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 co-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.

Representative Experience:

  • 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:

  • "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.

Education

  • Thomas Cooley Law School 1999, J.D.
  • University of Detroit Mercy 1991, B.A.

Recognitions

Appointment by the Attorney General, Public Administrator for Macomb County

Adjunct Professor Western Michigan University Cooley Law School 2009- present

Admissions

  • Michigan
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Memberships

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

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