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Dedicated to serving the legal needs of municipalities, franchised businesses, employers, and public utilities.
Michigan Litigation Lawyers
At Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, we serve our clients best by trying to avoid litigation, where possible, through early intervention and counsel. However, if necessary, our experienced attorneys have the trial, appellate, and collective bargaining experience needed to defend our clients’ interests.
Our skilled attorneys have decades of experience providing full-service litigation consulting and representation – from complaint to appeal – before all Michigan state and federal civil and administrative courts. Whether you are a business, franchisor, municipality, or public utility, our experienced litigation attorneys can help you efficiently address your litigative issues to an equitable and effective resolution.
No business entity wants to be involved in litigation, but this is sometimes the only way to assert your rights. Our business lawyers have resolved contractual disagreements, employment contract and termination cases, trademarks and other intellectual property arguments, franchise agreement disputes, and more. If a civil suit has threatened your business, we will be your advocate in the courtroom and at your side to guide you through the complex judicial system with expertise and confidence.
The attorneys at Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC work with municipalities and departments of all sizes to successfully litigate land use and zoning issues, property disputes and easements, property tax claims and appeals, Michigan Drain Code and lake level issues, nuisance abatement, and more. We also assist in the awareness and preparation for issues relating to Downtown Development Authorities, Community Mental Health Authorities, Emergency Services Authorities, and Local Finance Development Authorities. With in-depth knowledge of municipal cases and years of experience with procedural and substantive law, our team of attorneys will review and discuss your case to alleviate uncertainty and confusion and present your case accurately and efficiently.
Franchise Dispute Resolution and Litigation
A contractual agreement between franchisor and franchisee is usually intended to produce benefits to both parties. However, when one party does not hold up their end of the bargain, a dispute is often the result. When that happens, the franchise attorneys at Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC can help you identify and navigate the most efficient and fitting route of dispute resolution for your franchised business, including mediation, arbitration, or litigation.
Labor and Employment Collective Bargaining
The Michigan Employment Law Team at Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC is well-versed in dealing with all types of employer advocacy situations, including collective bargaining, unfair labor practices, wage and hour disputes, and more. Whether it is negotiating with major Michigan labor organizations, representing employers from discrimination and harassment disputes, or litigating overtime and comp time disputes, our attorneys have the legal knowledge and experience to successfully and efficiently maneuver through the situation to achieve the most equitable outcome for all parties involved.
Dedicated to serving your legal needs.
We have counseled and represented our clients in a variety of cases, and we will address yours with the same level of care, professionalism, and attention to detail. Let our team of attorneys review your specific case to identify the best approach to resolution. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a consultation to review your case.Request Consultation
Ross K. Bower II
Ross brings his experience as a municipal, property tax, and drain attorney to FSBR, focusing on Michigan municipal, property tax, and drain law with an emphasis on property tax appeals and special assessments, drain projects, development, zoning, building and planning, and Michigan’s Drain Code.
He appreciates the fast-paced nature of his work and is especially proud of the relief his clients feel when they put their trust in his hands. Ross is thoughtful, and a straight talker, delivering an up-front perspective about the advantages and disadvantages of a client’s particular situation. Whether it’s major litigation or a minor legal matter, Ross knows every client’s case is the most important thing to them, so he treats it that way as well.
As part of the firm’s Municipal Practice Group, he provides expertise and responsiveness to public officials and clients as Township Attorney, Village Attorney, and City Attorney, and as counsel to County Drain Commissioners throughout Michigan, where he handles litigation in administrative, trial, and appellate courts.
Ross is committed to obtaining successful results for his clients, and he strives every day to be the best at his craft. He enjoys the relationships he develops with his clients and takes pride in the trust and respect he’s built with opposing attorneys and judges as well.
Ross joined FSBR in 2008 and has been a partner since 2014. Prior to that, he was an attorney with the Hubbard Law Firm, P.C.
