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
Capital Bankruptcy
416 N Homer St, Ste 101
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 853-1300

Dawn M. Patterson
National Underwriting Counsel
5 First American Way
Santa Ana, CA 92707-5913
(248) 345-3364

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.


Abby H. Cooper
Cooper & Riesterer
7900 Grand River Rd
Brighton, MI 48114
(810) 227-3103

Rachel J. Foster
Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
180 E. Water St, Ste 7000
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
Kostopoulos Rodriguez
550 W Merrill St, Ste 100
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 268-7800

Daniel Byrne
Ford Motor Company
330 Town Center Dr, Ste 1100
Dearborn, MI 48125
(313) 322-0693

Scott R. Lesser
Miller Canfield
(248) 267-3319

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
Lumberg Freeman Gleeson Hicks & Khalil PLLC
33 Bloomfield Hills Parkway, Ste 100
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
(248) 724-3706

Kevin M. Hirzel
Hirzel Law
37085 Grand River Ave., Ste 200,
Farmington, MI 48334
(248) 478-1800

Kevin M. Hirzel
Hirzel Law
37085 Grand River Ave., Ste 200,
Farmington, MI 48334
(248) 478-1800


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.


Jeffrey M. Gallant
Clark Hill
500 Woodward Ave, Ste 3500,
Detroit, MI 48226-3485
(313) 967-4071

Aileen Leipprandt
Hilger Hammond
220 Lyon St. NW, Ste 410
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 458-3600

Aileen Leipprandt
Hilger Hammond
220 Lyon St. NW, Ste 410
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 458-3600


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.


Brandon J. Cory
Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
150 Ottawa Ave NW, Suite 1500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 752-2000

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

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

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.

Brandan Hallaq
Hirzel Law
37805 Grand River Ave., Ste 200
Farmington, MI 48335
(248) 397-6596

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.
  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.

Stephen R. Estey
32255 Northwestern Hwy, Ste 224
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
(248) 254-4865

Michael R. Vogt
Dykema Gossett PLLC
39577 Woodward Ave, Ste 300
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
(248) 203-0739

Stephen R. Estey

32255 Northwestern Hwy, Ste 224
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
(248) 254-4865