Intellectual Property I NOVEMBER 27, 2023

Howard & Howard Welcomes Six Attorneys to Growing Royal Oak and Peoria Offices

Detroit, MI – November 27, 2023 – Howard & Howard is pleased to welcome six talented attorneys who have recently joined our firm. In Intellectual Property, we welcome Melissa M. Cecchi and Ethan Hendrickson. Maria Topalovic and Trevor W. Lloyd join our Corporate group, while Stephanie Sitto and Luke R. Patty strengthen our Litigation team.

Melissa focuses her practice on global patent preparation and prosecution, clearance/freedom-to-operate analyses, and invalidity studies of competitors' patents. She has worked with clients in the automotive and medical industries, in addition to machine learning. She graduated from Boston University School of Law with her J.D.

As a recent graduate of Howard & Howard’s Intellectual Property Intern Program, Ethan officially joins the team as a sworn attorney and counselor. He assists the team with various projects including patent research for client needs, drafting patent applications, and responding to office actions received from the USPTO and foreign patent offices. Ethan received his BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University, and more recently graduated from Wayne State University Law School with his J.D.

Luke returns to the Howard & Howard litigation team as an attorney after serving as a summer intern in Peoria. He frequently works with clients in the banking industry. Prior to joining Howard & Howard, Luke garnered legal experience working as an extern for the Honorable Michael M. Mihm, United States District Judge. He graduated cum laude with his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was a member of The Elder Law Journal.

Trevor is a corporate attorney who works primarily in mergers and acquisitions and real estate, while assisting clients through all their business needs. Prior to joining Howard & Howard, Trevor garnered legal experience working as an extern for the Honorable David M. Lawson, United States District Judge. Trevor also worked as a legal intern for the firm in its Royal Oak office. He graduated cum laude from Wayne State University with his J.D.

As a litigator, Stephanie focuses her practice on assisting her clients through various legal disputes. Prior to joining Howard & Howard, Stephanie practiced no-fault insurance, auto negligence, personal injury, and workers’ compensation defense. She joins the team in the Royal Oak office.

Maria is an experienced employee benefits attorney aimed at helping clients comply with ERISA, the IRC, the ACA, HIPAA, as well as many other laws and regulations. She is well versed in drafting various types of plan documentation and notices, negotiating service provider contracts and HIPAA business associate agreements. She services various types of employee benefit plans, including health and welfare, pension, 401(k), and other ancillary fringe benefit plans, as well as ensuring cybersecurity compliance for such fringe benefit plans.

About Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC

With a history spanning over 150 years, Howard & Howard is a full-service law firm with a national and international practice, providing legal services to businesses and business owners. More than 125 attorneys practice out of offices in Las Vegas; Detroit, Michigan; Illinois (Chicago and Peoria); and Los Angeles, California. For more information, please visit  

Kady Volmering
PR and Communications Coordinator
[email protected]