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Miller Canfield Attorney Named Chief Legal Counsel of Michigan Economic Development Corporation

May 10, 2004

The law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C., announces that James R. Lancaster, Jr., a principal in the firm’s Lansing office, has accepted the position of senior vice president and chief legal counsel of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), effective May 1. He replaces Charles Fiedler, who has served as MEDC’s interim legal counsel since 1999.

“The MEDC is recognized nationally for its innovations in brownfield redevelopment and breakthrough business investment incentives,” Lancaster said. “MEDC CEO Don Jakeway is an impressive and effective leader. That, coupled with the opportunity to work with Governor Granholm and her administration, made this opportunity tremendously attractive.”

Lancaster will report to MEDC president and CEO, Don Jakeway, who said the new chief legal counsel’s regulatory background makes him an especially good fit with the local economic development priorities and issues that the MEDC works with on a regular basis.

“Jim has extensive experience in representing both private sector clients and public agencies with a focus on environmental and permitting issues, as well as property law and land use,” Jakeway said. “I am delighted to bring him aboard the MEDC team.”

Lancaster is coauthor of the environmental and condemnation law chapters in Local Government Law and Practice in Michigan published by the Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys. He holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from Albion College.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. 

The 330-attorney law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. was established in Detroit in 1852 and has offices in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Howell, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Monroe, and Troy, Michigan. Other offices are located in New York City, Pensacola, Florida, Washington, D.C., Windsor, Ontario, and in Gdynia, Katowice, and Warsaw, Poland. Visit