Julie I. Fershtman: Lawyer with Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.

Julie I. Fershtman

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Julie I. Fershtman is a shareholder with Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC
Farmington Hills,  MI  U.S.A.

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Practice Areas

  • Insurance Defense
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Equine Law
  • General Litigation
  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Agri-Business
University Emory College, B.A., 1983
Law SchoolEmory Law School, J.D., 1986
Admitted1986, Michigan; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Memberships & Affiliations

Legal Affiliations:

•State Bar of Michigan
•21st Century Practice Task Force, Co-Chair, 2015
•President, 2011-2012
•Board of Commissioners, 1994-1997, 1999-2002, 2003-2012
•American Bar Association
•House of Delegates, 2010-2012
•Vice-Chair, TIPS Animal Law Committee, 2005-present
•Oakland County Bar Association
•Board of Directors, 2001-2008
•Secretary, 2007-2008
•Professionalism Committee 1995-2002, Chair, 1998-1999
•Inns of Court Committee, Secretary/Barrister, 1995-1999
•Oakland County Bar Leadership Conference, 1995, 2002
•Oakland County Circuit Court Bench-Bar Conference, Co-chair, 2003
•Board of Trustees, Michigan State Bar Foundation, 2003-present
•Secretary/ Treasurer & fellow, American College of Equine Attorneys
•fellow, Oakland County Bar Foundation
•fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation
•Life fellow, American Bar Foundation
•American Agricultural Law Association
•Board of Directors, Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society

Community Activities:

•Commissioner, Franklin Village Planning Commission, 1993-1995
•Chair, Franklin Municipal/Police Facility Development Committee, 1995-1996
•Appointee, Franklin Village Charter Committee, 1993-1994
•Secretary, Franklin Community Association, 1991-1992
•Director, Franklin Community Association, 1989-1991


Julie Fershtman concentrates her law practice in the areas of general insurance defense, insurance coverage, business litigation, premises liability, and sporting and recreational liability. Her clients range from major insurance companies and businesses to individuals. In addition, she is considered to be one of the nation's leading practitioners in equine law.

She has achieved numerous courtroom victories in a variety of legal matters, has successfully tried cases before juries in four states, and has been admitted to practice as pro hac vice counsel in state and federal courts in thirteen jurisdictions.

Julie is a Past President of the 43,000-member State Bar of Michigan. In the American Bar Association she is a Vice-Chair of a committee of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section. Additionally, she is a Trustee of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and a fellow of the American, Michigan, and Oakland County Bar Foundations.

A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 250 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 28 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance.


Attorney Julie Fershtman awarded the State Bar of Michigan's Michael Franck Award, September 19, 2014
2014 Michigan Super Lawyers and Michigan Rising Stars, September 5, 2014
45 Foster Swift attorneys named to 2015 Best Lawyers in America roster, August 19, 2014
Fershtman to discuss insurance law issues on A.M. Best National Podcast Nov. 4, October 17, 2013
Thirty-one Foster Swift Attorneys included in Super Lawyers for 2013, September 6, 2013
Forty-five Foster Swift Attorneys included in Best Lawyers, August 15, 2013
Foster Swift attorneys selected as Michigan Super Lawyers and Michigan Rising Stars, September 6, 2012

Speaking Engagements

Equine Liability Waivers and Releases & Equine Activity Liability Acts, Agri-Con, June 4, 2015
The Practice Benefits of Networking and Leadership, State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyer Section Summit, May 30, 2015
Equine Activity Liability Acts & Liability Waivers/Releases, Emmett J. Vaughan Agribusiness Conference, April 7, 2015
Loose Livestock Claims and Open Range Laws & Livestock/Animal Insurance and Coverage Disputes, Agricultural Claims Conference, February 18, 2015
Common Contracts for the Horse Industry, American Bar Association, December 9, 2014
What Equine Professionals Should Know About Avoiding Equine Insurance Disputes, EquineProfessional.com, December 9, 2014


Liability Insurance for Small Equine Businesses, Equine Chronicle, April 3, 2015
Julie Fershtman on Mentoring, The Mentor, January 27, 2015
Liability Releases for Agritourism Activities - Myths and Realities, Foster Swift Agricultural Law News, January 27, 2015
Trainer/Client Relationships & The Law, Arab Horse Couture Magazine, December 2014/January 2015
Trainer/Client Relationships and the Law, Riding Instructor Magazine
Mistakes Equine Professionals Make and How to Avoid Them, Riding Instructor Magazine, Spring 2014

Honors & Recognitions

Legal Ratings:

AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

Best Lawyers in America 2013-2015(Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law)

Leading Lawyers 2015

Michigan Super Lawyers 2008 - 2014 (Civil Litigation Defense)

