Lawyer and Legal Consultant Representing Businesses
of all Sizes, Insurers, and Individuals on a Variety of Cases and Claims - Locally and Nationally
Foster Swift Collins & Smith, P.C.
Julie Fershtman is an Equity Shareholder with the
full-service law firm Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. Her practice is primarily focused on business litigation (plaintiff
and defense), general insurance defense, insurance coverage, premises liability, sales disputes, sporting and recreational
liability, contract disputes, fraud litigation, and equine law.
She has 30 years of experience serving businesses, insurers, and individuals.
Examples of legal matters handled:
- Won a nine-day trial
of an equine sale dispute.
- Won a five-day jury trial, representing the defense, in a case involving serious personal
- Representing premises owners, won cases through the trial court and appellate court levels.
insurance coverage lawsuits in four states, including a jury trial.
- In Federal Court case, won dismissal of all
claims for lack of personal jurisdiction.
- Representing horse sellers, drafted documentation involving the sale
of a $1.2 million breeding stallion/former champion.
- Representing horse buyers, drafted documentation involving
the purchase of $500,000 elite show hunter.
- Representing sellers of a $400,000 champion show horse, defended
a lawsuit involving claims of breach of warranty and fraud, effectively persuading the plaintiff/buyer to drop the case.
buyers in a sales fraud/breach of contract/Uniform Commercial Code case, won the case at trial, which resulted in a judgment
against the sellers that included reimbursement to the buyers for their losses and reimbursement of the buyers' legal fees.
insurers in drafting insurance policy clauses.
- Won summary judgment for the defense on two different lawsuits involving
people injured at sporting facilities.
- In 2014, alone, won summary judgment for the defense of three different personal
injury lawsuits in three different counties.
National Litigation Work
She has successfully tried cases before juries in 4 states. In addition, she has been approved by state
and Federal courts in Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, Illinois (3 cases), Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio (3
cases), Pennsylvania, and Connecticut (2 cases) to actively handle particular cases as pro hac vice (specially admitted
out-of-state) counsel, following specific ethical and regulatory guidelines in each state. Please note that hiring
her in states other than Michigan will typically require you to retain local counsel to work in some capacity with her.
Publications and Speaking
speaker and writer, she has authored 2 books and contributed to 4 books published by the ABA. She has written more
than 400 published articles, including 5 law journal articles for the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section
Law Journal. She was a contributing writer to an ABA book published in late 2014.
Her speaking engagements span 29 states and include the American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Institute for Continuing Legal Education, International Risk Management Institute, Insurance Skills Center, Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB) National Claims Conference, National Business Institute, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies Claims Conference, Insurance Institute of Michigan Claims Conference, and several others.
Leadership - Local, State and National
She is a past president of the 44,000-member State Bar of Michigan and only the fifth woman in its 80-year history to be elected President. For
more information and to follow her travels during her 2011-2012 term, please visit her presidential blog. In the ABA, she was a Vice-Chair of a committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Section and a past member of the
House of Delegates. At the local bar level, she is a former director and officer of the Oakland County Bar Association.
She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013- 2017 for Business Litigation and Insurance Law. Michigan
Lawyers Weekly named her a "2010 Leader in the Law." Michigan Super Lawyers® listed her from 2008-2016 and named her one of the "Top 25 Women Business
Lawyers" in Michigan for 2013 -2016 and one of the "Top 50 Women Lawyers" in Michigan for 2013-2016.
She received the State Bar of Michigan's prestigious Michael Franck Award in 2014. She was selected by peers as a 2015
"Leading Lawyer." Crain's Detroit Business named her one of 15 "Women to Watch" in 2010 for innovation and leadership. Crain's also named her
one of the area's "Most Influential Women" in 2007 and in its "40 Under 40." DBusiness Magazine
named her a "Top Lawyer" for 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, and 2017. She also received the Oakland County Bar Association’s prestigious “Professionalism Award.” She is a Fellow of the American, Michigan,
and Oakland County Bar Foundations and a Trustee of the Michigan State Bar Foundation. Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory rates her "AV," which is the highest possible rating. Rated 10.0/10 "Superb" [highest possible
rating] by AVVO. She is a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society whose membership is limited to less than 1/2 of 1% of North American lawyers.
