Gerald A. Fisher

Gerald A. Fisher

Professor

B.S. Michigan State University, 1967
M.A. Michigan State University, 1969
J.D. Detroit College of Law, 1972
LL.M. Wayne State University, 1989

fisherg@cooley.edu

Before joining Cooley Law School, Professor Fisher was a Senior Partner and Manager of the Municipal Practice Group at Secrest Wardle, a firm with offices in Farmington Hills, Mt. Clemens, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

He served as general counsel for cities, villages and townships in Southeast Michigan and as special counsel for governmental entities throughout Michigan. In addition, he served as counsel on behalf of property owners regarding land use matters, and was an adjunct professor at Cooley, teaching Planning and Zoning Law.

He has appeared on 21 occasions in cases presented to the Michigan Supreme Court. Mr. Fisher appeared as principal counsel and wrote briefs and presented oral argument for parties in nine cases, and in 12 cases prepared amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Townships Association, State Bar of Michigan Public Corporation Law Section, or the American Planning Association. The subject matter of these cases has included zoning, inland lake regulation, wetland regulation, sign and billboard regulation, federal civil rights applicable to land use regulation, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, the process of initiating amendments to the State Constitution, Tort Liability Act applied to local government sidewalk maintenance, Michigan Medical Marihuana Act interpretation, and disputes on the allocation of authority between the state and local governments. 

He serves as a member and past chairperson of the State Bar Public Corporation Law Section, is a member of the Michigan Municipal League Professionalism and Education Committee, is a member and past president of the Oakland County Bar Foundation, was a founder of the Oakland County Bar Association Municipal Law Committee, and is active in the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society.

Professor Fisher is the Chairperson of the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission, and on the Board of Directors of the Land Information Access Association, a public interest non-profit corporation that promotes cooperation and communication among communities. He is a Fellow of the State Bar of Michigan and a Life Fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation.

He was also the recipient of the Roberts P. Hutchens Award from the State Bar of Michigan in 1978, named a Best Lawyer in America in 2007, Recipient of the Cooley Law Review Michigan Supreme Court Distinguished Brief Award, 2001, and named Lawyer of the Year in Michigan (one of ten), 2001, by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

At Cooley, Professor Fisher teaches Property, Secured Transactions, Constitutional Law, Zoning and Land Use Law, and State and Local Government Law.

Bibliography

Articles

Gerald A. Fisher, The Comprehensive Plan Is an Indispensable Compass for Navigating Mixed-Use Zoning Decisions Through the Precepts of the Due Process, Takings, and Equal Protection Clauses, 40 Urb. Law. 831 (2008).

Gerald A. Fisher, Land Use Regulation Scorecard, 67 Mich. B.J. 13 (Jan. 1988).

Gerald A. Fisher, Michigan Zoning Needs Legislative Guidance, 55 Mich. St. B.J. 873 (Nov. 1976).

Gerald A. Fisher, The General Public Interest vs. The Presumption of Zoning Ordinance Validity: A Debatable Question, 50 J. Urb. L. 129 (1972).

Books and Chapters in Books

Fisher, Gerald A. "Overview of Zoning and Planning." In Michigan Zoning, Planning, and Land Use (December 2012 Update) 1-46. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012.

Fisher, Gerald A. "Flexible Land Use Approvals.”  In Michigan Zoning, Planning, and Land Use (December 2012 Update) 119-157. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012.

Fisher, Gerald A. "Environmental and Other Regulatory Approvals." In Michigan Zoning, Planning, and Land Use (December 2012 Update) 221-244. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012.

Fisher, Gerald A. and Clyde J. Robinson, eds. Michigan Municipal Law. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012.

Fisher, Gerald A. and Thomas R. Schultz. "Limitations on Local Government Under Federal Constitution and Laws," in Michigan Municipal Law, 35-111. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012.

Fisher, Gerald A. and Michael E. Fisher. "Medical Marijuana," in Michigan Municipal Law, 635-653. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012.

Fisher, Gerald A. "Relationship Between Federal, State, and Local Government," in Michigan Municipal Law, 1-33. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2012.

Fisher, Gerald A. "The Use of Legal Skills in the Land Use Arena to Reconcile Deep Differences and Strike an Acceptable Balance Between Preservation and Productivity," in Lawyers as Economic Drivers: The Business Case for Legal Services, edited by Nelson P. Miller, James D. Robb, and John D. Crane, 45-52. Lake Mary, FL: Vandeplas Publishing, 2012.

Fisher, Gerald A. "Environmental and Other Regulatory Approvals," in Michigan Zoning, Planning, and Land Use, 212-233. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2008.

Fisher, Gerald A. "Flexible Land Use Approvals," in Michigan Zoning, Planning, and Land Use, 111-128. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2008.

Fisher, Gerald A. "Overview of Zoning and Planning," in Michigan Zoning, Planning, and Land Use, 1-41. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2008.

Fisher, Gerald A. "The Debate on Governmental Authority and Private Property Rights under the Takings Clause," in Eminent Domain: Legal Update, 8-22. Eau Claire, WI: National Business Institute, 2006.

Fisher, Gerald A. "Land Use and Planning Issues," in Legal Issues Involving Michigan Local Government, 38-40. Eau Claire, WI: National Business Institute, 2004.

Fisher, Gerald A. "Local Government and the Law," in Legal Issues Involving Michigan Local Governments, 1-8. Eau Claire, WI: National Business Institute, 2004.

Fisher, Gerald A. "Zoning Concerns," in Legal Issues Involving Michigan Local Governments, 27-36. Eau Claire, WI: National Business Institute, 2004.

Book Reviews and Other Short Works

Gerald A. Fisher, The Michigan Supreme Court Gives The Nod to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Statute On State and Federal Preemption, 66 Mun. Leg. Briefs (publication of the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys) 4 (No. 1, 2014).

Gerald A. Fisher, The Long-Awaited McQueen Decision Has Broad Implications for Sales and Other “Transfers” of Medical Marijuana, 65 Mun. Leg. Briefs (publication of the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys) 12 (Issue 2, March 2013).

Gerald A. Fisher, Kyser v Kasson Township: The Foundations of Land Use Stability under the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, Pub. Corp. L.Q. 14 (No. 3, Summer 2010).

Gerald A. Fisher, The "Finality Rule" of Paragon v. City of Novi: The Achievement of Fairness in Land Use Jurisprudence, Pub. Corp. L.Q. 1 (No. 1, Winter 2010).

Gerald A. Fisher, I Love You Guys! 519 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 31 (June 2009).

Gerald A. Fisher, OCBA and OCBF: A Hand-in-Glove Team, 518 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 31 (May 2009).

Gerald A. Fisher, Are Lawyers Viewed as Role Models by Our Youth? 517 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 30 (April 2009).

Gerald A. Fisher, Your Support of the "Signature Event" is Vital, 516 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 29 (March 2009).

Gerald A. Fisher, These Are the Times that Test Whether We View Life as a Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty, 515 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 29 (Feb. 2009).

Gerald A. Fisher, Practicing Law with Civility: It Costs No More, and Achieves So Much! 514 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 29 (Jan. 2009).

Gerald A. Fisher, Celebrating Great Bench Strength: Hon. Fred M. Mester and Hon. Steven N. Andrews (pt. 2), 513 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 30 (Nov. 2008).

Gerald A. Fisher, Celebrating Great Bench Strength: Hon. Fred M. Mester and Hon. Steven N. Andrews (pt. 1), 512 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 31 (Oct. 2008).

Gerald A. Fisher, The Mission of the Foundation and the Journey Toward Fulfillment, 511 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 31 (Sept. 2008).

Gerald A. Fisher, Francile Anderson: What a Tough Act to Follow! 510 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 31 (Aug. 2008).

Gerald A. Fisher, Religious Land Uses and Government’s Authority to Control Them: A Play in Three Acts, with the United States Supreme Court and the Congress Playing Lead Roles, and the Michigan Supreme Court Making a Virtuoso Appearance, Pub. Corp. L.Q. 1 (No. 3, Fall 2007).

Gerald A. Fisher, U.S. Supreme Court Withdraws Two Welcome Mats It Had Previously Rolled Out for "Takings" Cases, 23 Plan. & Zoning News 10 (July 2005).

Gerald A. Fisher, Contract Zoning: a Historical Profile and Early Analysis, 473 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 9 (June 2005).

Gerald A. Fisher, The Subtle Erosion of Local Control – Without a Public Dialogue, 77 Mich. Mun. Rev. 13 (Jan. - Feb. 2004).

Gerald A. Fisher, Maintaining the Equilibrium of Fairness by Transferring Developmental Rights, 21 Plan. & Zoning News 6 (Mar. 2003).

Gerald A. Fisher & Thomas R. Schultz, The Michigan Supreme Court Maintains the Critical Balance between Prosperity and Preservation: the K & K Case, 393 Laches (publication of the Oakland County Bar Association) 2 (Oct. 1998).

Gerald A. Fisher, Paragon Is A "Win-Win" Case, 16 Plan. & Zoning News 10 (Feb. 1997).

Gerald A. Fisher, The Need for Growth Management in Michigan Has Arrived, Pub. Corp. L.Q. 14 (Jan. 1990).

Gerald A. Fisher, Schwartz v. City of Flint: A "New" Zoning Remedy, Pub. Corp. L.Q. 9 (Feb. 1987).

Gerald A. Fisher, Michigan Courts Paint With A Broad Brush in Recent Zoning Cases, 13 Mich. Real Prop. Rev. 45 (No. 2, Summer 1986).

