Photo of Stephen R. Estey

Stephen R. Estey Member

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1997

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2004


Wayne State University, J.D., cum laude

University of Michigan, B.A.

Stephen R. Estey is a member in Dykema’s Real Estate Department and has over 23 years of experience. He represents individuals, municipalities, small businesses and Fortune 500 corporations in all aspects of commercial and governmental real estate development projects. He has extensive experience in expediting land use entitlements, and resolving a wide variety of disputes related to zoning, planned unit developments, special land uses, variances, eminent domain, easements, adverse possession, boundary and title issues, and various regulatory and administrative challenges, among others. He handles a wide range of matters at the trial and appellate levels of state and federal courts including complex arbitrations, as well as administrative and municipal tribunals, involving both business and real estate related disputes, foreclosures, workouts and receivership actions. 

For over 15 years, Mr. Estey has handled hundreds of eminent domain proceedings for various energy industry clients including electric transmission providers and petroleum pipeline companies to secure necessary property interests required for their capital projects. In addition he routinely assists electric and gas companies, and renewable energy developers (wind and solar) with regard to legal and strategic considerations in the planning and siting of new capital projects and represents their interest in easement/lease acquisitions, contract negotiations, land use entitlements and permitting.

Mr. Estey also has extensive experience in the siting of wireless telecommunication towers under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and small cell wireless facility deployment under the Small Wireless Communications Facilities Deployment Act and frequently appears before local municipal boards and commissions in support of applications for construction of new towers and collocation on behalf of wireless carriers and tower companies.

Mr. Estey is a member of the State Bar of Michigan Real Property Council and currently serves as the Coordinator for the State Bar of Michigan, Real Property Section Zoning and Land Use Committee. He is a frequent author and speaker on energy, infrastructure and emerging real estate topics. Since 2013, Mr. Estey has been recognized in Michigan Super Lawyers and has been recognized since 2018 by The Best Lawyers in America for Land Use and Zoning as well as DBusiness Magazine Top Lawyers in 2019. Hour Detroit Magazine has recognized him as a Top Lawyer in 2019 and he was recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year” for 2021 by The Best Lawyers in America.

  • New Par v. Lake Township, 2007 WL 128944 (W.D. Mich. 2007)
  • Mino v. Clio School District, et al., 255 Mich App 60, 661 N.W.2d 586 (2003)
  • Richards v. Sandusky Community Schools, 102 F.Supp.2d 753 (E.D. Mich., 2000), Judgment Affirmed by 23 Fed. Appx. 466, 160 Ed. Law Rep. 774 (6th Cir. 2001)

Memberships & Involvement

  • State Bar of Michigan, Real Property Law Section Council, Council Member
  • State Bar of Michigan, Real Property Law Section, Land Use & Zoning Committee, Co-Chairperson, 2012-2017; Eminent Domain Committee, Member; Homeward Bound Chairperson, 2013-2015
  • State Bar of Michigan, Real Property Law Section, Groundbreaker Breakfast Roundtables, Chairperson, 2010-2011
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Catholic Lawyers Society, Board of Directors, Member, 2007-2008
  • American Inns of Court, Oakland County Circuit Court, Barrister
  • Energy Bar Association, Member
  • International Right of Way Association, Member

Community/Civic Activities

  • City of Plymouth Planning Commission Plymouth, Michigan, 2002-2003
  • City of Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals Plymouth, Michigan, 2000-2002

Wayne State University, Bronze Key Certificate, Recipient

Recognized in Michigan Super Lawyers® for Land Use/Zoning, Eminent Domain, and General Litigation, 2013-Present

Named as "Lawyer of the Year" in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2021. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate Litigation, 2018-Present. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Recognized by Hour Detroit Magazine in "Top Lawyers 2019 in Bloomfield Hills, MI" for Land Use & Zoning Law