HANCOCK - If you ask attorney Kevin Mackey what lured him back to Hancock to practice law, he'll probably tell you it was the fresh air and friendly community feel.
"I can actually taste the difference in the air when I get a little ways north of the bridge," Mackey said. "Growing up in what was pretty much a gritty industrial city, I enjoy the clean air and not only that, I want my family to grow up in the Copper Country with its rural lifestyle and wonderful people."
Originally from Flint, Mackey first came to the area to attend Michigan Tech in 1996. He practiced law as an associate of the the law firm of Vairo, Mechlin, Tomasi, Johnson and Manchester in 2004 through 2006. However, when the position of city manager for Vassar became available, Mackey returned downstate.
Attorney Kevin Mackey is seen in his office located at 300B Quincy St. in Hancock.
Following his term as city manager, Mackey then became community development director for the village of Cass City, before returning to the area the first week of October.
"We were so homesick for the Copper Country that we came back and I decided to go into practice for myself," he said.
Mackey is now located in the office formerly occupied by Don Hiltunen, at 300B Quincy St. in Hancock. He shares the space with attorney John McCarthy.
Mackey is a general practice attorney with an emphasis in divorce/family law, business law, civil litigation, estate planning and real estate law.
"By training and specialty, I focused in law school on contracts, construction and real estate law, but in practice I've had a broader experience when I worked for Vairo, Mechlin, which included a lot of court appearances."
Mackey, who prior to law school worked for the city of Flint for many years, has also represented three municipalities.
"With my background, I've had experience with municipal law, including federal and state grants, and grant administration," he said. "One of the more fun things I got to do was help close the federal grant for the steam train at the Houghton County Historical Society Museum. I really enjoyed that."
Civil litigation, Mackey said, is when a private entity sues another one.
"They're lawsuits between private parties as opposed to governments," he said.
Divorce, Mackey said, is a part of family law. Family law can involve anything from custody of children and division of assets to prenuptial agreements, which are becoming more and more important in society today, he said.
Business law deals with drafting contracts between commercial entities, forming business entities like corporations or Limited Liability Companies, or even business dissolutions.
Mackey said he takes a particular interest in estate planning because it deals with "taking care of the people we leave behind."
"It's not based on greed or self interest," he said. "It's about how do we take care of those we care about when we go. So it's a very pleasant aspect of law because it's people thinking about their loved ones."
A popular tool in estate planning, Mackey said, are trusts, but what people often don't realize is that a lot of estate planning involves the transfer of property without going through the probate process.
"There are many ways to remove as much property as possible from the probate process so that it's easier and less expensive for the estate," he said. "So that's important."
Real estate law can be anything from drafting deeds and land contracts to easements and purchase agreements, Mackey said.
"Of course, real estate law could evolve into litigation if it were a serious enough issue, say for example, over a boundary dispute," he said.
Practicing law is a second career for Mackey, who retired after working for the city of Flint.
He attended the College of Law at Michigan State University, only when he enrolled, it was called something else.
"It started out as Detroit College of Law, so when I started, it was DCL," he said. "When I finished it was MSU College of Law."
Mackey was a member of the King Scholars Program, completing his dissertation on jurisprudence and legal realism.
His educational background also includes degrees in scientific and technical communication and mechanical engineering design technology from Michigan Technological University, along with a degree in applied industrial electrical from a junior college downstate.
Mackey said he's happy to be living in Hancock, where three of his four children are enrolled in school.
On top of partaking in the many community activities offered through both universities, Mackey said his family is enjoying the variety of culture.
"For the size of the community, there's a lot of cultural activity," he said. "It has everything. It has rural, small town flavor, yet we have all the amenities that I enjoy, which include cultural events through the Calumet Theatre, the Rozsa Center, the park and the art galleries."
Kevin Mackey attorney at law is located at 300B Quincy St. in Hancock.
For more information, call 482-3100.
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