Gerald A. Fisher, Commending the Planned Unit Development, 10 Mich. Real Prop. Rev. 61 (No. 2, Summer 1983).

Gerald A. Fisher, Recent Zoning Enabling Legislation: A Beginning with Promise, 6 Mich. Real Prop. Rev. 9 (Oct. 1979).

Other Writings

Gerald A. Fisher, Amicus Curiae Br. of the St. B. of Mich. Pub. Corp. L. Sec. in Support of Def.- Appellant City of Wyoming, Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming, 495 Mich.1, 846 N.W. 2d 531 (Mich. 2014) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, Amicus Curiae Br. of the Mich. Mun. League, Mich. Townships. Assn. and the St. B. of Mich. Pub. Corp. L. Sec. in Support of Pl.- Appellee People of the St. of Mich. State v. McQueen, 493 Mich.135, 828 N.W. 2d 644 (Mich. 2013) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, Amicus Curiae Br. of the Mich. Mun. League, Mich. Townships. Assn. and the St. B. of Mich. Pub. Corp. L. Sec. in Support of Pl.- Appellee People of the St. of Mich. State  v. Blysma, 493 Mich. 17, 825 N.W. 2d 543 (Mich. 2012) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, White Paper, A Local Government View of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (prepared at the request of the Mich. Mun. League and Mich. Townships Assn., Oct. 5, 2010) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, Presentation, Land Development and the Zoning Enabling Act: A Primer (Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Land Use and Development 2009) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, Def.-Appellant Reply Br. of Kasson Twp. Kyser v. Kasson Township, No. 136680 (Mich. filed Aug. 14, 2009) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, Def.-Appellant Br. of Kasson Twp. Kyser v. Kasson Township, No. 136680 (Mich. filed June 21, 2009) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, Amicus Curiae Br. of the Mich. Mun. League and Mich. Townships Assn. in Support of Appellant, City of Jackson, The Greater Bible Way Temple of Jackson v. City of Jackson, 474 Mich. 373, 733 N.W. 2d 734 (2007) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher & William Fahey, Presentation, Let’s Make A Deal: Planned Unit Developments & Conditional Rezonings – Just How Flexible Are We Permitted To Be?([Michigan] State Bar Public Corporation Law Section & Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys 7th Annual Summer Educational Conference, June 24-25, 2005) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, Report, Regulating Keyhole Development, Carrying Capacity Analysis & Ordinances Providing Lake Access Regulation (report prepared for the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and others, Nov. 1994) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, Report, Existing Growth Management Techniques and Proposed Legislation for Michigan (Phase One Report of the Intergovernmental Growth Management Consortium, May 1990) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Presentations

Gerald A. Fisher, CLE Speaker, Land Development and the Zoning Enabling Act: A Primer (Land Use and Development 2009) (Plymouth, Michigan, Sept. 15, 2009) (recording available through the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Ann Arbor, Michigan).

Gerald A. Fisher, CLE Speaker, Land Use Risk Management: Building Strengths and Recognizing Vulnerabilities (Land Use and Development 2008) (Plymouth, Michigan, Sept. 9, 2008) (recording available through the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Ann Arbor, Michigan).

Gerald A. Fisher, CLE Speaker, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (Land Use and Development 2007) (Plymouth, Michigan, Sept. 18, 2007) (recording available through the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Ann Arbor, Michigan).

Gerald A. Fisher, CLE Speaker, Use of the Community Master Plan to the Fullest Advantage by Both Public and Private Interests (Land Use and Development 2006) (Troy, Michigan, Sept. 7, 2006) (recording available through the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Ann Arbor, Michigan).

Gerald A. Fisher, CLE Speaker, Impact of the New Contract Zoning Laws (Land Use and Development 2005) (Troy, Michigan, Sept. 16, 2005) (recording available through the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Ann Arbor, Michigan).

Gerald A. Fisher and William Fahey, Presentation, Let’s Make A Deal: Planned Unit Developments and Conditional Rezonings – Just How Flexible Are We Permitted To Be? ([Michigan] State Bar Public Corporation Law Section & Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys 7th Annual Summer Educational Conference, June 24-25, 2005) (copy on file at the Thomas M. Cooley Faculty Archives).

Gerald A. Fisher, CLE Speaker, Presenting Variance Requests Before the Municipality (Land Use and Development 2003) (Troy, Michigan, Sept. 25, 2003).

Gerald A. Fisher, CLE Speaker, New Strategies in Land Use Regulation: Tactics and Procedures after Paragon v. City of Novi. (Troy, Michigan, June 29, 2000).

Gerald A. Fisher, CLE Speaker, Zoning Restrictions and Remedies (Troy, Michigan, Jan. 14, 1987).

 

Real-World Experience

Specialties: Planning, Zoning Law

Courses: Property, Secured Transactions, Constitutional Law, Zoning and Land Use Law, and State and Local Government Law


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