Charles M. Russman

Practice Areas

Education

Georgetown University Law Center
LL.M., Taxation and Employee Benefits Certificate, with distinction, 2008

Wayne State University Law School
Detroit, Michigan
J.D., 2007

Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
B.A., Psychology, 2004

Bar Admissions

Michigan

Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

Employee Benefits Attorney

Charles is an experienced attorney whose practice is focused on employee benefits, executive compensation, tax and data privacy matters. He helps clients design and implement benefits plans including wrap plans, cafeteria plans, health and welfare plans, 401(k)s, pension plans, 457 plans and 403 (b) plans, and provides guidance and counsel on employer fiduciary matters. He regularly assists employers with income tax withholding and unemployment tax questions. Russman also provides counsel and expertise to financial institutions and other businesses regarding IRAs, Health Savings Accounts and Educational Savings Accounts.

With a strong background in data privacy matters, Charles counsels clients on policies and procedures, assistance with regulatory compliance, risk assessment, and data breach prevention and response. He is an IAPP-certified information privacy professional (CIPP/US and CIPP/E) and certified information program manager (CIPM). 

Charles frequently writes and speaks on a variety of employee benefit matters, including COBRA, HIPAA, and implications of the Affordable Care Act. He has also written and presented on privacy and cybersecurity matters for educational institutions and municipalities.

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America®, Banking and Finance Law, Employee Benefits, 2023

DBusiness© Top Lawyers, Employee Benefits Law, 2023

Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star, Employee Benefits (ERISA), 2021

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Up and Coming Lawyer, 2016

Professional Affiliations

International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)

Jewish Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan

Certifications

Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E)

Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US)

Certified Information Program Manager (CIPM)

Presentations

Affordable Care Act: A Practical Refresher, 2023

Privacy and Cybersecurity for Educational Institutions and Municipalities, 2019-2023

SECURE 2.0, 2023

Benefits and Compensation for Educational Institutions, 2022

COBRA: A Detailed Training, 2019-2022

HIPAA for Employers: A Comprehensive Review, 2019-2022

Privacy Considerations for Employee Benefits, 2019 and 2022

Employee Benefits for Educational Institutions: Considerations for During and After COVID, 2021

Privacy in and for Schools, 2021

CARES Act for Employers, 2020

Tea and Tidbits: Avoiding Discrimination in Employee Benefits, 2020

Marisa K. McConnell

Mcconnellmarisa Web Update

Practice Areas

Education

Georgetown Law
Washington, D.C.
J.D., 2022
Georgetown Law Journal, Executive Editor of the Annual Review of Criminal Procedure

University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California
B.A., Public Health with minor in Public Policy, 2018

Bar Admissions

Michigan

Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Attorney

Marisa serves as an associate attorney, focusing her practice on Varnum’s family law and litigation teams. Within the family law group, Marisa has acquired substantial experience in handling diverse cases, including those related to minor guardianships, stepparent adoptions, child support, collaborative divorces, custody and parenting time disputes, property division, retirement benefits, same-sex divorces, personal protection orders, prenuptial agreements, and post-judgment issues. As a member of the litigation team, Marisa contributes to a diverse range of litigation cases and research matters, including  business, property, environmental, criminal, construction, and contractual disputes.

Marisa’s experience prior to joining Varnum included a variety of experiences in the legal and public service sectors. While in law school, Marisa interned with the San Francisco Public Defender’s office where she assisted in the representation of juvenile clients. Additionally, she dedicated her time as a Guardian Ad Litem intern at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., offering litigation support in child welfare cases. Marisa was a member of the Georgetown Law Journal and participated in Georgetown’s Criminal Justice Clinic, where she gained valuable advocacy experience representing indigent defendants. Before attending law school, she interned with the World Health Organization and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Alaska. Marisa’s background in the public sector has equipped her with the skills necessary to navigate unique and challenging client matters.

Professional Affiliations

 State Bar of Michigan

Brittany Minix

Practice Areas

Education

Western Michigan University  Kalamazoo, Michigan                          B.S. ,Criminal Justice, 2016

Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, Michigan
A.A., Addiction Studies, 2016

Estate Planning Paralegal

Brittany is a paralegal who focuses on estate and trust administration. She is experienced with the preparation of probate pleadings in both Michigan and Florida, as well as filing in various courts and online systems. She assists with all aspects of estate and trust administration and implements various organizational tools that bode well in the administration process. Brittany also has experience with Family Law matters, as well as General Litigation.

