2015 Year in Review: Monumental Milestone Recognized, Skilled Attorneys Hired, and Remarkable Anniversaries Celebrated

Chris SchultzAs a new year is upon us, we reflect back on 2015 and the successful year we had at CMDA. We recognized a monumental milestone, hired several attorneys, and celebrated some remarkable anniversaries.

CMDA was honored to have celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2015. This monumental anniversary would not have been possible without Owen Cummings, the founder of the Firm.  Mr. Cummings had a vision of developing a Firm whose strength rests in the service we provide our clients.  We thank Mr. Cummings for the dedication and effort he has put into growing CMDA over the past 50 years.

As a way to give back to the community as we celebrated our 50th anniversary, every month throughout 2015 the Firm, employees, and clients donated 50 (or more) items to local charities, including the 17th District Veteran’s Court, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Mittens for Detroit, Dearborn Animal Shelter, PBJ Outreach Center, Alternatives for Girls, St. Dominic Outreach Center, and The Guidance Center.

Attorneys Suzanne Bartos, Matthew Heron, David Katz, and Jennifer Richards joined our Firm in 2015.

Suzanne Bartos is an attorney in our Livonia office where she focuses her practice on labor and employment law, insurance defense, municipal law, education law, and litigation.  She successfully defends civil rights, wrongful discharge, and discrimination claims in state and federal courts, as well as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Michigan Employment Security Commission.  She also achieves outstanding results for clients in premise liability, breach of contract, collections, warranty disputes, and consumer protection matters.  Further, she is a trusted legal advisor to school districts and community colleges on a variety of educational and governance issues.  Ms. Bartos was previously with our Firm from 1985 to 2000, and we are elated to have her back at CMDA.  Ms. Bartos may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or sbartos@cmda-law.com.

Matthew Heron is an attorney in our Livonia office where he focuses his practice on commercial litigation and real estate, including community association, condominium law, real estate litigation, zoning and land use.  He also has extensive experience in a variety of litigation matters, including insurance coverage, non-compete agreements, automotive supplier disputes, and breach of contract.  He routinely appears in both federal and state courts throughout Michigan and has argued before the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Mr. Heron may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or mheron@cmda-law.com.

David Katz is an attorney in our Kansas City office where he focuses his practice on insurance defense, municipal law, business litigation, and civil litigation.  He prepares and files motions with all levels of Missouri state and federal courts and performs research for unique areas of law handled by our Kansas City office.  While attending John Marshall Law School, he worked as a law clerk for an insurance subrogation firm in Chicago.  Upon graduation, he moved back to Missouri, and we are delighted to have him at CMDA.  Mr. Katz may be reached at (816) 842-1880 or dkatz@cmda-law.com.

Jennifer Richards is an attorney in our Livonia office where she focuses her practice on appellate law, law enforcement defense and litigation, municipal law, and insurance defense.  She writes briefs for submission to all levels of state and federal courts, argues cases in all levels of state and federal courts of appeals, and performs research for all areas of law handled by the Firm.  She was previously a law clerk at the Firm and when she recently passed the bar exam to become an attorney, we were pleased she accepted the Firm’s offer to continue her legal career at CMDA.  Ms. Richards may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or jrichards@cmda-law.com.

These attorneys are all wonderful assets to the Firm, and I am sure you will hear much more about them in future newsletters.

We are pleased to announce the expansion of the Firm’s Estate Planning and Elder Law practice group. Jim Schuster, a top Certified Elder Law attorney in Michigan, has joined our Firm as an Of Counsel attorney. He has been licensed to practice law since 1978 and practices entirely in the area of Elder Law. Mr. Schuster helps elders stay independent and in control and helps children of aging parents with the advice and legal documents they need to carry out their parents’ wishes and take care of their needs. Additionally, he assists clients with the complex Nursing Home Medicaid planning process.  Mr. Schuster is a welcomed addition to our Firm’s Estate Planning and Elder Law practice group. He may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or jschuster@cmda-law.com.

Several employees celebrated impressive anniversaries with the Firm in 2015. Owen Cummings, Founder of the Firm, celebrated his 50th anniversary; Tim Young, an equity partner of the Firm, Tom Laginess, an attorney in our Livonia office, and Janet Raffaelli, the Firm’s IT Specialist, all celebrated their 30th anniversary; Tim Ferrand, a partner in our Clinton Township office, Marie Jones, a legal assistant in our Livonia office, Kathy Ueberroth, a paralegal in our Livonia office, and Jim Glover, the Firm’s Courier, all celebrated their 25th anniversary; Patrick Sturdy and Jim Acho, both partners in our Livonia office, and Robin Thomas, the Firm’s Accounting Administrator, all celebrated their 15th anniversary; and Anita Zischerk and Eileen Stoner, both legal assistants in our Livonia office, celebrated their 10th anniversary.  We are fortunate to have such an excellent group of people working at the Firm and thank them all for their dedication.

We are grateful and appreciative for the trust our clients have placed in our Firm since 1965.  Thank you for your support in helping CMDA continue to be a premier law firm with office locations throughout Michigan, Kansas and California.  Have a great 2016.

Christopher G. Schultz is the managing partner of the Firm and works out of our Livonia office.  He concentrates his practice on business law, real estate law, and estate planning.  He may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or cschultz@cmda-law.com.