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List of Mentors by Area of Law

Criminal Law

R. Timothy Kohler

Attorney and Counselor at Law
16931 19 Mile Road, Suite 100
Clinton Township, MI 48038
P:  (586) 263-1600
Email:  rtkohler@glis.net


I am a 41 year practicing attorney, started and continue as a Solo Practitioner, initially in general law, all areas.  New I have my practice mostly in the area of criminal law.  I do a lot of court appointed indigent defense, and life felony cases.  Typically, I try three to eight criminal cases per year.


Other areas of my practice include bankruptcy, and general trial litigation including a limited amount of family law and probate estate work.  I practice in Clinton Township within an office where we share space and equipment and facilities.


Ryan Zemke

Attorney and Counselor at Law
7830 Summers Street
Utica, MI 48317
P:  (586) 612-8056
Email:  rzemke@zemkelaw.com


 Ryan Zemke completed his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University where he received a degree in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy.  Mr. Zemke continued his studies at Thomas M. Cooley Law School where he graduated as part of the Clark J. Adams Class of 2008.  As a student, Ryan completed an internship with the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office.  Since graduation, Mr. Zemke has opened his own legal practice in Utica, Michigan, focusing primarily on criminal defense in Macomb County.


Additionally, Ryan currenty serves as volunteer defense counsel to the 41B Drug Court in Clinton Township.  Mr. Zemke has been involved with the Macomb County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (YLS) for the past three years and is currently the Treasurer of the YLS Board of Directors.


 Criminal  / Civil Law

Hon. Mark Switalski

Macomb County Circuit Court
40 N. Main St., Fl 3
Mt. Clemens

P:  (586) 469-5135
Email:  vera.sinishtaj@macombgov.org

 Judge Switalski was elected to the Macomb County Circuit Court in 2000.  He was elected to the 39th District Court bench in 1988 and served as Chief Judge of that District from 1991 to 2000.  Judge Switalski was in private practice of law from 1977 to 1988.  He was appointed Chief Judge by the Michigan Supreme Court in November 2009, for a two year term beginning January 1, 2010.  As Chief Judge he started the first Business Court in the State of Michigan.  In addition to his civil/criminal court docket, Judge Switalski runs the Macomb County Veterans Treatment Court.


 Civil Litigation


John F. Potvin

Plunkett Cooney PC
Ten South Main Street, Suite 400
Mt. Clemens, MI 48043
P:  (586) 466-7604
Email:  jpotvin@plunkettcooney.com

John F. Potvin is a senior partner at Plunkett Cooney PC engaged in civil defense litigation.  He is a past president of the Macomb County Bar Association ans is a member of the Macomb County Bar Foundation and the State Bar of Michigan's Military Law Committee.


Albert J. Dib

Dib and Fagen PC
25892 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
P:  (248) 542-6301
Email:  adib@dibandfagan.com

Albert J. Dib is a 1980 graduate of Wayne State University Law School.  He has taught Litigation Skills, Pretrial Advocacy, Health Law and Medical Malpractice Law at Wayne State University and University of Detroit Mercy law schools, where he has bee Adjunct Professor of Law.  He is past president of the Wayne State University Law School Alumni Association, and currently a member of the WSU Law School's  Board of Visitors.  He authored the ANUUAL SERVEY OF MICHIGAN LAW, "Medical Malpractice," 2005-2006 in The Wayne Law Review, and "Ethical Conduct and Effective Lawyering, Plaintiff's Perspective," presented at the 26th Annual Law Seminar, Institute of Continuing Legal Education.


Mr. Dib focuses his practice in medical and professional negligence, including the highly specialized field of catastrophically injured children and Birth Trauma/Obstetrical Malpractice Litigation.  He also serves as a special medical malpractice mediator.  Mr. Dib has settled numerous multi-million dollar cases and obtained the highest medical malpractice verdicts ever in Macomb and Bay Counties.


In addition, Mr. Dib has also taught at Central Michigan University (Legal Aspects of Health Service Organizations) and has been an invited lecturer at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Deposition Conduct and Objections) and the Michigan Association of Justice (Malpractice Tort Reform).  Mr. Dib served on the State Bar of Michigan Grievance Committee and the District I Character and Fitness Committee.  He has been an instructor for the American Association for Justice and Michigan Association for Justice at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law trial advocacy workshop symposium and a moot court judge at Wayne State University Law School (Arthur Neef Competition); and the Michigan State University College of Law.


Mr. Dib's current and past professional associations include:  State Bar of Michigan (Negligence and Latin Sections); American Association for Justice (Past Member); Michigan Association for Justice (Sustaining Member); American Bar Association (Past Member); Detroit Bar Association (Past Member); Oakland County Bar Association; Macomb County Bar Association; Arab-American Bar Association; Detroit Trial Lawyers Association.  He also serves as a Macomb and Wayne County Circuit Court Case Evaluator (Medical-Malpractice Panel).  Mr. Dib was recently selected to Best Lawyers 2013 and DBusiness Best Lawyers, 2013.


