Marquette University Law School, J.D., 1987
Michigan State University, B.A., 1984
Honorable Thomas L. Brown
Ingham County Circuit Court and Michigan Court of Claims
Bar and Court Admissions
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
Richard L. Hillman
Richard L. Hillman
An East Lansing native, Rick joined the firm in 1999. Prior to joining Foster Swift, he was a shareholder in the law firm of McGinty, Jakubiak, Frankland & Hitch, where he served as assistant city attorney for East Lansing from 1988-1999, Meridian Township Prosecutor, and maintained a general litigation practice.
Rick's previous work has been instrumental in defining his current practice. Today, he spends a majority of his time handling:
- Criminal Litigation: representing individuals accused of misdemeanors and felonies, drunk driving, traffic violations, drivers license appeals and reinstatements. He is appointed to "A" list to represent indigent defendants in Ingham County charged with serious felonies. He currently acts as prosecutor for the City of Fenton in Genessee County.
- General Litigation: domestic relations, PPOs, injunctions, civil damage suits, representation of businesses and individuals, landlord-tenant, commercial litigation.
- Municipal Law: representing Michigan cities, townships and counties, advice to city councils, township boards and county boards, planning commissions, zoning review and code enforcement, FOIA and Open Meetings Act, Right to Farm Act, and all types of municipal litigation.
- Real Estate: assisting individuals and businesses in acquisition of property, buildings, development, zoning, land use, construction agreements, leases, easements, land contracts, evictions and related litigation.
- Commercial Litigation: representing local, nation-wide and international corporations in litigation over contracts, leases, and financial disputes.
Hiring the right lawyer in criminal law matters is imperative. Rick understands the strategies used by both the prosecution and defense, and takes this into account when planning his clients' defense. Additionally, through his years of work on both sides of the aisle, he has developed relationships with police, prosecuting officials and judges. As a result of reputation and his studious approach to case preparation, he has been successful at raising legal issues that often result in improved bargain positions for clients or dismissal of charges. Furthermore, he has the courage and willingness to contest criminal cases by conducting evidentiary hearings and going to trial. Richard is a leading criminal defense attorney in Lansing.
His thoroughness and commitment to getting his clients the best possible results transfer to his other areas of practice as well.
- Obtained dismissal of criminal charges on several occasions based on invalid traffic stops or unlawful procedures utilized by police officers.
- Prosecuted successfully several high profile riot cases on behalf of the City of East Lansing that received national coverage.
- Succeeded in obtaining an injunction to allow a Township to seize a performance bond from a developer that failed to complete a condominium development in accordance with an approved site plan. The Michigan Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court injunction.
- Succeeded in obtaining summary disposition, dismissing a claim of fraud against the seller of residential real property based on an underground storm drain. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court decision in a published opinion.
- Successfully defended a Township in a lawsuit brought by a developer claiming the zoning ordinance unreasonably limited the development of rural residential lots. The decision was affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals and is an often cited precedent in the area of zoning and land use.
- Drunk Driving Defense, Presented to 2010 Ingham County Court Appointed Attorneys, May 22, 2010
- Criminal Defense Law, May 18, 2010
- Landlord Tenant Law, January 6, 2009
- The Law of Easements, and Michigan Zoning and Land Use Law, October 22, 2008
- Court of Appeals Rules Breath Test Inadmissible in MIP Case, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, October 2009
- Michigan Court of Appeals Rules PBT Inadmissible in MIP Case, Ingham County Bar Association Briefs, September 2009
- Cellular Towers on the Rise, Michigan Township News (Michigan Township Association Publication), September 2002
Memberships & Affiliations
- Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan
- Michigan Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Ingham County Bar Foundation, Board Member
- State Bar of Michigan
- Criminal Law Section
- Real Property Section
- Ingham County Bar Association, Past Board Member and Treasurer
- Criminal Practice Section
Industry & Professional Associations:
- Legal Aid of Central Michigan, Past Board Member