James P. Spica
26211 Central Park Blvd
Jim is both a practitioner and scholar.
Jim’s client practice focuses on estate planning, including charitable planning, for high net worth clients. In addition, much of his practice is dedicated to representing and advising other professionals and institutions, in Michigan and elsewhere, with respect to complex trust planning and litigation.
Among his colleagues, Jim is equally recognized for his accomplishments in developing trust law. Jim has led the charge with respect to many of the most important developments in Michigan, including as the primary author of Michigan’s divided trustee laws, Michigan’s rule against perpetuities reform, and Michigan’s trust decanting laws.
Jim’s most recent articles include “From Strength to Strength: A Comment on Morley and Sitkoff’s ‘Making Directed Trusts Work, which is in the current issue of the ACTEC Law Journal, and “Settlor-Authorized Fiduciary Indifference to Trust Purposes and the Interests of Beneficiaries under the UTC,” which will appear in a special forthcoming issue of the ACTEC Law Journal celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Uniform Trust Code, and an extended version of which will appear subsequently in the ABA’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal.
Jim earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, his first law degree from the University of Detroit, and an LL.M. (in Taxation) from New York University. He clerked for Hon. Richard C. Wilbur on the United States Tax Court (1985) and taught as an Assistant/Associate Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy (1989–2000, tenured 1996).
Mr. Spica will practice out of the CT Southfield office.
Professional Recognition and Involvement
• Current Officer of the Probate and Estate Planning Section for the State Bar of Michigan
• Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
• Best Lawyers in America• Trust & Estates, 2009- Present
• Litigation – Trusts & Estates, 2012- Present
• The Best Lawyers in America “2019 Detroit Lawyer of the Year – Litigation – Trusts and Estates”
• Leading Lawyers
• Charter Member, Leading Lawyers Advisor Board, 2013
• Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law, 2013 – Present
• Tax Law: Individual, 2018 – Present
• Michigan Super Lawyers, 2010- Present
• “Top Ranked” Chambers 2017-2019 – High Net Worth (HNW) Guide
• Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent rating, the highest possible Peer Review Rating
• Dbusiness Top Lawyers, 2014- Present
• Trusts and Estates
• National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (Uniform Law Commission)
• Michigan Commissioner (appointed by the State’s bipartisan Legislative Council), 2016- Present
• American Bar Association (ABA)
• ABA Advisor, Uniform Law Commission Uniform Directed Trust Drafting Committee, 2014-2016
• Estate Planning Section of the Michigan State Bar
• Board Member, 2015-Present
• Uniform Law Commission Liaison, 2017-Present
• Chair, Fiduciary Income and Principal Act Committee,2018-Present
• Special Advisor, Electronic Wills Committee, 2018-Present
• Chair, Divided and Directed Trusteeship Committee, 2017-2019
• Chair, Trust Decanting Legislation Committee, 2010-2012
• Member, Michigan Trust Code Drafting Committee, 2008-2011
• Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), Probate and Estate Planning Advisory
• American Bar Foundation, Fellow 2016 – Present
• American Trust for the British Library, Board of Trustees, 2016-Present
• William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan, Clements Associates Board of Governors, 2009-Present
• Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Legal/Financial Network Advisory Committee, 2007-Present
• Detroit Institute of Arts, Tannahill Council, 2008-Present
• Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Planned Giving Council, 2015-Present
• Interlochen Center for the Arts
• Trustee Emeritus, 2015-Present
• Board of Trustees, 2006-2015