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Miller Canfield Elects Seven New Principals

February 1, 2010

The law firm of Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that the following people have been elected principals of the firm effective January 1, 2010.

Ann Arbor, Michigan office:

Kimberly K. Kefalas, from associate to principal. Kefalas, a member of Miller Canfield’s Litigation and Trial Group, has extensive litigation experience relating to antitrust law, contracts and commercial torts, voluntary associations, and the sports and entertainment industries. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A., with high distinction, from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. 

Stephen G. Palms, from senior counsel to principal. With over 30 years of commercial real estate experience, Palms has represented owners, developers, lenders, and tenants in all aspects of office, retail, light industrial and residential projects.  He also has considerable experience representing public entities in their real estate projects as well as public/private ventures. He re-joined Miller Canfield in 2006 after a hiatus as executive vice president and general counsel of an Ann Arbor-based real estate company. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, magna cum laude, and an A.B., with honors, from the University of Michigan. 

Detroit, Michigan office:

Carla S. Machnik, from senior attorney to principal. Machnik specializes in cross-border representation of financial institutions in Canada and the United States. In this role, she develops loan structures that protect her clients’ interests in both countries. She received her J.D. from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law, an LL.B. from the University of Windsor School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Windsor.      

Gregory A. Nowak, CPA, from senior counsel to principal. Nowak is one of Michigan’s leading experts on state and local tax issues. He re-joined Miller Canfield in 2009 after spending 16 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers (Detroit). He is currently the chair-elect of the Board of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA). He has advised the Michigan legislature on tax policy issues and has received various awards for his contributions in the area of state and local taxation. He received his J.D. from Wayne State University School of Law and his B.A. in accounting from Michigan State University. 

Lansing, Michigan office:

Michael C. Rampe, from associate to principal. Rampe practices in the areas of telecommunications and public utility law. He represents utilities and telecommunications providers in all manner of regulatory and administrative law matters before state and federal agencies, and in appellate matters. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law and his B.A. with high distinction from the University of Michigan. 

Troy, Michigan office:

Kenneth J. Sachs, from senior attorney to principal. Sachs has extensive experience with employee benefits and executive compensation. He represents entities regarding the design, implementation and administration of their retirement plans (both tax-qualified and non tax-qualified), welfare plans (funded and self-funded) and various other fringe benefits. His expertise includes working with governmental and tax-exempt entities regarding their benefit and compensation matters. He also advises clients as to their ERISA fiduciary responsibilities and handles matters concerning the IRS, Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act.  He received his J.D. from George Washington University Law School and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.  

Chicago, Illinois office:

Cara M. Houck, from senior counsel to principal. A member of the Litigation and Trial Group, Houck focuses her practice on civil and tort litigation. Her experience includes a concentration in business litigation, product liability defense, including toxic torts litigation. She represents clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts, multi-district litigation, before administrative agencies, and in arbitrations in all types of civil litigation.  She received her J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and her B.S. from Northwestern University.