Off the clock, he stays active with his family, playing and coaching soccer, and supporting his three kids in their academic and athletic endeavors.
- Meridian Township: Defended Entire Tribunal property tax appeals, including apartment complexes, commercial retail, regional mall, office, and restaurant properties.
- City of Fenton: Defended Entire Tribunal property appeals, including residential and commercial properties.
- Gratiot County Drain Commissioner: Provided counsel on behalf of drainage districts related to numerous alternative energy developments.
- MDARD and Various County Drain Commissioners: Provided counsel on behalf of inter-county drainage districts related to numerous historical jurisdiction and drainage district reviews and public hearings.
Ross has presented on topics including Township Law, Environmental Law, Constitutional Law, Property Tax Law, and the Freedom of Information Act at seminars and conferences throughout the state, and he has authored articles in various publications on Property Tax Issues, Civil Litigation, Drain Law, and Township Law.
- Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, J.D., 2007, cum laude
- Kalamazoo College, B.A., Anthropology and Sociology, 2004
- All Michigan State and Federal Courts
- In recognition of his work on behalf of his public sector clients, Ross has been selected each year as a “Rising Star” in Michigan’s Super Lawyers publication since 2010.
- Recognized as one of the “Top 5” attorneys under the age of 35 in Ingham County.
- President, Ingham County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers’ Section
- Member, Michigan Bar Association
- Member, Ingham County Bar Association
- Member, Eaton County Bar Association
- Member, Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys
- Associate Member, Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners
- Ingham County Bar Association – Young Lawyers Section president, 2010-2011
- Ingham County Bar Association – Young Lawyers Section member, 2008-2012
- Law school service work: Various public service agencies including the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, City of Lansing Teen Court, and Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office.
- Volunteer youth soccer coach, 2014-2019
- Classroom volunteer, Constitution Day, 2008-2012
- Volunteer moot court/civics hearing judge, 2008-2019
- FSBR – Giving Back. Creating Change. Benefitting the Greater Lansing Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan 5K, Child Benefit Fund for Ingham County, Boys & Girls Club, Step Up for Down Syndrome, Compete for a Cause, YLS Horn of Plenty.
Mark J. Burzych
As the leader of the firm’s business practice, Mark is committed to helping clients design and execute their dreams. He focuses on developing and implementing growth strategies for businesses with an emphasis on franchising, liquor licensing and regulation, general corporate matters, mergers, acquisitions, or other corporate transactions, bank debt or equity private placement financing transactions, real estate, and other business-related matters.
The brainstorming, collaboration, and curiosity surrounding what clients seek drive Mark’s passion for his work. He’s proud to become part of his clients’ circle of trusted advisors, engaging with them sometimes daily to guide them through the process of growing their businesses.
His work is specially tailored to the hospitality industry, but his experience allows him to assist virtually any business segment. Mark knows business decisions often have legal implications, and he’s dedicated to ensuring his clients understand the real-world implications of their choices as they pursue expansion strategies. With more than 30 years of experience practicing law, Mark has seen it all in franchising, and he is eager to share his expertise with his clients.
Outside of the office, Mark enjoys spending time with his family, especially on Lake Charlevoix. He’s an avid golfer and a fan of MSU sports.
- Franchisor outside counsel: provide “trusted advisor” counsel to franchisor from start-up to now Top 300 franchise system; perform general counsel services for franchisor; daily advice and counsel regarding franchise sales, relationship management, supply chain contracting, marketing, and operations.
- Franchise Regulatory counsel: provide franchise regulatory counsel to franchisors, from start-up franchisors to iconic brands; perform federal and state law regulatory compliance for franchisors with advice and counsel on franchise sales and relationship management.
- Corporate General Counsel: provide general counsel work to multi-generational closely held business, prepare company for acquisition, representation of company in sale of company to private equity purchaser; assisted closely held company in raising $10 Million in new equity capital private placement with federal and state securities laws compliance.
