Kemp Klein


Kemp Klein is Sponsoring the 2024 Annual Oakland County Bar Foundation's Fellows Reception

The Fellows Reception honors those who support the charitable works of the OCBF. Membership in the Fellows program is evidence of professional distinction and constitutes a professional honor. The number of Fellows is limited to less than 10 percent of the total active membership of the State Bar of Michigan who practice in Oakland County. In order to become a Fellow, you must be nominated by a current OCBF Fellow. This is an invitation-only free event for members of the OCBF Fellows program.

Kemp Klein Attorneys who are OCBF Fellows:

Amy Stawski – Life Fellow

Amanda Martin – Fellow

Thomas Trainer – Life Fellow

Stavroula Varlamos – Fellow

Robert Zawideh – Life Fellow

C. Leslie Banas – Life Fellow 

Cynthia Brazzil – Life Fellow

Ralph Castelli – Life Fellow

Earle Endelman – Life Fellow

Brian Jenney – Life Fellow

Brian Rolfe – Philanthropist Fellow

The Event takes place Monday January 22, 2024, at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, MI.

For more information about the Oakland County Bar Foundation:



Helping Your Clients Select a Whole Life Policy 

Published in LISI Financial Products Planning Newsletter #39, December 26, 2023



Kemp Klein Ranked in 2024 Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms"

Troy, MI, United States, November 2, 2023 — Kemp Klein has been recognized in the 2024 edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked by Best Lawyers®, regionally in 14 practice areas.

Firms included in the 2024 Best Law Firms® list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be considered for this milestone achievement, at least one lawyer in the law firm must be recognized in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Achieving a tiered ranking in Best Law Firms® on a national and/or metropolitan scale signals a unique credibility within the industry. The transparent, collaborative research process employs qualitative and quantitative data from peer and client reviews that is supported by proprietary algorithmic technology to produce a tiered system of industry-led rankings of the top 4% of the industry.

Receiving a tier designation represents an elite status, integrity and reputation that law firms earn among other leading firms and lawyers. The 2024 edition of  Best Law Firms® includes rankings in 75 national practice areas and 127 metropolitan-based practice areas. Additionally, one “Law Firm of the Year” was named in each nationally ranked practice area.


About Kemp Klein

Kemp Klein is a full-service law firm dedicated to providing a comprehensive range of legal services, for both individuals and businesses, with the highest professional standards of excellence, integrity and efficiency. Spanning more than 50 years in business, its Midwest based practice has grown to serve clients locally, nationally, and internationally in areas such as estate planning, business/corporate law and litigation, probate and trust law and litigation, family law, bankruptcy and collections, employment, real estate, landlord/tenant, and tax law. For more information, please visit


About Best Law Firms®

Best Law Firms® is the most credible rankings of exceptional law firms, rooted in a rigorous, peer-to-peer, industry-driven evaluation. Achieving a tiered ranking in Best Law Firms signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. Ranked firms, presented in three tiers, are recognized on a national and metro-based scale. The reputation earned over the past 14 years and a future-focused commitment to innovation provides legal professionals with an elevated stature, validation and confidence that comes from being part of, and working with, a Best Law Firms honored practice.


About Best Lawyers®

Best Lawyers® is the oldest and most respected peer-review research and accolades company in the legal profession. Best Lawyers compiles extensive recognitions by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate the work of their fellow legal professionals within their local market and specialty. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore, recognition by Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.


Media Contact

Vito Curcuru
[email protected]
248-528-1111 x630


Kemp Klein Supported Oakland Literacy Council's Annual Ex Libris Event

Kemp Klein recently sponsored Oakland Literacy Council’s Annual Ex Libris Event. This fundraising event benefits adult literacy by funding new tutors, providing curriculum and technology for learners. Kemp Klein believes that literacy is vital, and in alignment with that belief, the Kemp Klein Foundation has supported Oakland Literacy Council for 29 years.

For over 37 years, the Oakland Literacy Council has enabled adult students to achieve individual literacy goals through a partnership with trained volunteer tutors. They serve native-English speaking adults who need basic reading, writing, and math skills, and foreign-born adults who need English reading, writing, or conversation skills.

Learn more about Oakland Literacy Council:

Learn more about The Kemp Klein Foundation:



Brian Jenney Sponsors The 2023 Mighty Gobbler 5k and 1 Mile Run / Walk

On behalf of Kemp Klein, Brian Jenney is supporting The Mighty Gobbler 5k and 1 Mile Run / Walk. We have been a proud supporter of this event for many years.

The Mighty Gobbler 5K and 1 Mile Run / Walk takes place on November 23, starting at 8:30 am for the 1 Mile fun run/walk and 9:00 am for the 5K. The race will begin at Lutheran Church of the Master, 3333 Coolidge Hwy., in Troy. The course winds through neighborhoods and commercial areas, and is a mixture of roads and sidewalks.

The event benefits three local charities Micah 6 Community, Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers and Troy People Concerned. Micah 6 Community serves Pontiac residents through programs that increase their access to fresh food; promote economic development; stabilize neighborhoods; and provide spiritual and emotional support. Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers makes it possible for older and disabled adults to enjoy independence and quality of life through a network of supported, prepared and fulfilled volunteers. Troy People Concerned is a service organization supporting Troy residents in time of need with assistance, information and referrals.

For more information about the event:



Edward Nahhat visits Clawson Middle School's Plan for Success Class

Kemp Klein Attorney Edward Nahhat recently visited Clawson Middle School’s Plan for Success Class and shared the story of how he is able to find a way to keep his passions as part of his life. He shared his dream of bringing outdoor theatre to his community, and twenty-some years later, Shakespeare Royal Oak is still going strong at Starr Park each summer.

Everyone from the class wrote him this kind letter.

We are proud of the commitment our team has to community involvement.

Learn more about Mr. Nahhat:



Ed Nahhat Involved with Shakespeare Royal Oak's A Labor of LOVE!

Kemp Klein Attorney Edward Nahhat founded Shakespeare Royal Oak in 2001. Shakespeare Royal Oak was originally founded to fill an educational niche by offering professional Shakespeare performance training to K through 8th-grade students. In 2010 they began offering high school students the chance to create their own Shakespeare-based show. Throughout the years, Shakespeare Royal Oak has entertained thousands, and employed hundreds of local artists, many of whom have gone on to succeed in theater, television and film. Edward Nahhat has maintained a leadership role with this community-based organization for the past 23 years. We are proud of the work our team does in the community.

Celebrate Shakespeare Royal Oak’s 23 years as Michigan’s premier outdoor Shakespeare festival! Gather with the artists of Love’s Labors Lost while enjoying a cash bar and some tasty food at the beloved Royal Oak Farmers Market!

Shakespeare Royal Oak’s “A Labor of LOVE!” annual fundraiser is taking place on Thursday, June 29th, from 6-9 pm at Royal Oak Farmers Market located at 316 E. 11 Mile Road in Royal Oak.

For tickets and information:



Brian Jenney Sponsors The Community House of Birmingham's 90 & Beyond Celebration Luncheon

On behalf of Kemp Klein, Brian Jenney is supporting the 2023 90 & Beyond Celebration Luncheon by The Community House Birmingham. Mr. Jenney has sponsored this event in the past and remains an active supporter of the Community House Foundation.

The 90 & Beyond Celebration Luncheon celebrates, honors and thanks citizens who have reached 90 years of age and beyond for their personal and professional contributions to the community.

For more information about the event:




The high cost of litigation and number of cases flooding the courts have many judges and attorneys using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to significantly cut costs and improve the efficiency of the court system. Clients whose cases qualify for this process often find it simpler and easier than facing off in the courtroom.

In Brief

  • In general, ADR involves a mediator, arbitrator, or panel of attorneys depending on the type of ADR chosen, who assists the parties in developing their own outcome to their unique disputes.
  • Mediation offers the opportunity for both parties to tell their side of the story in an informal and conversational setting as opposed to an exchange of testimonies in court.
  • Arbitration is submission of a dispute to one or more impartial persons for a final and binding determination.

Ch 1: Resolving Conflict Outside of Court

The high cost of litigation and number of cases flooding the courts have many judges and attorneys using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to significantly cut costs and improve the efficiency of the court system. Clients whose cases qualify for this process often find it simpler and easier than facing off in the courtroom.

What are the benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution is an appealing option because it can be applied to virtually any type of civil case. In general, ADR involves a mediator, arbitrator, or panel of attorneys depending on the type of ADR chosen, who assists the parties in developing their own outcome to their unique disputes. Once in the courtroom, parties surrender control over the outcome to the judge who ultimately decides the case.

Reasons to settle disputes outside of court

Aside from the obvious reduction in cost, there are three main reasons ADR is more appealing than the formal litigation process. First, all types of ADR give the parties greater control over the procedure and outcome of their dispute than they would have in a courtroom. Next, in any type of ADR, parties have the freedom to add issues to their dispute when they arise as opposed to the courtroom where parties are tied to the issues stated in their initial pleading. Last, ADR provides the parties with privacy that they would not have if their case were to be heard in court. The courtroom is generally open to the public, meaning anyone can walk into the courtroom and hear every detail of your case. Additionally, any papers that are filed with the court are also open to anyone upon request.

There are several types of ADR. Two of the most commonly used types are mediation and arbitration. I will discuss the details and benefits of each in the following articles with relevant input from Joseph P. Buttiglieri, an attorney with 46 years of experience, 10 of which he has served as a certified mediator. In the meantime, if you are contemplating whether to address a legal issue but don’t want to drag it through the courts, contact us. We can provide information and options to help you move forward.

Ch 2: Mediation, An Informal Alternative 

When a dispute arises, whether it be between family members, business partners, landlords and tenants, etc., some are hesitant to pursue court action for a number of reasons with the leading reason being the significant cost of litigation. The mediation process provides parties with an alternative route for conflict resolution that is more cost and time efficient, generally less confrontational, and gives all parties, through the facilitation of the mediator, more control over the final outcome than they would have in court through litigation.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a confidential process where individuals in conflict have the opportunity to be heard, share their ideas for resolution, negotiate such ideas with one another, and come to an agreement that leads to a mutually acceptable resolution. Mediation offers the opportunity for both parties to tell their side of the story in an informal and conversational setting as opposed to an exchange of testimonies in court. A mediator takes on a different role than a judge who makes decisions on behalf of the parties. A mediator assists the parties in communicating their desired outcome to one another, offers suggestions when needed or requested, identifies issues together with the parties, and works with all sides to resolve the identified issues. Mediation allows the parties to have a great deal of influence and control over the decision-making process that leads to the final outcome of their case. In litigation, control over the decision making process is surrendered to the judge who ultimately decides the case in a manner that may leave all parties dissatisfied.

Common misconceptions regarding mediation

A common assumption is that mediation is only available in divorce or family law cases. However, any type of civil dispute can be resolved by mediation. The freedom the parties have in choosing their mediator supports the wide applicability of mediation to virtually any kind of dispute. The parties are able to jointly choose a mediator who is experienced in the specific area of law that their dispute involves and can therefore provide meaningful advice and suggestions in order to reach an outcome that is specifically tailored to the parties’ unique issues. Additionally, because mediation leaves the bulk of the decision making to the parties, who know their case better than any judge would, mediation becomes an appealing option no matter the type of case, as the parties can collectively design their own outcome. Nearly any type of dispute that parties want resolved quickly and inexpensively can be submitted to mediation.

