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, products liability, sales disputes, sporting
and recreational liability, contract disputes, fraud litigation, and equine law.
She has more than 34 years of experience actively and honorably serving businesses, insurers, and individuals.
Examples of legal matters handled:
a product liability/negligence/UCC case for a client, resulting in dismissal of all claims. Won appeal of case.
a nine-day bench trial of an equine sale dispute and secured dismissal of defamation claims against client.
- Won a
bench trial of a land use/quiet title dispute.
- Won 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.
- Representing premises owners, won cases through the trial
court and appellate court levels.
- Won insurance coverage lawsuits in four states, including a jury trial.
a client in a Federal Court case, won dismissal of all claims for lack of personal jurisdiction.
horse sellers, drafted documentation involving the sale of a $1.2 million breeding stallion/former champion.
horse buyers, drafted documentation involving the purchase of a $500,000 elite show hunter.
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.
- Representing 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.
- Assisted insurers in drafting insurance policy clauses.
summary judgment for the defense on lawsuits involving people injured at sporting facilities.
- In one year, alone,
won summary judgment for the defense of three different personal injury lawsuits in three different counties.
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 (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.
Publications and Speaking
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, which has won
three national book awards. In addition, she has written more than 400 published articles, including 7 law
journal articles for the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section Law Journal.
With extensive national speaking experience, 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 numerous 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- 2021 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: In October 2020, Julie won a complex product
liability appeal for her client in the Michigan Court of Appeals involving issues of expert witness qualification. In addition,
her newest book, published by the American Bar Association in 2019, has already received three national awards. This book is now available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Julie I. Fershtman, Esq.
Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC
Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 500
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
• Class Action Defense
• Trials, Arbitrations, Facilitations, Appeals
- Results delivered. In 2020, Julie won a product liability
case for her client in the Michigan Court of Appeals involving complex issues of expert witness qualification; she also won
the case at the trial court level. In a case from a few years ago, Julie represented buyers,
and won a trial on their behalf involving issues of sales fraud/Breach of Warranty/Consumer Protection Act/breach of contract;
in that case, the Court ordered the sellers, who lost the case, to reimburse Julie's clients' monetary losses and awarded
them 100% of their legal fees. 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.
- Listed in Who's Who in American Law for over 29 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; Legal Talk Network; Cornell Cooperative Extension, Equitana USA.
- 2021 Speaking Engagements. National Conference on Equine Law (Virtual Conference);
Equitana USA; American Youth Horse Council (Virtual Conference).
** What State(s) Does Your Legal Matter Involve? We Need to
Ms. Fershtman has practiced in several jurisdictions around the country, but she cannot
work all 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.
Whether you hire her as consulting counsel or co-counsel, if your matter is out of state, you will very likely need a local
lawyer to work in some capacity with her.