- Liquor License acquisition (manufacturers and retailers); Liquor law violation hearings; manufacturer-wholesaler relationship management.
- Trademark prosecution and enforcement.
- Co-author, “Recent Developments in Administrative Law,” ICLE State of the Law, 1991
- Author, “Recent State Court Decisions,” Administrative Law Quarterly, Winter 1991, Spring 1992.
- Co-author, “Vive la Difference? Selective Enforcement of Franchise Agreement Terms and System Standards,” Franchise Law Journal, Fall 2003.
- Panel member, “Selective Enforcement of Franchise Agreement Terms and System Standards,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising annual meeting, 2004.
- Contributing author, “Ask the Experts” column, Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association’s MRLA magazine.
- Facilitator, “Disclosure Issues Related to Promotional Franchise Sales Incentive Program,” International Franchise Association Annual Convention, 2012.
- Co-author, “Franchisor Successor Tax Liability: Risk in Terminations,” Franchise Law Journal Vol. 35, No. 3, 2016.
- Author, “System Standards and Franchisee Innovation: Striking a Balance,” Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2018.
- Presenter, “Confidentiality Clauses in Franchise Agreements,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising annual meeting, 2018.
- Author, Michigan chapter of the Franchise Desk Book, third edition, 2019.
- Author, “Franchise Advertising in the Digital Age: Regulators Need to Contemporaneously Address Advancing Advertising Technologies or Step Aside,” Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2020.
- Author, “Using Criminal Background Checks in a Franchise System,” Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 41, No. 3, Winter 2022.
- University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1990, cum laude
- Michigan State University, James Madison College, B.A., Socioeconomic Policy Problems, 1985
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
- Best Lawyers in America, 2009–present
- Best Lawyers in America’s Lansing Government Relations Practice Lawyer of the Year, 2015
- Super Lawyers, 2009–present
- Leading Lawyers, 2014–present
- Franchise Times Legal Eagles, 2018-present
- Rated AV by Martindale-Hubble
- Member, Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association Board, 2012–present
- Member, Advisory Rules Committee, Michigan Liquor Control Commission, 2011
- Member, Judicial Crossroads Task Force to the Michigan Bar Association, Business Impact Committee, 2010
- Chair, State Bar of Michigan’s Administrative Law Section, 2009
- Chair, Michigan Public Education Facilities Authority Board, 2002–2010
- Member, Michigan Municipal Bond Authority Board, 1998–2004, 2006, Board Member 2006-2010
- Member, State Bar of Michigan
- Member, Administrative Law Section Council (2007-2016)
- Member, Antitrust, Franchising, & Trade Regulation Section Council (2016-Present)
- Member, International Franchise Association
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising
- Member, Catholic Lawyers Guild
- James Madison College Alumni Association Board of Directors
- MSU Alumni Club of Mid-Michigan Board of Directors (1995-1999)
- Michigan State University Alumni Association, Alumni as Resource Committee Member (1999)
- St. Martha’s Council, Knights of Columbus
Helen Lizzie Mills
Lizzie works in municipal law, labor and employment law, and general litigation, providing daily advice and counsel on the myriad issues municipalities and employers face.
Her municipal practice involves drafting and enforcing ordinances, preparing legal opinions, and addressing the issue du jour for the many townships with whom she works. Lizzie enjoys helping her clients solve problems and plan for success, and she understands the challenges of running the business of local government in the public eye.
Her labor and employment law practice focus keeps her busy, representing municipal and private sector management. The labor and employment practice in particular can be intensely personal and sometimes involves the tough realities of termination, but Lizzie strives to bring empathy to the table as she advocates for a legal resolution. Her affinity for interacting with people enables her to quickly dissolve conflicts. She also has the gift of an incredible memory, recalling details not only about problems she’s worked to solve but about the people involved. Relationships are critical in labor and employment issues; being able to recall professional and personal details off the top of her head is a real asset to her clients in labor negotiations and conflict resolution.
