James S. Fontichiaro | Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. |
(313) 965-9725 Pay Now
This links to the home page
James  S. Fontichiaro


Banking and Lending
Real Estate
Business Counseling
Developer Representation


J.D. Wayne State - Cum Laude - Order of the Coif - 1983

B.S. - Human Medicine - Michigan State University - With High Honors - 1979


  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • “Detroit Real Estate Lawyer of the Year”, 2012
  • “Michigan Super Lawyer:
  • “Best of the U.S.” lawyer
  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating: AV Preeminent 5

Martindale Hubbell Badge

Best Lawyers Badge 2017

Best Lawyers Badge 2015 Best Lawyers Badge 2012

James S. Fontichiaro
Tel: 313-596-9311
Fax: 313-983-3328
v-card icon V-Card

Jim is a pragmatic problem-solver, a trusted counselor, and a leading real estate lawyer.   He was named Detroit Real Estate Lawyer of the Year in 2012.

Jim's practice covers all the aspects of real estate, including financing, development, bankruptcy, work-outs, environmental law, land planning and assembly, complex zoning, leasing and foreclosures. Jim combines broad knowledge with practical sense, so he makes complex real estate transactions work efficiently and properly.  On top of that, he is friendly, outgoing, and engaging, which helps gets deals done.   

Jim is a member of the firm's Executive Committee.


  • Counsel to numerous real estate lenders in transactions totaling over one-half billion dollars in value
  • Represented developers in several multi-property portfolio acquisitions with single transaction values in excess of One Hundred Fifty Million Dollars
  • Assisted national lenders and national store chains in sophisticated multi-state sale and leaseback transactions as well as in synthetic lease transactions
  • Successfully foreclosed numerous real estate projects on behalf of lenders resulting in the complete recovery of all amounts due lenders
  • Assisted developers in providing suitable zoning for proposed projects in the face of opposition from local municipal bodies
  • Counsel to developers in significant residential, retail and research/industrial condominium projects


  • Adjunct Law Professor - Ave Maria School of Law (real estate law)
  • West Point Parents Club of Michigan - Officer and Board Member
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Dearborn, Michigan - Stewardship Commission
  • Youth Hockey - Level Four (Advanced) USA Hockey Coach
  • Catholic Youth Organization - Girls Softball Coach. Girls Travel Softball Coach
  • Golfcrest Country Club Civic Association - Architectural Review Committee Member


  • Michigan
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan