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Jean G. Schtokal

313 South Washington Square
Lansing, MI 48933-2114
T 517.371.8276
F 517.371.8200


A shareholder, Jean Schtokal practices primarily in the business transactions area, handling both domestic and foreign matters.

Her experience as an international business attorney is expansive and includes international trade, distribution, manufacturing and licensing arrangements. She has also worked with the establishment of foreign and domestic subsidiaries, branch offices and facilities; joint ventures and strategic alliances as well as acquisitions and direct investments. Jean also provides counsel and guidance on U.S Export Control laws and regulations (EAR, ITAR, OFAC and FCPA). Most recently she has successfully assisted multiple clients navigate the Section 301 Tariff Exclusion request process as well as collaborate with clients on the development and implementation of tariff mitigation strategies.  As a result of her thorough understanding and ability to clearly communicate these complex topics, she often speaks on international business topics including international business transactions and international trade.

In 2020, the Foster Swift law firm was recognized for their efforts in the expansion of national exporting by the U.S. Department of Commerce and was awarded the prestigious President's "E" Award, one of only 39 businesses in the country to receive the honor in 2020. Foster Swift was awarded the "E" Award for Export Service category for assisting and facilitating export activities over a four-year period.

"As an entrepreneur expanding my operations from Australia, I needed an attorney that was a quick study in understanding my goals and translating that into what legal matters I needed to address. In my experiences with Jean, I found her extremely knowledgeable about the law, a great supplier of information and contacts to international trade resources, very responsive and reliable all while being mindful of my budget. I wish all of my relationships with professional service providers were this smooth and productive."
Cary J. Redstone, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MMC Learning and Development Incorporated

"Jean has an amazing breadth of knowledge about doing business overseas. What sets Jean apart are her excellent presentation and analysis skills, allowing her to clearly communicate complex information in a very practical and understandable manner."
Noel Nevshehir, Director, International Business Services, Automation Alley

Jean also assists U.S. businesses with entity formation, business planning, certification (WBE/MBE/DBE), negotiation and drafting of contracts, creation of joint ventures and serves as a trusted advisor.

She is a University of Michigan alumna and received her juris doctorate, cum laude, from Wayne State University. Prior to completing law school, Jean was the aide in charge of the Tax Expenditures Subcommittee of the Taxation Committee for the Michigan House of Representatives.

Thoroughly immersed in the Michigan business community, Jean holds many leadership roles. Jean is a member of the West Michigan District Council (Chair from 2014 to 2020); she is a member of the Advisory Board of Center for International Business Education and Research at Michigan State University and serves as co-chair of the Global Business Club of Mid-Michigan.

Honors & Recognitions

AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell

Best Lawyers in America® 2011-2022 (International Trade and Finance Law)

Appointment to the Michigan District Export Council-West by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Named chair in 2014

Executive-In-Residence, International Business Center-The Eli Broad College of Business

Michigan Lawyers Weekly Women in the Law 2013


Memberships & Affiliations

Legal Affiliations: 
  • American Bar Association, Canadian Law Committee
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • International Bar Association
  • Ingham County Bar Association
Industry & Professional Associations:
  • Michigan District Export Council-West, 
    • Chair (2016-2021)
    • Board Member (2011-2021)
  • Center for International Business Education and Research at Michigan State University (MSU-CIBER), Advisory Board Member
  • Society for International Affairs, Member
  • Women in Manufacturing, Member
Community Involvement:
  • Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
    • Board of Directors (2009-2013)
    • Executive Committee and Division Director for International Business Services (2011-2013)
  • Global Business Club of Mid-Michigan, Co-Chair


Representative Matters

  • Domestic and international joint ventures, teaming and cooperation agreements
  • Manufacturing and license agreements
  • Acquisitions and corporate reorganizations
  • Foreign operations
  • Foreign acquisitions and transactions in regulated and non regulated industries
  • Foreign and domestic distributor, agent, and broker agreements
  • Protection of trade secrets/confidential information and resolution of matters involving misuse of proprietary information
  • Registration, licensing, approvals and disclosures regarding ITAR/U.S. Munitions List defense articles, technical data and defense services
  • Minority and women-owned business state and national certification matters
  • Resolution of minority shareholder/member disputes
  • U.S. subsidiaries for foreign-owned companies
  • Export controls compliance and training



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Wayne State University Law School, J.D., 1987, cum laude

University of Michigan, A.B., 1982

Bar and Court Admissions


U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

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

U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals