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Joseph W. Colaianne



212 E. Cesar Chavez Ave
Lansing, MI 48906
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Fax: +15173183065
J.D., DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 1990
B.A., James Madison College, Michigan State University, 1987
State Bar Licenses
Court Admissions
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Michigan

Joseph W. Colaianne


Joseph W. Colaianne has over 20 years of experience in municipal and public sector law. Prior to joining Clark Hill, Joe served as corporation counsel for the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority and as counsel and insurance administrator for the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner (WRC).

Joe has extensive experience with public works projects. As counsel and insurance administrator for WRC, Joe was directly involved with the negotiation and transfer of the Oakland-Macomb Interceptor from the City of Detroit to the Oakland-Macomb Interceptor (OMI) Drain Drainage District. This transfer was the first step in the $160 Million rehabilitation of a 37-year old 21-mile sewer serving 830,000 residents in 24 separate communities in Oakland and Macomb Counties. Joe served as the WRC’s legal representative overseeing the municipal and legal affairs of the OMI Drainage District. Joe was also involved in the monetization and transfer of the City of Pontiac wastewater treatment facility, George W. Kuhn Drain rehabilitation project, and various other public work projects throughout Oakland County. As the WRC representative, Joe was directly involved in the negotiation of intergovernmental water and sewer contracts with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD).

Joe received his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in 1990 and is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, 1987. Joe has significant experience with assisting public clients to understand the available options and processes for financing improvements such as water, sewer, and drainage projects. His legal experience includes managing multiple and complex projects with conflicting priorities, real estate acquisitions, environmental issues, construction litigation, and the finance of public works projects. In the area of municipal law, Joe counsels clients on compliance with the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act and general municipal governance. He has practiced before federal and state courts and administrative agencies.

Joe is a past Hartland Township Trustee and has served on Hartland’s Planning Commission. He is co-founder of the non-profit Hartland Enrichment and Recreation Organization (HERO). HERO was established for the purpose of enhancing and enriching educational, recreational, and athletic opportunities in the Hartland Consolidated School District. The organization operates the Next Door Hartland Teen Center which provides an afterschool haven for teens.

Joe has been a presenter at Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioner conferences and “New Drain Commissioner’s School.” His last presentation was in January 2013, entitled “Chapter 20 Drains.”

Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners
Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys
Michigan Association of Planning
National Association of Bond Lawyers
Oakland County Bar Association