Owning a vacation home can create complicated family estate and income tax issues. Keeping the cottage and property in the family will not happen without thoughtful planning.
Kotz Sangster is proud to announce that Hon. John E. Dewane (Ret.) has been awarded the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Berrien County Bar Association. One of the most exceptional jurists to ever serve Southwest Michigan, the recently-retired jurist leads Kotz Sangster’s office in St. Joseph, Michigan.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was created by the Berrien County Bar Association to recognize an outstanding lawyer or judge who has earned the respect of his or her peers and demonstrated the highest standards of integrity, professionalism and excellence over the course of a long legal career in the community.
Born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Dewane graduated from Menominee High School. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.S., 1966 and J.D., 1969) and also served in the United States Army. In 1970, he and his family moved to Southwest Michigan, where he joined the law firm which, over time, became Butzbaugh & Dewane. In private practice, litigation has been his primary focus, but with a substantial segment of his practice representing municipalities. He has been rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell for decades. In 2008, he accepted an appointment to the 2nd Judicial Circuit and served as presiding judge in the Civil Division until his retirement in 2014.
During his career, Dewane served as President of the Berrien County Bar Association and represented Berrien County on the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly. He also served on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board Hearing Panel.
Throughout his career, in both private practice and on the bench, Dewane has been committed to fairly, efficiently, timely and ethically dealing with legal issues presented to him. And throughout the legal community, he is renowned for his ability to reduce complicated issues to their core.
In addition to his work as an attorney and jurist, Dewane has been active throughout the Berrien County community, serving on the board of directors for:
• Berrien-Cass-Van Buren Workforce Development
• Cornerstone Alliance
• Link Crisis Intervention Center, Chairperson
• Berrien County Mental Health Board, Chairperson
• Riverwood Center, Chairperson
• Big Michigan Doings, Chairperson
• Western Amateur Golf Committee, Chairperson
• YMCA of St. Joseph – Benton Harbor