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2013-2014 Special Committees
Committee Co-Chair(s) Coordinator
Bankruptcy 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.

Winnifred P. Boylan  
Lambert Leser Isackson Cook & Giunta, PC
PO Box 835
916 Washington Ave. Ste. 309
Bay City, MI 48707
Phone: (989) 893-3518
Fax: (989) 894-2232

Andrew J. Gerdes
Andrew J. Gerdes PLC
321 W. Lake Lansing Rd
PO Box 4190
East Lansing, MI  48826
Phone: (517) 853-1300
Fax: (517) 853-1301

Jeffrey D. Weisserman
Trott & Trott PC
31440 Northwestern Hwy Ste 200
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Phone: (248) 723-5906
Fax: (248) 205-4118
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.

John D. Gaber
Williams Williams Rattner & Plunkett PC
380 N Old Woodward Ave Ste 300
Birmingham, MI 48334-1574
Phone: (248) 642-0333
Fax: (248) 642-0856

Cynthia P. Ortega
Miller Johnson
100 West Michigan Ave Ste 200
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-3960
Phone: (269) 226-2959
Fax: (269) 978-2959

Ronn S. Nadis
Couzens, Lansky, Fealk, Ellis, Roeder & Lazar PC
39395 W 12 Mile Rd Ste 200
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
(248) 489-8600 x383
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.

Emily A. Minns
Emily A. Minns PLC
1707 Stanley Blvd
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 792-6440

Thomas A. Kabel
Butzel Long PC
41000 Woodward Ave
Stoneridge West
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Phone: (248) 258-2602
Fax: (248) 258-1439

Lorri B. King
Law Offices of King & King PLLC
140 Paluster St
Cadillac, MI 49601
Phone: (231) 779-9000
Fax: (231) 779-9801
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
Phone: (248) 746-2733
Fax: (248) 746-2804

James O. Brown
Buckman MacDonald Bauer & Brown, PC
217 E 24th St Ste 201
Holland, MI 49423
Phone: (616) 394-4276
Fax: (616) 394-4319


C. Kim Shierk
Williams Williams Rattner & Plunkett, PC
380 North Old Woodward Avenue - Suite 300
Birmingham, MI 48009
Phone: (248) 642-0333
Fax: (248) 642-0856
Construction 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.

Brian H. Holt
Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone PLC
840 W Long Lake Rd Ste 200
Troy, MI 48098
Phone: (248) 879-2000
Fax: (248) 879-2001

Laura H. McMahon Lynch
535 Griswold St Ste 600
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: (313) 223-2143
Fax: (313) 244-9242

Melissa N. Collar
Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
111 Lyon St NW Ste 900
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 752-2209
Fax: (616) 222-2209
Eminent Domain 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
Phone: (248) 646-0888
Fax: (248) 646-0887

Peter H. Webster
Dickinson Wright PLLC
2600 W Big Beaver Rd Ste 300
Troy, MI 48084-3312
Phone: (248) 433-7513
Fax: (248) 433-7274

Ronald E. Reynolds
Vercruysse Murray PC
31780 Telegraph Rd Ste 200
Bingham Farms, MI 48025
Phone: (248) 901-0301
Fax: (248) 540-8059
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. Exam
ples 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
Phone: (313) 965-8227
Fax: (313) 965-8252

Melissa B. Papke
Varnum Riddering Schmidt Howlett LLP
PO Box 352
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Phone: (616) 336-6425
Fax: (616) 336-7000

