Clark Hill Attorneys Joseph E. Turner and Lucius A. Vassar Named to Michigan Chronicle’s 2010 Men of Excellence List

Apr 13, 2010

DETROIT, MI - Clark Hill attorneys Joseph E. Turner and Lucius A. Vassar have been named to this year’s Men of Excellence list by Michigan Chronicle. The Michigan Chronicle recognizes local African-American men who motivate and inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service. For more information, please visit www.michronicleonline.com .


Joseph E. Turner is a member in Clark Hill's Detroit office where he practices in the Education and Municipal and Government Relations Groups. Joseph specializes in public pension law, real estate, commercial transactions, municipal finance, school law litigation and and criminal law. The major clients with which he works include the Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit, the General Retirement System of the City of Detroit, and the Detroit-Wayne Building Authority. As a former commercial bank manager, Joseph offers invaluable institutional lending experience relative to various complex finance-related transactions.


His primary practice focuses on public pension law and lender related transactions. Joseph has a broad range of experience in various complex investment transactions permitted under the Michigan Public Employees Retirement System Investment Act (PERSIA) Public Act 314 of 1965, MCL 38.as amended (commonly referred to as, "Act 314"). He has negotiated and drafted documentation ranging from commercial loans to multi-layered financings, sophisticated credit enhancement financing and letters of credit. Joseph also negotiates investment management agreements with public pension fund investment managers. He has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting alternative investments documentation, including private equity funds, and related side letters. Also, Joseph provides advice to pension fund trustees, executive staff and general counsel relative to retirement benefits, disability, deferred retirement option plans (DROP), eligible domestic relations orders (EDRO's), freedom of information issues, open meetings act as well as general public pension matters.


In Joseph's real estate and municipal finance practices, he has represented various business and governmental entities. His extensive range of experience includes reviewing, negotiating and drafting purchase and sale, loan, construction, lease and other real estate documentation. He has extensive experience representing owners and institutional lenders in connection with permanent financing, workouts and documentation for commercial and residential projects. Joseph has served as local counsel on behalf of major national corporations in muliti-state financings. He has previously served as co-bond counsel on local municipal financings.


As a former police officer, Joseph has utilized his vast law enforcement related knowledge in criminal defense areas. Joseph has experience representing clients appearing before federal grand juries and federal authorities for formal interviews.


While attending law school, one summer Joseph served as a Michigan Supreme Judicial Intern for the then-Honorable Justice Dennis W. Archer.


He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Development Corporation of Wayne County (DCWC) and the Board of Directors of Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC).


Joseph earned his Bachelors in Management at Walsh College and his Juris Doctorate Magna Cum Laude at then Detroit College of Law (nka Michigan State University College of Law). Joseph is a devoted and doting father of a pre-teenage daughter. In his spare time, Joe enjoys playing golf.


Lucius A. Vassar is a member of Clark Hill's Government and Public Affairs Practice Group and specializes in Government Relations and Legislative Affairs. Prior to joining Clark Hill, Lucius devoted six years of service and leadership in the City of Detroit. He most recently served as Director of the Detroit Workforce Development Department, Michigan’s largest workforce agency with an annual budget of more than $70 million. As Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Detroit, he directly advised the Mayor and developed and implemented policy initiatives at the local, state and federal levels. He also served the City of Detroit as Director of Corporate and Civic Affairs with responsibility for the creation and maintenance of partnerships with corporations, civic organizations and foundations throughout Southeast Michigan. Lucius’ efforts in economic development led to the retention of a major corporation and hundreds of jobs in the City of Detroit. He has served on many boards and commissions in the City of Detroit including Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Downtown Development Authority, Arts League of Michigan, City Connect Detroit, Detroit Police Foundation and the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Lucius has extensive experience in lobbying and governmental affairs, having worked for four years as a multi-client lobbyist with one of Michigan’s largest firms. He has represented a wide array of international corporations, trade and professional associations before the Governor of the State of Michigan, Michigan Legislature and many municipal governments.


Previous public sector experience includes eight years of service in the Michigan Senate. A supportive mentor and leader, Lucius served as Chief of Staff for the Senate Democratic Floor Leader, where he forged partnerships across the aisle. He has had direct involvement in the crafting, revision and implementation of several key state policy initiatives including the Michigan Gaming Act and the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Act. Lucius also served as staff liaison to several senate committees including the Judiciary, Finance and Local Government Committees.


Lucius earned his B.A. in Psychology from Michigan State University and his Juris Doctorate Cum Laude from Michigan State University College of Law. He is a devoted father of two amazing daughters.



Since 1890, Clark Hill PLC has been providing Business Legal Services, Government & Public Affairs and Personal Legal Services. With offices in Arizona , Illinois , Michigan , Washington , DC , Clark Hill is a full service law firm with more than 200 attorneys. For more information, visit www.clarkhill.com .