Lizzie has extensive experience in collective bargaining, grievance and interest arbitration, and administrative claims defense before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, state and federal wage and hour divisions, and others.
Lizzie joined Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes in 2010 and became a member in 2017. Prior to that, she served as a judicial extern to the Hon. Thomas L. Ludington, District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Michigan. While at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lizzie earned 11 Certificates of Merit, the highest honor for academic performance in a course.
When she’s not at work, Lizzie enjoys spending time with her husband and children; strives to read hardcover books ranging from mysteries to autobiographies of important figures in world history, to true crime to professional development theories; listening to an HR or true crime podcast; and enjoying the lake near their home year-round.
- Negotiates labor contracts for public and private employers with UAW, Teamsters, AFSCME, POLC, POAM, TPOAM, IAFF, MAFF, CCLP, Steelworkers, and unaffiliated groups.
- Defends contract and disciplinary grievances on behalf of management.
- Successfully defends against unlawful discrimination claims in circuit court and before civil rights agencies.
- Drafts employee handbooks that are up to date with ever-changing labor and employment laws.
- Coordinates return to work transitions involving fitness for duty, accommodations, or other complex matters.
Lizzie regularly presents on issues relating to the following areas:
- Wage and hour, including unique rules related to public employees.
- Unlawful harassment and discrimination avoidance and management.
- Bargaining strategies and obstacles.
- Managing employee leave in the complex world of the ADA, FMLA, workers’ compensation, collective bargaining restrictions, and policy mandates.
- Personnel policies and handbooks.
- Keeping personnel decisions out of the headlines.
She has authored articles on the following topics:
- Bargaining strategies and obstacles in the public sector.
- Unlawful harassment and discrimination, including policy drafting, investigations, resolution, and defense of claims presented in state or federal civil rights agencies or the courts.
- Managing wage and hour investigations and outcomes.
- Common traps for restauranteurs in managing personnel and wage and hour matters.
- Western Michigan University Cooley Law School (formerly Thomas M. Cooley Law School), J.D., 2010, magna cum laude
- Saginaw Valley State University, B.A., Spanish, history and philosophy, 2005, summa cum laude, Roberts Fellow Scholar
- Federal Bar Association
- Inaugural “book award” scholarship recipient for excellence in advanced property law courses, 2010, Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan
- Top 5 Under 35, 2015
- Honoree, Michigan’s Rising Stars in State, Local & Municipal Law, 2019
- Co-chair and chair, Ingham County Bar Association’s annual Ask A Lawyer event for October’s Pro Bono month, 2013–2018
- Volunteer mediator, Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan, 2014–present
- Council for the Government Law Section of the State Bar
- Member, 2016–present
- Secretary/Treasurer, 2019–2020
- Editor, “Briefly,” the publication of the Council for the Government Law Section of the State Bar, 2016–present
- Highfields Board of Directors
- Member, 2015–present
- Chair, 2018–2019
- Founding member, Den Defenders Youth Football program, Laingsburg, Michigan, 2017–present
Christopher S. Patterson
Chris applies his affinity for solving complex, technical problems to his work in general municipal law, land use and zoning law, administrative law, civil and appellate litigation as well as commercial and residential real property issues. These experiences and skills enable Chris to capably manage matters — big and small — for his municipal clients and bring an extraordinary and informed insight into the judicial process.
He is focused on finding practical solutions to the issues faced by his clients that balance achieving effective, timely results while remaining cost-conscious. Chris takes pride in the creativity he employs to find alternative resolutions to his clients’ problems, and his efforts and protecting and navigating his clients through complex legal issues.
He is committed to a high level of perfection and responsiveness – his clients are his top priority.
Chris joined the firm in 2013. Prior to that, he served for two years as law clerk for the Hon. Lawrence P. Zatkoff, Federal District Court Judge.
Away from the office, Chris loves hanging out with his wife, racing mountain bikes, and wrenching on cars.
