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We are experienced attorneys offering innovative and collaborative legal solutions that grow businesses and banks, expand churches, and build nonprofit organizations. Our blog features insight into recent case decisions, advice for budding entrepreneurs and established leaders, as well as commentary on other aspects of the legal profession that we find interesting. Welcome. Please let us know what you think.

Building Faith: Protecting Religious Freedom Through Land Use Laws

Last night I was honored to speak on a panel hosted by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice at Marquette Law School in Milwaukee, WI. The panel discussion was part of the United States Attorney General’s Place to Worship Initiative and was […]

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Reflections on the Pastors’ Forum and 2019 Christian Legal Society National Conference

Last weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at the Pastors’ Forum as part of the 2019 Christian Legal Society Conference in Chicago, IL. Dozens of pastors from around the Chicago area came to hear about how they can better prepare their congregations to address […]

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Using RLUIPA when appearing before local planning and zoning boards

In the past several months, we have found that the strategic use of the Religious Land Use and institutionalized Persons Act (also known as RLUIPA) can be used to successfully persuade members of a Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Adjustment / Appeals to approve […]

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Church growth occurs after local churches leave the United Methodist Denomination

  When making the decision to leave the United Methodist Church, leaders typically ask what happens to the membership of the congregation once the local church leaves the denomination. Our experience, and that of others who have left the Episcopal and Presbyterian USA denominations, has […]

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Speaking to Alliance Defending Freedom Ambassadors About Our Fight For Religious Freedom

On October 26, 2019, Noel Sterett was honored to speak about his work and the fight for religious liberty in America at an Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) event in Chicago. The event, which was part of ADF’s Ambassador program, drew a large room full of […]

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The Basics of Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) in Michigan

The typical zoning ordinance is written in such a way as to encourage different kinds of developments to follow a one-size-fits-all approach. Realizing this problem, the Michigan legislature allowed for more variety and flexibility in zoning. Today, developers can take advantage of the Planned Unit […]

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The sheer number of inland lakes in Michigan is something that sets us apart from many other states, and it seems that everywhere you turn there is another lake. But what if a particular turn takes you down a public road that ends at the […]

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Why is Succession Planning for the Family Business Important?

I represent dozens of small and family businesses and one of the things that I see family businesses overlook is a succession plan.  That is how can the company prepare for the future and live beyond the current generation. What happens when someone retires? What if […]

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  • September 30, 2019
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

On Friday, September 27, the United States District Court of the Western District of Michigan entered a Consent Decree securing Hope Lutheran Church’s right to continue meeting at 132 S. State St. in St. Ignace, Michigan. In addition to the consent decree, the City agreed […]

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Defining “religious exercise” under RLUIPA in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

  Today we had the opportunity to argue the parameters of RLUIPA before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri in the case of St. John Vianney High School v. City of Kirkwood, Missouri.  In this case, the City of Kirkwood approved the renovation […]

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About Us


The attorneys of Dalton & Tomich, PLC have the experience and the knowledge to work with you to develop a legal solution that helps accomplish your goals. Our collaborative approach has helped leaders like you grow businesses and banks, develop and expand churches, and build nonprofit organizations nationwide.