Former Michigan Senate Chief of Staff joins firm’s government affairs group

Peter J. Langley, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekof, recently joined Plunkett Cooney as a senior attorney in the firm’s Lansing office.

A member of the Plunkett Cooney’s Government Relations, Public Policy and Regulatory Practice Group, Langley also assists clients as a member of the firm’s Environment, Energy and Resources Group.

“We are excited to add Pete to our growing team,” said Government Relations Practice Group Leader and former Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, Tom Leonard. “His strong reputation and experience at the highest levels of the Legislature and as an executive director for the American Petroleum Institute make him an invaluable resource to our clients.”

Langley’s public- and private-sector background includes consulting, business development and planning, contract management, strategic planning, government relations, advocacy and lobbying, coalition and public-policy development, and legislation drafting.

Prior to joining Plunkett Cooney, which is one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, Langley served as President of Strategic Policy Solutions, a full-service government relations and advocacy firm, specializing in energy, healthcare and regulatory issues. Langley also previously served as executive director of the American Petroleum Institute of Michigan where he represented some of the world’s largest energy producers. While there, he developed coalitions to move forward large infrastructure projects and energy priorities in the state.

In addition to his government relations and public policy expertise, Langley assists clients in the areas of environmental and energy law, regulatory compliance and related matters. He received his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2007 and his undergraduate degree from Northern Michigan University in 1997.

Plunkett Cooney’s Government Relations, Public Policy and Regulatory Practice Group focuses on policy development, strategic collaboration, coalition and relationship building, legislation monitoring and bill tracking. The firm works with clients in numerous industries to develop creative and proactive solutions designed to meet the challenges of dealing with local, county and state government.

Plunkett Cooney has also been a decade’s long partner in the effort to provide traditional energy sources and to develop and bring to market sources of alternative and renewable energy. Members of the firm’s Environment, Energy and Resources Law Group include attorneys with specific expertise in transactional and government-related areas of practice. These services include contract negotiation, employment law, business litigation, energy regulatory compliance, environmental matters, governmental relations, finance and many others.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of business and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms.

For more information about Peter Langley joining Plunkett Cooney’s Government Relations, Public Policy and Regulatory Practice Group, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;


Steven Chester Elected as Fellow of American College of Environmental Lawyers

Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that Steven Chester has been elected by his peers as a fellow of the prestigious American College of Environmental Lawyers. Chester is a senior counsel attorney with extensive experience in the public and private sector.

The American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) is a professional association of distinguished lawyers who are dedicated to maintaining and improving the ethical practice of environmental law, the administration of justice and the development of environmental law at the state and federal level. Membership is by invitation and members are recognized by their peers as preeminent in their field.

“Steve Chester has vast and diverse experience in the area of environmental law,” said Miller Canfield CEO Michael McGee. “In both the private and public sectors, Steve is a true leader and an exceptional attorney. His expertise will be an asset to ACOEL as much as it is an asset to Miller Canfield and our clients.”

Chester began his career in environmental law as a Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, then as a Michigan Assistant Attorney General, and later served as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Deputy Director for the Office of Criminal Enforcement. From 2003 to 2010, Chester served as Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the highest ranking environmental regulatory position in the state. From 2011 to 2014, he re-joined EPA as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

In private practice at Miller Canfield, Chester advises clients on compliance and regulatory matters associated with a broad range of federal and state environmental laws, including air, water, wetlands, critical dunes, inland lakes and streams requirements, among others. His notable private and public sector work includes:

Served as environmental counsel for the purchaser of the RACER Willow Run “Arsenal of Democracy” site located in Ypsilanti Township, now home to one of the nation’s premier automated and connected vehicle technology research and development facilities.
Provided environmental transaction support to a Chinese-based client in the multi-million dollar purchase of a sprawling float glass manufacturing complex.
Served as a Michigan Cabinet Member responsible for the administration and oversight of Michigan’s air quality, water and wetland resources, land management, and remediation and redevelopment programs.
Represented both private and public sector clients in state and federal environmental litigation, and in appellate advocacy before the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Chester is a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, and is recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law, and is the current Chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for Climate Strategies.

Mikalonis to join panel discussion on economic regulatory policy

Plunkett Cooney senior environmental law attorney Saulius Mikalonis will be among the featured thought leaders at the 2016 Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy.

The one-day conference, which will be held on Feb. 26 at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center in East Lansing, is designed by the Institute of Public Utilities (IPU) for the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Michigan State Legislature, the Offices of the Governor and Attorney General, consumer and environmental advocates, utility industry representatives, and others interested in Michigan regulatory policy.

Mikalonis will be featured on the Analyst and Advocate Perspectives panel, which will also include the following experts:

Dr. Janice Beecher, Director, IPU-MSU, Moderator
Ms. Sarah Mullkoff, Energy Program Director, Michigan Environmental Council
Mr. Douglas Jester, Principal, Principal, 5 Lakes Energy

The conference kicks off at 8:45 a.m. with a status report on energy policy and the electricity markets presented by Dr. Kenneth Rose, an independent consultant and IPU senior fellow. His update will be followed by a plenary session, titled: “Energy Transformation – National and State Policy Perspectives.”

Following lunch, the conference continues with the afternoon featuring three consecutive panel discussions on a range of topics lending perspectives on clean, reliable and affordable energy infrastructure. The cost to attend the conference for members of the private sector is $120. The fee for the nonprofit sector is $40 per person. Attendance is free to all Michigan legislative and Public Service Commission staff.

The IPU supports informed, effective and efficient regulation of the infrastructure-intensive network industries providing vital utility services. The IPU fulfills its mission by providing to the regulatory policy community integrative and interdisciplinary educational programs and applied research on the institutions, theory and practice of modern utility regulation.

Mikalonis is a senior attorney in Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills office, and he leads the firm’s Environment, Energy and Resources Law Industry Group. He advises clients and represents their interests in litigation and administrative hearings on issues related to environmental liability and compliance, natural resources and energy law with particular emphasis on greenhouse gases, renewable energy and green building/LEED.

In addition, Mikalonis represents clients in commercial and real estate transactions involving the development of Brownfields and otherwise environmentally-sensitive sites. He also assists clients with completing due diligence in complex transactions, including the identification, allocation and reduction of environmental risks.

A prolific “green” blogger, Mikalonis writes about sustainability issues, alternative energy and environmental law for Crain’s Detroit Business, one of Metropolitan Detroit’s leading business news publications. His “Essential Environment & Energy Blog” posts can also be found at

Plunkett Cooney employs approximately 150 attorneys in nine Michigan cities and one each in Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading international directory of law firms, and it is listed among the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” Plunkett Cooney has also received several awards naming the firm as a top place to work within the legal industry.

For more information about Mikalonis’ IPU forum appearance, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John E. Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;