Our Municipal Law Practice Group is one of the largest in the state. Our attorneys serve as both general counsel and special counsel for cities, villages, townships, and other local governmental agencies throughout the southeast Michigan region and beyond. We provide a full range of day-to-day advice to our clients on issues like ordinance drafting and enforcement; contract procurement, negotiation, and administration; Open Meetings Act and FOIA compliance; special assessment procedures; intergovernmental agreements; and regulatory permits and approvals. We regularly attend council, board, and commission meetings and public hearings. We appear in court to defend their actions and enforce their regulatory authority. Widely recognized as a leader in the field, we have often been selected to prepare "friend of the court" appellate briefs for groups like the Michigan Municipal League, the Michigan Townships Association, and the Public Corporation Section of the State Bar of Michigan on significant public law issues.

Group Chair
  Beckerleg, Derk W.
Executive Partner

Group Members
Scott, Margaret A.
Executive Partner

Hill, Jennifer C.

Pavlock, Craig O.

Pollard, Dennis R.

Roberts, Mark S.

Salhaney, Michael P.

Schlinker, John C

Vanerian, Vahan C.

Green, Nancy Cooper
Of Counsel

Recent Publications
Four Secrest Wardle Attorneys Named to dbusiness “2018 Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit
In The News 11/14/2017

Secrest Wardle Executive Partner, Derk W. Beckerleg, Accepts Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award at Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA) Award Ceremony
In The News 09/29/2017

Secrest Wardle Executive Partner, Derk W. Beckerleg, Receives MAMA Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award
In The News 08/10/2017

Traffic Safety - The driving factor behind interpreting the Michigan Vehicle Code
Community Watch 06/01/2017

The Court of Appeals Provides Guidance for Utilizing Emails Under the Open Meetings Act
Community Watch 11/28/2016

Litigation Successes
Property Tax Exemption
Trinity Health-Warde Lab v. Pittsfield Charter Township
Result Date: 11/03/2016

City of Huntington Woods and City of Pleasant Ridge v. City of Oak Park and 45th District Court
Result Date: 07/23/2015

Property Tax Assessment
Pontiac Country Club, et al v Township of Waterford
Result Date: 08/17/2011

Property Tax Exemption
Miss Dig System, Inc. v City of Auburn Hills
Result Date: 02/25/2011

Maple BPA, Inc. v Charter Township of Bloomfield
Result Date: 02/16/2011

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2015


Alternative Dispute Resolution


Commercial and Business Law


Drug and Medical Device


Environmental and Toxic Tort

Family Law

General Negligence

Governmental Litigation

Insurance Coverage

Intellectual Property / Advertising Injury

Malpractice / Professional Liability

Motor Vehicle Litigation


Eminent Domain/Condemnation
Prosecutions and Code Enforcement
Tax Tribunal (MTT)
Zoning and Planning

Premises Liability

Product Liability

Property, Fire and Casualty

Real Estate

Trucking/Commercial Vehicle Litigation