Remembering Michigan Building Industry Icons Lost In 2018
Greg McClelland

No one is gone until the ripples

they cause in the world die away.

Sir Terry Pratchett

Greg McClelland, Chief Corporate Counsel for the Home Builders Association of Michigan for more than 40 years, passed away on November 2, 2018. Before becoming a founding partner at McClelland and Anderson law firm in 1996, Greg was a partner at the Dickenson & Wright law firm. Greg also served as chief counsel to the Michigan Realtors.

Greg handled more than 50 cases for the Home Builders, too many to list them all here. Those 50 cases don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what Greg and the firm did for not only HBAM members but the home building and remodeling industry in Michigan.

Thanks to Greg:

• Builders and remodelers can’t be sued under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

• Personal injury attorneys can’t make builders pay their fees when they sue or make builders pay for the costs of soliciting clients for a class action suit.

• Local governments can’t charge builders special assessments for infrastructure improvements and then not do the improvements while keeping the money.

• Local governments can no longer unconstitutionally use public improvements to increase assessments.

• And soon, we hope, local governments will be stopped from charging excess building fees and placing the millions in surplus the fees generate into their general fund in violation of both the law and the Constitution. Always there when he was needed and not just on big issues but little ones

as well, Greg was a resolute advocate for and defender of the industry both in and out of court; just like you’d expect from a Marine. Home builders were always excited to hear from Greg because he was a great communicator and because he spoke their language.

Builders and remodelers don’t pussyfoot around and neither did Greg. Ask him a question and you were always going to get an honest and blunt answer in return, even if it wasn’t the answer you wanted. After a person talked with Greg they never went away thinking “Boy, that’s an hour of my life I won’t get back.”

When the law changed or we won an important issue (or even when we lost) Greg was there to help HBAM members deal with the ramifications.

When the State Real Estate Transfer Tax was created under Proposal A, Greg found several ways for builders to minimize the tax impact on new homes.

When the Legislature gave builders and remodelers the right to have a chance to remedy any problems or to avoid complaints to the state by requiring mediation or arbitration in their contracts it was Greg who provided them with the appropriate language.

When the court told the Tax Tribunal they had the power to adjust erroneous assessment increases from public improvements it was Greg who wrote the manual for appealing these assessments.

We will all miss Greg but the ripples he caused in the world will take decades to fade away. l