Julie I. Fershtman, Attorney at Law


Lawyer Representing Businesses, Individuals, and Insurers on a Variety of Cases, Claims, and Matters - Locally and Nationally**
Shareholder, 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

Our Valued Clients

She has more than 32 years of experience actively and honorably serving businesses, insurers, and individuals.

Representative Matters

Examples of legal matters handled:

  • Won a nine-day trial of an equine sale dispute.
  • Won a 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.
  • 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 $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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (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 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. This year, she is drafting a new book for the American Bar Association.

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 its 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 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- 2019 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 aboveMichigan Lawyers Weekly named her a 2010 "Leader in the Law."

Michigan Super Lawyers® listed her from 2008-2018 and named her one of the "Top 25 Women Business Lawyers" in Michigan for 2013 -2018 and one of the "Top 50 Women Lawyers" in Michigan for 2013-2018.  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 prestigious 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, 2015-2018. 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 AVVOShe 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. 

Educational Background
Graduate of Emory College (1983) and Emory Law School (1986). 
Our Assurance to You

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, which include some of the world's largest insurers as well as large and small businesses in other industries, seek Ms. Fershtman's guidance and entrust their legal matters to her year after year.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Julie is already booked for speaking engagements in six states this year -- California, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Michigan, and Iowa.  

Julie I. Fershtman, Esq.

Foster Swift 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
• Personal Injury
• Agribusiness Liability
• Sporting Liability
• Recreational Liability
• Contract Disputes
• Contract Drafting
• Construction Law
• Sales Disputes
• Property Disputes 
• Uniform Comm. Code
• Fraud Litigation 
• Fiduciary Duty Cases
• Intentional Tort Cases
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.
  • Listed in Who's Who in American Law for over 27 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, Iowa); NBI National Webinar; PLRB/LIRB National Claims Conference (Boston, Massachusetts); Washington State Bar Association (Seattle, Washington); National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, Kentucky); New York State Bar Association (New York City); Virginia Intermont College Legal and Risk Reduction Seminar (Bristol, Virginia); Savannah College of Art & Design® Legal and Risk Reduction Seminar (Savannah, Georgia); AM Best National Podcast on Insurance Developments.
  • 2015 Speaking Engagements.  National Conference on Equine Law (Lexington, Kentucky); Agribusiness Claims Conference (Bonner City, Kansas); Agribusiness Conference (Sacramento, California; Richmond, Virginia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Des Moines, Iowa); Kansas Association of Insurance Agents (Kansas City, Kansas); Insurance Institute of Michigan (Lansing, Michigan); State Bar of Michigan Animal Law Section (Novi, Michigan): State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section (Detroit, Michigan), The University of Findlay (Findlay, Ohio), and a national webinar.
  • 2016 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, Michigan); Kansas Association of Insurance Agents Agribusiness Conference (Kansas City, Kansas); ABA-TIPS Animal Law Committee/ Equine Law subcommittee; Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Winter Meeting (Novi, Michigan).
  • 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 - 5 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).


** What State(s) Does Your Legal Matter Involve?

Ms. Fershtman has a national law practice, but she cannot work alone in all states. 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.

Respected National Lawyer, Lecturer, Litigator, Legal Consultant, and Author

10.0Julie I. Fershtman \ View Julie Fershtman's profile on LinkedIn
Julie I. Fershtman
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...