Northwestern University School of Law, J.D. 1966
University of Illinois, B.A.
Joel L. Piell represents local units of government, specializing in the often complex and confusing area of municipal finance.
By cutting through the clutter, he helps his clients implement public policies regarding capital planning and infrastructure needs in ways that provide the most cost efficient and expeditious solution to achieve their goals. His advice is based on decades of experience and often involves innovative structures which may require new financing methods and implementing legislation.
Joel has worked on more than 2,000 major bond projects. They include the acquisition and creation of streets, water supply and sewer systems, parking decks, city halls, fire trucks and police cars, recreational facilities, brownfields, tax increments financings, industrial and commercial developments and nonprofit facilities. Overall, they range from matters which are simple to those of great complexity -- virtually the entire universe of municipal finance.
As an expert in municipal finance, Joel’s work has taken him to all of Michigan's 83 counties. He also lectures to municipal groups, drafts proposals for legislative solutions and publishes papers on municipal finance. He previously served as a member of the firm’s managing partner group and as CEO.
Joel played a key role in one of the first brownfield bond issues in Michigan. The proceeds were used to fund infrastructure improvements which helped a client city retain a major employer. In a similar matter, Joel helped another city find ways to arrange financing to encourage a locally based company to relocate an out-of-state company it had purchased to its home city.
Best Lawyers in America, Public Finance Law 2007-present
Michigan Super Lawyers, Government/Cities/Municipalities 2011-present
DBusiness Magazine, Top Lawyers, Public Finance 2011
American Bar Association
State Bar of Michigan, Member since 1966
Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
National Association of Bond Attorneys
National Association of Municipal Lawyers
Bond Club of Detroit
American College of Bond Counsel, Fellow
Michigan Municipal Finance Officers' Association, Legislative Committee
Municipal Treasurers' Association
Government Finance Officers' Association
Walsh College, Member, President's Advisory Council
Municipal Advisory Council, Chairman, Board of Trustees
Civic, Cultural & Social Activities
Active in civic, religious, & community activities
Frequent panelist at various governmental association forums such as Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Townships Association, and other organizations regarding municipal finance issues
Frequent lecturer and panelist at governmental seminars and meetings
"So You Want to Finance a Firehall? Michigan's Revised Municipal Finance Act," 48 Wayne L. Rev. 363 (2002). (Coauthored with Ruth H. Swartout)
"Financing of Municipal Improvements through the Issuance of Tax-exempt Securities" in Local Governmental Law and Practice in Michigan, published jointly by the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, 2000