Julius H. Giarmarco Named to Leading Lawyers Top 10 Lists

Leading Lawyers Magazine has named Julius H. Giarmarco as one of the Top 10 Lawyers in Michigan in three separate categories.

Mr. Giarmarco was named as one of the Top 10 Leading Lawyers in Michigan in All Areas of Law, Top 10 Leading Consumer Lawyers in Michigan and Top 10 Trust, Will & Estate Lawyers in Michigan from a survey of legal peers.

Mr. Julius H. Giarmarco, J.D., LL.M., is chair of the firm’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group. Julius received his law degree from Wayne State University, and his master of laws from New York University. He is licensed to practice law in both Michigan and New York. Mr Giarmarco’s primary practice areas include estate planning, business succession planning, wealth transfer planning and life insurance applications. He is a former instructor in both the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) programs.

Leading Lawyers, a division of the Law Bulletin Publishing Company, surveys thousands of attorneys statewide to identify lawyers most often recommended by their peers. Lawyers cannot nominate themselves or anyone at their own law firm. Based upon these nominations and approval by the Leading Lawyers Advisory Board, only the top lawyers are nominated and eligible for membership. Learn more at www.leadinglawyers.com.

Julius Giarmarco

Mark S. Papazian Named to Leading Lawyers Top 10 List

Mark S. Papazian was honored to be named one of the Top 10 Leading Family Lawyers in Michigan in the June, 2017 Michigan edition of the Leading Lawyers magazine.

Leading Lawyers is one of the most trusted and respected resources for locating reputable, experienced lawyers. Lawyers are selected based upon surveys conducted by Leading Lawyers which asks Michigan lawyers to respond to the question: “If a family member or friend needs legal help and you can’t take the case, which lawyers would you recommend in your area of law or geographical area?” Based upon survey nominations and approval by an advisory board, only the top lawyers are nominated and eligible for membership in Leading Lawyers.

Mr. Mark Papazian is a partner in the firm’s litigation department, specializing in divorce, custody and related family matters, commercial and business litigation, as well as representation of media celebrities, recording artists and athletes. Mr. Papazian has practiced law for forty years and has tried cases all over the State of Michigan. He has been appointed as a “receiver” by the Oakland County Circuit Court.

Mr. Papazian has represented prominent business leaders with net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars, TV and radio personnel, as well as athletes in the NFL, NHL and the NBA. His celebrity clients are a result of his varied background in the music and nightclub business and his hotel ownership.

Mr. Papazian has an “AV” peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest ranking by peers for ethical standards and legal ability. He is recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness News and as a “Super Lawyer” for many years.

Mark Papazian

Underutilized Tax Exemption for Eligible Developer Property

During the depths of the housing crisis, the Michigan Legislature passed Public Act 494 of 2012 to assist home builders holding excess inventories of “development property” (a term defined in the PA 494) in various states of construction.  PA 494 was phased in over a one-year period. Beginning December 31, 2013, eligible development property is exempt from taxes levied by the local school district for school operating purposes to the same extent provided a principal residence for either (a) three years, or (b) until the property is no longer eligible development property. See the General Property Tax Act—Act 206 of 1893.

“Eligible development property” is (a) a residential dwelling, condominium unit, or other residential structure that was new construction after December 30, 2012, including (b) the land on which that residential dwelling, condominium unit, or other residential structure is located, if the property meets all of the following conditions: (i) is not occupied and has never been occupied; (ii) is available for sale; (iii) is not leased; and (iv) is not used for any business or commercial purpose. The construction does not need to be complete to qualify for the exemption. See the Department of Treasury Bulletin 24 of 2013 regarding PA 494 of 2012.

To take advantage of the exemption, the owner must fill out Form 5033 and submit it to the local assessor. The assessor must determine if the property is eligible within fourteen days. If at any time the property, or a portion of the property, does not meet the requirements, the owner must file a rescission within 90 days. Assuming a school operating millage of 18 mills, the owner/developer stands to save $1,800 per year per $100,000 of assessed value. Builders and developers, particularly of high value residential construction, should consider utilizing the 211.7ss exemption.

