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David K. Otis

Partner

  • Licensed Since: 1980
  • Joined Firm: 1987
  • Partner Since: 1993
325 E. Grand River
City Center, Suite 250
East Lansing, MI 48823
TEL: (517) 324-5612
FAX: (517) 333-6694
Areas of Practice
Honors & Awards
  • Best Lawyers' Lansing Municipal Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2018 - 2019
  • Best Lawyers' Lansing Municipal Litigation"Lawyer of the Year," 2017- 2018
  • Best Lawyers in America® for Municipal Law and Litigation (Copyright 2018 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC), 2010 - 2019
  • Leading Lawyer in Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law, Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2015
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating-AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Michigan Super Lawyer in Government/Cities/Municipalities; Michigan Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication, 2008 - 2018
Education
  • Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, with honors, J.D., 1980
  • Michigan State University, with honors, B.A., 1976
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Michigan, 1980
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

David K. Otis is a partner in the firm's East Lansing office who practices in the areas of municipal law, governmental affairs, legislative and regulatory affairs, administrative law and general liability.  He concentrates his practice in the area of municipal litigation and represents cities, townships and counties in actions involving alleged violations of civil rights, employment liability, zoning issues and claims involving the Whistleblowers Act, Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act, among others.

Mr. Otis is a member of the Ingham County Bar Association, the Public Corporation, Real Property and Corporations, Finance and Business Law sections of the State Bar of Michigan and the Business Law and Administrative Law sections of the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI).

Mr. Otis graduated with honors from Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in 1980. He earned his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Michigan State University in 1976.

REPRESENTATIVE CLIENT WORK

  • City of Lansing – law enforcement, civil rights, land use, zoning and public employment litigation
  • Meridian Township – land use and zoning litigation
  • City of Ypsilanti – law enforcement, civil rights and public employment litigation
  • City of Clare – police misconduct and municipal liability litigation
  • City of Frankenmuth – land use litigation
  • City of Williamston – Whistleblowers’ Protection Act and employee litigation

NOTABLE CASES

  • Newman Equities v Meridian Township, 264 Mich App 215 (2004), a case in which the township was successfully represented as to a zoning claim relating to a Wal-Mart store
  • Velting v Cascade Township, Court of Appeals unpublished, No. 250946, May 5, 2005, in which the township was successfully represented regarding the denial of an aggregate extraction permit
  • Manistee Salt Works Development v City of Manistee, U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, Case No. 4:04-CV-95, in which the city was successfully defended with regard to the denial of a special use permit for a coal fired power plant
  • Scozzari v City of Clare, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Case No. 1:08-cv-10997, in which the city was successfully defended in a jury trial on a claim of municipal liability for failure to train
  • Odunuga v City of Lansing, U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, Case No. 1-09-cv-00867, where a defendant police officer was successfully defended at a jury trial in a claim of false arrest
  • Loesel v City of Frankenmuth, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Case No. 1:08-cv-11131, in which the city was successfully defended in a zoning/building size limitation case associated with a Wal-Mart on numerous claims at summary judgment and which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed additional claims and remanded the case for a new trial

LECTURES AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Educational Conference, Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys and Public Corporations Law Section, “Development Agreements – Protecting the Municipality” - 2009
  • Michigan Townships Association Winter Meeting, “Protecting Townships from Failed Development Projects” - 2010

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Ingham County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan (Public Corporation, Real Property and Corporations, Finance and Business Law sections)
  • American Bar Association (Business Law and Administrative Law sections)
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

OTHER MEMBERSHIPS (Past and Present)

  • St. Vincent's Home of Lansing (Past Member; Catholic Social Services Board of Directors)
  • East End Condominium Association (Past Member; President 1983 - 1984;  Vice President, 1981 - 1983) 
  • Boyne Mountain (Past Member, Disciples Ridge Condominium Association, 2004 - 2005) 

Academic Positions

  • Western Michigan University (Former adjunct faculty, Department of Public Administration)

Case Studies

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