Photo of Joel S. AdelmanPhoto of Joel S. Adelman

Joel S. Adelman



University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
  • cum laude
University of Michigan, A.B.
  • with honors

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan

  • Business Law Section
  • Real Property Law Section

American Bar Association

American College of Real Estate Lawyers, 1983-present

Michigan Department of Commerce, 1983-2001

  • Securities Advisory Committee, former Member
News & Resources


Mr. Adelman is a real estate attorney who has served a diverse group of clients throughout the years. He concentrates his practice on the structuring, documentation and formation of real estate related entities, including joint ventures, partnerships, limited liability companies and other unincorporated entities.

  • Advises clients on the structuring, formation and operation of unincorporated business entities
  • Advises on real estate securities matters and on the acquisition, financing and disposition of real estate assets
  • Assists clients in the restructuring and recapitalization of real estate entities
  • Assists clients in evaluating, analyzing and negotiating the terms of proposed real estate-related investments
  • Advises professional services firms and members of professional services firms on the structuring and interpretation of governing documents
  • Serves as an expert witness relating to partnership disputes
  • Serves in various firm management roles, including as the firm’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1998 to 2002 and as Vice Chairman from 2003 to 2012


  • Structured, negotiated and drafted the governing documents for the ownership vehicle for Detroit’s Renaissance Center office complex; activities included supervising the team of firm lawyers related to the development of the “RenCen”
  • Represented the owner in the subsequent disposition of the Renaissance Center
  • Handled numerous real estate syndications
  • Represented the managing partner of an international professional services firm’s regional office related to disagreements with the firm; successfully brought the matter to a resolution
  • Provided expert testimony related to the commercial reasonableness of default remedies in partnership documents


Detroit Downtown, Inc.

  • Chairman, 1986-1987
  • Board of Directors, 1984-1995
  • Executive Committee, 1984-1995

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

  • Board of Directors, 1998-2001
  • Executive Committee, 1998-2001
  • Nominating Committee, Chairman, 1998-2001

News & Resources

Press Releases


  • The Best Lawyers in America,1995-2017
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2007-2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated