Michelle R.E. Donovan
Michelle R.E. Donovan is a Shareholder in Butzel Long’s Bloomfield Hills office. As a member of the Corporate and Real Estate Department, Michelle represents clients both locally and nationally in all areas of real estate, including mortgage and deed fraud, construction liens, eminent domain, property tax appeals, title insurance, and municipal issues.
Michelle has extensive experience with Michigan's Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”) and has successfully assisted clients with the process for applying for pre-qualification and license qualification status. Michelle obtained the first licensed provisioning center in Oakland County. She is chair of the firm’s Cannabis Law Specialty Team and is frequently in the media for her expertise and knowledge.
In addition, Michelle has extensive experience in all facets of probate law, including trust, probate and estate administration, guardianship and conservatorships. Michelle was appointed by the Michigan Attorney General as Macomb County Public Administrator, an appointed position with powers and duties primarily related to intestate decedent estates where there are apparently no known heirs. In this position, she also serves as guardian and/or conservator for minors and mentally disabled persons, as well as personal representative of deceased estates where there is no family or when an impartial fiduciary is needed.
She has extensive trial and civil litigation skills and achieved successful results, such as:
Performance Real Estate Holdings, LLC v Peak Athletic Club, LLC, et. al. (Rochester, MI 2017) Awarded jury verdict in landlord-tenant and sanctions for fees and costs in excess of $50,000.
Blue Chip Talent dba Computer Consultants of America v Debbie Broich, et al (Oakland County, MI 2017) Successfully recovered funds in embezzlement by a prior employee.
Carey Becker, et al v Ritz Craft, et al (Tuscola County 2017) awarded a no cause in a construction defect case.
Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company v Metro Equity Services (Oakland County, MI 2016) Judgement obtained in the amount in excess of $1,00,000 including case evaluation sanctions against Defendant, as successor liability theory as a mere continuation of the prior entity.
- Extensive knowledge of title insurance with more than 30 years of experience working in the industry; providing insight into problem-solving and achieving the optimal result for clients
- Prior employment included over five years of experience in all aspects of mortgage foreclosures
- Represents municipalities in complex property and real estate transactions
- Extensive experience representing Downtown Development Authorities
- Experience handling property tax appeals, including a commercial property tax appeal with a savings of over $300,000, eminent domain litigation, nuisance abatements, and forfeitures
- Drafts municipal opinion letters and contracts
- Extensive litigation of construction lien foreclosure
- Represents banks, lenders, and owners in all aspects of real estate litigation
- Represents banks and lenders in fraud and related litigation
- Expertise in various aspects of complex litigation, including multiple count complaints, crossclaims, and third-party claims and class actions
- Extensive litigation of contested probate matters
Published Works & Speaking Engagements:
- Speaker, MLTA "Caught in the Acts" Fall Educational Seminars 2019
- "Marijuana and Real Estate", Oakland County Bar Association Real Estate Committee Meeting, September 24, 2019
- State Bar of Michigan Professionalism in Action Orientation, Speaker, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, Auburn Hills Campus, August 28, 2019
- "Real Estate and Land Use", Business of Marijuana in Michigan Conference, Grand Rapids Michigan, June 20, 2019
- "Let caregivers supplement medical marijuana shortage," Crain's Detroit Business, May 12, 2019
- "Cannabis - From Cradle to Grave," Risk Management Association West Michigan Chapter seminar, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 15, 2018
- State Bar of Michigan Professionalism in Action Orientation, Speaker, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School - Auburn Hills campus, Jan. 15, 2018
- State Bar of Michigan Professionalism in Action Orientation, Speaker, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School - Auburn Hills campus, Aug. 30, 2017
- "Michigan Abolishes Dower," The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors, Michigan Surveyor Magazine-Spring/Summer 2017
- "People of the State of Michigan v Patrick Joseph Langley," The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors, Michigan Surveyor Magazine-Winter Edition 2016
- Legalities for Surveyors, Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors Annual Convention 2016
- "Highway User Act, The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors," Michigan Surveyor Magazine-Spring/Summer Edition 2016
- "Highway User Act Part 2-Monumenting Road Right-of-Way," The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors, Michigan Surveyor Magazine-Winter Edition 2016
- "How Public Act 123 of 1915 Affects Surveyors," The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors, Michigan Surveyor Magazine-Fall Edition 2015
- "Where Did the Road Go?" The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors, Michigan Surveyor Magazine-Winter Edition 2015
- "Do I Need Permission to Enter Private Property?," The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors, Michigan Surveyor Magazine-Spring/Summer Edition 2015
- "Joint Tenancy v JTWROS: the Label Matters," The State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, March 2015 e-Newsletter
- Quiet Title Actions: Best Practices, ICLE Seminar, Webinar April 17, 2014
- “Snapshot of a Civil Trial” and “The Court System” Lecturer, Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors Annual Meeting, 2013
- “Realtors Law,” Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors, Annual Meeting, 2012
- Legal Descriptions Involving Land Assessed on a Larger Parcel, Seminar Various Title Insurance Companies 2010
- “Curing Title Through Foreclosure,” Moderator, LORMAN Educational Services, 2008
Ms. Donovan received her J.D. from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 1999 and her B.A. from the University of Detroit in 1991.
