Lawyer Representing Businesses, Insurers, and
Individuals on a Variety of Cases and Claims - Locally and Nationally**
Shareholder, Foster Swift Collins &
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 31 years of experience serving businesses, insurers, and individuals.
Examples of legal matters handled:
- Won a nine-day trial of an equine sale dispute.
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.
- Representing premises owners, won cases through the trial court and appellate court levels.
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.
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.
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. (See photo and award above.) In addition, she is
listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013- 2018 for Business Litigation and Insurance Law. Michigan
Lawyers Weekly named her a 2010 "Leader in the Law." Michigan Super Lawyers® listed her from 2008-2017 and named her one of the "Top 25 Women Business
Lawyers" in Michigan for 2013 -2017 and one of the "Top 50 Women Lawyers" in Michigan for 2013-2017.
She received the State Bar of Michigan's prestigious Michael Franck Award in 2014. She was selected by peers as a 2015-2017 Michigan
Leading Lawyer in the areas of Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law, and Personal Injury Defense. 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 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.
The December 11, 2017, issue of Crain's Detroit Business named Julie a "Notable Woman Lawyer"
in Michigan for 2017.
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.
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 Agribusiness Conference (Kansas City, KS); ABA-TIPS Animal Law Committee/ Equine
Law subcommittee; Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Winter Meeting (Novi, MI).
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, MI); State Bar of Michigan Solo & Small Firm Practice Section (Auburn Hills,
- 2018 Speaking Engagements. ABA Annual Meeting (Chicago,
** What 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 an out-of-state matter
will usually require you to hire a local lawyer to work in some capacity with her.