Cameron, Jr., John G.

Education

United States Naval Academy

Albion College

B.A., 1971

Wayne State University Law School

J.D., 1974
  • cum laude
  • Wayne Law Review, 1972-73

University of Michigan Law School

LL.M., 2016

Bar Admission

Michigan

Colorado

Illinois

North Carolina

John G. Cameron, Jr.

Member

Prominent Assignments

Law Clerk to the Honorable William H. Webster, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. 

Led a team of lawyers, in cooperation with representatives of the United States Department of Justice, that successfully fought, in two federal district courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals, efforts by an environmental group to require the preparation of an environmental impact statement in connection with a major community transformation project.

Successfully represented a mortgage lender in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in connection with a property forfeiture sought by the federal government.

Successfully presented argument in three cases in the Michigan Supreme Court-one dealing with the recording acts; one dealing with the survivorship features of a joint tenancy; and one dealing with the interpretation of restrictive covenants.

At the request of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit sitting en banc, appeared as amicus curiae and argued for the proper interpretation of Michigan's recording acts, which argument was adopted by the court in its written opinion.

Authored what is known as the "Bible" of Michigan real property law.

Serves as general counsel to a major mixed-use, community transforming real estate development, which faces challenges involving all aspects of law.

Negotiated a sophisticated subcontract for the installation of material handling equipment for what was anticipated to be a $500 million nationwide project.

Developed standard construction contracts for a well-known institution of higher learning and a major international corporation.

Successfully argued a pro bono case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit involving the doctrine of constructive notice and a bankruptcy trustee's status as a hypothetical bona fide purchaser.

Secured a significant inverse condemnation award when a city refused a rezoning request.

Negotiated nationwide commercial leases for two major industrial corporations and a major retailer.

Represents architects, contractors, subcontractors, owners, landlords, tenants, developers and lenders in connection with all aspects of the real estate development practice.

Emphasis on construction and real estate law, including land owners and lenders in connection with a variety of financing devices, and miscellaneous zoning, condemnation and other land use matters.

Prepares and edits commercial contracts of all kinds. Experienced in admiralty law and other water-related issues, including the construction, purchase and sale of vessels and collision and allision cases.

Representative Clients

  • Andrie Inc.
  • Grand Hotel Company
  • Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
  • University of Michigan
  • Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment Inc.
  • Whirlpool Corporation
  • Steelcase Inc.
  • Wolverine Pipe Line Company

Professional Involvement

  • Elected Member, the American Law Institute (Service to date on the following Members Consultative Groups: Restatement of Property; Revision of UCC Article 2; Restatement of Agency; Restatement of Restitution; Project on the Law of Nonprofit Organizations; Project on Ethics in Government) and Member of ALI-CLE Program and Marketing Committee 
  • Elected Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers; Vice Chair, ACREL Committee on Professional Responsibility; and Member of ACREL Task Force on Changes in the Practice of Real Estate Law and ILSA Subcommittee
  • Public Director, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
  • Member, State Bar of Michigan Professional Ethics Committee (2008-2014) and Chair (2012-2014)
  • Member, Michigan Land Title Standards Committee 
  • Member, National Board of Editors of The Practical Real Estate Lawyer (1998-2004)
  • Member, National Real Estate Law Advisory Board, ALI-ABA (2007-2012)
  • Member of Commercial and Construction Law Arbitration Panels, American Arbitration Association
  • Fellow, the Michigan Bar Foundation 
  • Life Member, Grand Rapids Bar Foundation
  • Member, Grand Valley State University Legal Studies Board 
  • Special Master, Oakland County Circuit Court – 1993

Community Involvement

  • Trustee, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital 1997-2007; Board Chair 2005-2007
  • Trustee and Chair, Mary Free Bed Orthotics and Prosthetics Corporation 2008-present
  • Blue and Gold Information Officer, United States Naval Academy
  • Moderator, "Ethics In View -Public Education Reform," one-hour television show for WGVU, Grand Rapids PBS affiliate (1993)
  • Moderator, Free Press, Free Speech, "Free Society, How Much Is Too Much?," ninety-minute television show for GRTV, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1994)
  • Co-Chair, David Doyle For State Senate Committee
  • Co-Chair, Logie For Mayor Committee
  • Member, Steering Committee, Marge Byington for Congress
  • Director, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Trustee, East Congregational Church

Publications/Presentations

Teaching:

  • Lecturer at numerous real estate and construction law programs, ABA, ALI-ABA and ALI CLE 
  • Instructor, Michigan Supreme Court Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Program 
  • Adjunct professor of real estate at both Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College
  • Lecturer, Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education other trade and professional groups

Treatises: 

  • Michigan Real Property Law: Principles and Commentary (The Institute of Continuing Legal Education),1st Ed. 1984; 2nd Ed. 1993; 3rd Ed. 2005 (supplemented annually); cited as persuasive authority in more than 100 reported decisions in the State and Federal courts
  • A Practitioner’s Guide to Construction Law (ALI-ABA 2000; supplemented in 2004 and 2009) 
  • Michigan Real Estate Forms with Practice Commentary, Volumes 1, 1A, 2, 3 and 4 (LexisNexis, 1988, supplemented periodically)

Book Chapters:

  • “Real Property and Zoning,” The Research Edge (The Institute of Continuing Legal Education 1993) 
  • “Income Taxation of the Condominium Association,” Condominium Law And Practice (Matthew Bender 1993) (rewrite of original chapter by Nina J. Crimm) 
  • “Real Estate Sale Contracts and Land Contracts,” Michigan Law of Damages (The Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1989)
  • "Condominiums,” Michigan Real Estate Form Book (The Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1982)

Papers:

  • Michigan Property Tax Matters, Eastern Mineral Law Foundation, Fall 1990 
  • The Michigan Dormant Minerals Act, Eastern Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute, Fall 1985 
  • Michigan Tax Titles, Eastern Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute, Fall 1985 
  • An Introduction to “Deregulated” Condominium Projects in Michigan
  • The Responsibility of Attorneys and Accountants Under the Federal Securities Acts
  • Class Actions 
  • “Goods” Under Article Two of the Uniform Commercial Code

Articles:   

  • Construction Site Safety: Protecting the Worker/ Protecting the Owner, Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers, Volume 7, No. 1 (Winter 2013)
  • Construction Warranties: How Long Do They Last?, Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers, Volume 6, No. 1 (Winter 2012)
  • Real Estate Development in 2012: Tax Credits and Governmental Grants, Practical Real Estate Lawyer (with Christina K. McDonald), Volume 28, No. 2, at page 25 (2012)
  • Restitution- The Art of Recovery, 58 Practical Real Estate Lawyer, No. 2, at page 53 (2012)
  • The Wonderful World of Construction, 26 Practical Real Estate Lawyer, Number 6 at page 7 (2010)
  • A Construction Litigator’s ADR Primer, 21 The Practical Litigator, Number 4 at page 37 (2010)
  • Restrictive Covenants, Reciprocal Negative Easements, and Building and Use Restrictions, 26 Practical Real Estate Lawyer, Number 5 at page 47 (2010)
  • What You Should Know About Easements, 26 Practical Real Estate Lawyer, Number 2 at page 9 (2010)
  • What You Should Know About Conservation Easements (With Form), 26 Practical Real Estate Lawyer, Number 4 at page 9 (2010)
  • Some Questions and Answers About Title Insurance, 13 Practical Real Estate Lawyer, Number 6 at page 23 (1997) 
  • Dealing with Brokers and Managers for the Commercial Lessor (with checklists), 12 Practical Real Estate Lawyer, Number 3 at page 25 (1996) 
  • Buyer-Brokering–More Complicated Than It Sounds (with form), 12 Practical Real Estate Lawyer, Number 6 at page 13 (1996) 
  • 1993 Annual Survey of Real Estate Law, Wayne Law Review (with James J. Rabaut)
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Areas of Practice

Acknowledgements

  • Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law (1993-present); Construction Law (2003-present)
    • 2012 Lawyer of the Year - Construction Law (Grand Rapids, MI)
    • 2009 Lawyer of the Year - Real Estate Law (Grand Rapids, MI) 
  • Listed in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers, Real Estate
  • Listed in Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-present
    • Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2009 
  • Named one of 25 Michigan "Leaders in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, February 2012 
  • Listed in Grand Rapids Best in the West Lawyers in West Michigan, 2010
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • Outstanding Young Men in America (1981)
  • American Jurisprudence Book Award: Creditor's Rights
  • Member, Omicron Delta Epsilon National Economics Honorary