Shifman & Carlson, P.C. is a law firm that has specialized in representing public bodies since its founding in 1963. Whether serving as general counsel or bond counsel for municipal clients, the attorneys at Shifman & Carlson provide the highest level of legal services. The Firm has served as both bond counsel and general counsel to numerous public bodies, including City of Oak Park, the City of Huntington Woods, the Village of Leonard, the Oakland County Road Commission, the Oakland County Equalization Department, Ferndale Public Schools, Oak Park Public Schools, Southfield Public Schools, Saginaw Public Schools, as well as numerous public school academies throughout Michigan.
The attorneys at Shifman & Carlson understand the unique economic challenges that public bodies face. Our attorneys guide municipal clients on the various tools available to them to not only survive, but to thrive under budget and financial constraints. For instance, our clients have taken advantage of our expertise with intergovernmental agreements to streamline their services and operations. Whether it is working with municipal staff, court administrators, or pension actuaries, we have the acumen to collaborate and develop innovative legal strategies for our clients.
Shifman & Carlson represents public bodies in practically all administrative legal issues, including contract drafting, contract negotiation, real estate transactions, and tax matters. We have substantial expertise in construction law, including reviewing bid documents, advising with respect to bid awards, preparing contracts, and representing public bodies in their dealings with architects, engineers, and contractors. Additionally, our attorneys have a successful track record of litigating on behalf of our clients, and we have represented clients in both Michigan and Federal Courts.
Shifman & Carlson, P.C. has eight attorneys admitted to practice in Michigan. The Firm's attorneys are active members in several legal associations, including the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys and the National Association of Bond Lawyers. Shifman & Carlson’s municipal and public finance group is lead by John A. Carlson, Daniel S. Carlson, and Robert J. Gavin.
John A. Carlson has over thirty-five years of legal experience practicing in nearly every area of municipal and public finance law. In his public finance practice, Mr. Carlson has served as bond counsel, note counsel, and local counsel to numerous local issuers throughout his career. He has helped municipal clients complete public finance transactions, public facility acquisition and financing, cash flow borrowings, and other special public projects. He has been recognized multiple times as one of the top attorneys in the field of public finance law by fellow Michigan attorneys in DBusiness magazine. In addition to his expertise as bond counsel, Mr. Carlson has a wealth of related municipal and public sector experience. Mr. Carlson guides municipal clients through all stages of legal representation, whether trial, appellate, or transactional. In recognition of his expertise, he has received an "AV Rating" from Martindale-Hubbell for the past 20 years, which is the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards.
Daniel S. Carlson is the managing partner of Shifman & Carlson, P.C. He has represented a number of high-profile individuals and large entities. Mr. Carlson has been recognized by DBusiness magazine multiple times as one of the top lawyers in the Detroit area for his representation of public bodies.
Robert J. Gavin has worked in Shifman & Carlson's public finance practice group since joining the Firm in 2008, and has been recognized multiple times by DBusiness magazine as one of the top public finance attorneys in Southeast Michigan. Mr. Gavin was also recognized by Super Lawyers as a 2015 ‘Rising Star’ for being a top rated state, local, and municipal attorney. Throughout his career, Mr. Gavin has served as bond counsel, note counsel, and local counsel on traditional general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, school building and site bonds, revenue bonds, and state aid notes for cities, school districts, and charter schools.