Gregory J. Gamalski
Giarmarco Mullins & Horton PC
101 W Big Beaver Rd Fl 10
Troy, MI 48084
Phone: (248) 457-7125
Fax: (248) 404-6310
Federal Tax Aspects of Real Estate Transaction The Committee focuses on federal tax issues relating to all aspects of real property ownership, including concerning partnerships, limited liability companies and income and estate/gift taxation. The Committee typically meets two to four times per year, during the fall-winter seasons. Examples of topics discussed at meetings include valuation issues involved in family entity planning; critical analysis of real property valuation reports; use of valuation standards in limited liability company agreements; conversions of partnerships to LLCs and certain provisions of the 1997 Federal Tax Act; federal tax collection involving real property and foreclosure of taxpayer's tenants by the entireties ownership interest in real property; and conservation easements. The Committee is also responsible for publishing an article each year in the Michigan Real Property Review. Articles published have covered: check-the-box regulations, estate planning for owners of real property, tax deferred exchanges, deferred and prepaid rent, limited liability companies, tTax aspects of real estate partnership work outs and foreclosures, and other taxation topics.
  William B. Acker
Kemp Klein Law Firm
201 W Big Beaver Rd Ste 600
PO Box 4300
Troy, MI 48099-4300
Phone: (248) 740-5665
Fax: (248) 528-5129
Richard D. Rattner
Williams Williams Rattner & Plunkett PC
380 N Old Woodward Ave Ste 300
Birmingham, MI 48009
Phone: (248) 642-0333
Fax: (248) 642-0856
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
Phone: (616) 336-1023
Fax: (616) 458-6753

Anthony J. Viviani
41800 Hayes Rd Ste 100
Clinton Township, MI  48038
Phone: (586) 421-4054
Fax: (586) 649-2201

Margaret Van Meter
Trinity Health
20555 Victor Pkwy
Livonia, MI  48152
Phone: (734) 343-0769
Fax: (734) 343-5402
State & Local Taxation The State and Local Tax Committee focuses on a variety of issues involving state taxation affecting real estate including ad valorem taxation of real and personal property under the General Property Tax Act, valuation principles, special assessments, the Real Estate Transfer Tax, practice before the Michigan Tax Tribunal, and other related issues. Committee members consist of practitioners representing both municipalities and taxpayers.
  Jason Long
Steinhardt Pesick & Cohen PC
380 N Old Woodward Ave Ste 120
Birmingham, MI 48009
Phone:  (248)646-0888
Fax:  (248) 646-0887
David E. Nykanen
Nykanen Dorfman PLLC
33493 W 14 Mile Rd Ste 100
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
Phone: (248)629-0880
Fax: (248) 928-2034
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
Phone: (586) 772-7020
Fax: (586) 772-7549

J. Scott Timmer
Miller Johnson
250 Monroe Ave NW Ste 800
PO Box 306
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Phone: (616) 831-1787
Fax: (616) 988-1787

Nicholas P. Scavone Jr.
Bodman LLP
1901 Saint Antoine St Fl 6
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: (313) 393-7580
Fax: (313)393-7579
Water Law The Water Law Committee meets periodically throughout the year. The subject matter and location of our meetings varies. Often meetings occur through conference calls. We frequently review recent cases or proposed legislation relating to water law issues. We also discuss actual case scenarios submitted by committee members. The committee has made a commitment to submit at least one article for publication in the Michigan Real Property Review every other year. Our meetings often focus upon the subject matter of pending articles.
  James Y. Stewart
Kotz Sangster Wysocki & Berg PC
400 Renaissance Ctr Ste 3400
Detroit, MI 48243
Phone: (313) 259-8751
Fax: (313) 259-1451
Ronald E. Reynolds
Vercruysse Murray PC
31780 Telegraph Rd Ste 200
Bingham Farms, MI 48025
Phone: (248) 901-0301
Fax: (248) 540-8059
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
Dykema Gossett PLLC
39577 Woodward Ave Ste 300
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Phone: (248) 203-0538
Fax: (248) 203-0763

David E. Pierson
McClelland & Anderson LLP
1305 S Washington Ave Ste 102
Lansing, MI 48910
Phone: (517) 482-4890
Fax: (517) 482-4875

David E. Pierson
McClelland & Anderson LLP
1305 S Washington Ave Ste 102
Lansing, MI 48910
Phone: (517) 482-4890
Fax: (517) 482-4875


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