- Protect municipalities against Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act claims;
- Handle zoning and planning, constitutional claims, and various complex civil litigation and appeals;
- Advise on municipal ordinance authority and prepared ordinances for adoption on varying substantive areas, including zoning, ethics, franchises, wind energy, solar energy, and marihuana
- Reviewed and rewrote multiple zoning ordinances to comply with state law changes, produce clarity, and increase protections for the local municipality
- Develop ordinance enforcement strategies and assist in code enforcement to decrease costs and increase successful outcomes for municipalities
- Assist in collection of delinquent personal property collection
- Advise on joint authorities and inter-municipal agreement, including establishing new authority, dissolving authorities, withdrawing from authorities, and drafting contracts
- Removal of dangerous buildings and recovery of removal costs
- Establish tax increment financing authorities and advising on capture issues and operation issues
- Prepare development agreements for innovative development projects within municipalities
- Establish special assessments for municipalities to fund improvements
- Prepare ballot proposals for new and renewal millages
- Regulating Wind Energy Projects: MATS Spring Education Conference, 2015
- Delinquent Personal Property Tax Collection: Treasurers of Eaton County, 2015
- Dealing with Distressed Properties: MATS Fall Education Conference, 2015
- What Direction is the Supreme Court Pointing with Sign Regulation? Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, 2016; Livingston County Planning Commission, 2016
- Recent Land Use Topics: Signs, Noise, Land Diversions and Drones: MATS Spring Seminar, 2016
- Winning the Zoning Game, Newly Elected Township Officials Workshop: 2016
- Regulating Medical Marihuana: MATS Midwinter Conference, 2017; MAMC Master Academy Session, 2017; CLE International Cannabis Law Conference, 2017
- Faster and Less Expensive Ordinance Enforcement: MTA Conference, 2017
- 2000 Consent Decree Overview: Michigan Steelhead & Salmon Fishermen’s Association, 2017; Metro West Steelheaders, 2017
- What Should a Township Supervisor Expect from the Other Members of the Township Board? MATS Summer Conference, 2017
- Regulating Medical Marihuana in Your Community and in Your Workplace: Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, 2017
- Financing Joint Fire and Emergency: MTA 2018
- Current Township Water and Sewer Issues: MTA 2018
- Marihuana in the Michigan Workplace: Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, 2018
- Regulating Medical Marihuana and Recreational Marihuana: MATS Fall Conference, 2018
- Event Barns: Avoid the Pitfalls: MTA 2019
- Eye in the Sky: Regulation and use of Drones by Local Government: MTA 2019
- Lead and Copper Rule Changes — What Do We Do Now? MTA 2019
- Faster and Less Expensive Ordinance Enforcement: MTA Zoning Seminar, 2019
- Township Governance: Evaluating the Interactions of Township Boards, Commissions and Committees: MATS Fall Conference, 2019
- Deploying High-speed Internet in Your Township: MATS Fall Conference, 2019
- Adult-use Marihuana: Is Now the Time to Allow Marihuana Establishments? MATS Fall Conference, 2019
- Joint Fire and Emergency Service Agreements and Authorities: MTA Emergency Services Workshop, 2019
- How to Control Access to Confidential Information: Michigan Municipal Treasurers Association, 2019
- Michigan State University College of Law, J.D., 2010, magna cum laude
- Western Michigan University, B.S., political science, minor in real estate, 2007, summa cum laude
- Super Lawyer’s Michigan Rising Stars 2019
- Top 5 Under 35, Ingham County Bar Association
- Executive Council of the State of Michigan Administrative and Regulatory Law Section, 2016–present
- Chair, State Bar of Michigan Administrative and Regulatory Law Section, 2018
- Co-chair, Ingham County Bar Association, Real Estate Section
- Member, Appellate Practice Section, Government Law Section, and Marihuana Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan
- Co-race director and volunteer, Cannonsburg Duathlon Charity Race in conjunction with Village of Cannonsburg events
- Team manager/co-founder, D2Labs Racing, an endurance sport racing team focused on bringing new enthusiasts into the sport of cycling
Stephen J. Rhodes
Steve has practiced law since 1987, specializing in energy law, public utilities, and appeals.