Graduate of Emory College (1983) and Emory Law School (1986).
Clients expect and deserve
results. While no lawyer can guarantee results, we consistently strive to achieve them through the highest standards of advocacy,
professionalism, communication, preparation, and ethics. Numerous clients, including some of the world's largest
insurers, seek Ms. Fershtman's guidance and entrust their legal matters to her year after year.
September 15, 2016, Julie was selected as the 2016 Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Woman of the Year." (See
photo above with the award.)
Julie I. Fershtman, Esq.
Collins & Smith, PC
One Northwestern Plaza
28411 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 500
Southfield, MI 48034
Direct Office Line: (248) 785-4731 / Main
Office Line: (248) 539-9900
Areas of practice include:
• Business Litigation
• Insurance Defense
• Insurance Coverage
• Premises Liability
• Agribusiness Liability
• Recreational Liability
• Contract Disputes
• Contract Drafting
• Construction Law
• Sales Disputes
• Property Disputes
• Fraud Litigation
• Fiduciary Duty Cases
Intentional Tort Cases
Arbitrations, Facilitations, Appeals
- Results delivered.Representing
buyers, Julie won a trial on a sales fraud/Breach of Warranty/Consumer Protection Act/breach of contract case. The Court ordered
the sellers to reimburse their monetary losses and awarded them 100% of their legal fees, all paid by the seller.
She has won heavily contested commercial and personal injury cases at trial and appellate court levels.
- Consistent Results. In one year, she won jury trials in 3 states
(Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan), 2 appeals, and a major Federal insurance coverage case in Illinois.
- More results. In 2014, within weeks, Julie secured summary judgment defense rulings
for her clients in three Michigan counties. In 2013, her client won a significant victory in an Illinois Federal Court, helping
set national precedent on an important insurance coverage issue.
in Who's Who in American Law for over 25 years.
- Named a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a distinction given to less than 1/3 of 1% of all lawyers.
- One of less than 20 lawyers in the country to be named a Fellow of the American College of Equine Attorneys.
- Listed for many years in Best's Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys.
- 2013 Speaking Engagements
(Partial List): Agribusiness Conference (Sacramento, CA; Des Moines, IA); NBI National Webinar; PLRB/LIRB National Claims Conference (Boston, MA); Washington State Bar Association (Seattle, WA); National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); New York State Bar Association (New York, NY); Virginia Intermont College
Legal and Risk Reduction Seminar (Bristol, VA); Savannah College of Art & Design® Legal
and Risk Reduction Seminar (Savannah, GA); AM Best National Podcast on Insurance Developments.
- 2014 Speaking Engagements. National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY);
Agribusiness Conference (Sacramento, CA), National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (Indianapolis, IN), National ABA Webinar for the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility; National ABA Webinar for ABA
GP-Solo; NALS of Michigan.
- 2015 Speaking Engagements. National Conference on
Equine Law (Lexington, KY); Agribusiness Claims Conference (Bonner City, KS); Agribusiness Conference (Sacramento, CA; Richmond,
VA; Indianapolis, IN; Des Moines, IA); Kansas Association of Insurance Agents (Kansas City, KS); Insurance Institute of Michigan
(Lansing, MI); State Bar of Michigan Animal Law Section (Novi, MI): State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section (Detroit,
MI), The University of Findlay (Findlay, OH), and a national webinar.
Speaking Engagements. National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); Agribusiness Conferences - "AgriCon"
(Sacramanto, CA; Tampa, FL); Bar Leadership Conference (Mackinac Island, MI); Insurance Institute of Michigan (Lansing, MI);
Kansas Association of Insurance Agents (Kansas City, KS); ABA-TIPS Animal Law Committee/ Equine Law subcommittee; Michigan
Defense Trial Counsel Winter Meeting (Novi, MI).
State(s) Does Your Legal Matter Involve?
Ms. Fershtman cannot
work alone on legal matters in every state.
Although she has handled cases across the country, ethical restrictions and
regulations prevent her from working alone on matters outside of her state of licensure. She is licensed in Michigan. Hiring
her on your out-of-state matter will usually require you to hire a local lawyer to work in some capacity with her.