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July 08, 1994 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-07-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

John Sklar: A lawyer for 67 years.

Well, he does take time off. For
three weeks in both March and
December, Mr. Sklar and his
wife of 64 years, Betty, play golf
by day and dance by night in
Florida.
`There was no problem as far
as I was concerned about mak-
ing that bargain," Mr. Sklar said
about his pre-nuptial arrange-
ment. "We've stuck to it ever
since."
A former longtime Southfield
resident (and ex-Southfield civ-
il service commissioner) who now
lives in Farmington Hills, Mr.
Sklar joined Honigman Miller
Schwartz and Cohn in 1961.
That's when the late Irwin Cohn
merged his successful law prac-
tice with that of the late Jason
Honigman and surviving part-
ners Milton (Jack) Miller and
Alan Schwartz.
Since then, the firm has
grown. It now includes more
than 230 attorneys in seven of-
fices nationwide.
"It was a small office of 10-12
attorneys at first," Mr. Sklar
said. "We've had what I consid-
er sensational growth."
Mr. Sklar is partly responsi-
ble for some of that growth. He
worked on a Detroit case in the
1960s that led to a change in the
way taxing authorities assess
commercial property in Michi-
gan.
Mr. Honigman and Mr. Sklar
successfully convinced the Michi-
gan Supreme Court that com-
mercial property should be
assessed based on current fair-
market value rather than the
much higher construction costs.
Their victory led to the for-
mation of the firm's Real Estate
Tax Appeals department, which
helps commercial and industri-
al property owners obtain fair as-
sessments from taxing author-
ities.
Mr. Sklar still loves that kind
of work. A 1927 University of
Michigan graduate who is now
in his 67th year of practice, Mr.
Sklar assists other lawyers in the
firm by writing briefs related to
property-tax assessment appeals
and a variety of other issues.
One of Mr. Sklar's proudest
days came in 1980 when his grand-
son, Richard S. Soble, walked into
the office and surprised his grand-
father by announcing he was join-
ing the firm. ❑

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