Steve focuses on complex commercial and regulatory appeals, particularly utility regulation issues involving service and rates for electricity, renewable energy, natural gas, municipal water systems, and sanitary and storm sewers. He has been involved in extensive litigation before trial and appellate courts throughout Michigan, including some of the most significant utility and municipal cases before the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
He particularly enjoys writing briefs and managing complex litigation. His deep historical knowledge and understanding of regulatory and judicial processes, paired with an ability to identify the controlling issues and clearly explain to decision-makers the legal and policy support for positions are among his best assets to clients.
Prior to co-founding FSBR in 2008, Steve was a partner at Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC.
When he’s not at work, Steve enjoys being outside enjoying nature while hiking and biking.
- DTE Electric
- DTE Gas
- A variety of municipalities and drain commissioners
- Wayne State University Law School, J.D., 1986, Order of the Coif
- Oakland University, B.S., Economics, 1983, magna cum laude
- All Michigan state courts
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
- Best Lawyers in America: Administrative/Regulatory Law and Energy Law, since 2013
- Super Lawyers: Energy & Natural Resources, Appellate, and Administrative Law, since 2017
- Member, State Bar of Michigan’s Appellate Practice Council, 2006–2012
- Judicial clerk, Chief Judge Robert J. Danhof of Michigan Court of Appeals, 1988–1989
John S. Brennan
John delivers expert representation in the litigation of commercial disputes, business torts including product liability defense, construction disputes, insurance coverage questions, personal injury.
A practicing attorney since 1984, John takes his role as an advocate to heart, committed to reaching positive resolutions for wrongful suits or breaches of contracts against his clients. His work is thorough, he’s methodical, and he takes pride in his ability to analyze a case and present it clearly and persuasively before tribunals or public hearings.
His past experience includes serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago, representing the interests of the United States in civil matters including bankruptcy, forfeiture, employment disputes, injunction actions, civil enforcement actions, and matters involving fraud, as well as prosecuting criminal cases.
John also taught Property Law, Civil Procedure, Torts, Professional Responsibility, Equity & Remedies, Secured Transactions as a professor at Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
John joined FSBR in 2015 and has been a partner since 2018.
When he’s not working, John enjoys bicycling — including tackling the DALMAC, Michigan’s best summer biking tour — and spending time with his family. He and his wife particularly enjoy exploring Ireland, where they have a shared heritage.
- Tried construction litigation dispute (sanitary sewer project) to jury and appeal on behalf of a township.
- Represented township in utility rate dispute with city.
- Mediated construction dispute on behalf of large inter-county drainage district.
- Represented drainage district in disputed condemnation action resulting in mediated settlement.
- Negotiated numerous easements and utility crossing agreements.
- Successfully represented estate beneficiaries in fraud claim against trustee.
- Experienced litigator in non-compete disputes.
John has presented on topics including Drain Law, Property Law, Governmental Tort Law and Asset Forfeiture Law at seminars and conferences throughout the state, and he has authored articles in various publications on Constitutional Law, Torts and Employment Law. He has directed International Law Study Abroad Programs and Directed National Trial Competition Teams to regional championships and national semi-finals.
