTS MAKE LASTING IMPRESSIONS

Detroit estate planning attorney Bob Kass encourages clients to “Make A Difference in the Lives That Follow.”It’s a path he’s followed for more than 25 years, helping clients with estate planning, wealth preservation, and charitable giving through their estate plans. In addition to the traditional drafting of wills and trusts, Kass – an attorney with Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker in Detroit – specializes in wealth preservation techniques, succession planning, probate and trust administration, post-mortem planning, estate tax return preparation, gift and estate tax audits and appeals, and estate related claims and litigation.  Read More.


BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER LAWYERS RECEIVE RECOGNITION: DRIKER RECOGNIZED AS AMONG "TOP TEN" LAWYERS IN MICHIGAN AND 13 RECOGNIZED AS MICHIGAN "SUPER LAWYERS" FOR 2009

Eugene Driker 
Sharon Woods

Law & Politics Media, Inc. recently named 13 members of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker as "Super Lawyers" in the State of Michigan. They are: Eugene Driker, William G. Barris, Todd R. Mendel, Dennis M. Barnes, Stephen E. Glazek, Josh J. Moss, Daniel M. Share, Morley Witus, C. David Bargamian, James S. Fontichiaro, Robert E. Kass, Eric S. Rosenthal, and Sharon M. Woods.

Eugene Driker was named as one of the top 10 attorneys in the state. He and Sharon Woods were also named as two of top 100 attorneys in the state. Woods was also named as one of the top 50 women lawyers in the state.

The publication also named Driker, Mendel, Moss, Rosenthal, Witus, Woods, Barnes, and Glazek for excelling in the field of business litigation; honored Barris, Share, Fontichiaro, and Bargamian as among the top real estate attorneys in the state; and recognized Kass as a top estate planning attorney in the state.

From left to right are: Todd R. Mendel, Josh J. Moss, Eric S. Rosenthal, Morley Witus, Dennis M. Barnes, Stephen E. Glazek, William G. Barris, Daniel M. Share, James S. Fontichiaro, C. David Bargamian and Robert E. Kass.
 
SuperLawyers 2009 BSD&D

The "Super Lawyer" designation is limited to 5% of Michigan lawyers who are selected through a rigorous process of peer nomination and review and independent research by Law & Politics Media, Inc.

BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER LAWYERS RECEIVE RECOGNITION FOR PRO-BONO WORK

Todd R. Mendel   Hayley E. Rohn-Davé

Todd R. Mendel, and Hayley E. Rohn-Davé were recently honored for their pro-bono efforts by the judges of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Mr. Mendel, a member of the firm, practices in a wide variety of commercial and business litigation.

WILLIAM G. BARRISWILLIAM G. BARRIS OF BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER IS BEST LAWYERS DETROIT REAL ESTATE LAWYER OF THE YEAR FOR 2009


Detroit law firm Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. is pleased to announce that one of its members, William G. Barris, was named by Best Lawyers in America as the “Detroit Best Lawyers Real Estate Lawyer of the Year” for 2009. He is a partner in the Detroit-based firm, is chairman of its Real Estate Department and concentrates his practice on representation of developers and on lending and secured transactions. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for over 20 years.

Erica FitzgeraldBARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER PROMOTES ERICA FITZGERALD TO MEMBER


Detroit law firm Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. is pleased to announce that Erica Fitzgerald has become a member of the firm. Ms. Fitzgerald graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 2001 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts in 1995. Her practice covers all aspects of commercial litigation. She also assists clients with their business immigration needs.

SIX BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER ATTORNEYS RECOGNIZED BY BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA FOR 2008


William G. Barris, Eugene Driker, James S. Fontichiaro, Robert E. Kass, Daniel M. Share and Sharon M. Woods of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. have been named as Best Lawyers In America for the 2008 edition of the publication. Read More.

BSDD Newsletter- Estate Planning in an Era of Constant Uncertainty


BSDD Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Best Lawyers In America 2007 Edition


FIVE BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER ATTORNEYS NAMED BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA FOR 2007


bsddWilliam G. Barris, Eugene Driker, James S. Fontichiaro, Daniel M. Share and Sharon Woods of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. have been named as five of the Best Lawyers In America for the 2007 edition of the publication. 

Both Driker and Woods were honored for their practice as commercial litigators as well as being called on to take on “Bet-the-Company” litigation.

Woods was also named as a Best Lawyer in the fields of employment law, and professional liability defense litigation.

Barris, Share, and Fontichiaro were named Best Lawyers for their real estate expertise.

NINE BARRIS, SOTT, DENN & DRIKER ATTORNEYS HONORED AS “SUPER LAWYERS”

Eugene Driker Named Top Lawyer in the State


sl1Law & Politics Media, Inc. recently named Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker attorneys Eugene Driker, William G. Barris, Sharon M. Woods, Robert E. Kass, Daniel M. Share, James S. Fontichiaro, C. David Bargamian, Todd R. Mendel and Dennis M. Barnes as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Michigan.

