Special Committees

    Committee Co-Chair(s) Coordinator


    The members of the Committee are attorneys interested in the interplay of real estate law with debtor/creditor law, in general, and bankruptcy law, in particular. The emphasis of the Committee is on education, and the members of the Committee participate in seminars and write articles on related issues throughout the year. The Committee also sponsors or co-sponsors gatherings of attorneys interested or practicing in this area of law; those events provide opportunities for networking and the sharing of ideas, as well as encourage civility in the profession. Recently, members of the Committee contributed articles to the Michigan Real Property Review. In light of the continued evolution of case law releated provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, the Committee is monitoring the cases and continuing to offier presentations on bankruptcy issues, relating to real estate exemptions in bankruptcy, the impact of the Bankruptcy Code amendments on real estate issues, and related state foreclosure laws and the tax issues related.

    Keith Schofner
    Lambert Leser, Attorneys at Law
    755 W Big Beaver, Ste 410
    Troy, MI 48084
    (248) 251-1001

    916 Washington Ave, Ste 309
    Bay City, MI 48708

    Andrew J. Gerdes
    Andrew J. Gerdes PLC
    321 W Lake Lansing Rd
    PO Box 4190
    East Lansing, MI 48826
    (517) 853-1300

    Dawn M. Patterson
    First American Title National Commercial Services
    900 Wilshire Dr Ste 300
    Troy, MI 48084
    (248) 458-7211

    Commercial Development, Ownership, & Finance

    The Commercial Development, Ownership, and Finance Committee is a new committee organized to focus on issues important to real estate developers and mortgage loan borrowers that do not fall within the purview of any other Real Property Law Section committee. The Committee strives to tackle the practical issues affecting developers where attorneys can provide value to their clients. The Committee addresses topics such as choice of entity, financing, due diligence, purchase agreement, title, economic incentive and distressed real estate issues relative to developers and borrowers. The Committee will meet at least twice per year, and will host guest speakers to address issues important to attorneys in advising their developer clients. We encourage members to submit topics of interest for discussion at our meetings. The Committee will also be responsible for contributing to the Michigan Real Property Review, and for presenting seminars and speaking at attorney gatherings relative to developer/borrower issues. When appropriate, the Committee may also hold joint meetings or engage in joint projects with other committees. The Committee provides an opportunity for Section members to network and remain informed about both legal and practical issues impacting the real estate development community. Any interested Section member is welcome to join the Committee.
    April 20, 2016 Meeting Materials PDF


    Ted C. Farmer
    41000 Woodward Ste 395
    Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
    (248) 433-7300

    Rachel J. Foster
    Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
    401 E Michigan Ave, Ste 200
    Kalamazoo, MI 49007
    (269) 276-8117

    Leslee M. Lewis
    Dickinson Wright PLLC
    200 Ottawa Ave NW, Ste 1000
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    (616) 458-1300

    Commercial Leasing

    This committee consists of attorneys interested primarily in commercial leasing and landlord/tenant law. We intend to discuss issues relating to office industrial and retail leases. The committee membership consists of sole practitioners, lawyers from law firms of all sizes and, in-house counsel of real estate developers and major retailers. The committee annually contributes at least one article to the Michigan Real Property Review as well as significant programs to both Homeward Bound and ICLE. Each fall and spring meeting is focused on at least one particular topic of current interest. Examples of past topics include insurance issues, SNDA agreements and estoppels, the res judicata effect of landlord/tenant court decisions, and the liability of landlords, tenants, and management companies for the criminal acts of others.

    Timothy P. Bliss
    Bodman PLC
    201 W Big Beaver Rd, Ste 500
    Troy, MI 48084
    (248) 743-6000

    Matthew B. Van Dyk

    Miller Johnson
    100 W Michigan Ave, Ste 200
    Kalamazoo, MI 49007
    (269) 226-2988

    Brandy L. Mathie
    Kerr, Russell and Weber PLC
    500 Woodward Ave Ste 2500
    Detroit, MI 48226
    (313) 961-0200

    Condominiums, PUDs, & Cooperatives

    True to its title, this committee deals with issues relating to condominiums, cooperatives and planned unit developments. The Committee is currently comprised of 75 practitioners, most of whom represent developers, community associations, or both. Some members also represent financial institutions and title companies. The committee generally meets at least biannually, with additional meetings as necessitated by its workload. Members of the Committee are called on to lecture for the Real Property Law Section presentations, as well as ICLE annually. At least one member of the Committee volunteers to write an annual article for the Michigan Real Property Review. New proposed legislation in this area of law is forwarded to the Committee for comment on a regular basis.

    H. William Freeman
    Sullivan Ward Asher & Patton PC
    25800 Northwestern Hwy Ste 1000
    Southfield, MI 48075
    (248) 746-2733

    Kevin M. Hirzel
    Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho
    33900 Schoolcraft Rd
    Livonia, MI 48150
    (734) 261-2400

    Gregory J. Gamalski
    Bodman PLC
    201 W Big Beaver Rd, Ste 500
    Troy, MI 48084
    (248) 743-6020


    The Construction Law Committee is a special subcommittee of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar. We meet twice a year and discuss new developments in construction law as it relates to real property, including public, private and residential projects, alternative dispute resolution, and the construction lien act. Our meetings are informal and well-attended, and we usually feature a guest speaker on a current topic of interest in the construction and real property industry. Our members are regular contributors to the Michigan Real Property Review, a quarterly publication of the Real Property Law Section. We also review and comment on proposed legislation affecting construction issues pertaining to real property, and have in the past assisted the Section with the filing of an amicus brief to the Michigan Supreme Court. Participation in the construction law committee is not only educational, but is an excellent networking tool, and a great way to meet and exchange ideas with other practitioners in this significant and growing area of the law.

