Thomas R. Schultz

(PDF of Bio)  

Thomas R. Schultz is a Shareholder in the firm and has concentrated his practice in municipal law for over 20 years. He is currently the City Attorney for the City of Novi, the City of Farmington, and the City of Sylvan Lake. He provides general counsel services to several other Oakland County communities including the City of Farmington Hills. He assists these communities and others with drafting ordinances, reviewing and administering contracts, complying with the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act, handling religious land uses (under RLUIPA), property taxation and special assessments, property maintenance/nuisance abatement and ordinance prosecutions, and the acquisition of land for public purposes.

Mr. Schultz has been regularly involved in litigation at all levels on issues affecting local governments, including in the state district, circuit, and appellate courts, and in the federal trial and appellate courts as well as before various state administrative entities such as the Michigan Tax Tribunal. He has argued several cases on behalf of municipalities before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the Michigan Court of Appeals. He has authored or co-authored several appellate amicus (or "friend of the court") briefs on local governmental issues for the Michigan Municipal League, the Public Corporation Section of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Society of Planners.

Contact Information
Farmington Hills Office
Phone: (248) 489-4100
Fax: (248) 489-1726

Practice Areas


  • BA - University of Detroit - 1985
  • JD - University of Detroit School of Law - 1988

Professional Activities / Memberships

  • Board Member, Michigan Municipal League Legal Defense Fund (2011-Present)
  • Board Member, Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (2011-Present)
  • State Bar of Michigan - Public Corporation and Real Estate Sections
  • Oakland County Bar Association - Municipal Law Committee


  • 2009-2017 - Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Litigation – Municipal and Municipal Law
  • 2017 – Best Lawyers' Litigation-Municipal-Troy area "Lawyer of the Year"
  • 2014 – Best Lawyers' Litigation-Municipal-Detroit area "Lawyer of the Year"
  • 2006-2017 - Named Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters
  • 2009-2017 - Named Top Lawyer by DBusiness and Hour Magazine in the area of municipal law
  • 2010 - Received the Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award from the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys


  • 2012 – Co-Author (with Gerald A. Fisher) of Chapter 2, "Limitations on Local Government Under Federal Constitution and Laws," Michigan Municipal Law.
  • 2011 - Authored "Reinventing Michigan 2011 - Don't Forget the Public Interest" for Legal Briefs, a publication of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys
  • 2007 - Authored "Michigan Supreme Court Narrows the Applicability of the RLUIPA in Zoning Cases", for Planning and Zoning News
  • 2006 - Authored "It's Not About Kelo: The Eminent Domain Ballot Proposal" in Planning and Zoning News
  • 2005 - Authored "Kelo v New London: Economic Development A 'Public Use' for Which Eminent Domain May be Exercised - Just Not in Michigan" for Planning and Zoning News
  • 2003 - Authored "Closest to the People: In Defense of Home Rule for Local Governments" in Laches, the Oakland County Bar Association's monthly publication.

Presentations / Courses Taught

  • MAMA/PCLS -  Limitations on Local Government Under Federal Constitution and Laws (3/18/16)
  • MAMA/PCLS – Hot Topics in Planning and Zoning: Koontz v St. John's River Water Management District (3/18/2014)
  • Michigan Local Government Management Association - Dealing with "Zombie" Developments: Half-Finished Subdivisions, Empty Office parks, Abandoned Strip Malls (2/10/2010)
  • Real Property Law Section "Homeward Bound" - the Site Condominium Approval Process (2/1/07)
  • Public Corporation Law Section Annual Winter Seminar - Silver Linings in Wayne County v Hathcock (2/11/05)
  • MAMA/PCLS - Hot Topics in Municipal Law: Current Issues on the Eminent Domain Front (2/16/06)