  Family Law / Child Custody


Agenique Smiley

Judicial Service Officer, Macomb County Friend of the Court
40 N. Main St, Fl 6
Mt. Clemens, MI 48043

Agenique Smiley is a native Michigander, hailing from the City of Detroit and currently residing in Sterling Heights. Ms. Smiley earned a dual Bachelors Degree in both Political Science and Psychology from Converse College, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She worked at Onstar in the Subscriber Assistance Department for seven months to earn money for books and other expenses then matriculated to Thomas M. Cooley Law School in January 2001. While attending Cooley Law School, Ms. Smiley worked as Business Manager of The Pillar, writing articles examining law school and practice of law from an unusual perspective. Ms. Smiley also distinguished herself by repeatedly earning placement on the Dean’s List. After completing an externship at Wayne County Prosecutors Office, Ms. Smiley graduated from Cooley Law School in September 2003, earning a Juris Doctor with a concentration in litigation.


After earning admission to the practice of law, Ms. Smiley was promoted from Law Clerk to Associate General Counsel at D & T Construction, located in Shelby Township, Michigan. She later earned another promotion to lead attorney responsible for all matters, both transactional and ligation, pertaining to a 20 tenant strip-mall. In August 2006, Ms. Smiley transitioned from D & T Construction to a Staff Attorney position in the Macomb County Office of the Legal Aid & Defender Assoc., Inc., located in downtown Mt. Clemens. During her over seven year tenure at Legal Aid, Ms. Smiley provided free legal services to Macomb County’s low to moderate income families. She also served on the Board of Directors of Solid Ground Transitional Shelter, formerly located in Roseville, Michigan.


Ms. Smiley is currently employed as Judicial Service Officer in the Macomb County Friend of the Court. As JSO, Ms. Smiley is responsible for calculating child support and writing advisory recommendations to be adopted by the court; conducting show cause hearing and making recommendations to the Judge regarding case disposition; and, among her variety of other duties, provide immediate legal assistance to litigants appearing before the Friend of the Court. Ms. Smiley’s future plans include both serving as Circuit Court Judge in the Family Law Department and, later, as a Professor of Law.

  Family Law, Estate Planning and Estate Administration


Carol M. Hogan

Attorney and Counselor at Law
26653 Tom Allen Drive
Warren, MI 48089
P:  (586) 758-5434
Email: carolmhogan@aol.com

I have been practicing law since 1985 after graduating from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  While attending Thomas M. Cooley Law School I participated in the Cooley Choral Society, National Mock Trial Competition, Client Counseling Competition becoming an Intra-School Finalist, Moot Court Intra-School Competition winning the Best Brief Award and getting a perfect score of 100 from one of the jduges in Oral Arguments and I was a Legal Intern at the Sixty Plus Law Center.  I worked as a Senate Page and as a law clerk for Clark Hill PLC.


I continued my education by taking graduate courses in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University.  In 2006 I completed the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) and the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan's Probate and Estate Planning Program and I'm a Premium ICLE Partner.


I taught Agency, Contracts and Commerical Paper; Family Law; and Wills, Trusts and Probate to prisoners at the State Prison of Southern Michigan for Jackson Community College (JCC).  I was the first Academic Counselor and Office Manager for JCC in the Cotton Correctional Facility.  I administered 15 courses applying to many associate degrees and two certificates.  I taught Corrections Law for JCC and Lansing Community College.


I was the first Progam Attorney for the Michigan Judical Institute, the training and education division of the MIchigan Supreme Court.  I was a Client Advocate for Region Four Community Services.  I was Senior Legal Counsel to the MIchigan House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.


I have worked as a solo practitioner and in small firms in Jackson, Lansing, Ludington, Mason, Kalamazoo, Pontiac and Warren.  I'ves practiced probate and estate, family law, real property, business law, criminal defense, contracts, landlord and tenant, juvenile law, employee benefits, collections and personal injury.  I'm currently a solo practitioner in Warren practicing estate planning, estate administration and family law.

Intellectual Property Law

Juliet Kavanaugh

Dierker & Associates PC
3331 W Big Beaver Rd Ste 109
Troy, MI 48084
P:  (248) 649-9900
Email: julietk@troypatent.com

Ms. Kavanaugh is an associate shareholder at Dieker & Assoiates, P.C, and has extensive patent prosecution and procurement experience in chemical, electrochemical, information technology, and other arts. She is also experience in trademark procurement.


Ms. Kavanaugh has spent many years volunteering her time to the Michigan IP Law Association (MIPLA). She started the CLE committee for the MIPLA, so that members can utilize MIPLA resources to attempt to obtain CLE credit in other states for presentations given to MIPLA members. After serving on the CLE committee, Ms. Kavanaugh then served on the Board (including serving as president from 2011-12), and is currently serving on the Board of Managers.


Ms. Kavanaugh also mentors law students interested in IP law, and has given presentations to students at several law schools.