- Boston College Law School, J.D., 1984, magna cum laude
- University of Detroit, B.A., Philosophy, 1977, magna cum laude
- Previously Illinois, Minnesota
- U.S. District Court, Northern Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- 6th Circuit Court
- 7th Circuit Court
- Volunteer mediator, Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan, 2002–2016
- Treasurer, board member, Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan, 2002–2006
- Present volunteer mediator for divorce and civil litigation), Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan, 2002
- Michigan Department of Education Appointee, Board of Examining Scholars, examining petition of Ave Maria Law School for Board of Education accreditation, 1999
- Presenter, Michigan Judicial Institute, 1995
- Pro bono legal representation, Leonard, Street & Deinard Legal Aid Clinic, Phillips Neighborhood Community, Minneapolis, 1991–1994
- Member, U.S. Attorney’s Drug Task Force Advisory Board, Northern District of Illinois, 1987–1990
- Faculty member, Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, Washington, D.C., 1990
- Speaker, national seminar for U.S. prosecutors, current developments in drug forfeiture litigation, 1990
- Coach, ATLA (AAJ) National Trial Team (two regional championships, one national quarter finalist), 1998–2009
- Chair, Lansing Catholic High School Board of Education, Lansing, Michigan, 2006–2014
- President, Parent Service Organization, St. Martha School, Okemos, Michigan, 2000–2001
- Member, board of trustees, Immaculate Heart of Mary High School for Girls; Westchester, Illinois, 1986–1991
James (“Jimmy”) contributes his knowledge of law to the firm’s Franchise, Corporate & Business, Trademark, Municipal, and Litigation practice groups. Jimmy focuses on serving franchise clients by drafting franchise agreements/documents and conducting extensive research to help ensure that those documents comply with applicable franchise laws. He also performs research and analysis to protect client brands when trademark and/or copyright infringement occurs.
Jimmy assists the firm in providing legal research and advice to municipal clients on issues relating to constitutional law interpretation, Freedom of Information Act, Open Meetings Act, COVID-19, and Zoning Board of Appeals decisions. He aspires to gain additional expertise to advise municipal clients in election law matters. Jimmy also has conducted research and written segments for several of the firm’s monthly Township Law E-Letters and Webinars.
Jimmy joined FSBR in 2020 as a summer associate/law clerk and became an Associate in November 2021. While attending law school, he worked for Fleming Yatooma and Borowicz, PLC in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan as a summer associate.
Jimmy has provided legal assistance to a non-profit corporation assisting children and low-income families and performed research and drafted proposed legislation for child welfare reform in the State of Michigan. He also has delivered meals to families in need, assisted and coordinated events for the elderly at a senior living facility, and walked and cared for dogs at an animal shelter while in college.
Outside of work, Jimmy enjoys playing most sports and watching all Detroit sports, listening to music and attending concerts, collecting vinyl records and sneakers/streetwear, and traveling. He hopes to produce his own music someday.
- Franchise agreement/document review and drafting
- Litigation document drafting, including general pleadings, dispositive motions, and supporting briefs
- Trademark/copyright infringement protection
- Legal research on general municipal matters
- Affidavit drafting for historical easements
- Discovery review/analysis for litigation and arbitration matters
- Freedom of Information Act
- Contributing author to the ABA Franchise Law Journal
- Michigan State University College of Law, J.D., 2021
- Trine University Ketner School of Business, B.S., Sport Management, summa cum laude
- After completing 12 more credits, will hold a Master of Science in Business Administration (MBA) from Trine University in Angola, Indiana
- State Bar of Michigan
- 2021 Michigan State University Ralph Freeman Scholarship Award Recipient
- Book Award (Jurisprudence Award – JP) for Sports Law
- ABA Alternative Dispute Resolution Competition Team Member
- Student Bar Association – Wellness (Mental Health) Committee Chair
- Trine University Gold Key Recipient
- ACBSP Student Leadership Award – only one winner in the Ketner School of Business
- Ehinger Fellow – Student Ambassador for the Ketner School of Business
- Collegiate/Scholar Athlete for two years playing college basketball
- President of Delta Mu Delta – International Business Honor Society
- Worked closely with general counsel for a non-profit corporation assisting children and low-income families
- Researched and drafted proposed legislation for child welfare reform in the State of Michigan
- Delivered meals to families in need for Steuben County Mobile Meals in Indiana for a year while in college
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At Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, we’ve been helping municipalities, franchised businesses, employers, and more with their legal needs since 2008. We’d love to learn how we can help you, too.