Brittany has both law firm and court experience. She holds a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice and holds an associate degree in Addiction Studies from Western Michigan University.

Brittany is also an active member of her community, volunteering for Barn Sanctuary and Attorneys for Animals. She is passionate about helping those around her, and will actively strive to achieve the best for each client.

Certifications

Paralegal Certification

Professional Affiliations

National Association of Legal Professionals (NALS)

Notary Public, State of Michigan

Community Involvement

Animal Rescue Project, foster program and volunteer

Attorneys for Animals, volunteer

Barn Sanctuary, volunteer

United Way – Kalamazoo Family and Children’s Services, volunteer

Chelsea P. Everson

Practice Areas

Industries

Education

Wayne State University Law School
Detroit, Michigan
J.D., cum laude, 2018

University of Michigan – Dearborn
Dearborn, Michigan
B.A., with High Distinction, Political Science,  2013
B.S., with High Distinction, Honors Psychology with minor in Biological Sciences, 2013

Bar Admissions

Michigan

Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

Intellectual Property Attorney

Chelsea is a member of Varnum’s Intellectual Property Team. She has a wide range of experience in patent prosecution, trademark and copyright protection, trade secret law and preparation and review of IP agreements. She has prepared and prosecuted numerous domestic and foreign patent applications within the biological, chemical and mechanical arts. She regularly prepares prior art searches, freedom-to-operate analyses and infringement and invalidity opinions.

Chelsea is also experienced in IP litigation involving patent and trademark infringement, trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition.

During law school, Chelsea served an extensive, 10-week externship with the USPTO’s Patent Experience Extern Program and Patent Training Academy at the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She worked alongside patent examiners in a unit that oversees various biotech, chemical and pharmaceutical technologies to review patent applications for grant consideration and conducted prior art searches. She also delivered presentations on patent and trademark matters to small business owners and aspiring inventors at USPTO informational events.

 

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan, Intellectual Property Law Section

Staci R. DeRegnaucourt

Staci R. DeRegnaucourt

Practice Areas

Industries

Education

Michigan State University College of Law
East Lansing, Michigan
J.D., magna cum laude, 2011

Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
B.S., Civil & Environmental Engineering, 2008

Bar Admissions

Michigan

Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Intellectual Property Attorney

Staci is a registered patent attorney with an engineering background, who provides a full range of intellectual property services, including trademark, copyright, and patent clearance, procurement, licensing, and enforcement; anti-counterfeiting; IP portfolio and brand management; startup consulting; and IP due diligence. She serves as co-chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property
Practice Team.

Serving a diverse client group including Fortune 100 companies, SMEs, start-ups, and solo entrepreneurs, Staci maintains a business-minded, client-centric, holistic, and worldwide approach to intellectual property. Staci understands that clients invest in intellectual property in order to protect and improve their marketplace position, and she works to strategically compile intellectual property portfolios, unique to the client, that not only boast valuable brick-and-mortar intellectual property rights, but that also allow such intellectual property rights to be commercialized, enforced, and leveraged as revenue-generating and market-safeguarding tools.

Staci advises clients that operate in the mechanical, electro-mechanical, and material engineering arts and has prepared and prosecuted utility patent applications in a variety of technology areas including: OEM and aftermarket automotive systems, components, and control strategies for conventional (ICE) vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV); HVAC systems; energy absorption devices; structural barriers and traffic management systems; coastline restoration products and apparatuses; industrial equipment; tooling for manufacturing systems; manufacturing systems and processes; automation systems; robotic components; medical devices; building products; consumer goods; and sporting goods and equipment.

Staci also assists clients in a broad range of market sectors, to procure and enforce design patent and trade dress rights for the ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, their respective products including, unique product configurations; unique product ornamentation; ornamental product packaging; computer-generated icons; and static, dynamic, and animated graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

Moreover, Staci routinely counsels clients in domestic and international trademark, trade dress, and unfair competition matters including the selection and adoption of trademarks, the management and prosecution of trademark portfolios, and the worldwide enforcement of trademark rights. Staci also represents clients in trademark opposition, cancellation, and appeal proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) and coordinates such matters with foreign counsel internationally.

Staci has also represented clients in intellectual property litigation, enforcement matters, and proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the International Trade Commission (ITC), Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution (UDRP) administrative bodies, and United States courts.

