Julie I. Fershtman - Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC

Julie I. Fershtman

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013

A practitioner for thirty years, Julie Fershtman represents clients in a broad range of business, personal injury, and insurance coverage litigation pertaining to several industries. Her clients range from major insurance companies and businesses in to individuals. Her work includes trials, arbitrations/ADR, and appeals.

In addition, she is widely considered to be one of the nation's leading practitioners in equine law. She has handled matters for a national clientele involving contract disputes, fraud, association liability, partnership disputes, and personal injury liability. She has helped draft and advocate for legislation impacting the industry. Her peers selected her to become a Fellow of the American College of Equine Attorneys, one of approximately 20 lawyers in the country to achieve this distinction, and she has served as an officer of the organization. 

She has achieved numerous courtroom victories and has successfully tried cases before juries in four states. Clients have selected her to serve as pro hac vice (specially admitted out of state)counsel in state and federal courts in Florida, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, Arizona, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.

In addition to her law practice, Ms. Fershtman is active in bar associations.  She completed her 2011-2012 term as President of the State Bar of Michigan, a 44,000-member mandatory bar, and was only the fifth woman in the bar’s then 77-year history to be elected to this position. She is well-known to the judges and lawyers in Michigan through her bar leadership and, most recently, her co-chair work in 2015 and 2016 for the State Bar of Michigan’s 21st Century Practice Task Force.  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 on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, three books, and two blogs. A highly sought-after national speaker in 29 states, her topics cover issues involving law, liability, agribusiness, insurance, equine law, and risk management.  Her speaking engagements include a law school commencement address, panels at two ABA Annual Meetings, Property & Liability Resource Bureau National Claims Conferences in three states, and conferences of the State Bar of Michigan, New York State Bar Association, and Washington State Bar Association.

Additional Information

Court Admissions

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

Pro hac vice bar admissions on cases in 17 jurisdictions

Experience 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 judgments for insurers in defense of complex first-party property insurance coverage cases in 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.
  • Successfully representing plaintiff in a nine-day trial for breach of contract against non-paying buyer and defeating buyer’s counterclaim asserting defamation.
  • Secured summary judgments for equine, sporting and recreational business operators in personal injury cases. 
  • Won appeals in the Michigan Court of Appeals.
  • Won bench trial defending premises owner against claims of intentional injuries to patron by security staff.  
Emory UniversityBA 1983Emory UniversityJ.D. 1986
State Bar of MichiganAmerican Bar AssociationMichigan State Bar FoundationMichigan Supreme Court Historical SocietyLitigation Counsel of America

Office Location

28411 Northwestern Highway, Suite 500
Southfield, MI 48034
United States

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation
Insurance Law

Other Information

Gender: Female