    Reshma M. Sambare
    Miller Canfield
    120 N Washington Square Ste 900
    Lansing, MI 48933
    (517) 487-2070

    Aileen Leipprandt
    Hilger Hammond
    49 Monroe Center NW, Ste 200
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    (616) 458-3600

    Glen M. Zatz
    Bodman PLC
    201 W Big Beaver Rd, Ste 500
    Troy, MI 48084
    (248) 743-6020


    The Eminent Domain Committee is comprised of members from across the state. The committee meets 2-3 times a year to discuss current issues in eminent domain, current case law, proposed legislation, and individual cases as may be requested by its members. Committee members regularly submit articles for publication in the Michigan Real Property Review, as well as peer review articles. Members of the committee were invited into legislative drafting sessions relating to the recent ballot proposal resulting in amending the Takings Clause of the Michigan Constitution as well as related legislation amending the Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act. Committee members also assist in preparing amicus curiae briefs when authorized by the Real Property Law Section.

    H. Adam Cohen
    Steinhardt Pesick & Cohen PC
    380 N Old Woodward Ste 120
    Birmingham, MI 48009
    (248) 646-0888

    Peter H. Webster
    Dickinson Wright PLLC
    2600 W Big Beaver Rd Ste 300
    Troy, MI 48084-3312
    (248) 433-7513

    Jason C. Long
    Steinhardt Pesick & Cohen PC
    380 N Old Woodward, Ste 120
    Birmingham, MI 48009
    (248) 646-0888

    Energy Law

    The Energy Law Committee maintains an active liaison relationship with the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. The fundamental objective of the committee is to ensure that members of the Real Property Section receive timely updates of recent developments in state and federal environmental statutes, regulations, and judicial opinions that impact real estate. To meet this objective, the committee has recruited Review articles not only from members of the Real Property Law Section but also from members of the Environmental Law Section. Examples of article topics include brownfield development, Great Lakes shoreline maintenance, wetland regulation, mold contamination in residential structures, and the "all appropriate inquiry" federal rules. The committee has also co-sponsored seminars and programs with the ELS on topics of mutual interest. During the next year, the committee hopes to broaden the scope of the topics it covers to include programs in the area of Michigan energy, mining and timber laws as well as conservation easements.

    Richard A. Sundquist
    Clark Hill PLC
    500 Woodward Ave Ste 3500
    Detroit, MI 48226
    (313) 965-8227

    Melissa B. Papke
    Varnum Riddering Schmidt Howlett LLP
    PO Box 352
    Grand Rapids, MI 49501
    (616) 336-6425

    Gregory J. Gamalski
    Bodman PLC
    201 Big Beaver Rd Ste 500
    Troy, MI 48084
    (248) 743-6020

    Monica J. Labe
    Dickinson Wright PLLC
    2600 W Big Beaver Rd, Ste 300
    Troy, MI 48084
    (248) 433-7200

    Residential Transactions & Finance

    The Residential Transactions & Finance Committee plays an active, influential role in the Real Property Law Section and State Bar of Michigan activities. The Committee takes pride in presenting a broad range of interesting and challenging opportunities for professional growth and development.

    John T. Schuring
    Dickinson Wright PLLC
    200 Ottawa Ave NW Ste 900
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    (616) 336-1023

    Anthony J. Viviani
    ATA National Title Group
    31440 Northwestern Hwy, Ste 100
    Farmington Hills, MI 48334
    (248) 432-2140

    J. Scott Timmer
    Gielow Groom Terpstra & McEvoy
    281 Seminole Rd, 2nd Floor
    Norton Shores, MI 49444
    (231) 747-7160

    Title & Conveyancing

    The primary focus of the Special Committee on Titles & Conveyancing is to review, discuss, disseminate and consider new case law, pending legislation and other matters pertaining to real estate title and conveyancing matters. The Committee reviews requests for, and writes, briefs amicus curiae in pending litigation involving title and conveyancing questions, and provides articles for publication in the Michigan Real Property Review. The Committee usually communicates by e-mail, and periodic conference calls and/or meetings are planned. At present we have approximately 46 members of the Committee and the Committee is open to anyone with an interest in this area.

    John D. Bartley
    O'Reilly Rancilio, PC
    12900 Hall Rd, Ste 350
    Sterling Heights, MI 48313
    (586) 997-6493

    C. Lynn Sagar
    First American Title Insurance Company
    7950 Moorsbridge Rd, Ste 309
    Portage, MI 49024
    (810) 229-1611

    Michael A. Luberto
    Chirco Title Co.
    26800 Harper Ave
    Saint Clair Shores, MI 48081
    (586) 772-7020

    Zoning & Land Use

    The Zoning & Land Use Committee usually meets four (4) times a year on Saturday mornings. The Committee provides a forum for keeping up to date on and discussing the latest case law, pending cases, proposed legislation, and statutory enactments that affect this ever evolving and complex area of the law. The Committee is also responsible for publishing one article per year in the Michigan Real Property Review.

    David E. Pierson
    McClelland & Anderson LLP
    1305 S Washington Ave, Ste 102
    Lansing, MI 48910
    (517) 482-4890

    Stephen R. Estey
    Dykema Gossett PLLC
    39577 Woodward Ave, Ste 300
    Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
    (248) 203-0538