Area attorney eyes 'creative solutions'


 By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News
In business law, two or more parties work together to try and create something or build something – and at the end of the day, hopefully both sides are happy with the result, says Jeremy “J.J.” Burchman, a business attorney with Fraser Trebilcock, in Lansing. 
“Business law has a tendency to be a more constructive process than litigation,” he notes. “In litigation the opposite is true – frequently it’s a destructive process where at the end of the day neither party is happy with the outcome.” 
Burchman, who focuses on commercial litigation, real estate matters, entity formation, contract review and drafting, loan documentation, and mergers and acquisitions, spent four years as corporate counsel with Capitol Bancorp, responsible for overseeing OREO real estate owned by holding company, including negotiating broker agreements, purchase agreements, maintaining insurance, and managing property managers. He represented banks in commercial finance documentation and workout negotiations, and prepared SEC filings, including corporate compliance and proxy statements.
“That experience at Capitol Bancorp helps me achieve profitable results for clients because I understand how clients work – they don’t want to hear all the reasons why something won’t work, they want to hear how they can make something work within the limits of the law,” he says. “Having that understanding allows me to provide proactive, creative solutions to problems that allow my clients to focus on their business without having to focus on how not to do something.”
For the past few years, Burchman and his colleagues at Fraser Trebilcock have represented a pipeline company in the acquisitions of easements across the state to assist with the construction of a pipeline. 
“It’s been interesting to learn about construction of a pipeline – something I never thought I’d be involved with – and it’s also been very fulfilling to know we’ve been a small part of ensuring we have secure and efficient access to energy in Michigan,” he says.
Law was in the cards from an early age. 
“As my parents will attest, I was a fairly opinionated child. I was at least partially drawn to law so the argument couldn’t be ended with, ‘because I’m your mother and I said so’ – although I suppose that has changed to ‘because I’m the judge and I say so',” he says with a smile. “In all seriousness, I was always fascinated with words and the various nuances and arrangements of them that could result in vastly different outcomes.  I felt that combined with my love of reading and interest in the English language, law would be a perfect fit.”
He received his undergrad degree in history, with distinction, from the University of Michigan. 
“I always enjoyed reading and writing, and history involved both,” he says. “I also was struck by the idea that if you don’t understand history, you’re doomed to repeat it, so I was always interested in learning from those people and countries that came before us.”
He earned his juris doctor from Michigan Law, where he reveled in intellectual discussions with classmates and professors. 
“I enjoyed engaging in debate with other smart, motivated people who were as intellectually curious as I was,” he says.
Burchman and his wife Kim live in his hometown of Okemos near Lansing, with their sons, Jack, 7, and Ryan, 2. Burchman has been active in University United Methodist Church for more than 30 years, and is manager of the church softball team. He has been a member of the Haslett Okemos Rotary Club for 5 years, serving on its board of directors for the past couple of years. 
“I enjoy making sure I’m involved with the local community and helping out those who need a little help or a boost – and both of these organizations are great ways to give back to the community.”
He could play the cello almost before he could walk; his mother – who was a violin and orchestra teacher – started him on it at the age of 18 months. The early start clearly paid off – he has played with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and was principal cellist with the U-M Campus Symphonic Orchestra for four years.
A die-hard Wolverine fan, Burchman follows the U-M football and basketball teams religiously.  
“I’m also a big Detroit Tigers fan and like to imagine that some pro scout may see me playing on one of my two softball teams and take a flier on me.”