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Cosponsored by
The State Bar of Michigan:
Founding Sponsor
General Practice—Solo & Small Firm Section
Law Practice Management & Legal Administrators Section
Business Law Section
Practice Management Resource Center

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SBM & ICLE

Annual Meeting Program & Registration Form
Download Program PDF

Faculty


Kathleen Hogan Aguilar—Miller Johnson, Grand Rapids
Jeffrey S. Ammon—Miller Johnson, Grand Rapids
Scott BassettBradenton, FL
Jennie Boldish Bryan—RizzoBryan PC, Grand Rapids
Douglas G. Chalgian—Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices PLLC, East Lansing
Bernhardt "Chris" D. Christenson III—Christenson & Fiederlein PC, Flint
Nyal D. Deems—Varnum LLP, Grand Rapids
Kary C. Frank—Kary C. Frank Law Offices, Rockford
Ann M. Guinn—G & P Associates, Kent, WA
JoAnn L. Hathaway—State Bar of Michigan, Lansing
Barron K. Henley—Affinity Consulting Group LLC, Columbus, OH
Matthew Homann—LexThink LLC, St. Louis, MO
Elizabeth C. Jolliffe—Your Benchmark Coach, Ann Arbor
Maury KleinSouthfield
Elizabeth Welch Lykins—Welch Law Firm PLC, Grand Rapids
Timothy K. McMorrow—Kent County Prosecutor's Office, Grand Rapids
William A. McNeil—McNeil Law Office PLC, Paw Paw
Charity A. Olson—Olson Law Group, Ann Arbor
Daniel P. O'Neil—Thompson O'Neil PC, Traverse City
Hon. Donald H. Passenger—61st District Court, Grand Rapids
Vincent A. Romano—Attorney Services Marketing, Grosse Pointe Park
Frank Sanitate—Frank Sanitate Associates, Santa Barbara, CA
Charles E. Story III—Federal Bureau of Investigation, Flint
Janet K. Welch—State Bar of Michigan, East Lansing

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Kathleen M. Hogan Aguilar is an associate at Miller Johnson in the Probate and Estate Planning Group. An integral part of the firm's Elder Law and Disability Planning Group, she advises seniors and their family members on Medicaid planning and on planning for individuals with disabilities and other special needs, including third-party special needs trusts. Ms. Aguilar is a graduate of Notre Dame University Law School and is admitted to practice law in Michigan and Illinois.
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Jeffrey S. Ammon practices in the areas of business, construction, manufacturing, property taxation, and real estate. A member of the State Bar of Michigan, he is a past chair of the Business Law Section Council and past nominating director of the section. Mr. Ammon is involved with Associated Builders and Contractors and the Construction and Financial Management Association. The immediate past chair of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, he serves on its board and executive committee and is a past chair of its Tax Policy Committee. Mr. Ammon is a frequent speaker and writer on various business, finance, and real estate subjects, including corporations, LLCs, construction, property taxation, tax-exempt financing, and economic development incentives. He is a coeditor and contributor to ICLE's Advising Closely Held Businesses in Michigan and a director of training and speaker for ICLE's award-winning Business Boot Camp.
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Scott Bassett maintains an active Michigan family law appellate practice long-distance from his residence in Florida, returning to Michigan as needed for appellate arguments. He also consults on complex family law cases and does research and brief writing on trial court matters. He is a past chair of the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section and a former associate editor of Michigan Family Law Journal. Mr. Bassett has authored over 100 published articles and book chapters on family law, appellate practice, and law office technology, including a contribution to ICLE's Michigan Family Law (6th ed), and has been a frequent lecturer for ICLE programs in those areas. He served for several years as a member and chair of the Child Support Guideline Subcommittee of the State Court Administrative Office and has also been active in the legislative process, coauthoring portions of several laws involving pension rights on divorce, parenting time, child custody, and appellate practice. Mr. Bassett played a key role in passage of the legislation creating the family division of circuit court and served by Supreme Court appointment on the Statewide Family Division Implementation Task Force. He has been an adjunct professor of family law at Wayne State University Law School and a clinical professor at the University of Michigan Law School. Currently, Professor Bassett serves as an adjunct faculty member at Stetson University College of Law, where he teaches classes in law practice management and family law. He greatly enjoys his role as bass player for the Bare Assets Jazz Quartet, lawyersplayjazz.com.