Many people also believe that if parties decide to mediate their case, litigation ceases to be an option. If mediation isn’t progressing in a way that the parties want, the parties can choose to end mediation and bring some or all of the unresolved issues to court for a judge to decide. With this in mind, mediation can be used to consolidate issues before initiating court proceedings as a way to save litigation costs by only bringing the unresolved issues to court. The litigation route also provides a failsafe of sorts for parties in mediation that cannot communicate effectively, despite the assistance of the mediator, and consequently suffer a breakdown in that communication resulting in an unsuccessful mediation. If such a breakdown occurs, the parties can resolve their dispute through formal litigation.

Benefits of mediation

Cost: A primary benefit of mediation compared to litigation is the difference in cost. The litigation process is complex and burdened by procedure that increases attorney fees and costs significantly as attorneys are required to prepare and file documents with the court such as motions, briefs, petitions, responses, etc., attend various court hearings, and go through a lengthy cost-consuming discovery process. In choosing mediation, parties cut the increased costs that litigation often requires. First, the entire mediation process is usually done in one or two full day sessions, depending on the parties’ needs, as opposed to litigation proceedings that can last for months or even years. This almost always reduces costs in addition to saving time. Second, Parties are able to choose their own mediators so they will know that the mediator’s hourly rate immediately and can better gauge how much mediation will cost from the outset. Third and finally, each party submits a mediation summary that gives the mediator the context of the parties’ respective issues. Filing one mediation summary as opposed to the numerous pleadings that are normally filed in litigation proceedings, is itself an enormous reduction in cost.

Maintaining Relationships: If preserving the relationship amongst the parties is a goal, mediation will most likely provide a better outcome than litigation would. According to Joseph P. Buttiglieri, Mediation is a gentler, less confrontational approach to resolving conflict as opposed to litigation. In any case, mediation provides better prospects for repairing the relationship between parties as they are free to work together to resolve their issues. In any case, mediation provides better prospects for repairing the relationship between parties as they are free to work together to resolve their issues.

Flexibility: Mediation is less constricting with regard to bringing up new issues. In litigation, the parties are bound by the issues set forth in the pleadings and are restricted from arguing any other issues not in the pleadings. In mediation, parties are free to bring any issues and bring-up new issues as mediation unfolds that can then be addressed and resolved in the same mediation session.

If you have questions about the mediation process or alternative dispute resolution in general, contact us. We can discuss the various options available to you concerning the specifics of your dispute and can offer suggestions for the efficient and effective resolution of your case.

Ch 3: Arbitration, A Formal Alternative

Arbitration is submission of a dispute to one or more impartial persons for a final and binding determination. In comparison to mediation and litigation, arbitration sits in the middle as being a more formal process than mediation but still less formal than litigation.

Differences between arbitration and mediation

In most cases the courts can mandate mediation. Arbitration, however, can only be mandated by the court if the parties enter into a contract that mandates arbitration. If no contract exists between the parties, the parties themselves can choose to arbitrate their dispute, but a court cannot mandate it.

The roles of the arbitrator and mediator are very different. An arbitrator has the power to render a binding decision in the case at hand. The arbitrator effectively replaces the judge or jury as the decision-maker. A mediator, however, works cooperatively with the parties and their suggestions as to resolution can be either accepted or rejected by either party.

The roles of the arbitrator and mediator in the discovery process also differ significantly. In mediation, the mediator obtains information by, first, the mediation summary that each party to the dispute submits which briefly outlines their argument and lays out the basic facts of the case. At mediation, the mediator conferences with each party separately to obtain more information. Arbitration on the other hand, is first controlled by the contract between the parties if one exists.  The arbitration provision(s) in the contract can guide the arbitrator as to what types and quantity of discovery is permissible. If the contract is silent or no contract exists, the parties can meet with the arbitrator prior to the initial hearing in a case, and orally agree as to the discovery parameters they would like to follow. There are also governing arbitration rules that exist to serve as a guide to both arbitrators and parties when forming their discovery agreement.

