O'Reilly Rancilio '2019 Year in Review' Highlights Some of the Firm's Notable Accomplishments

2019 marked many successes for the attorneys and staff at O’Reilly Rancilio in Sterling Heights, and we are happy to present just a few of the notable achievements below. Our legal team is proud to have served the municipalities, business owners, and residents of Macomb County and southeast Michigan throughout the year and look forward to a successful 2020.

Legacy Partner of the Year

In May, O’Reilly Rancilio received a Sterling Edge Award as Legacy Partner of the Year for its long-standing relationship with the City of Sterling Heights and its services to the business leaders and community of Sterling Heights.

The Sterling Edge Awards recognize Sterling Heights businesses that drive the city’s economy and set the highest standard for business in the city. The City of Sterling Heights and the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry sponsor the awards.

The Legacy Partner of the Year award is presented to a business that has at least a decade of experience operating in the city. Further, the award honors those that have committed their business to Sterling Heights and have enjoyed years of success and community support.

Harper Woods appoints Sharon DeWaele City Attorney

Sharon DeWaele was officially appointed Harper Woods City Attorney in January having worked as Assistant City Attorney along side J. Russell LaBarge Jr for many years. Mr. LaBarge served as city attorney for nearly 40 years and currently is Of Counsel at O’Reilly Rancilio.

O’Reilly Rancilio’s municipal attorneys also continue their longstanding service as city, township, and village attorneys for many other nearby communities, including the City of Sterling Heights, the City of Fraser, the City of Utica, the City of Grosse Pointe Shores, the Village of Armada, the Township of Richmond, Warren Consolidated Schools, Utica Community Schools, Richmond Community Schools, and Brighton Area Schools.

Sterling Heights Drug-Free Coalition honors attorney

The Sterling Heights Drug-Free Coalition presented its first Community Partner Award to O’Reilly Rancilio attorney Marc Kaszubski in June. Mr. Kaszubski received the award because of his ongoing contributions to benefit the coalition, which works to educate, collaborate, and advocate to create an environment that is safe from substance abuse. The goal is to empower the youth and adults residing in Sterling Heights to reduce the use of drugs and alcohol.

Associate Elyse Culberson takes on leadership roles

Elyse Culberson was elected to serve as a Director at Large for the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Macomb Region. She was also appointed to the Board of Directors for the Young Lawyers Section of the Macomb County Bar Association.

Ms. Culberson follows in the footsteps of many other O’Reilly Rancilio attorneys who have undertaken leadership roles in the Macomb County Bar Association, including Paul O’Reilly, Chuck Turnbull, and Donald DeNault. Congratulations Elyse!

John Bartley publishes article in Real Property News, published by the Michigan Bar

Under the Michigan Construction Lien Act, a contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or laborer who provided labor or materials causing improvements to real property could record a lien against such property. O’Reilly Rancilio attorney John Bartley’s article, published in August, explained the effects on business owners.

Attorneys gain federal court win on Open Meetings Act

O’Reilly Rancilio attorneys Marc Kaszubski and Nathan Petrusak successfully defended the City of Sterling Heights in a federal court challenge involving the Opening Meetings Act. The case affirms a lower court determination that the mayor’s actions to remove disruptive council meeting attendees complied with constitutional and Open Meetings Act requirements.

Eight attorneys named to peer-selected Super Lawyers list

O’Reilly Rancilio attorneys Marc Kaszubski, Linda McGrail Belau, James Sarconi, Larry Scott, Craig Schoenherr, Jim Thomas, and Chuck Turnbull received the peer-selected Super Lawyers designation. Each year, no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in Michigan are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. There are nearly 50,000 attorneys practicing in the state.

Additionally, attorney Nathan Petrusak was named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star.” Rising Star recipients must be age 40 or younger and have been in practice for 10 years or less. Several of O’Reilly Rancilio’s attorneys were previously awarded the designation of Rising Star.

Linda McGrail Belau Presents at Elder Law Conference

Attorney Linda McGrail Belau presented “Identifying and Managing Complex GA/CA Legal Issues in Probate” at the 2019 Fall Elder Law & Disability Rights Conference in Thompsonville, Michigan.

Russell LaBarge Jr. marks 50th anniversary with the State Bar of Michigan

O’Reilly Rancilio Of Counsel attorney J. Russell LaBarge Jr. celebrated his 50th anniversary with the State Bar of Michigan in September. Mr. LaBarge specializes in estate planning, probate, and municipal law. He is now serving as the Richmond Township Attorney and as a Macomb County Public Administrator.

Attorney Keith Jablonski helps business owner gain substantial win

O’Reilly Rancilio attorney Keith Jablonski, who focuses his practice on commercial litigation, recently assisted a business owner with a dispute in Wayne County Circuit Court that resulted in a substantial judgment for his client. Mr. Jablonski is a tough trial lawyer who has won multiple cases involving contract matters, real estate disputes, construction issues, and more.

Criminal Defense Attorney Scott Ruark Adds Certification

O’Reilly Rancilio attorney Scott Ruark completed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/International Association of Chiefs of Police Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Program.

Alyssa Albright Joins O’Reilly Rancilio Legal Team

A 2019 graduate of the MSU School of Law, Alyssa Albright joined the O’Reilly Rancilio legal team as an associate on Nov. 4. She joins the firm’s litigation and municipal practice groups.

Of Counsel Attorney Jim Thomas Named One of America’s Criminal Lawyers, Marks Two Big Wins

In addition to the Firm’s successes in 2019, Jim Thomas also had a successful year. After four years of litigation, including a prosecutor’s appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, a Wayne County judge dismissed felony misconduct and willful neglect of duty charges against Wayne County Corporate Counsel Steven Collins in the much-publicized Wayne County Jail case.

In another one of Thomas’s highly-publicized cases, lawyer Nijad Mehanna was acquitted of felony charges of resisting and obstructing a Roseville Police Officer after an altercation in Roseville’s 39th District Court. Jim Thomas was also named one of America’s top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys again this year. Selection is by invitation only and is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional White-Collar and General Criminal Defense Attorneys. Less than one-half percent of active attorneys in the United States receive this honor.

The attorneys and staff at O’Reilly Rancilio look forward to a prosperous 2020. Visit our website today if we can help you, your municipality, or your business with legal advice or representation.