Patricia Irving Cwiek
- State and Local Government Law
- Real Estate and Recording Law
- Land Use Planning and Zoning Regulation
- Real Property Tax Forfeiture and Foreclosure
- FOIA and Public Records Law
- Public Official Ethics and Conflicts Law
- Municipal Contract and Procurement Law
- Code Enforcement and Licensing
- Grant Administration
- Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law
- Election Law
- Civil Rights Law
Oakland University, Michigan, B.A., 1974
University of Detroit, Michigan, J.D., 1979
Wayne State University, Michigan, M.U.P., 1991
State Bar of Michigan, 1979
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 1979
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1989
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, 2003
Patricia Irving Cwiek is an experienced trial and appellate attorney, planning professional and management consultant with expertise in state and local government law, public records management, land title and real property law, zoning and land use regulation, municipal contract law and grant administration.
Patricia began her in the public sector serving as an assistant corporation counsel for both the City of Detroit and the County of Wayne. As legal counsel for the largest Charter City and Charter County in Michigan, Patricia developed expertise in state and local government law, litigating some of the State’s leading cases on the structure and authority of home rule cities and counties.
Patricia is regarded as an authority on public records management and recording laws, and serves as a management consultant and legal advisor to county clerk-registers of deeds and the title insurance industry. Her substantial knowledge of land title records is based on her experience as the Chief Deputy Register of Deeds for the County of Wayne, the first State Counsel to the Michigan Register of Deeds Association (MARD), and the first General Counsel and Director of Local Government Affairs for the Michigan Land Title Association (MLTA).
The combination of legal and administrative experience in both the public and private sectors of the public records industry has provided Patricia with the opportunity to coordinate efforts between county registers and the title industry to resolve conflicts and address public policy issues. Patricia played a leading role in drafting policies and legislation dealing with access to land records, and served as the Chairwoman of a State Bar Committee charged with development of a uniform recording code for Michigan.
As both a planner and an attorney, Patricia has significant experience in all aspects of land use regulation, building and zoning code enforcement, as well and condemnation and eminent domain proceedings. She served as legal counsel and advisor to planning commissions, zoning boards and building officials in communities throughout Southeastern Michigan, including the Cities of Detroit, Pontiac, Taylor, Wayne and Garden City, Clinton and Pittsfield Townships. Patricia’s knowledge of land use regulation and condemnation law was vital to her successful defense of several municipalities in complex litigation challenging the constitutionality of various zoning and sign ordinances. Her expertise in both land use and public records law made her uniquely qualified to serve as legal advisor to Wayne County’s Geographic Information System (GIS).
Patricia served as the Administrator of the State Remonumentation and Resurvey Grant Program and legal counsel for the Wayne County Plat Board. She has published numerous articles on recording and planning law and served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Detroit-Mercy Law School.