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Three Bodman Attorneys Named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America for 2015

By: Bodman PLC

09/04/14

Three Bodman PLC attorneys, Susan M. Kornfield, Ralph E. McDowell, and David B. Walters, have each been named “Lawyer of the Year” for 2015 by the internationally recognized peer-review journal The Best Lawyers in America.

The Best Lawyers in America is the nation’s oldest attorney-rating publication and one of the most respected peer-review journals in the world.  Being named “Lawyer of the Year” means an attorney has earned a high level of respect from other leading attorneys in the same community and practice area.  Only one attorney per practice area and community achieves the Lawyer of the Year designation each year.

Kornfield has been named 2015 Ann Arbor Lawyer of the Year for Patent Litigation.  She assists clients in intellectual property matters, including information systems acquisitions, copyrights, trademarks, e-commerce, noncompete agreements and other post-employment restrictions, and protection against economic espionage. She handles transactional and litigation matters and has been lead counsel in national intellectual property litigation.  Kornfield is co-chair of Bodman’s Pro Bono Committee.  She serves on an advisory committee to Stanford University on matters involving libraries and academic information resources, and lectures at universities, legal conferences, and business workshops on IP issues.

McDowell has been named 2015 Detroit Lawyer of the Year for Bankruptcy Litigation.  He assists clients primarily in the areas of commercial bankruptcy, debtors’ and creditors’ rights, and workouts. He has represented the interests of banks and other financial institutions in pre-bankruptcy workout situations, commercial bankruptcy cases, and troubled credit situations. His work with banks and financial institutions includes representation in court proceedings, sale of debt transactions, foreclosures, liquidation of assets, and forbearance arrangements. McDowell is chairman of Bodman’s Executive Committee.  He serves on the board of directors of Hebrew Free Loan of Metropolitan Detroit, on the University of Detroit Mercy Law School Dean’s Advisory Board, and on the Detroit Institute of Arts Audit Committee. 

Walters has been named 2015 Detroit Lawyer of the Year for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.  He concentrates his practice in employee benefits, corporate law and estate planning. He has extensive experience counseling employers on all aspects of employee benefit plan formation, administration, and taxation.  He also helps business clients form and develop their enterprises, including securing financing of assets and real estate. Walters serves on the Great Lakes Area Tax-Exempt/Government Entities (TE/GE) Council. The Council maintains lines of communication between the Great Lakes Area TE/GE Division of the Internal Revenue Service and the practitioner community and provides input and advice regarding tax policies and procedures related to employee benefit tax issues.