Brian O’Keefe


Michigan State University, B.A., 1981, cum laude, with honors

* Exceptional Contribution Award, American Marketing Association

* Member, Golden Key International Honour Society

Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., 1986

* Business Manager, The Judicial Notice

* Member, Communication Law Institute Association


– State Bar of Michigan (Real Property Law, Business Law, and Taxation sections)

– Oakland County Bar Association

– American Bar Association (Business Law, Real Estate, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law sections)

– Member, Board of Directors, Young Entrepreneurs Organization, 1997-2001

– Member, Board of Directors, World Entrepreneurs’ Organization, 2001-2003

– Member, Board of Directors, The Manresa Retreat House, 2000-present

– Member, Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers

– Member, Construction Association of Michigan

– Member, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce

– Member, Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce

– Member, Rotary Club of Bloomfield Hills


Lecturer, National Business Institute


Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein, PLLC, stands apart in its dedication to excellence, attention, and results. That means access to senior partners, a firm-wide commitment to containing legal fees, and a promise to give every client true value. We are diligent, careful, thorough, and effective. Anything less is unacceptable.

Our Presence

Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein, PLLC, headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan, is a boutique law firm that offers full service, experienced legal advocacy. We deliver pragmatic, client-focused counsel as a team, analysing each situation on its own particular merits. We collaborate on every aspect of our representation, allowing our clients to benefit from our attorneys’ wide range of experience and skills.

The firm was founded by Norman L. Lippitt and Brian D. O’Keefe and has grown through the addition of Senior Partner Henry S. Gornbein and Partners Daniel J. McCarthy, Harvey R. Weingarden and Ryan C. Plecha.

Our distinguished attorneys are each individually recognized as a specialist and intuitive leader in his or her own area of expertise. These areas include Commercial and Business Litigation, Business and Corporate Law, Divorce and Family Law, Personal Asset and Estate Planning and Protection, Municipal Law, Bankruptcy Law, Appellate Practice, and Dispute Resolution.

Finally, our skill and expertise is often called upon by law firms across the country to assist as local counsel in litigation and transactional matters in South-eastern Michigan. Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein, PLLC has worked as co-lead and local counsel in numerous areas of the law, including Class Action Litigation, Business Disputes, Michigan Civil Rights Law, and Commercial Transactions.

Dean Amburn

Dean has a passion for litigating complex intellectual property (IP) cases and protecting IP assets.

He has over twenty-five years’ experience as a litigator including seventeen years as a patent attorney focused on litigating IP disputes.  He also prosecutes patent and trademark applications.

Dean has been lead litigator in patent, trademark and trade secret cases in multiple jurisdictions including U.S. District Courts, the International Trade Commission, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Circuit, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and state courts. He has worked with and successfully defended Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller clients against allegations of wrongdoing. He drafts and prosecutes patent applications relating to software, business methods and mechanical arts. He also prosecutes trademarks including oppositions and cancellations of registrations. Dean litigates domain name disputes and prepares IP agreements including settlement and licensing agreements.  He prepares legal opinions including freedom to practice and invalidity opinions.

Dean was selected as a Michigan 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – Patent by The Best Lawyers in America® and as a Michigan 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – Intellectual Property. He is also included in the 2015-2017 edition of Leading Lawyers at®. Dean has been selected by dbusiness Magazine as a Top Lawyer and as a 2015-2017 IP Star by Managing IP Magazine. He has been awarded Best for Copyright & Trademark Law by Acquisitions International. Dean has an AV (preeminent) rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Dean’s publication, IP Strategies for Business Managers, provides practical advice for protecting IP and avoiding infringement. He contributed to the national publication, Inside the Minds: Litigation Strategies for Intellectual Property Cases (2012, Thomson Reuters) on topics including patent eligibility of software and business methods, trade secret case strategies, and discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). Dean is a frequent speaker on IP topics including: IP Patent Camp at the MidMichigan Innovation Center (3 years running); IP Webinar for VetBizCentral; IP Talk at TechTown Detroit; IP Talk at DC3S; and IP Talk [Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about IP But Were Afraid to Ask] through Midland Tomorrow in cooperation with Northwood University during Entrepreneurship Week.

Dean brings an entrepreneurial spirit to his work and enjoys sharing in his clients’ successes. He is also committed to keeping open communication with his clients and is readily available to answer his client’s questions.

