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Richard A. Sundquist

fax +1 313.309.6827

Richard Sundquist practices primarily in the areas of real estate, bankruptcy, general business, and real estate-related environmental law. In addition to providing transactional services in these areas, he has significant litigation experience (bench and jury trials) in state and federal courts, including the bankruptcy courts.

He has a broad range of experience in 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 and workout documentation (deed in lieu, loan modification and short sales), as well as documentation for commercial, industrial and residential projects.

Rick also counsels clients in connection with general business matters, including contract review and negotiation, litigation matters and routine business issues. He has also represented clients in the acquisition and disposition of businesses and nonprofit mergers.

In addition, Rick’s real estate litigation practice has included land contract forfeitures, mortgage foreclosures (judicial and non judicial) and waste claims, as well as condemnation, commission disputes, partition, adverse possession, specific performance, eviction, premises liability, construction lien litigation, environmental, slander of title, fraud, tax appeal and quiet title actions. He has represented a number of receivers in federal and state court receiverships. Rick has represented developers and landowners in various zoning matters, including rezonings, variances, site plan approvals, special use permits, nonconforming uses and site selection. He has had numerous appearances before zoning boards of appeals, planning commissions, city councils and township boards and has handled appeals to circuit court. Rick has substantial experience in landlord representation and management issues and has represented local homeowner associations and a school district in significant deed restriction litigation.

Rick has significant experience in handling those matters unique to the title claims industry. In particular, he provides legal services tailored to the needs of title insurance underwriters, insureds and title agents.

Title insurance matters handled by Rick include quiet title, lien priority disputes, equitable subrogation, fraud and misrepresentation, forgery, declaratory relief, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, indemnification, recoupment, construction liens, marshalling of assets, encroachments, setting aside of foreclosures, injunctive relief (tolling of redemption periods), reformation, enforceability of use restrictions, real estate forfeiture claims (bank and drug fraud), agent defalcation, bankruptcy and bankruptcy preference/avoidance and tax title matters.

Rick also has substantial experience in real estate transactional matters which, in many cases, results in the resolution of title claims, sometimes avoiding the need for litigation altogether.

Rick also has considerable experience in creditor representation in Chapter 11, 7 and 13 bankruptcy matters. Matters handled by Rick include adequate protection and lift stay proceedings, plan negotiations and objections to confirmation, proof of claim preparation and defense of objections to claims, including administrative expense claims, defense of pre petition preference claims and objections to dischargeability of debts and discharge of debtor. In addition, he has been involved in lease assumptions and rejections, the purchase of assets in bankruptcy, filing of involuntary bankruptcy petitions and has served as a member on various creditors committees.

Rick has also been a significant advocate and participant in the enactment of various state laws. He was an advocate with respect to the enactment of Public Act 186 (2004) amending MCL 600.3204(3) regarding assignment provisions related to foreclosure by advertisement (record chain of title shall exist prior to the date of sale evidencing the assignment of the mortgage to the party foreclosing the mortgage) in 2004. He was also a major advocate in the passing of Public Act 483 (2006) amending MCL 207.5575 providing for the retroactive amendment of an industrial facilities tax certificate. Rick was also involved in the passage of Public Acts 505 and 506 (2008) amending MCL 211.7q and 211.7a, respectively, regarding property tax exemptions and acreage limitations on exemptions for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan and certain similar organizations and transfer of property by certain nonprofit corporations. Rick testified at two hearings on the Bills in 2008 before two legislative committees in support of the underlying exemption bills. Finally, Rick advocated in favor of the enactment of Public Act 346 (2010) (MCL 206.435) and Public Act 347 (2010) (MCL 206.721 – .726, now MCL 206.921 – .926) regarding the Girl Scouts of Michigan Fund and Girl Scouts income tax checkoff.

Rick is currently defending various mid-Michigan townships and counties in the first wind energy system (wind turbine) personal property tax appeals filed in the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Rick has considerable experience in the Michigan Tax Tribunal regarding commercial tax appeals, including exemption issues.

He has also been involved in a wide variety of arbitrations, including the termination of a coal handling agreement, stock sale and shareholder earn-out, termination of an apartment cleaning contract, fraud and accounting, lease termination, restoration of and reasonable wear and tear to manufacturing facility and trespass and violation of condominium master deed and bylaws. Rick also initiated an international arbitration in Paris, France regarding a breach of contract claim for delivery of industrial furnaces in Egypt.

Rick has been actively involved with the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (including former Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit) since 2002. He has been a Member-at-Large of the Board of Directors since 2009 and has served as the Chair of the Property Task Group since 2009. In 2007 Rick became a member of the Girl Scout’s Council Realignment Committee (CRC) pertaining to the merger of four existing councils. He implemented the long-range property planning process involving 70+ participants who assessed GSSEM’s current substantial real estate assets. Rick was a Member-at-Large of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit from May of 2002 to 2008 and was Vice-Chair of the Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit from 2007 to 2009. He also chaired the Strategic Planning Committee for the Girl Scouts from 2003 and was elected to its Executive Committee in 2003.



