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Jeffrey W. Bracken

Of Counsel | Email

  • Lansing

    t. +1.517.679.7412

    f. +1.517.316.8412

Biography

Mr. Bracken is engaged primarily in general commercial litigation including condemnation, construction, land use, and oil and gas litigation. He has represented both condemning parties and commercial property owners in numerous condemnation matters. He was the lead litigator for an extensive right-of-way condemnation project involving in excess of 1,200 parcels of land. He has also represented commercial landowners in several condemnation matters. Mr. Bracken has substantial experience in contract negotiation and litigation for construction projects. 

Education

  • University of Michigan Law School J.D. 1975
  • University of Michigan A.B. 1972 with honors

Admitted

  • 1975, Michigan

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Litigation Section; Environment, Energy and Resources Law Section
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Real Property Law Section
  • Ingham County Bar Association
    Approved panelist, Ingham County Commercial Case Evaluation Panel (1987-Present)
  • Michigan State Bar Foundation
    Fellow

Experience

  • As lead counsel for a Canadian-based partnership that constructed a 42-inch natural gas pipeline across 1,215 tracts of land from Niles to St. Clair, Michigan
    • litigated pre-condemnation property access disputes
    • filed 88 condemnation actions, defended necessity challenges, and litigated cases to conclusion
    • drafted pleadings and related form documents
    • defended several restoration lawsuits
    • supervised outside counsel, client landmen, and other personnel
    • conducted settlement negotiations
  • Filed condemnation action and negotiated settlement thereof on behalf of Michigan utility regarding power plant welcome center
  • Represented Michigan businesses defending actions to condemn portions of their business premises
    • Represented West Michigan blueberry farm regarding pipeline company’s attempt to use 40-year-old easement grant without paying just compensation to install new, larger pipeline
    • Represented global auto supplier regarding petroleum refiner’s condemnation of easement across portion of testing facility grounds
  • Advised numerous landowners (1) facing expansion of usages under old easement grants and (2) condemnation of new easements
  • Served as trial counsel for major and independent oil and gas exploration companies, well operators and interest owners in cases involving property access and restoration, post-production cost challenges, interest and royalty disputes and well-site performance issues for 25 years
  • Was a member of a litigation team that defended issuance of state mining and wastewater discharge permits by State of Michigan for Upper Peninsula mine; participation in longest contested case hearing in state history, and in subsequent appeals
  • Served as trial counsel for an international construction firm involving claim for extras caused by deficient soil borings on a state project; the case was resolved by a substantial settlement favorable to the client

Reported Cases

  • Terra Energy Ltd v State of Michigan, 241 Mich App 393; 616 NW2d 691 (2000); lv den 463 Mich 994 (2001)
  • Performance Abatement Services, Inc v Lansing Board of Water and Light, 168 F Supp 2d 720 (WD Mich 2001)
  • Omega Construction Company, Inc v Altman, 147 Mich App 649 (1985); lv den 425 Mich 877 (1986)
  • Omega Construction Company, Inc v Altman, 667 F Supp 453 (WD Mich 1987)
  • National Wildlife Federation v. Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co, ___ Mich App ___ (2014)

Honors & Awards

  • Named the Best Lawyers’ 2019, 2016 and 2014 Lansing Construction Litigation Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, Litigation-Construction, Litigation-Environmental, 2009-Present
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2011-Present
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan, 2014
  • Life Member of the National Registry of Who’s Who in American Law
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Received the Fielding H. Yost Award for athletic and academic achievement from the University of Michigan
  • East Lansing Education Foundation Volunteer of the Year

News

Publications

Leadership

Community Affiliations

  • East Lansing High School Boosters Club
  • Ele's Place
  • Hospice of Lansing
  • Northwest Lower Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • University Lutheran Church
  • University of Michigan Alumni Club of Lansing

Speaking Engagements

  • Has lectured to various trade associations regarding construction contracts, private lien and public bond construction claims, and topical oil and gas issues
  • "Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law," September 2014

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