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

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 twelve 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 200 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 28 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance.

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.

Representative 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.

· 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.

Speaking Engagements

Professional Negligence by Trainers in the Equine Industry, 29th Annual National Conference on Equine Law, May 1, 2014

Liability and Risk Management, Emmett J. Vaughan Western Regional Agribusiness Conference, March 18, 2014

Hanging Out Your Own Shingle, Oakland County Bar Association, February 27, 2014

State Bar of Michigan Diversity in Law Conference, Wayne State Law School, May 11, 2013

National Conference on Equine Law, University of Kentucky College of Law CLE Department, May 1, 2013

Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Annual Meeting, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, April 12, 2013


Mistakes Equine Professionals Make and How to Avoid Them, Riding Instructor Magazine, Spring 2014

Equine Insurance Policies: Read Them Carefully, Desert Mirage Magazine, February 2014

Michigan's Equine Activity Liability Act: Are We Galloping in the Right Direction?, Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update, January 16, 2014

Attractive Nuisances, American Quarter Horse Journal, January 2014

A Motion for Directed Verdict, Michigan Bar Journal, July 2013

Attention Livestock Dealers: Understand the New Dealer Law, Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update, June 2013

Memberships & Affiliations

Legal Affiliations:

· State Bar of Michigan
- 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

· Oakland County Bar Foundation, (Fellow)

· Michigan State Bar Foundation, (Fellow)

· American Bar Foundation, (Fellow)

· American Agricultural Law Association

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

Honors & Recognitions

Legal Ratings:

AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

Best Lawyers® in America, 2013, 2014 (Commercial Litigation and Insurance Law)

Michigan Super Lawyers 2008 - 2013 (Civil Litigation Defense)

Michigan Super Lawyers Top 25 Women in Business Law, 2013 Top 50 Women Lawyers in Michigan, 2013

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


"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


Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

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Michigan’s Equine Activity Liability Act: Are We Galloping in the Right Direction?
Julie I. Fershtman, January 21, 2014
Horses, by their nature, present risks because they are large, powerful, unpredictable animals that act on instinct. Indeed, a horse with no dangerous or aggressive history nevertheless has the potential to hurt anyone who is riding, driving, handling, or near it. Injuries bring the possibility of...

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Office Information

Julie I. Fershtman

32300 Northwestern Highway, Suite 230
Farmington HillsMI 48334


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