Honors and Recognitions

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Go To Lawyer for Intellectual Property Law, 2022

Michigan Super Lawyers®, Rising Star, Intellectual Property, 2017 – 2023

World Trademark Review, WTR 1000, World’s Leading Trademark Professional, 2015 – 2023

World Trademark Review, WTR 1000, Global Leaders, 2019 – 2023

DBusiness Magazine, Top Lawyers, Intellectual Property & Patent Law, 2016

Professional Affiliations

Michigan State University College of Law, Adjunct Professor of Law – International Intellectual Property

International Trademark Association, Non-Traditional Marks Committee, 2024 – Present

International Trademark Association, Designs Committee, 2020 – 2024

Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association

Michigan Intellectual Property Inn of Court

Society of Women Engineers

State Bar of Michigan

Publications

Article: “Verified or Not? The Inform Consumers Act and the Future of E-Commerce Marketplaces.” The Grand Rapids Lawyer (May 2023)

Comment, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself: A Proposal for Streamlining the Claim Construction Process in Patent Litigation,” 38 Rutgers Computer & Tech. L.J.1 (2011)

Comment, “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better & Without Consequences: The Public University Monopoly on Research Technologies and the Educational Market,” 2010 MICH. St. L. REV. 471 (2010).

Presentations

Guest Speaker – IP Lawyer Lunch Series, Michigan State University College of Law (Fall 2022)

Guest Speaker – Trademark Counterfeiting and Gray Market Goods, Trademark Counterfeiting Course 533Y, Michigan State University College of Law (Spring 2021).

Panelist, E-Commerce and Counterfeits:  Evolving Consumer Behaviors, A Brand’s New World (2020), Hosted by the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection at Michigan State University.

Panelist, Distribution and Retail, World IP Day – Bridging the Intersection of Intellectual Property and Regulations (2019), Hosted by the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection at Michigan State University

Shawn A. Strand

Practice Areas

Education

University of Michigan Law School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
J.D., magna cum laude, 2007

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.A., Computer Science, 2000

Bar Admissions

Michigan

Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

Corporate Attorney

Shawn is an experienced tax attorney with a focus on corporate and partnership taxation issues. He advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, tax-exempt entities, individual tax collection matters and taxation of real estate transactions, including complex Section 1031 exchanges.

Shawn also advises clients regarding federal income tax planning and entity structuring. He works with individuals on the formation and operation of family offices.

Honors and Recognitions

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2013 – 2017

Rebecca K. Wrock

Rebecca K. Wrock

Practice Areas

Education

University of Alabama School of Law
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
LL.M., Taxation, cum laude, 2016

Wayne State University Law School
Detroit, Michigan
J.D., 2014

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.S., 2010

Bar Admissions

Florida

Michigan

Court Admissions

All Florida state courts

All Michigan state courts

Estate Planning Attorney

Rebecca is a member of the Estate Planning Practice Team where her practice includes all aspects of estate planning and estate settlement, including tax planning, cottage planning, charitable gift planning, business succession planning, long-term care planning, prenuptial agreements, and estate and trust administration services. From simple to sophisticated plans, she has helped clients to put protections in place for their minor and adult children, spouses and unmarried partners, aging parents, loved ones with disabilities, and loved ones who may need assistance with managing finances.

A substantial portion of Rebecca’s practice also involves crafting Trusts for animal companions (pet trusts), and she frequently speaks and writes on this topic for community groups, law students and other lawyers.

Rebecca is experienced in the nonprofit sector as past chairperson of the board of directors of Barn Sanctuary and vice president of the board of directors of Attorneys for Animals. Rebecca also assists nonprofit organizations with qualifying for and maintaining tax-exempt status and has been named to Crain’s list of Notable Women in Nonprofits.

Rebecca is a member of the adjunct faculty at Wayne State University Law School, a contributor to the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and serves as a Council Member for both the Probate & Estate Planning Section and the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Within the firm, she serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Rebecca has been recognized for her contributions to the legal and wider communities by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and the National Law Review.

Certifications and Accreditations

Animal Friendly Attorney™

Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) and State Bar of Michigan, certificate of completion in the areas of probate and estate planning

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America®, Ones to Watch, Nonprofit/Charities Law, Trusts and Estates, since 2022

Crain’s Detroit Business, Notable Women in Nonprofits, 2018

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Up & Coming Lawyer, 2018

Hour Detroit©, Top Attorneys: Outstanding Young Women Lawyers in Michigan, since 2017

Michigan Super Lawyers®, Rising Star, Estate Planning and Probate, since 2016

Professional Affiliations

Florida Bar: Animal Law Section; Elder Law Section; Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section; Out of State Division

State Bar of Michigan: Animal Law Section, Council Member and Chair-Elect; Elder Law and Disability Rights Section; Probate and Estate Planning Section, Council Member

Washtenaw County Bar Association

Women Lawyers Association of Michigan: Oakland Chapter; Washtenaw County Chapter

Community Involvement

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Attorneys for Animals: vice president; Board member

Barn Sanctuary: past chairperson; Board member

Wayne State University Law School, adjunct professor

Presentations

Special Issues with Estate Planning, ICLE (2023)

Estate Planning for Athletes: Top Tips in Ten Minutes, ICLE (2023)

Draft a Cottage Trust: How-To Kit, ICLE (2023)

Drafting Pet Trusts: Top Tips in Ten Minutes, ICLE (2023)

Pet Trusts, Michigan Humane Society (2023)

“Preserving Cottage Properties,” ICLE 32nd Annual: Drafting Estate Planning Documents (2023)

“Estate Planning for Pets,” Michigan State University (2022)

“How to Leave Your Fortune to Your Pets,” The University of Michigan (2020)

“Estate Planning for Millennials,” ICLE 59th Annual Probate and Estate Planning Institute (2019)

“Pet Trusts and Pet Planning” (2019 series)

“Planning for Pets,” ICLE 58th Annual Probate and Estate Planning Institute (2018)

“Six Feet Over, Six Feet Under: A Panel Discussion on the Rights of the Dying and Mourning” (2017)

“Protect Your Pet’s Future” (2017-2019 series)

Sarah L. Wixson

Sarah L. Wixson

Practice Areas

Industries

Education

Wayne State University Law School
Detroit, Michigan
J.D., 2012
The Wayne Law Review, Senior Note and Comment Editor

Hope College
Holland, Michigan
B.A., cum laude, 2008

Universidad de Sevilla
Seville, Spain
Study Abroad Program, Fall 2007

Bar Admissions

Michigan

Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Languages 

Spanish

Business, Health Care and Real Estate Attorney

Sarah is a corporate and litigation partner and serves as Co-Chair of the Health Care Practice Team. Her unique practice includes serving clients in various industries and professions with a variety of health care, business, litigation and real estate services. She works with physicians, physician groups, hospitals and health care entities on litigation, compliance and regulatory work, and licensing. Her transactional experience ranges from working on multimillion dollar acquisitions to assisting smaller entities. She also works with clients on contracting, master service agreements and licensing.

Sarah works with clients whose companies are on the line or when they are facing an issue that will have immense impact on their future. This may present as a company-threatening dispute, shareholder demands, threatened violation of a non-compete agreement, litigation, compliance analysis, or restructuring challenge.

As a litigator, Sarah represents businesses and individuals in a variety of matters. She has successfully prosecuted claims and defended corporate clients and individuals in connection with partnership agreements, contracts, business arrangements, shareholder disputes, real estate matters and complex commercial litigation.

Sarah’s accomplishments are routinely recognized by outside organizations. For the past three years, she has been named by Best Lawyers® as one of the “Ones to Watch,” a designation given to attorneys in recognition of their outstanding professional excellence in private practice. She was named an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in 2020 and she has been recognized by Michigan Super Lawyers for the past two years.

Experience

Defended three entities against $1.5 million in claims in a shareholder dispute.

Represented an individual in a multimillion-dollar real estate dispute between siblings over shared ownership of property. The complicated matter involved several unusual aspects, including multiple trusts, a secret will and a 70-year-old oral agreement.

Defended a Detroit-based beverage manufacturer in a breach of contract dispute, resulting in a big win when $650,000 of alleged claims were dismissed by the Oakland County Circuit Court following the motion for summary disposition. Additionally, the client’s countersuit was successfully settled.

Obtained a $450,000 default judgment following Washtenaw County Circuit Court’s ruling finding the defendant liable for committing defamation, business defamation, invasion of privacy and tortious interference. The Washtenaw County Circuit Court further dismissed all of defendant’s counterclaims with prejudice.