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Jennie Boldish Bryan practices exclusively in the area of family law and is a certified mediator, a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and an active member of the State Bar of Michigan. Also active in the Grand Rapids Bar Association (GRBA), she served as the 2004 chair of the Family Law Section and has held a variety of chair and advisory positions in the section, including organizer of a Bench Bar Conference and member of the Judicial Candidate Review Committee. Ms. Bryan is a former presenter at various programs of ICLE, the GRBA, the 2005 Family Court Forum, and the Divorce Issues Conference for the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.
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Douglas G. Chalgian is an attorney certified in elder law by the National Elder Law Foundation and a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He is a former chair of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan and a former chair of the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section. Twice listed as one of the top 100 lawyers in Michigan by Super Lawyers Magazine, Mr. Chalgian is a member of ICLE's Probate and Estate Planning Advisory Board and a former member of the Michigan Trust Code Drafting Committee. He writes and speaks regularly on the topics of estate planning, elder law, and probate court litigation and is the author of ICLE's Michigan Medicaid Planning Handbook.
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Bernhardt "Chris" D. Christenson III, a principal with Christenson & Fiederlein PC, practices in the area of criminal law, business and contract litigation, real estate and construction law, general civil litigation, and probate administration. Active in the State Bar of Michigan, he is a past chair of its Young Lawyers Section and served on its Board of Commissioners from 2007 to 2010. In addition, Mr. Christenson is president of the Genesee County Bar Association and a member of the board of directors of the Centennial American Inn of Court and Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. He is also a licensed real estate broker in the State of Michigan.
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Nyal D. Deems focuses his practice on real estate transactions, financing, and development. He is a past president of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, a fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, and a past chair of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Mr. Deems is the coauthor of two books on general real estate practice in the United States published by Matthew Bender, the author of ICLE's Michigan Real Estate Practice and Forms (all 3 editions), and a contributor to ICLE's Michigan Basic Practice Handbook and Michigan Business Formbook. He was the mayor of the City of East Grand Rapids for ten years and the chair of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council for five years. Mr. Deems served in the United States Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.
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Kary C. Frank has offices in Big Rapids as well as Rockford, Mr. Frank practices in the areas of probate and estate planning, real property law, and business law and is a member of the corresponding sections of the State Bar of Michigan. He is a contributor to the ICLE online form bank and how-to kits and has acted as a commentator at ICLE seminars. Mr. Frank serves on the ICLE Real Property Law Advisory Board.
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Ann M. Guinn of G & P Associates in Kent, Washington, is a consultant to solo and small law firm practitioners. With over 30 years in the legal community, she teaches attorneys how to build and maintain high-earning, client-centered, and satisfying law practices. Ms. Guinn offers her services through teleseminars, monthly membership group classes, CLE courses, and one-on-one consulting sessions. She has served as an advisor to the executive committee of the Washington State Bar Association's (WSBA) Solo and Small Practice Section since 1994. Ms. Guinn also served on the WSBA committee charged with developing the Law Office Management Assistance Program and its practice management manual, as well as on the WSBA Trust Account Responsibilities and Retainers Taskforce. She has been a featured speaker at a number of annual conventions and meetings of the American Bar Association, state bar associations, and special-interest groups within the legal community across the country. Ms. Guinn has published a number of articles dealing with law practice management issues and is author of the book, Minding Your Own Business: The Solo and Small Firm Lawyer's Guide to a Profitable Practice (ABA 2010).
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JoAnn L. Hathaway is a practice management advisor for the State Bar of Michigan Practice Management Resource Center. She is a registered professional liability underwriter, a certified independent consultant for LexisNexis Time Matters and Total Practice Advantage, an Adobe Acrobat Certified Professional, and a Michigan licensed insurance producer. Prior to joining the State Bar of Michigan, Ms. Hathaway worked in the field of professional liability insurance focusing on risk management for law firms and the administration and resolution of legal malpractice claims. Additionally, she has conducted law firm risk management consultations for national reinsurance carriers. Ms. Hathaway has been a speaker at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the Columbus Bar Association, ICLE, the Association of Legal Administrators, NALS, the State Bar of Michigan, and other local and special purpose bar associations in Michigan, with content emphasis in the areas of law firm practice and risk management, and professional liability insurance for lawyers and law firms.