Common misconceptions regarding arbitration

One of the most common misconceptions concerning arbitration is that decisions from a lawsuit through the litigation route are more enforceable than arbitration awards. Although arbitration awards occur outside the courtroom, they are still enforceable in a judicial forum. Federal and state arbitration acts require courts to not only recognize, but enforce arbitration awards, even if entered in different states. Additionally, because Treaties require foreign courts to enforce arbitration awards entered in another country, the arbitration awards can be as effective as a civil judgment when it comes time to enforce such awards.

Another misconception that many have concerning arbitration is the cost of arbitration. As discovery proceedings can sometimes mirror discovery in litigation, some people think that arbitration is much more costly than mediation and on par with the cost of litigation. The cost of arbitration, however, is very similar to the cost of mediation in that both sides pay for their own counsel and they each usually share an equal amount in cost for the arbitrator. Additionally, although discovery can be costly, the freedom to set up the discovery parameters by the parties and arbitrator can cut the cost of discovery making it at times, much less than the discovery cost in litigation.

Benefits of arbitration as an alternative to litigation

Efficiency: In comparison to litigation, the resolution of a dispute can happen much sooner through arbitration. Litigation in some cases may take several years to resolve where in contrast, an arbitration award can be reached within months of the start of the arbitration process. Arbitration is also more cost-efficient than litigation. Aside from the lower discovery costs explained above, arbitrators, like mediators, usually bill by the hour or day at similar rates charged by attorneys. This significantly reduces the costs when compared to the cost of litigating a case or dispute. Additionally, because resolution of a dispute generally happens sooner in arbitration than litigation, the attorney fees are significantly reduced. Even though the courts only charge filing fees, litigation can still be more expensive due to scheduling issues, time and cost involved in the attorneys traveling to the courthouse, and the high amount of pleading filed in any given case. Issues that are raised in arbitration proceedings can be communicated to the arbitrator through a phone conference, email correspondence, or a letter, all of which have no filing fees associated with them.

Privacy: Arbitration proceedings occur in private unlike trials in court which are open to the general public. Any information discovered and used in arbitration proceedings can be kept confidential. Hearings before the arbitrator and the final resolution or award can also be kept private and are just between the parties and the arbitrator. In a trial, the general public is able to access information in the case and attend hearings.

Less Complex: The admittance of evidence is generally simpler in arbitration than the complex process that exists in litigation. The normal rules of evidence used in court proceedings have limited applicability in arbitration proceedings as the arbitrator has broad power to decide what evidence is allowed. Additionally, the lengthy and complex process of discovery in litigation is generally bypassed in arbitration as the parties together with the arbitrator generally decide the process for discovery.

Finality: Because the arbitrator effectively replaces the judge and jury as the decision-maker, it severely limits the parties’ right to appeal the award. In contrast, a court’s decision in a case can be subject to appeals that can add months if not years to the final resolution of your case. The binding decision of the arbitrator gives the parties in dispute finality as to the issues they raised during arbitration as the decision or award is rarely appealable.

If you have questions about the arbitration process or alternative dispute resolution in general, contact us. We can discuss options that will help your case move forward in the most efficient and effective way possible.



Kemp Klein is Moving to Electronic Billing

If we have your email address in our billing system, you will receive your future invoices via email.  If you need additional individuals to also receive a copy of the invoice (ie accts payable) please provide us with those additoinal email addresses.  Some clients may have already received invoices via email.

The invoices are sent from our billing software, LAWSPRO.COM. So be sure to include in your list of safe senders, so the invoice is not redirected to your junk mail by your security settings in error.

If you do not wish to receive your invoices via email, please let us know. We can continue to mail your invoices.

If we don’t have your email address in our billing system and you would like to receive your invoices via email in the future, please let us know your email address.

Please direct any additions, corrections or deletions of your email address in our billing system to Diane Szalkiewicz.

Thank you for your cooperation as we make the transition.

Kemp Klein Law Firm