A founder of Detroit-based Dalton & Tomich, PLC, Dan Dalton has developed a national reputation as a tenacious and strategic litigator representing clients in the areas of land use and zoning litigation. He has a special focus on religious denominational splits and property disputes, representing religious institutions throughout the country in cases related to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), as well as local churches seeking to separate from their mainline denominations while retaining their property using denominational trust clauses. In a December 2019 RLUIPA win, Dan (along with local counsel) successfully represented the Shawnee Mission Church as it sought to continue its ministry to the homeless in Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church v the City of Lenexa, Kentucky.
An accomplished speaker and legal writer, Dan is the author of Litigating Religious Land Use Cases. Originally published by the American Bar Association in 2014 and updated for a second edition in 2016, the book is a guide for religious entities and the attorneys that represent them. He is an active member of the Michigan Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association and is a lifetime member of the American Bar Foundation. Upon graduation from law school, he was a clerk for the Michigan Supreme Court.
Among his many legal honors, Dan is a multiple Michigan Super Lawyer and DBusiness magazine Top Lawyer honoree, recognized in the areas of zoning and land use. In 2010, he was named to the prestigious Leaders in the Law by the trade journal Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Dan is regularly sought out by the media for stories on his high profile cases or topical religious land use issues and has been quoted in The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, Christianity Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Tennessean, among others.
Dan holds a juris doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where he is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of Directors, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University. Dan is actively engaged in his church, Trinity Church, an Evangelical Presbyterian Church located near Plymouth, Michigan where he has held a variety of leadership roles. He was a citizen leader for the City of Plymouth, Michigan, where he held roles on the city planning commission and zoning board and also served three terms as an elected official on the city commission. In his free time, Dan is an avid swimmer.
A complete curriculum vitae of Dan Dalton, including significant cases, articles, activities and awards, can be found at his LinkedIn profile.