Butzel Long grows with addition of attorneys in developing areas of the law

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Thomas Nafso and George Schooff are based in Butzel’s Detroit office; Donald Dennison is based in firm’s Washington, D.C. office

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long is expanding to meet growing client needs with the addition of attorneys Thomas (Tommy) Nafso, Of Counsel; George Schooff, Of Counsel; and, Donald Dennison, Counsel. Nafso and Schooff are based in Butzel’s Detroit office and Dennison is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

“We are pleased to expand further our client-service capabilities at multiple levels of experience and to provide services in newly developing areas of the law,” said Justin G. Klimko, Managing Shareholder and President, Butzel Long. “Tommy, George and Don will continue our client-focused service tradition.”

Thomas (Tommy) Nafso

Nafso is a former prosecutor in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and assistant attorney general with the State of Michigan Department of Attorney General. He has extensive administrative, criminal, civil litigation, and government relations experience.

He has first-chaired more than 100 combined jury and bench trials to verdict and held hundreds of administrative hearings. His diverse experience has evolved into an innovative outside general counsel practice for clients who have varied legal needs.

Upon earning his law degree and MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy, Nafso became a prosecutor in Wayne County. As a prosecutor, he conducted warrant review, preliminary examinations, and felony trials – handling white collar and other complex criminal litigation matters such as homicide, narcotics trafficking, criminal enterprise, embezzlement, and fraud prosecutions.

During his tenure at the State of Michigan Department of Attorney General, Nafso represented several state agencies including the Department of Treasury, Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation (LARA), Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC).

Nafso has significant government relations and legislative affairs experience working with local, state and federal agencies, and assisting clients with complex political, legislative, regulatory, professional licensing, and compliance issues. He has drafted legislation and administrative rules and has extensive experience with the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act. Nafso actively examines mainstream regulatory topics such as virtual and social gaming and daily fantasy sports (DFS).

His regulatory and compliance experience has made Nafso a leading source on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and the Medical Marihuana Facilities Act.

Nafso’s general counsel clients span a broad range of industries, including franchising, fin-tech, entertainment, and auto finance. His regulatory and compliance experience, as well as his comprehensive knowledge in labor and employment law, has allowed him to build a practice around providing legal services to growing businesses that are required on a day-to-day basis.

He is a graduate of Michigan State’s, Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP) - a bipartisan fellowship program that selects a diverse group of 24 individuals from across the state to engage in a public policy and leadership curriculum. Nafso currently serves on the City of Novi Zoning Board of Appeals. Nafso lives in Novi.

George Schooff

Schooff is a registered patent attorney with more than 20 years of experience preparing and prosecuting patent, trademark and copyright applications, and litigating intellectual property disputes. As a licensed patent attorney, he also represents clients before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board, including post-grant proceedings such as inter partes reviews. His experience includes all manners of technology and the full spectrum of intellectual property rights.
Schooff is a graduate of University of Detroit Mercy Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1991), where he was an Executive Editor of the University of Detroit Law Review (1990-91). He also is a graduate of Wayne State University (B.S., Biology, 1988). Schooff lives in Detroit.

Donald Dennison

Dennison’s practice is divided between trademark and patent prosecution. At the same time, he has specialized in litigation before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. He also is retained to testify as an expert in patent matters related to patent prosecution and has testified as an expert witness in 18 patent infringement, trade secret and trademark suits in the Federal and State courts, including New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Florida, Ohio and Illinois.

Notably, Dennison has more than 50 years of IP experience and is admitted to state bar associations in Maryland, DC and Virginia.

Prior to joining Butzel Long, Dennison owned an intellectual property firm for many years.

Dennison earned his B.S.M.E. from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received his J.D. from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dennison lives in Rockville, Md.

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