  • State Bar of Michigan Real Property Section e-newsletter, “Court of Appeals Revitalizes Limited Application of Equitable Subrogation,” Richard A. Sundquist and Matthew W. Heron (July 2012)
  • State Bar of Michigan Real Property Section e-newsletter, “Lease Voided for Lack of Landlord’s One Sentence Disclosure” (September 2010)
  • “Tenant’s Contractual Obligation to Surrender Leased Premises in a Prescribed Condition After Termination or Expiration of Lease Term: Rights and Remedies of the Parties,” 25 Michigan Real Property Review 7 (Spring 1998)
  • Contributor to the 1995 American Bar Association publication Foreclosure and Related Remedies, a State by State Digest, and compiled the Michigan summary for that publication
  • “Real Property Law,” 35 Wayne Law Review 851 (1989) (1988-1989 Wayne Law Review Annual Survey of Michigan Real Property Law)
  • “Lobby Reform Act—Update,” 3 MI Corporation, Finance & Business Law Section Journal 109 (May-June 1979)
  • From 1979 to 1980, Rick served as Managing Editor of the Michigan Corporation, Finance & Business Law Section Journal and served on its Editorial Board until 1984

Speaking Engagements

  • Co-Speaker – “Legal Issues: Real Estate and Michigan Public Schools,” Michigan School Business Officials Conference (May 4, 2017)
  • Co-Speaker – Roundtable “Exit Stage Left: Issues Pertaining to Assignments and Subleases,” International Council of Shopping Centers (February 9, 2017)
  • Speaker – Roundtable “Who Doesn’t Want a Happy Ending? Issues to be Addressed in Connection with the Surrender of Possession at the End of the Lease Term,” International Council of Shopping Centers (February 11, 2016)
  • Speaker – Seminar on “Construction for the Non-Construction Lawyer,” State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section and ICLE (November 3, 2015)
  • Co-Speaker – Roundtable on “CAM Audit Provisions: The Landlord Giveth and Taketh Away,” International Council of Shopping Centers (February 13, 2014)
  • Co-Speaker – “Made in Michigan: The New Age of Retail,” Roundtable on “CAM Charges, Landlord and Tenant Strategies,” International Council of Shopping Centers (February 13, 2013)
  • Speaker – “Receiverships and Shopping Centers,” International Council of Shopping Centers (July 26, 2012)
  • Speaker – “Amendment to Part 201, 785 Wetland Changes and BEAs,” Roundtable Discussion, State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section (July 17, 2010)
  • Speaker – “Distressed Assets and Financing 2010,” American Bar Association Real Property and Trust and Estate Law Section, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (May 7, 2010)
  • Speaker – “Bankruptcy Basics for Title Agents,” Michigan Land Title Association (October 15, 2008)
  • Radio Guest – “Ask A Lawyer” Radio Program regarding Michigan foreclosures, State Bar of Michigan, WJIM Radio, AM1240, Lansing (December 20, 2007 and January 24, 2008)
  • Panelist – “Foreclosure, Workouts and Title Insurance,” American Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Washington, D.C. (August 11, 2002)
  • Co-Speaker – “The Nuts and Bolts of Insurance Coverage: Casualty & Restoration Provisions,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education (April 20, 2000)
  • Co-Speaker – “Current Commercial Leasing Issues,” State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section (December 1996)
  • Co-Speaker – “The Procedural Framework of Foreclosure,” commercial eviction and foreclosure law; Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education (December 1991)


J.D., University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, Michigan, 1980
B.B.A., University of Michigan, Michigan, 1976


Named a Leading Lawyer in Detroit by Leading Lawyers℠ (2014-2024)

AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell’s Highest Rating

Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Land Use and Zoning Law (2021-2023) and Real Estate Law (2019-2024)

Girl Scouts Thanks Badge, Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit (2007)

Girl Scouts Thanks Badge II, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (2013)

dBusiness Top Lawyer, dBusiness Magazine (2013)

Selected to the Michigan Super Lawyers list (2007-present)

Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Award


American Bankruptcy Institute

American Bar Associations, Sections on Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Business Law, Tort and Insurance Practice Law and International Law

American Bar Association, Co-Chair of the Workouts, Foreclosures and Bankruptcies Committee of the Financing Group of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section (2006-2010)

American Bar Foundation, Fellow

Michigan Land Title Association

Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow

Oakland County Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan, Sections on Real Property Law, Environment Law, Business Law (Business Law Section Council Member 2001-2007), Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Taxation Law

State Bar of Michigan, Co-Chair of the Real Property Law Section’s Committee on Energy Law

Detroit Athletic Club

State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Michigan
U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Michigan
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of International Trade