- Thomas Cooley Law School 1999, J.D.
- University of Detroit Mercy 1991, B.A.
Appointment by the Attorney General, Public Administrator for Macomb County
Adjunct Professor Western Michigan University Cooley Law School 2009- present
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
State Bar of Michigan
Macomb County Bar Association
Macomb County Probate Bar Association
Italian American Bar Association
Wayne County Probate Bar Association
Michigan Land Title Association
American Land Title Association
Marijuana Section of the State Bar of Michigan
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan's article "Taking Action" appears in MiCIA Magazine - Winter 2020MiCIA Magazine
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan interviewed by Law360 "Patient Can't Force Michigan to Tap New Pot Suppliers"
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan appears on Fox2 Detroit Let It Rip to discuss cannabis supply chain issues
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan quoted in MetroTimes article: Regulators just cut off a large supply of medical marijuana for Michigan's legal provisioning centers
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan quoted in MLive article: Michigan officials end caregiver marijuana supply to medical pot shops
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan joins panel discussion on the New Business of Cannabis, Hemp, CBD in Michigan.
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan appears on Fox2 Detroit Let It Rip to discuss supply chain medical marijuana
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan interviewed by WILX: Debate over medical marijuana heats upWILX
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan interviewed by WLNS: Protestors meet at Capital over marijuana issuesWLNS
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan quoted by WXYZ: Dozens rally outside medical marijuana dispensary in Walled LakeWXYZ Detroit
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan quoted by Fox 2 Detroit: Medical marijuana patients protesting legislation that could close dispensaries by June 1FOX 2 Detroit
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan quoted in the Detroit News article "Pot growers, retailers clash as industry takes shape"
- The Spinal Column
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan joins panel at the Detroit Regional Chamber Policy Conference on the topic of "The Business of Cannabis."Detroit (WXYZ)
- WXYZ Detroit
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan quoted in the Metro Times on the rise of marijuana sales on the black market
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan discusses Michigan's growing cannabis business on WXYZ's "Spotlight on the News"
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan discusses the emerging cannabis industry on The Craig Fahle Show
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan interviewed on The Nolan Finley show on new legal resolution to help preserve patient access to medical marijuana
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle R.E. Donovan appears on WDIV's Flashpoint to discuss the impact of legalizing marijuana in Michigan
- WDIV, Flashpoint
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle Donovan interviewed on The Craig Fahle Show on legalized medical marijuana.
- Butzel Long attorney Michelle Donovan interviewed on WJR discussing the first Marihuana License in Oakland CountyWJR's Frank Beckmann Show
- Butzel Long adds attorney with multi practices focused on Cannabis Law, Real Estate and Litigation, respectively
- March 26, 2020
- Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) and Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA) Temporary Process of Issuance of LicenseMarch 18, 2020
- February 28, 2020MiCIA Magazine
- MAC Public Health Task Force Policy Paper/Recommendations on the Impacts of Legalization of Recreational MarijuanaFebruary 25, 2020Metropolitan Affairs Coalition
- May 12, 2019Crain's Detroit Business
- April 11, 2019
- March 13, 2019
- March 6, 2019
- February 26, 2019
- January 29, 2019
- Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Board expected to reopen the Michigan medical marihuana caregiver networkJanuary 16, 2019
- December 20, 2018
- December 19, 2018
- November 13, 2018
- Plaintiff’s civil RICO claim goes up in smoke in Colorado grower’s case, but the threat of future lawsuits remainsNovember 9, 2018
- November 7, 2018
- October 18, 2018