LAWFUEL – The Lawyer Newswire – When Ernie L. Brooks, a tall and prepo…

LAWFUEL – The Lawyer Newswire – When Ernie L. Brooks, a tall and prepossessing man walked into business meetings at Brooks Kushman, a law firm he founded almost 25 years ago, he always had everyone’s attention, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“He had a commanding presence,” said John Halan, one of his law partners. “He was a brilliant man and, really, the soul of the firm. He was the hardest-working human being I’ve ever known.”

Mr. Brooks, 64, died Thursday following an automobile accident in Farmington Hills. Autopsy results are pending.

Brooks Kushman of Southfield grew from a tiny firm of four attorneys to a thriving, nationally known firm of more than 50 attorneys specializing in intellectual property and commercial law. Most recently Mr. Brooks was named among “the nation’s top litigators” in the National Law Journal.

“What makes this even more tragic is that he was at the pinnacle of his career,” said Halan, who had practiced law with Mr. Brooks for 17 years.

He was passionate outside the office as well, skiing, water-skiing, scuba diving and taking up underwater photography.

Mr. Brooks of Orchard Lake is survived by his wife, Sherri; daughters Tina, Toni, and Kendra, and sons E.J. and Pierce.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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