Catherine A. Riesterer

Founder & Managing Partner


Contact Number: (810) 227-3103

Extension: x1112

Location: Brighton, MI

E-Mail: [email protected]

Overview

I have been practicing law since the mid 80’s and in that time have covered, and for the most part mastered, a broad range of corporate and real estate matters, including franchising. During the 90’s, I was Assistant General Counsel for Domino’s Pizza International where my role was supporting their international expansion. While I was there, Domino’s expanded from 20 to 60 international markets.  Currently, in addition to franchising, I assist businesses with everything from initial startup planning and ongoing contractual needs to termination or sale, and handle specialized real estate issues, like riparian rights issues and helping developers navigate the regulatory and documentation needs for commercial and residential developments.  I also litigate, when a case is interesting and I think it is warranted.

I like to consider myself your personal baggage handler.  Whatever road you have gone down or are planning to go down on your business or real estate journey, I am there to help take the load off, especially if it is unfamiliar territory for you.  I can navigate you through it, help you avoid costly mistakes, and handle the paperwork and regulatory stuff you would rather not.  In addition to legal issues, I can offer general business direction and guidance personally and with the help of the network of local and global business professionals that I have acquired through the years.

I was raised on a farm in rural Michigan and received a pregnant horse for my 10th birthday. Every day after that I got up to do chores to take care of my horses and the others I boarded to help pay for it all.  My feet still hit the ground running in the morning.  Farm life teaches you to value real things.  I’ve raised two strong women I am proud to call my daughters and 30 years in, my husband is still my best friend. We have a family saying, “we never said this was easy”, that was borne out of our “maximize every moment” approach to life. It can be hectic at times, but its rarely boring.  At the core, God is my foundation, my children are my inspiration, and my husband’s unwavering belief in me fuels the courage I need to succeed.

Practice Areas

Business & Commercial Law
Commercial and Residential Real Estate
Business and Real Estate Litigation
Franchise Law
Mediation
Estate Planning

Education

University of Michigan Law School, J.D., Cum Laude
Michigan State University, B.A., with High Honors

Bar Admissions

State Bar of Michigan
United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Associations & Distinctions

Select Council Member
State Bar of Michigan

  • Real Property Law Section
    • Co-Chairperson of the Section’s Annual Summer Conference, 2021-2022
    • Member of Section’s Continuing Legal Education Committee
  • Antitrust, Franchising & Trade Regulation Section
  • Business Law Section
  • Master Lawyer Section

American Bar Association
Livingston County Bar Association
American Arbitration Association, Certified Commercial Arbitrator
ICLE Certified Mediator
Court Appointed Arbitrator, Mediator, & Land Commissioner
Home Builders Association of Livingston County
Livingston County Association of Realtors ®, Affiliate Member

Publications & Presentations

PUBLICATIONS

Contributing Author of the Book Chapter, Structuring the Contractual Relationship, Fundamentals of International Franchising, ABA, 2001

PRESENTATIONS

Co-Chair, “Roadblocks and Pivots” –  State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, 2021 Annual Summer Conference, July 21-23, 2021
“Winds of Change – Surviving Ethical Traps and Legal Missteps Created by Evolving Technology”  – Real Property Law Section, 2020 Winter Conference, March 14, 2020
“CYA with your CPA and Attorney – Employment and Tax Law for Realtors” – Livingston County Association of Realtors ®, January and February 2019, February 2020
“Navigating the Rapids: Understanding the Nuances of Water Rights in Michigan” – State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, Homeward Bound Series, December 6, 2018
“Build Your Dream Home Without Divorce, Destitution, or Despair” – Livingston County Association of Realtors ®, September 2018
“Estate Planning Essentials” – UMW, May 2018
“Water Law” – Livingston County Association of Realtors ®, June 2017
“Vacant Land and Construction Issues”– Livingston County Association of Realtors ®, 2017
“The Ins and Outs of New Construction” – Livingston County Association of Realtors ®, October 2014
Adjunct Professor teaching Business Ethics and Legal Issues, Cleary University, 2007-2010
“Construction Liens & Sworn Statements – Essentials of Best Practices” – Various Locations, 2004-2006
International Franchise, ABA, Forum on Franchising, Presenter, 1999-2000


Community Involvement

Cleary University, Board of Directors
Brighton Rotary Club, Past Board Member and Officer including Past President
Michigan Law Moot Court Competition, University of Michigan – Mock Judge, 2018
First United Methodist Church, Past Board Member & Youth Leader
Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce
Howell Chamber of Commerce
VINA Community Dental Center, Past Board Member

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