O’Reilly Rancilio is pleased to announce that J. Russell LaBarge, Jr. and Sharon DeWaele have joined the firm as of January 1, 2018. Russ LaBarge is one of the most experienced and recognized municipal and probate attorneys in Macomb County and will join the firm in an Of Counsel capacity adding his knowledge, skills and experience to the Firm’s municipal and probate practices. Sharon DeWaele is a highly experienced municipal and litigation attorney who has joined the Firm as a Shareholder.
Russell (“Russ”) LaBarge, Jr. is one of Macomb County’s most highly regarded and respected attorneys, with a concentration in municipal law and probate and estate planning. Russ LaBarge has developed an expertise in municipal law as the longstanding City Attorney for several Macomb County municipalities. Currently, Russ is the City Attorney for Harper Woods, a position he has held since 1976. He is also the Richmond Township Attorney, a post he has held for a decade. Russ was also the longtime City Attorney for Roseville from 1974 to 1992.
In addition to his municipal work, Russ LaBarge is also a highly respected and sought after probate and estate planning attorney. Russ has been a Public Administrator in Macomb County since 1998. Russ is the past President of the Macomb County Bar Association and a current member of the Macomb County Bar Association Pro-Bono Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid and Defenders Association.
Russ also devotes significant time and energy to community activities and groups. He is the past President of the Roseville Rotary Club and the Metro East Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed by the Macomb County Board of Commissioners as Chairman of the 32 member Blue Ribbon Commission on Lake St. Clair, a distinguished commission of experts, business people and other interested individuals seeking solutions to the pollution problems facing Lake St. Clair.
Sharon DeWaele is an experienced municipal law attorney (including zoning, ordinance drafting FOIA, Open Meetings Act and District Court prosecution) and is also an experienced commercial litigator and probate law practitioner. Her client base includes representation of large corporate and institutional entities, as well as individual clients.
Sharon also has experience trying cases involving personal injury claims, civil rights violations, wrongful death claims and premises liability matters. While a student at Wayne State Law School, Sharon served on the Wayne State Law Review as a survey editor responsible for the publication of the Annual Survey of Michigan Law from 1989 to 1990.
Sharon is the member of the State Bar of Michigan, Macomb County Bar Association and the Macomb County Probate Bar Association.