Michigan Super Lawyers Top 25 Women in Business Law, 2013-2014

Michigan Super Lawyers Top 50 Women Lawyers in Michigan, 2013-2014

10.0/10 - Superb (highest rating) by lawyer rating service avvo.com

Top Lawyer, DBusiness Magazine 2009, 2010, 2015


Michael Franck Award - State Bar of Michigan, 2014

Respect for Law Award, Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club, 2012

Top 15 Women to Watch, Crain's Detroit Business, 2010

Michigan Top Lawyer, Dbusiness, 2010

Leader in the Law, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2010

Michigan Top Lawyer, Dbusiness, 2009

Metro Detroit's Most Influential Women, Crain's Detroit Business, 2007

Professionalism Award Oakland County Bar Association, 2000

40 Outstanding Business Leaders Under 40, Crain's Detroit Business, 1996

21 Young Lawyers Leading Us into the 21st Century, Barrister Magazine, 1995

Industry Honors:

Distinguished Service Award, American Youth Horse Council, 2013

Equine Industry Award, Michigan Equine Partnership, 2013

Partner in Safety Award, American Riding Instructors Association, 2007

Catalyst Award, Michigan Horse Council, 2002

Outstanding Achievement Award, American Riding Instructors Association, 1998

Associate Service Award, United Professional Horseman's Association, 1998

National Partnership in Safety Award, Certified Horsemanship Association, 1997

Recent Blog Posts

Equine Law Blog

• Michigan's Equine Activity Liability Act Amended to Remove “Negligence” Exception for Professionals and Sponsors
• Nevada Becomes the 47th State With an Equine Activity Liability Law
• Dangerous Land and the Equine Activity Liability Acts
• California Appellate Court Dismisses Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Farrier Dies While Shoeing Horse
• Liability Release Dismisses Wrongful Death Lawsuit Involving California Teenager
• Is a Loose Girth or Cinch “Faulty Tack” Under an Equine Activity Liability Act?
• Can You Release Away An Equine Activity Liability Act Claim?
• What You Didn't Know About Equine Insurance
• Equine Gift? Equine Lease? Stop the Guesswork
• Michigan Stable's Release Within Its Boarding Contract Helps Secure Dismissal of Lawsuit

Books and Web Sites Authored

•Julie's personal website: http://www.fershtmanlaw.com
•Julie's State Bar President blog: http://www.sbmpres2012.com
•Co-author, co-editor, Litigating Animal Law Disputes: A Complete Guide for Lawyers, ABA Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60442-001-02. 2009.
•Author, Equine Law & Horse Sense, ISBN 0-964-8430-0-5. 1996
•Author, MORE Equine Law & Horse Sense, ISBN 0-9648430-1-3. 2000.
•Contributor, The Road to Independence, ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, ABA Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61632-084-3. 2011.
•Contributor, Marketing Success Stories, ABA Law Practice Management Section. ABA Publishing. ISBN 1-57073-399-6. 1997.
•Contributor, Marketing Success Stories, Second Edition. ABA Law Practice Management Section. ABA Publishing. ISBN 1-59031-251-1. 2004.

Reported CasesRepresentative Matters: Representing plaintiff in sales fraud/Uniform Commercial Code/Deceptive Trade Practice trial. Won on all counts and won 100% attorney fee award for clients; Secured summary judgment for property insurer as to coverage and bad faith claims in an Illinois federal court; Won directed verdict for insured defendant at jury trial in defense of personal injury case in Michigan; Won directed verdict for insurer at jury trial in defense of first-party insurance coverage case in Ohio; Won a unanimous defense (no cause) verdict in equine liability case in Illinois after 4-day jury trial; Drafted documentation for sale of a $1.2 million stallion and purchase of a $500, 000 show horse; Secured summary judgment for insurer in defense of complex first-party insurance coverage case in Chicago, Illinois; Secured summary judgments for equine business operators in personal injury cases; Won appeals of both rulings in the Michigan Court of Appeals; Won defense ruling at bench trial for premises owner/night club defending premises liability/intentioned tort case.

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

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Children, Horses, and Liability: The Law Might Surprise You
Julie I. Fershtman, March 20, 2015
Misunderstandings and myths abound when it comes to liabilities involving children. Make sure to separate fact from fiction.

Equine Gift? Equine Lease? Stop the Guesswork
Julie I. Fershtman, March 20, 2015
For years, we’ve received calls like these:

How Not to Respond to an Equine-Related Lawsuit
Julie I. Fershtman, March 20, 2015
You just received papers of a lawsuit that was filed against you. The party suing you demands substantial compensation. What do you do next? Knowing the right answer can be tremendously important-it can also save you a substantial amount of money. Taking the wrong action, in the worst case...

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Office Information

Julie I. Fershtman

32300 Northwestern Highway, Suite 230
Farmington HillsMI 48334


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