Labor and Employment Law

Joseph A. Golden

Burgess & Sharp PLLC
43260 Garfield Rd Ste 280
Clinton Township, MI 48038
P:  (586) 226-2627
Email: joseph@burgess-sharp.com

Joseph A. Golden is Of Counsel to Burgess & Sharp, PLLC, located in Clinton Township, Michigan. His practice is devoted to the representation of individual employees in wrongful discharge and workplace discrimination claims. He has lectured on programs dealing with employee rights issues throughout Michigan and the United States. Prior to establishing his own firm in 1978, Mr. golden was a partner in the Southfield firm of Fieger, Golden and Cousens, serving as General Counsel to the Michigan Federation of Teachers.


He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Wayne State University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit. A member of the American Associate for Justice, Michigan Association for Justice and the American Bar Association, he is a part of Public Co-Chair of the ABA’s Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee. And, from August 1988 to 1992, Mr. Golden served on the 19 member governing Council of the ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment Law.


In addition, Mr. Golden is a member of the ABA/EEOC Join Liaison Committee (Michigan) and the Center for Public Resources Employment Disputes Committee. Mr. Golden was recently elected as Chairperson of the Macomb County Bar Association Masters Section, and invited to become a Fellow to the Michigan State Bar Foundation. Mr. Golden is a founding member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) serving on its Executive Board from 1985 to 1995. In 1991, he was elected to a two-year term as NELA’s President, and currently serves as Legislative Director. Golden testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Labor & Education Committee on the proposed Civil Rights Bill of 1991.

 Real Estate and Business


Anthony J. Bellanca

Bellanca LaBarge PC
20480 Vernier Road
Harper Woods, MI 48225
P:  (313) 882-1100
Email: abellanca@bellanca.com

Anthony J. Bellanca received his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1963 and then continued a year’s study at the University of Michigan Law School in 1964 toward a Master’s Degree in Law. His areas of practice are primarily business and corporate matters with a specialty in realty transactions of all kinds. He is also a family law attorney and is qualified as a mediator in all types of civil actions as well in family law.

He is past president of the Macomb County Bar Association, which is one of the largest volunteer bar associations in Michigan. He attends to virtually of the business legal needs of business executive in their personal matters as well as owners and executives. He also has been appointed to three different Macomb County Offices as chair or member of special committees such as the Macomb County Solid Was Planning Commission, the Macomb County Friend of the Court Advisory Committee and the Macomb County Ethics Board. He remains in active practice with his colleagues in the firm his father founded in 1935, which counts two other member of the firm as third generation lawyers in Michigan.


  Mediation, Arbitration, Negotiation

John B. DeMoss

DeMoss and DeMoss PLC
44511 N. Gratiot Ave.
Clinton Township, MI 48036
P:  (586) 469-9090
Email: johndemoss@aol.com


John DeMoss- Mediation, Arbitration, Negotiation
Mr. DeMoss earned a Bachelor of Arts from Oakland University, and a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University.

John is the founding senior partner at DeMoss & DeMoss PLC, where his practice consists of alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation, facilitation, and arbitration). And the occasional large personal injury litigation referral. Mr. DeMoss developed a Circuit Court Pro Bono Program, which works to settle cases. He handles the settlement conferences and early disposition settlement conferences for one of the Macomb County Circuit Court Judges. Mr. DeMoss has thirty-six years of experience in all type of litigation, with an emphasis on personal injury cases.

John invented the process for recovery of health insurance liens in personal injury litigation. He developed the term “silent intervention” and directly supervised a large staff throughout all Michigan state and federal courts in the multi-million dollar (annual) recovery of healthcare liens for the State’s largest health care insurer.

Mr. DeMoss was the founder of Michigan’s first private composting company, Indian Summer Recycling, Inc. He serves as the President of the Macomb County Bar Association, and is an original mediator and Past President of The Resolution Center. Mr. DeMoss serves as a speaker at various seminars on the subject of alternative dispute resolution.


Trial Litigation


Richard Sulaka

Deputy Public Works Commissioner, Macomb County
21777 Dunham Road
Clinton Twp., MI 48036
P:  (586) 469-7424
Email: richard.sulaka@macombgov.org


Richard Sulaka, Jr. graduated cum laude from Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Auburn Hills), December 2012, was appointed Deputy Public Works Commissioner, April 2013 and sworn in to the Michigan Bar, May 2013. While at Cooley, he was very active serving as Co-founder and Vice-President American Bar Association/Law School Division, and as SBA Senator. He received the Book Award for Contracts I, was a Gold Medalist Finalist in the Client Counseling Competition and was on the Dean’s List and Honor Roll.

During law school Richard gained strong legal experiences as an intern with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, clerking for chief Justice John Foster, Macomb County Circuit Court, and at the full service boutique law firm, Hakin, Daman & Toma.

As Macomb County Deputy Public Works Commissioner, he works with various county management teams. In addition, he oversees all litigation and coordinates trial strategy with outside counsel. Richard researches, coordinates and administers all federal grant applications, including, most recently, approximately $20 MM in applications to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for Stormwater Asset Management and Wastewater Grants.

In his spare time, Mr. Sulaka provides consulting for non-profit organizations, including fundraising, compliance, and long-term strategic planning. He received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the City of Warren, and was nominated twice for Winning Futures Mentor of the Year (Crain’s Detroit 2013 Best Manages Non-Profit Award Winner).

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