Preeminent Detroit attorney and one of the founding members of the firm, Eugene Driker, received the distinct honor of being named the top lawyer in the state of Michigan for his work in complex business litigation, alternative dispute resolution and business and corporate counseling.

The publication named Woods, Mendel, and Barnes for excelling in the field of business litigation; honored Barris for practicing in the areas of real estate, tax-exempt, and business and corporate counseling law; listed Kass as a top attorney in the area of estate planning; recognized Share for his work in real estate, business litigation, and business and corporate counseling; and acknowledged Fontichiaro and Bargamian as among the top real estate attorneys in the state.

Only the top 5% of the lawyers in the state achieve the distinction of being named a “Super Lawyer.” Such honorees must pass a rigorous process of peer nomination and review and independent research by Law & Politics Media, Inc.

*Super Lawyer is a designation Law & Politics magazine gives the top 5% of lawyers as rated by attorneys in their region.
 

Michigan Super Lawyers – Eugene Driker

CHAMBERS USA HONORS BSDD AS ONE OF AMERICA'S LEADING LAW FIRMS


Chambers USA recently named Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. as one of America’s top law firms for its litigation and real estate practices.

The publication also individually honored two of the firm’s attorneys, Eugene Driker and Sharon Woods as leading litigation specialists in the state of Michigan, as well as William G. Barris as one of the state’s top real estate attorneys. 

Eugene Driker was singled out as a “Star Performer,” and was the only attorney in Michigan to receive that designation.

Law firms and individual attorneys receive recognition by Chambers USA only after completing a thorough evaluation process, which includes half-hour interviews with clients and other attorneys to determine whether a candidate possesses the required technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial awareness/astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by clients.

Eugene Driker Elected to WSU Board of Governorsdriker


After completing his first term on the Wayne State University Board of Governors, Eugene Driker has been elected for a second term in the November election.

Eugene Driker's involvement with Wayne State goes back more than 50 years as a student, parent of students, adjunct faculty member, active fundraiser, and, most recently, a member of its Board of Governors. He has worked hard on the Board to insure that Wayne State continues to provide a first-class, affordable education, particularly to those who have no other realistic option. Mr. Driker, along with more than 200,000 other Michigan citizens who are Wayne State graduates know how important this university is to our state.

ATTORNEY DANIEL SHARE RE-ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF OAKLAND SCHOOLSshare


Daniel Share, a member of the law firm of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. was recently re-elected to another term as President of Oakland Schools. 

Oakland Schools is an intermediate school district that covers Oakland County as well as parts of Livingston and Genesee Counties.  As president, Mr. Share oversees a district that serves more than 200,000 students in general education, special education, and career-focused education.

Share has a broad legal practice concentrating on real estate, business transactions, corporate law, and commercial litigation.  He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1976.

 

ATTORNEY ROBERT KASS ELECTED TO THE BOARD OF PLANNED GIVING ROUNDTABLE OF kassSOUTHEAST  MICHIGAN


Robert Kass, a member of the law firm Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. was recently elected to the Board of Planned Giving Roundtable of Southeast Michigan.

The Roundtable is an organization of leading professionals in the legal, financial, fundraising, and related fields.  The organization provides educational, informational, and networking opportunities to support philanthropists and their advisors about planned giving methods.

Kass is the chair of the firm’s Tax, Estate Planning & Probate Group.  A Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, he practices in the areas of taxation, estate planning, and probate and trust administration.  He earned his J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Michigan Law School and his LL.M in taxation from New York University.  He co-authored the book What do We do Now?  A Practical Guide to Estate Administration for Widows, Widowers and Heirs.

Wayne State University Law School Honors Ceremony


Eugene Driker of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker congratulated students who were recipients of the Frances and Charles Driker Scholarship at the annual Wayne State University Law School Honors Convocation ceremony held November 17. Click on the link, above, to see a copy of the article.

Robert Kass Interviewed for LEAVE A LEGACYTMkass


Robert Kass, who chairs the BSD&D Tax, Estate Planning and Probate Group, recently appeared on cable television in Wyandotte and Dearborn, Michigan, on behalf of LEAVE A LEGACY™, a public awareness program of the Planned Giving Roundtable of Southeast Michigan. These interviews will air in more than 20 communities.

The goal of LEAVE A LEGACY™ is to promote charitable giving on death through wills, trusts, life insurance and retirement plans. The purpose of the program is to inspire people of from all walks of life and all income levels to think beyond their lifetime when doing good works – to make a difference in the lives that follow.

Bob chairs the LEAVE A LEGACY™ Speaker’s Bureau, which is available to provide interviews, talks and seminars throughout Southeast Michigan, and is part of nationwide effort headed by the National Committee on Planning Giving. For more information on LEAVE A LEGACY™, please call 1-888-826-7900.

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Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C.
211 W Fort Street
15th Floor
Detroit, MI 48226

Phone: (313) 965-9725
Fax: 313-965-2493
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