Thomas R. Schultz's Profile Image

Thomas R. Schultz

Main Office: 248.489.4100
Fax: 248.489.1726

Thomas R. Schultz is a shareholder in the firm and has concentrated his practice in municipal law for over 25 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. Tom assists these communities and others with day-to-day legal work: reviewing and administering contracts, handling land use and development issues, assisting with FOIA and OMA compliance, property taxation and special assessments, property maintenance/nuisance abatement and ordinance prosecutions, public works support, and the acquisition of land for public purposes.

Tom 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. Tom has authored or co-authored several appellate amicus (or "friend of the court") briefs on local governmental issues for the Michigan Municipal League, the Government Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Society of Planners.

Practice Areas

  • General Municipal Law
  • Zoning and Land Use
  • Constitutional Law and Civil Rights
  • Real Estate and Construction


  • University of Detroit School of Law, J.D., 1988
  • University of Detroit, B.A., 1985

Professional Activities / Memberships

  • Michigan Municipal League Legal Defense Fund
    Board Member, 2011-present (Current President)
  • Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys
    Board Member, 2011-present (Current Chair)
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Government Law and Real Estate Sections
  • Oakland County Bar Association
    Municipal Law Committee


  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Litigation-Municipal and Municipal Law, 2009-2024
  • Named in Leading Lawyers Michigan Edition--Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law; Land Use, Zoning & Condemnation Law and Real Estate Law: Commercial, 2017-2023
  • Listed in Best Lawyers, Municipal Law, Troy area “Lawyer of the Year,” 2024
  • Listed in Best Lawyers, Litigation: Municipal, Troy area "Lawyer of the Year," 2016, 2019
  • Listed in Best Lawyers, Litigation: Municipal, Detroit area "Lawyer of the Year," 2014
  • Selected to Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers, 2006-2023
  • Named Top Lawyer by DBusiness and Hour Magazine, Land Use and Zoning, 2009-2019 and 2022
  • Received the Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award from the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, 2010


  • Co-Author with Gerald A. Fisher of Chapter 2, "Limitations on Local Government Under Federal Constitution and Laws," Michigan Municipal Law, 2012, updated 2018
  • Authored "Reinventing Michigan 2011 — Don't Forget the Public Interest" for Legal Briefs, a publication of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, 2011
  • Authored "Michigan Supreme Court Narrows the Applicability of the RLUIPA in Zoning Cases," for Planning and Zoning News, 2007
  • Authored "It's Not About Kelo: The Eminent Domain Ballot Proposal" in Planning and Zoning News, 2006
  • 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, 2005
  • Authored "Closest to the People: In Defense of Home Rule for Local Governments," in Laches, the Oakland County Bar Association's monthly publication, 2003


  • MAMA/PCLS, "Limitations on Local Government Under Federal Constitution and Laws," March 18, 2016
  • MAMA/PCLS, "Hot Topics in Planning and Zoning: Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District," March 18, 2014
  • Michigan Local Government Management Association, "Dealing with 'Zombie' Developments: Half-Finished Subdivisions, Empty Office parks, Abandoned Strip Malls," February 10, 2010
  • Real Property Law Section, "Homeward Bound" — the Site Condominium Approval Process, February 1, 2007
  • MAMA/PCLS, "Hot Topics in Municipal Law: Current Issues on the Eminent Domain Front," February 16, 2006
  • Public Corporation Law Section Annual Winter Seminar, "Silver Linings in Wayne County v. Hathcock," February 11, 2005