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Emily C. Palacios





University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 2002

University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, M.U.P., 1991

University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Honors Program, A.B., 1988

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals

  • 6th Circuit

U.S. District Court

  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • Western District of Michigan
  • Northern District of Ohio

Emily Palacios' practice includes transaction and litigation matters in the energy, banking, real estate, construction, and government sectors.

Emily has represented businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups in a wide variety of litigation and transactional matters. Typical litigation matters involve breach of contract and business tort claims, loan enforcement actions, lender liability and consumer claims, land use and zoning disputes, construction and lien foreclosure claims, quiet title and plat actions, eminent domain/condemnation, and commercial landlord/tenant disputes. Typical transactional matters include property acquisitions/dispositions, real estate development, economic development incentives, design and construction contracts, and condominium master deeds, commercial leasing, land use and zoning approvals, and historic preservation.

Emily enjoys building relationships with her clients and developing legal strategies that complement and advance her clients' business objectives. She is highly regarded for her communication and public relations skills.

Prior to joining the firm, Emily served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Cornelia G. Kennedy of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Before practicing law, Emily was a vice president of a Michigan civil engineering and municipal consulting firm where she managed the firm's planning and landscape architecture practice and worked as professional community planning consultant.

Reported and Published Decisions

James M. Perna v. Health One Credit Union, National Credit Union Administration, National Credit Union Administration Board, Case No. 19-1965 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Decided December 21, 2020

Mark Parson et al v. United States Department of Justice, et al, Case No. 14-1848 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Decided September 17, 2015


State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020

DBusiness Magazine, Top Lawyers, Energy Law, Construction Law, Litigation - Construction, 2020-present

University of Michigan Law School, J.D., magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Women Lawyers of Michigan, Julia D. Darlow Award; Raymond K. & John R. Dykema Award; Jack C. Radcliffe, Jr. Award; Faculty Scholarly Writing Award; Journal of Law Reform, Managing Articles Editor

University of Michigan, A.B. with high honors; Tau Sigma Delta Architecture & Allied Arts Honor Society; Sophomore Honors Award

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan; Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, 2020-2021

Real Property Section, Zoning & Land Use, Title and Conveyancing, and Construction Special Committees

Public Law Section – Model Sign Ordinance Special Committee

Michigan Association of Planning – Planning Law Committee

Washtenaw County Bar Association

Civic, Cultural & Social Activities

Skyline Athletic Booster Club, General Member, 2014-2020, Team Representative, 2015-2020

Skyline Band Boosters, General Member, 2014-2017, Secretary, 2016-2017

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Immediate Past Chair, 2014-2016, Chair, 2012-2014, Trustee, 2008-2011

Foundations Preschool f/k/a Perry Nursery School of Ann Arbor, Board member, 2008-2010


"Managing Risk: Making Sound Planning and Zoning Decisions," Michigan Association of Planning, Training for Officials, March 2021

"Marihuana Initiative Petitions," State Bar of Michigan Government Law Section 2021 Winter Seminar, Panelist

"The Power of Wind: A Michigan Story," Michigan Association of Planning 2018 Annual Conference, co-presenter with Sarah Mills, Senior Project Manager, University of Michigan, Center for Local, State and Urban Policy

"Medical Marihuana – Legislative Update," Michigan Association of Planning 2016 Annual Conference

"What is the Unauthorized Practice of Law and Why Should a Planner Care," Michigan Association of Planning 2016 Summer Institute


"Opt-Out Communities Targeted by Marihuana Industry: Ballot Proposals & Litigation Followed," Planning & Zoning News, Vol. 30, No. 2, December 2020, pp. 9-10

"Planning for Wind: The First Step in Successful Siting," Michigan Planner, Vol. 22, No. 3, May/June 2018

"Planning for Wind: Conflict of Interest Considerations," Michigan Planner, Vol. 22, No. 3, May/June 2018