Tireless Lawyer Representing Businesses, Individuals,
and Insurers on a Variety of Cases, Claims, and Matters - Locally and Nationally** -
Shareholder, Foster Swift
Collins & Smith, PC
Julie Fershtman is an Equity Shareholder with the
full-service law firm Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C, where she also serves on its Executive Committee and is Managing Shareholder of the firm's Southeast Michigan offices.
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 nearly 34 years of experience actively and honorably serving businesses, insurers, and individuals.
Examples of legal matters handled:
a nine-day bench trial of an equine sale dispute.
- Won a bench trial of a land use/quiet title dispute.
a five-day jury trial, representing the defense, in a case involving serious personal injuries.
- Won dismissal
of a wrongful death case, defending a business, in State Court as well as in subsequent Federal court proceedings.
premises owners, won cases through the trial court and appellate court levels.
- Won insurance coverage lawsuits in
four states, including a jury trial.
- Defending a client in a 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 a $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 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 **
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 (2 cases), 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.
A frequent speaker and writer, she has authored 3 books,
co-authored one book, and contributed to 4 books published by the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA published her
newest book in 2019. In addition, she has written more than 400 published articles, including 6 law journal
articles for the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section Law Journal.
Her speaking engagements span 29 states and include the American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Institute for Continuing Legal Education, International Risk Management Institute, 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 45,000-member State Bar of Michigan and only the fifth woman in its history to be elected ito this position.
For more information and to follow her travels during her 2011-2012 presidential 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. She is currently
a member of the ABA House of Delegates as an appointed State Bar of Michigan Delegate. At the local bar level, she is
a former director and officer of the Oakland County Bar Association.
She was named "2016 Woman of the Year"
for the State of Michigan by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. In addition, she is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013- 2020 for Business Litigation and Insurance Law.
In 2018, the State Bar of Michigan awarded her its highest honor, the Roberts P. Hudson Award (see photo above). Michigan
Lawyers Weekly named her a 2010 "Leader in the Law."
Michigan Super Lawyers® listed her from 2008-2020 and named her one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Michigan"
for 2019 and 2020 and one of the "Top 50 Women Lawyers" in Michigan for 2013-2020. The Women Lawyers
Association of Michigan honored her with its 2018 Jean L. King Leadership Award, and she received the State Bar of Michigan's
Michael Franck Award in 2014. Crain's Detroit Business named her a "Notable Women Lawyer in Michigan" for 2017 and previously 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, 2015-2021. 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" (5.0/5) which is its highest rating. She is rated 10.0/10 "Superb" [highest 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. The Crain's Detroit Business feature article on Julie, published in June 2019, can be found here: link.
Graduate of Emory College and Emory Law School.
Our Assurance to You
Clients expect and deserve results.
While no lawyer can guarantee results, we consistently work hard to achieve them through the highest standards of advocacy,
professionalism, communication, preparation, and ethics. Numerous clients, which range from some of the world's
largest insurers to small businesses and individuals in a variety of industries, seek Ms. Fershtman's guidance and entrust
their legal matters to her year after year.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Julie's newest book, published by the American Bar Association in 2019, received two
national awards. The book is now available for purchase on Amazon.com!
Julie I. Fershtman, Esq.
Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC
28411 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 500
Southfield, MI 48034
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
• Class Action Defense
• Trials, 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.
- 2018 Results. Julie worked hard for her clients in 2018, and the results bear this
out. Julie secured summary judgment dismissals of wrongful death cases brought against her clients in State Court
and Federal Court. She secured a dismissal of a lawsuit in which the plaintiff sustained severe injuries in an
accident and blamed her client. In addition, she secured dismissal of a personal injury lawsuit in which the
plaintiff demanded nearly $1 million against her client.
in Who's Who in American Law for over 28 years.
- Named a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a distinction given to less than 1/3 of 1% of all lawyers.
- Listed for many years in Best's Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys.
- 2017 Speaking Engagements - 6 States. International Risk Management Institute Agribusiness Conferences - "Agri-Con" (Sacramento, California;
Des Moines, Iowa; Indianapolis, Indiana); National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, KY); Women Lawyers Association of
Michigan (Lansing, Michigan); State Bar of Michigan Solo & Small Firm Practice Section (Michigan).
- 2018 Speaking Engagements. ABA Annual Meeting (Chicago, Illinois); Institute for
Continuing Legal Education (Michigan), American Horse Council National Webinar, and national webinar for industry professionals.
- 2019 Speaking Engagements - 6 states. National Conference on
Equine Law - 2 presentations (Lexington, Kentucky); Agricultural Claims Conference - 2 presentations (Kansas City, Missouri);
"AgriCon"/Agribusiness Conference - 3 presentations (Sacramento, California; Richmond, Virginia; and DesMoines,
Iowa); State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section "Summit" (Michigan); Oakland County Bar Assoc./Women Lawyers
Assoc. of Mich. Conference on Diversity; United States Hunter/Jumper Association Annual Convention (Denver, Colorado); Midwest
Dressage Association Annual Meeting (Michigan); national webinar for industry professionals.
- 2020 Speaking Engagements. University of Kentucky Journal of Natural Resources and Equine
Law Symposium (Lexington, Kentucky); National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, Kentucky) - Postponed due to COVID-19;
"AgriCon" / Agribusiness Conference - 3 states (Sacramento, California; Richmond, Virginia - cancelled; and Des
Moines, Iowa - online only); Legal Talk Network; Cornell Cooperative Extension, EQUITANA USA.
** What State(s) Does Your Legal Matter Involve?
Ms. Fershtman has practiced in several jurisdictions around the country, but she cannot
work alone in every state.
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 an out-of-state matter will typically
require you to hire a local lawyer to work in some capacity with her.