In his spare time Dean enjoys traveling with his wife Laurie and two sons. He also enjoys running and working on his 1969 Dodge Charger RT SE. Dean is the inventor on four patents relating to an electronic securities trading system including U.S. Patent Nos. 8,788,398, 8,175,956, 7,552,085 and 7,356,499.

Dean has worked with his partner Bob Giroux at other firms spanning over twenty-five years. He knows Bob as an outstanding trial attorney and is proud to join a firm built on honesty, trust and respect. Bob and Dean share the same goal of providing outstanding legal services and unparalleled client support.


Giroux Amburn is an elite civil litigation law firm, located in Michigan, representing domestic and international clients across a broad spectrum of IP disputes and cases. We successfully handle patent infringement, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, and copyright litigation. We emphasize the early formulation of case strategy and hands-on leadership, from pre-suit considerations through discovery, motion practice, and leading through trial.

The experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Giroux Amburn excel at achieving the best possible outcome for their clients because they embrace conflict, always fight hard to win and employ superior skills in the courtroom. The strength of the Giroux Amburn law firm comes from its extensive experience in trying cases. Not every case needs to go to trial. Indeed, it is often possible to accomplish great success before a trial becomes necessary. However, it is the experienced trial attorney who knows best what it takes to win through a well-developed and proven strategy during the litigation process.

R. Jamison Williams, Jr.

R. Jamison Williams, Jr. is regarded as among the premier corporate law attorneys in Michigan. He is the founder and Managing Partner of Williams, Williams, Rattner & Plunkett, P.C.

For 45 years, Rick has counseled owners, CEOs, CFOs, managers, entrepreneurs, financiers, and bankers in a wide range of transactions, including start-ups, leveraged buyouts, mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, roll-ups, refinancings, restructurings, liquidations and sales. He additionally possesses significant experience in financial counseling and estate planning.

Rick’s comprehensive understanding of business transactions includes hands-on experience based on his ownership of several companies, including start-ups. Prior to commencing his legal career, Rick worked in New York City as an investment banker for Smith Barney and as a management consultant for Booz, Allen & Hamilton. He also served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and is a graduate of the Defense Languages Institute (Russian).

Rick is actively involved in local community affairs. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Michigan Opera Theater, and has served or serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Cranbrook Educational Community, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Beaumont Hospital, University of Michigan’s Center for Hearing Disorders. He is a board director of a number of companies, including Penske Corporation, Clarke Power Services, Nexlink Communications, Conifer Holding Company, Green Optics and others.

Rick is frequently honored by peers and ranking organizations for outstanding accomplishment in the field of corporate law. Most recently, he was named among “The Best Lawyers in America” in 2016 by the most highly respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Other of his accolades include being named a finalist for “Deal Maker of the Year” by Crain’s Detroit Business, Deal Maker of the Year in Cross-Border (European/American) Transactions” by The M&A Advisor, a “Leader in the Field of M&A” by Chambers & Partners International, “Detroiter of the Year” by Hour Magazine, and consistent annual recognition as a Michigan “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters.

Williams, Williams, Rattner & Plunkett, PC:

At WWRP, we provide the highest level of legal representation across a wide range of disciplines. Our attorneys work closely with clients to understand and address their needs, seeking to deliver solutions and outcomes that help them achieve their specific goals.

WWRP lawyers have been serving the people of Southeast Michigan for more than 40 years, gaining invaluable experience and a first-hand knowledge of our region’s complexities. We know the challenges facing area residents because we live here too, and we’re committed to helping local businesses because we’re a local business. When you succeed, so do we.

While larger law firms may offer similar services, the caliber of WWRP’s lawyers and our flexibility, agility, and collaboration are unmatched. We’re big enough to handle your matter, yet small enough to adapt to the specific challenges it poses. As our clients will attest, they are represented by the entire firm rather than by a single attorney or two. The fact is that we like each other, we like what we do, and we work as a tightly-aligned team to service our clients. It’s an approach you don’t see in a lot of law firms.

More than just a law firm in the community, WWRP is a law firm for the community. Our visibility extends beyond the legal acumen, advocacy skills, and business knowledge that set us apart in the practice of law. Our attorneys have also held leadership roles in various civic, charitable, educational, and professional organizations, and many have served as directors of major financial institutions and international corporations.

David Jaffe

David focuses on international expansion and joint ventures, critical disputes, in-house legal structure and strategy, succession and transition planning, compliance and private company governance.

Before starting Jaffe Counsel, David was Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Guardian Industries Corp., a $5 billion multinational manufacturing company. In 24 years at Guardian, he played a key role in its expansion from 5 countries to 27. David was responsible for Guardian’s worldwide legal function, its compliance and ethics program, corporate governance, shareholder relations, and crisis communications. He was also the corporate officer responsible for environmental matters.

