A member of the Municipal Practice Group, Sarah Gabis has over a decade of legal experience helping municipalities. Throughout her career, she has committed herself to helping public entities address the wide array of issues they regularly face, including zoning and land use enforcement, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) questions, Open Meeting Act (OMA) matters, intergovernmental agreements and sewer and water contractual issues and related litigation. A former state prosecutor, Sarah has vast experience in criminal law and procedure and has assisted several municipalities with municipal prosecution matters in the District Courts as well as appellate matters in the Circuit and Appellate Courts. During her time in Illinois, Sarah also assisted the City of Chicago as a member of the Law Department in zoning enforcement matters.
At Foster Swift, she assists public entities with a wide range of legal disputes including civil and criminal.
Sarah earned her juris doctorate cum laude at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, earning a national championship as a Corboy Mock Trial fellow, and accolades as a American Bar Association Moot Court competitor. Before attending law school, she completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Michigan State University in the areas of psychology and administrative social work.
Memberships & Affiliations
- State Bar of Michigan
- State Bar of Illinois (In-Active)
- State Bar of Kentucky
- Oakland County Bar Association
- US District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
- ACADEMIC POSITION (Former): Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Adjunct Professor of NITA Trial Skills
- Implementing a multi-million dollar special assessment district with MDEQ and special federal financing for sewer system improvement and extension.
- Litigated through trial complex sewer treatment plant capacity suit involving issues of annexation.
- As lead counsel for a municipality, litigated and successfully negotiated settlement of complex sewer treatment service breach of contract action between two municipalities and a school district.
- Litigated to the Michigan Court of Appeals the enforcement of a zoning ordinance to prohibit the expansion of a non-conforming use and prevent the establishment of a marina on residentially zoned property.
- Municipalities May Now Establish “Social Districts” Allowing for On-Site Sale and Off-Site Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages, Foster Swift Municipal Law News E-blast, September 17, 2020
- Supreme Court Expands Local Government's Ability to Regulate Zoning of Medical Marijuana Caregivers, Foster Swift Municipal Law News E-blast, April 28, 2020
- Governor Temporarily Suspends Certain FOIA Deadlines, Foster Swift Municipal Law News E-blast, April 6, 2020
- Executive Order 2020-15 Concerning OMA and COVID-19, Foster Swift Municipal Law News E-blast, March 19, 2020
- Is your Municipal Website ADA Compliant?, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, November 12, 2019
- Zoning Cases to Watch, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, February 7, 2019
News & Events
- Cost Recovery Options (And Hurdles!), Michigan Township Association (MTA), Emerging Issues in Emergency Services, September 25, 2019
- Southfield Office Welcomes Municipal Attorney, December 4, 2018
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. 2004, cum laude
Michigan State University, B.S., 1997, Psychology
Bar and Court Admissions
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan