News & Insights

Dykema Elects Nine New Members

January 7, 2020

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced today that its Executive Board elected nine new members to the firm effective January 1, 2020. Dykema’s new partners, their resident office and practice descriptions are listed below.

Gerald L. Aben – Health Care; Ann Arbor

Aben’s practice focuses on representing health care clients, including health systems, long term care and assisted living facilities, ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), and mental health providers on a range of corporate and regulatory matters. In particular, Aben counsels such clients on compliance and reimbursement issues as well as health facility and physician practice acquisitions and other changes of ownership, including related licensure and Medicare/Medicaid certification matters. Immediately following law school, Aben received an appointment to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Presidential Management Fellow, where he primarily focused on budget and policy issues affecting that agency's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response.

He received a J.D., summa cum laude, from the Michigan State University College of Law and a B.M., with honors, from the University of Michigan.

Gregory K. Jones – Bankruptcy; Los Angeles

Jones concentrates his practice on bankruptcy cases and out-of-court restructurings. He represents lenders, creditors’ committees, debtors, assignees for the benefit of creditors, purchasers of assets in bankruptcy cases, lessors, and defendants in preference and fraudulent transfer lawsuits. Jones is involved in the Financial Lawyers Conference, is a member of the James T. King Bankruptcy American Inn of Court, and served as Director of La Cañada Flintridge Education Foundation.

He received both a J.D. and a B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Scott R. Kocienski – Taxation; Bloomfield Hills

Kocienski has experience in corporate, partnership and mergers and acquisitions tax matters, entity structuring, fund formation, tax credit planning, income tax planning, business succession and estate planning. He is also experienced advising clients on multistate tax planning, audits, dispute resolution, appeals, and litigation.

He earned a J.D., cum laude, from the Michigan State University College of Law, an LL.M. from Wayne State University Law School, and a B.S., cum laude, from Western Michigan University.

Virgil Ochoa – Corporate Finance; Dallas

Ochoa, who is a member of Dykema’s Dental Service Organizations (DSO) Industry Group, focuses his practice on mergers, acquisitions, and affiliations with DSOs, MSOs, the formation of corporate finance matters and international trade law. He regularly advises clients on a wide array of corporate matters, including assisting investors in buying, selling, or investing in DSOs, MSOs assisting dentists and other professionals in selling their practices, assisting DSOs in affiliating with dental practices, and creating regulatory corporate business models. Ochoa’s export control practice includes helping companies interpret the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the Federal Trade Regulations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He also represents clients in import-related matters before U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities.

He earned a J.D., with honors, from The University of Texas School of Law, an M.A. from Webster University, and a B.A. from The University of Texas at El Paso.

Travis E. Plummer – Commercial Litigation; Austin

In his practice, Plummer counsels clients on general commercial, construction, insurance, and healthcare litigation. With offices in both Austin and San Antonio, he counsels clients throughout central Texas and has recently advised on matters regarding commercial transactions, construction disputes, healthcare litigation, insurance defense, company structures, intellectual property, Deceptive Trade Practices Act claims, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and commercial leases. In construction matters, Plummer represents a variety of owners, contractors, and architects defending and prosecuting claims of construction defects, breaches of professional responsibility, and non-payment of contracts. Within the insurance industry, he represents insurers in first-party claims for property damage. Within the health care industry, Plummer represents providers and physicians in commercial disputes and administrative hearings. Plummer has represented numerous clients in securing favorable summary judgments and jury verdicts.

He earned a J.D., with honors, and a B.S. in Biology, with a minor in Medical Humanities, from Baylor University.

John F. Rhoades – Business Litigation; Detroit

Rhoades is a trial-experienced commercial litigation attorney licensed to practice in Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. He represents automakers, suppliers, multinational corporations, and small businesses in a variety of commercial matters involving breach of contract, fiduciary duty, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligence, tortious interference and unfair competition. He also regularly represents some of the nation’s largest financial institutions in matters regarding creditors’ rights, mortgage banking, consumer lending, loan enforcement, bankruptcy, fraudulent transfers, and post-judgment proceedings.

Rhoades earned a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, and an A.B., with high distinction, from the University of Michigan.

Jon A. Seppelt – Intellectual Property; Minneapolis

Seppelt’s practice focuses on the preparation and prosecution of foreign and domestic patent applications, intellectual property due diligence, portfolio management, and client counseling. He also has experience in providing opinions regarding patentability, freedom-to-operate, noninfringement, invalidity, and enforceability. Seppelt has experience serving as an in-house seconded patent attorney for a Fortune 500 medical device company, completing a number of internal projects and assisting in day-to-day operations. He also has experience with technology fields, including chemical technologies, high temperature plasma processes, oil and gas processes and equipment, medical devices and imaging equipment, filtration systems, fuel cell systems, consumer electronic devices, and many more.

He earned a J.D. from the William Mitchell College of Law and a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Institute of Technology.

John C. Sokatch – Commercial Litigation; Dallas

Sokatch’s practice focuses specifically on complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal court, appellate courts, and arbitration proceedings. He has served as first and second chair trying multiple cases to a verdict or arbitration award and provided oral argument and briefing to the Fifth Court of Appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Sokatch has experience handling a variety of matters, including limited liability company membership and partnership disputes; commercial real estate/landlord-tenant and development litigation; trade secret misappropriation; breach of contract, commercial sale of goods (UCC); breach of fiduciary duties (general partner, LLC manager, and financial planner disputes); Federal, state, and common-law trademark disputes; non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements; and physician credentialing disputes.

He earned a J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and a B.A., cum laude, in Economics from the University of Oklahoma.

Boyd White III – Products, Class Actions, & Professional Liability; Detroit

White has first chair trial experience with major automotive industry clients and has tried multiple cases to verdict during the past three years. He has experience in all aspects of commercial litigation including discovery, trial pleadings, depositions, preparation of witnesses for trial and conducting trials. White’s civil trial experience is highlighted by his involvement in a week-long federal bench trial involving alleged banking losses suffered in a phishing scam, where he conducted direct examination of defense witnesses. Immediately prior to joining Dykema, he served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Office of the Oakland County Prosecutor, where he tried multiple cases to verdict including both bench and jury trials.

White earned a J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law and a B.T.A. from the University of Michigan.