David played a leading roles in Guardian’s transition and recapitalization following the death of owner and CEO William Davidson in 2009. Earlier in his career, he spent five years in Luxembourg as General Counsel of Guardian Europe, and served as General Counsel of a publicly traded affiliate.

Before joining Guardian, he was a partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit. David served as a law clerk to Justice William Rehnquist at the Supreme Court of the United States and to Chief Judge James Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He attended the University of Chicago, where he received a J.D. with honors in 1981 and a B.A. in Economics with honors in 1978.

In 24 years as a business and legal leader at Guardian, David gained insight into the real world consequences of business and legal decisions. David was known for his integrity, business acumen and ability to work collaboratively across the business at all levels. He is effective across borders, cultures and legal systems.  His view that “there are no legal problems, only business problems with legal characteristics” resonates with clients who want practical counsel, not discourses on legalisms.

Beyond ability, integrity and people skills, business leadership requires judgment. In many challenging business situations, David has demonstrated sound judgment, the courage to act on that judgment, and the discipline not to rush to judgment.

David’s civic involvement has included serving as a board and executive committee member at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Museum, Jewish Family Service, Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, JVS, The Roeper School, the International School of Luxembourg and the Detroit Urban League, as well as serving as Chair of the Jesuit Program for Living and Learning of Michigan and President of the Detroit Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. David has also served as a director at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Brian D. O’Keefe

Brian is a founding shareholder of Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein, PLLC. He supervises the firm’s transactional, real estate, business, and personal planning departments. Brian represents local, regional, and national entities in general business and corporate matters, including formations, financings, mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, dissolutions and reorganizations. He represents lenders, borrowers, and developers in sophisticated real estate transactions. In addition, he represents individuals and entities in business, asset protection and personal planning matters.

Brian is also actively involved in the area of venture capital financing where, among other things, he represents both private and public funding sources and individuals and entities receiving angel and venture capital. Recently, Brian was a leading advocate for the Retirees and their Associations in the City of Detroit bankruptcy proceedings.

Finally, Brian is outside general counsel to Realcomp II, Ltd; the largest real estate multi-listing service in the State of Michigan. Over the course of his career, Brian has been legal counsel in transactions with a cumulative value in excess of $1 billion.

Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University in June 1981, graduating cum laude. He then attended Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he achieved the degree of Juris Doctor in May 1986.

Brian’s professional memberships include the State Bar of Michigan, the Oakland County Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Brian sits on the Board of Directors of the Manresa Retreat House and has previously served on the Board of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization of Michigan. Brian has been given the highest ranking of AV Preeminent® by the Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory and is recognized by Super Lawyers®, Crain’s and dBusiness in the area of corporate law.

Primary Areas of Expertise

·    Business and Corporate Law

·    Commercial Transactions

·    Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures

·    Venture Capital

·    Workouts and Reorganizations

·    Real Estate Law

·    Acquisition, Development, and Disposition of Real Estate

·    Commercial Real Estate Investment

·    Business Succession and Family Entity Formation

·    Estate, Financial, and Asset Protection and Planning

·    Commercial and Business Litigation

·    Representation for Creditors in Chapter 7, 9 and 11 Proceedings 

Bar Admissions

·    Michigan

·    U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

·    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Education & Academic Honors

·    Michigan State University, B.A., 1981, cum laude

·    Exceptional Contribution Award, American Marketing Association

·    Member, Golden Key International Honor Society

·    Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., 1986

·    Business Manager, The Judicial Notice

·    Member, Communication Law Institute Association


·    AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale Hubbell®

·    Michigan Super Lawyers®, 2014, 2015, 2016

·    Crain’s Detroit Business Michigan Top Attorneys, 2014

·    dBusiness Top Lawyers, 2015 

Memberships & Appointments

·    State Bar of Michigan (Real Property Law, Business Law, and Taxation Sections)

·    Oakland County Bar Association

·    American Bar Association (Business Law, Real Estate, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Sections)

·    Member, Board of Directors, Young Entrepreneurs Organization, 1997-2001

·    Member, Board of Directors, World Entrepreneurs Organization, 2001-2003

·    Member, Board of Directors, The Manresa Retreat House, 2000-Present

·    Member, Association of Food and Petroleum Dealers

·    Member, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce

·    Member, Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce

Published Works & Presentations

·    Lecturer, National Business Institute