Workshop Schedule & Registration


Presenters:  John J. Conway, PC, Tanisha M. Davis, PLLC

Entering solo or small firm practice right out of law school (or at any time) is an exciting and daunting proposition! This workshop will explore the practical implications of developing a solo or small firm practice through discussion with seasoned solo practitioners. The inspiring speakers will discuss getting started, life as a solo or small firm lawyer, clients, technology, marketing and the reality of hanging your own shingle.

John J. Conway started his own law firm right after graduating from Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1996. Initially he was a general litigator and then over time he developed a specialized practice in the area of employee benefits. Because of his passionate advocacy, he has developed a national reputation and represents clients throughout the United States.

Tanisha Davis graduated from Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2007 and opened her own law firm in November 2008. Tanisha represents clients in criminal and family law matters. She is very active in the State Bar of Michigan and has served on the council for the Law Practice Management & Legal Administrators Section and as treasurer of the Solo & Small Firm section. She is also active in the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association.

Date/Time/Room: February 17, 2017 | 1:30 – 4:00 pm | Room 326



Presented by:     John F. Reed, Esq.
                          Consultant, Strategist & Coach
                          Marketing Strategies
Learn marketing and networking tips and strategies from an expert. John F. Reed, Esq. is the founder of Rain BDM, a consultancy helping law firms of all sizes to build outstanding client relationships. With a background in law, advertising, and sales management, John trains and coaches attorneys in business development and collaborates with firms on marketing strategy and implementation. In this workshop, John will discuss business development and marketing (BDM) and what your BDM plan should include. The workshop will focus on personal branding, personal marketing, networks and networking, and provide the tools and techniques to put your plan in action.

Date/Time: March 3, 2017 | 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm | Room 326



Presented by:     Jared Chimovitz
Chimovitz Computer Genius 

Creating a technologically sound law firm is no accident and requires the assistance of an expert. This workshop features technology entrepreneur, Jared Chimovitz, who will discuss network security, data backups, password security, hardware options, best practices for protecting confidential client information, and more. Don't miss your opportunity to learn from the computer genius!

Date/Time/Room: March 31, 2017 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm | Room 326



Presented by:     Michael Pitt, Managing Partner
                          Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers, P.C.

This workshop will feature Michael Pitt the founding member of Pitt, McGehee, Palmer & Rivers, P.C. who will share his invaluable experiences as a highly successful litigator. Michael will talk about the critical importance of client and case selection to a firm's success.

Since 1980, Michael has specialized in employment law and civil rights litigation on behalf of employees. He is highly regarded as an expert in his field having handled a wide range of employment law cases from complex class actions, group actions and multiple party cases on behalf of employees from the lowest to highest levels of many of the largest companies in the United States.

Michael's recent work on the Neal case as part of a team of civil rights lawyers has garnered him wide acclaim and recognition. In this case eighteen women prisoners were raped and sexually assaulted by prison guards in Michigan's prisons, and through Michael's hard work, a damage verdict was won in favor of the women prisoners. As a result of this case, Michael and the team received recognition from the Trial Lawyers for the Public as the 2008 Trial Lawyer of the Year, from the National Lawyers Guild as the 2008 People's Lawyer of the Year, and in February 2009, the team also received the Wade McCree Award from the Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan.

In 2004 and 2005, Michael served as President of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association. In 2003, he was inducted as a Fellow into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Date/Time/Room: April 7, 2017 | 1:30 – 3:30 pm | Room 326



Presented by:     Danon Goodrum-Garland
                           State Bar of Michigan Director of Professional Standards
                           JoAnn Hathaway
                           State Bar of Michigan Practice Management Advisor

Billing & Trust Accounting: Getting it Right

Understanding trust accounting and proper fee management is key to safeguarding client funds and ensuring compliance with ethical obligations. This session will provide the ethical foundation for handling client or third person funds to ensure that you get it right. A substantial percentage of trust account violations come from solo or small firm practitioners and this workshop will provide tips on how to avoid these problems.

Billing and trust accounting are areas where lawyers need to get it right. Learn from the experts at the State Bar about these critical issues. You will also learn about the variety of billing alternatives that are available including the billable hour, flat, blended fee structures, contingent fees and more.

Malpractice Insurance 101

When it comes to buying legal malpractice insurance, many lawyers simply seek out the coverage and deductible and buy the policy with the lowest premium. In this session, you'll learn the policy features, coverage options and other factors you should consider when purchasing legal malpractice insurance. You will learn the many questions you may have never known to ask about your insurance policy.

Date/Time/Room:  April 28, 2017 | 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm | Room 326



Presented by:     Alan Gershel, Grievance Administrator
                          Rhonda Pozehl, Senior Associate Counsel 
                          MI Attorney Grievance Commission

This workshop will discuss Michigan's attorney discipline system and explain how the Attorney Grievance Commission, as the investigative and prosecutorial arm of the Michigan Supreme Court, is responsible for investigating allegations of attorney misconduct. The discussion will focus on the attorney grievance process including the filing and processing of cases, the investigation of alleged attorney misconduct, the subject areas where significant attorney misconduct occurs, the types of violations, and the various discipline that can be imposed. Because a substantial percentage of trust account violations come from solo or small firm practitioners, this workshop will cover the rules of maintaining a trust account, cases involving trust account violations, and how to avoid these problems.

Date/Time/Room: May 19, 2017 | 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm | Room 326



Presented by:     Detroit Mercy School of Law Adjunct Professor Michael Morgan

Whether you are a general practitioner or focus on a few specific areas of law, rest assured that you will be called upon by clients to handle all manner of traffic cases.

Civil infractions for speeding and the like will present little, if any, trouble for the new lawyer. However, drunk-driving cases absolutely CANNOT be undertaken without a firm understanding of this area of law. The stakes are too high for the client and the reality of jail time and a revoked license looms large.

Learn DUI defense from attorney Michael Morgan, the coauthor of two books on drunk driving and the editor of the second, third, and fourth editions of "Michigan Drunk Driving Law and Practice" (ICLE). Mr. Morgan, an adjunct clinical law professor, teaching in the Detroit Mercy School of Law Criminal Trial Clinic, has lectured extensively on drunk driving and driver licensing in Michigan. This is an extraordinary opportunity to get the foundational knowledge you need directly from the person that wrote the book!

In this workshop, Professor Morgan will teach you about the various types of drinking/driving crimes and their consequences. He will also teach you how to interview the client, challenge breathalyzer and blood alcohol tests, and prepare for trial. You will also learn about the Implied Consent Act, breathalyzer refusal hearings, and appeals to the Secretary of State and circuit court for license restorations.

As a solo or small firm practitioner DUI defense cases will be coming your way. Join Professor Morgan for this great program and be prepared to take the case.

Date/Time/Room:  June 9, 2017 | 1:30 - 4:00 | Room 326



Presented by:     Detroit Mercy School of Law Adjunct Professor Charlotte Steffen

Charlotte Steffen specializes in criminal defense. She is an adjunct law professor at the Detroit Mercy School of Law in the Criminal Trial Clinic where she supervises student attorneys and lectures on drunk driving, driver's license restoration and felony expungement. Her experience includes thousands of criminal cases, including capital offenses and high profile cases. She began her career at the Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit and went into private practice in 2002.

At this workshop you will learn the ways a driver's license can be lost and the process for restoring a client's driver's license. A felony conviction can be a hurdle to employment and other opportunities. Learn about Michigan law and how you can assist your client expunge a felony conviction.

Date/Time/Room: June 16, 2017 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm | Room 326