Successfully defended an emerging cosmetics company threatened with a class action alleging violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Successfully defended against enforcement of a non-compete agreement and had a temporary restraining order vacated concerning the same.

Represented a health care entity in its acquisition of another home health care service entity.

Routinely advises individual physicians and physician groups on health care-related contracts and employment contracts, including master service agreements.

Successfully negotiates payor-provider disputes.

Defended mortgage corporation against claims for fraud, innocent misrepresentation, silent fraud and breach of contract. The matter was dismissed with prejudice following oral argument on the motion for summary disposition.

Prosecuted claims for corporate client against insurance company and broker for declaratory judgment, reformation, breach of contract, constructive fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.

Prosecuted federal intellectual property claims and negotiated successful settlement for corporate client.

Defended corporate client against claims for waste and breach of fiduciary duty, and prosecuted client’s counterclaim resulting in a settlement.

Defended corporate client against claims for breach of contract and declaratory judgment.

Defended corporate client against federal claim for violation of U.S.C. Section 3729(a)(1)(A) leading to plaintiffs dismissing their claims against client.

Represented and advised physician groups in business dealings, including the acquisition of a 60-physician practice by a health system, regulatory and compliance work, and the development of a substance use disorder practice.

Represented a developer in connection with all aspects of a condominium development.

Represented startup health care and dental practices, including physical therapy and acute pain practices.

Represented health care practices in shareholder and employee disputes.

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America®, Ones to Watch, Construction, Health Care and Real Estate Law, since 2021

Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Influential Women of Law, 2023

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Up and Coming Lawyer, 2020

Michigan Super Lawyers®, 2022

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Young Advocates Committee

American Health Lawyers Association

Washtenaw County Bar Association, Business Section, co-chair

Community Involvement

Detroit Regional Chamber, Leadership Detroit Class XLIII

Shalini Nangia

Shalini Nangia

Practice Areas

Education

Ohio State University College of Law
Columbus, Ohio
J.D., 1995

Ohio University
Athens, Ohio
B.S., summa cum laude, 1992

Bar Admissions

Florida

Michigan

Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Languages

Hindi

Family Law Attorney

Shalini is a member of the Family Law Practice Team. She specializes in family law litigation, including high-income and high-asset divorces, collaborative divorces, custody and parenting time, child support, paternity, property division, retirement benefits and post-judgment matters. Her goal is to help clients during one of the most difficult times of their lives get from Point A to Point B in the most efficient and painless manner possible.

Shalini is a trained mediator and a regular presenter for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE). She is fluent in Hindi.

Honors and Recognitions

National Law Review, Thought Leader Award (Family Law Practice Team), 2020

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan – Family Law Section

Washtenaw County Bar Association – Board Member

Collaborative Practice of Michigan (CPIM)

International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP)

Dispute Resolution Center of Washtenaw County – Mediator

Wayne County Family Law Bar Association

South Asian Bar Association

The Florida Bar

Community Involvement

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, past adjunct professor

Presentations

Presenter, ICLE webinar: Advising Domestic Violence Victims During COVID-19 (Top Tips in Ten Minutes)

Presenter, ICLE webinar: Custody, Parenting Time, and Support Through Judgment (certificate)

Presenter, ICLE webinar: Objecting to a Friend of the Court Recommendation (Top Tips in Ten Minutes)

Presenter, ICLE webinar: Family Law Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic, May 14, 2020

Presenter, ICLE webinar: Demonstration: Family Law Deposition, July 13, 2020

Presenter, ICLE webinar: Child Support Formula Changes for 2021, November 2, 2020

Presenter, ICLE webinar: Handling Property Division and Spousal Support Issues, April 30, 2021

Presenter, ICLE webinar: Family Law Institute, 20th Annual, December 22, 2021

 

Matthew E. Maltz

Matthew E. Maltz

Practice Areas

Education

University of Chicago Law School
Chicago, Illinois
J.D., with honors, 2012

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.A., with distinction, 2008

Bar Admissions

Michigan

Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

Corporate Attorney

Matt is a corporate attorney with a broad range of transactional experience focused on public and private mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, equity investments and private equity transactions. He also provides general corporate and day-to-day legal advice to public and private companies and entrepreneurs at all stages of growth.

Matt serves on Varnum’s Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) Taskforce, which specializes in CTA compliance, guidance and analysis. Visit our CTA Resource Center for more information.