John Anderson Speaking in Live Webinar on Significant Changes to CMS’ Medicare Shared Savings Program: Addressing Healthcare Providers’ Concerns

Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. is pleased to announce that John Anderson will be a speaker for the Live Webinar assembled by The Knowledge Group titled, Significant Changes to CMS’ Medicare Shared Savings Program: Addressing Healthcare Providers’ Concerns.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (EST)

Key topics include:

  • Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) – An Overview
  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • Final MSSP Rule: Key Provisions
  • Quality Payment Programs
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • Systemic Inefficiencies
  • Practical Suggestions



John Anderson

Pontiac Silverdome to be demolished after agreement reached between mayor, stadium owner

Pontiac City Attorney and Partner of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C., Travis Mihelick, said “The city is satisfied with the judgment and believes the measures taken will not only make the property safer, but also more aesthetically attractive. Most importantly, we all believe it will be even more development-ready when the next opportunity emerges.”

Click to read the Crain’s Detroit Business article here

Click to read the WDIV Local 4 / Click on Detroit article here

Mr. Mihelick focuses his practice in the area of defending municipalities, schools and other employers against a wide range of claims, including discrimination claims, labor and employment disputes, civil rights actions, police liability claims, negligence, intentional torts, and other general liability claims. Mr. Mihelick has successfully represented his clients at all levels of litigation in both state and federal courts, including appellate courts.

Mr. Mihelick is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Federal Bar for the Eastern District of Michigan. In addition, he has been admitted to practice in the Western District of Michigan, the Northern District of Ohio, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.


J. Travis Mihelick


Paul Thursam Accepted into Crain’s Leadership Academy

Partner Paul Thursam has been accepted into Crain’s Leadership Academy, a nomination-based program focused on developing the strengths of rising leaders in the community. This program includes development sessions focused on personal discovery, civic discovery, and discussions with leading figures in the community.


Mr. Thursam is a shareholder in GMH’s Business Practice Group, and Real Estate Practice Group. Since beginning his career in 2008, Paul has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by dbusiness magazine for 2012-21014 and 2016, and as a “SuperLaywer – Rising Star” for 2012-2016. He was also selected for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s “Leadership Detroit” program. He serves on the State Bar’s Representative Assembly, representing the 6th Circuit; on the Board of Review for Grosse Pointe Shores; on the Board of Directors for the Wayne State Law School Alumni Association; and he is the President of the Italian American Bar Association for Michigan. Paul co-chaired two symposiums at U of D Mercy Law School, and is published in the Michigan Real Property Law Section Journal.


Much congratulations to Mr. Thursam on his nomination and selection!


Timothy Mullins and John Miller Argue Case Against Gun Advocates

Timothy Mullins

John Miller

George Contis, Shareholder at GMH

Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. is pleased to announce that George Contis is now a shareholder with the firm.

Mr. Contis concentrates his practice in the areas of, real estate acquisition and development, construction, mortgage and end-loan lending, participation loans, commercial and industrial leasing for landlords and tenants (including master leases, ground leases and subleases) and business planning.

Mr. Contis regularly works with lenders, owners and court appointed receivers in the sale of distressed office, commercial and industrial properties and manufactured home communities. He represented LA Fitness International and negotiated leases on its behalf for the establishment of its first 6 fitness facilities in Southeastern Michigan.

Mr. Contis earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982 and received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Detroit in 1985. While at the University of Detroit, Mr. Contis participated in several local and national Moot Court competitions and was selected for membership to the Order of Barristers.

Mr. Contis has an “AV” Peer Review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest ranking by peers for general ethical standards and legal ability.
George Contis

Keela Johnson Gracey, Shareholder at GMH

Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. is pleased to announce that Keela Johnson Gracey is now a shareholder with the firm.

Keela specializes in complex divorce litigation in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties. She is involved in cases that impact all aspects of the family including high conflict custody and parenting time disputes, guardianships and conservatorships. She is frequently appointed as a Guardian ad Litem on behalf of children in custody disputes.

Keela is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Family Law Committee; Oakland County Bar Association & Foundation; Women Lawyers Association of Michigan and the Michigan Interprofessional Association on Marriage, Divorce and the Family. She is a past Chair of the OCBA, Family Court Committee. She is also an Oakland County Bar Foundation Fellow.

Keela received her J.D., cum laude, from Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where she was on the Dean’s List and an Honors Scholar. She also holds a Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a B.A., summa cum laude, from Upper Iowa University.

Keela J. Gracey

Timothy Mullins argued Ray v Swager in the Michigan Supreme Court

During the Philko trial, Timothy Mullins argued Ray v Swager in the Michigan Supreme Court. The case was argued in the River Rouge High School auditorium with numerous elected officials/judges in attendance. The Michigan appeals court ruled in favor of the coach.  Below is a photo from the argument.

Click here to view the article as published in the Associated Press. 


Timothy Mullins

Kenneth Chapie

Ken Chapie_OEP3596

John Miller