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Barron K. Henley is an attorney, a "legal technologist" since 1990, and a founding member of Affinity Consulting Group, Columbus, Ohio, a firm that handles all aspects of law practice automation. He heads Affinity's HotDocs document assembly and software training departments and has authored legal-specific manuals on HotDocs document assembly, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Adobe Acrobat. Mr. Henley received his J.D. from Ohio State University and is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA), and the Columbus Bar Association, as well as the Worthington Estate Planning Council. He is also a member of the ABA Law Practice Management Section and a former chair of the OSBA Law Office Automation and Technology Committee. Mr. Henley teaches continuing legal education (CLE) classes covering practice management, document management, file management, server and personal computer issues, remote access, mobile lawyering, scanning and paper reduction strategies, electronic case filing, Word, Excel, Outlook, WordPerfect, HotDocs document assembly, Adobe Acrobat, malpractice avoidance, and many other topics. He speaks throughout the U.S. for the ABA; numerous state and local bar associations; CLE organizations in Indiana, Michigan (ICLE), and Virginia; the Law Society of British Columbia; the Seattle University School of Law; the National Association of College and University Attorneys; and many others.
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Matthew Homann is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, and recovering lawyer who has built an international reputation as an innovative and passionate thinker about changing the practice of law in ways that benefit both lawyers and clients. Described as an "innovational speaker," he speaks about innovative billing strategies, creative marketing techniques, proven customer-service principles, and cutting-edge ideas from other industries and professions. Mr. Homann also facilitates unique conferences, retreats, and workshops and has worked with law firms of all sizes, as well as with organizations including McDonald's, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, British Petroleum, Sungard, and the U.S. Marine Corps. He also shares his outside-the-box ideas on legal innovation in his award-winning blog, the [non]billable hour (nonbillablehour.com). Mr. Homann was recently named one of 50 Legal Rebels by the ABA Journal.
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Elizabeth C. Jolliffe is a career management and business development coach for lawyers and other professionals. She founded her coaching practice in 2008 after being a partner, a former recruiting committee chair, and commercial litigator at Clark Hill PLC for 19 years. Ms. Jolliffe helps her clients build their practice and reach their full professional potential. She is a director-at-large for the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM) and an officer and board member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the WLAM Wayne and Washtenaw Regions, and the State Bar of Michigan Law Practice Management and Legal Administrators Section Council. Ms. Jolliffe is also a co-leader of the Lawyers Niche, a community of 165 coaches in the U.S. and other countries who work with lawyers. She was certified as a professional coach in 2009 by the Coaches Training Institute. Ms. Jolliffe is also a case evaluator for the Wayne County Mediation Tribunal. She speaks frequently on the subjects of business development and career management, with an emphasis on how to build and enhance relationships with clients, potential clients, colleagues, and referral sources.
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Maury Klein has edited the General Practitioner since November 1996 and twice served as chair of the General Practice—Solo & Small Firm Section. In practice since November 1985 and a sole practioner since April 1989, Mr. Klein's range of experience runs the gamut from personal injury to divorce, contract litigation, probate, bankruptcy, and beyond. Aside from regular contributions to the General Practioner, Mr. Klein has been published in the Michigan Bar Journal. He is also a member of the American Bar Association.
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Elizabeth Welch Lykins assists small to mid-size businesses as well as professionals with labor and employment law matters. She received her law degree from Ohio State University and worked in a large law firm in Louisville, Kentucky, prior to moving home to Grand Rapids. Ms. Lykins is a regular speaker on solo and small firm best practices as well as employment law issues. Recognized as a "40 Under 40" by the Grand Rapids Business Journal, she is very active in the nonprofit community, having served on numerous boards. Ms. Lykins has also served on the boards of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan—Western Region and the Grand Rapids Bar Association, where she formerly chaired the Solo/Small Firm Section.
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Timothy K. McMorrow is the chief appellate attorney in the Kent County Prosecutor's Office, where he has been employed since 1982. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the U.S. District Courts for the Western District of Michigan, and the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. McMorrow is a past chair of both the Appellate Practice Section and the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and has served on the organizing committee for the first three appellate bench bar conferences in the State of Michigan.
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William A. McNeil of McNeil Law Office PLC, Paw Paw, lives in Orlando, Florida, and practices criminal law in Michigan by leveraging technology. He is the founder of McNeil Law Office PLC and the cofounder of vLawyer Consulting (vlawyerconsulting.com), where he provides Internet marketing services for clients nationwide. Mr. McNeil is a frequent speaker on the topic of websites, Internet marketing, and virtual law practices. He coauthored an article published in the December 2010 issue of Michigan Bar Journal on Internet marketing.
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Charity A. Olson concentrates her practice in the areas of consumer financial litigation and creditors' rights and specializes in the defense of individual and class action claims stemming from alleged violations of federal and state consumer, debt collection, and credit reporting statutes. Her clients include lending institutions, loan servicers, credit card grantors, health care providers, debt purchasers, and collection firms located th roughout the United States. Ms. Olson is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan, as well as the U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, Northern District of Ohio, Northern District and Bankruptcy Court of Illinois, Eastern District of Kentucky, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Prior to forming Olson Law Group, she worked as an attorney at Plunkett Cooney, handling commercial litigation, creditors' rights, and bankruptcy matters and chairing the firm's Consumer Litigation Practice Group. Ms. Olson is an active member of ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, and served as a unit director for the Michigan Association of Collection Agencies (MACA) 2007-2008. She currently serves as the president-elect of MACA and was the first attorney seated as president of the organization in June 2011.
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Daniel P. O'Neil Thompson O'Neil PC, Traverse City
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Judge Donald H. Passenger was appointed to the bench in March 1995 by Governor John Engler and is elected to serve through December 31, 2010. A member of the Michigan District Judges Association, he has served as chair (2004-2007), treasurer (2008), and secretary (2009) of its Technology Committee and as a member of the association's Legislative and Rules Committees. Judge Passenger also serves on ICLE's Technology Law and Training Advisory Board. Very active in a variety of organizations in his community, he was an adjunct professor at Davenport University in the Computer Information Systems and Legal Studies Departments, 1999-2003. Judge Passenger is a periodic speaker for groups such as the State Bar of Michigan, the Michigan Judicial Institute, and ICLE.
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Vincent A. Romano of Attorney Services Marketing, Grosse Pointe Park, is president of the firm, a full-service legal marketing company, which he founded in 1991. He is a 1975 graduate of the Detroit College of Law, where he served as editor in chief of the Law Review. His legal practice has included solo practice, as well as mid-sized and small firm experience, and his clients include solos and firms of all sizes. A former member of the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly, Mr. Romano is the treasurer and a past chair of the Law Practice Management & Legal Administrators Section. He is also an adjunct professor of law at Thomas Cooley Law School, where he teaches law office management.
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Frank Sanitate is president of Frank Sanitate Associates, a firm that develops and presents transformational workshops for professionals. He has taught tens of thousands of lawyers, CPAs, CAs, and other professionals since he founded his firm in 1977, conducting workshops in every U.S. state and Canadian province. Mr. Sanitate's mission is to enable his workshop participants to adopt his firm's three goals: to make a contribution, to make a profit, and to have fun. With an MBA from Florida Atlantic University, he was previously a manager at the American Institute of CPAs, and before that, a high school English teacher. Mr. Sanitate has published Don't Go to Work Unless It's Fun: State-of-the-Heart Time Management.
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Charles E. Story III Federal Bureau of Investigation, Flint
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Janet K. Welch is executive director of the State Bar of Michigan, Lansing. She has had an extensive career in state government, beginning in the Michigan Legislature where she served as a legislative analyst in the House and as the first director of the Senate's nonpartisan legislative analysis office. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, Ms. Welch was a law clerk for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert P. Griffin. She stayed at the Court for over a decade in a variety of positions, culminating in a position as Supreme Court counsel. In 1998, the Council of State Governments named her a Toll Fellow for outstanding achievement and service to state government. Ms. Welch is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Program at Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar in comparative literature in the former Yugoslavia.