The firm has two shareholders, John R. Axe and Peter S. Ecklund, Jr. The firm’s senior paralegal, Deborah M. Miller is assisted by Law Clerk Sophie Zhang and Paralegal Sara Lucas. Their resumes follow.

John R. Axe

Phone: 313.309.9452

John R AxeJohn R. Axe is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.A., 1960) and Harvard Law School (L.L.B., 1963). In addition to his experience as a practicing bond attorney and financial consultant in municipal issues, Mr. Axe is a co-author of Michigan Municipal Law, a two-volume work published in 1981 by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education for the University of Michigan. In 1992, he was appointed as a member of the Permanent Adjunct Faculty of the Wayne State University Law School where he teaches public finance. Mr. Axe recently retired from a three year term on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL), the first Michigan lawyer ever to serve in this capacity. He has served on the Steering Committees for NABL’s Bond Attorney’s Workshop in the years 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1989 and 1990.  Mr. Axe is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and the State Bar of Michigan.

In 1981, Mr. Axe, with several of his partners at Dickinson, formed the firm of Martin, Axe, Buhl and Schwartz, where he served as the public finance partner. This firm, which in 1985 was known as Axe & Schwartz, merged with Dykema Gossett, taking with it Mr. Axe’s extensive public finance practice. With the arrival of Mr. Axe, Dykema Gossett established a public finance practice and department, and he became the head of the Public Finance Department.

Effective January 1, 1990, Mr. Axe established John R. Axe and Associates, which was renamed Axe & Ecklund, P.C. effective January 1, 2001.

During his more than 50 years of experience as Bond Counsel, Mr. Axe has served as bond counsel on bond issues for the following public entities:

State Level

Michigan Transportation Commission

Michigan Strategic Fund (formerly Michigan Economic Development Authority)

University of Michigan

Michigan State University

Wayne State University

Western Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University

Central Michigan University

Ferris State University

Oakland University

Saginaw Valley State University

Michigan Technological University

Lake Superior State University

County Level

Counties of Alcona, Alger, Allegan, Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Berrien, Branch, Cass, Chippewa, Clinton, Delta. Eaton, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Hillsdale, Ingham, Iosco, Iron, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lake, Luce, Livingston, Macomb, Marquette, Montcalm, Montmorency, Oakland, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Otsego, Ottawa, Roscommon, Saginaw, Sanilac, Schoolcraft, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola, Van Buren, Washtenaw, Wayne and Wexford.


The Cities of Au Gres, Imlay City, Morenci, Muskegon Heights, Omer, Pinconning, Portage, Royal Oak, Warren and Zilwaukee:

The Villages of Beulah, Birch Run, Grass Lake, Otisville, Oxford, Reese and St. Charles:

The Townships of Bridgeport, Hartland, Howell, Kochville, Marion, Napoleon, Pulaski, Saugatuck, Swan Creek, Thomas, Birch Run, and Green Oak.

Mr. Axe has, over this period of time, issued his unqualified opinion as bond counsel on more than 1,800 debt issues with a total face amount in excess of $10 Billion.

Peter S. Ecklund, Jr.

Phone: 313.309.9451
Peter EcklundPeter S. Ecklund, Jr. is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D. 1992), and the University of Michigan (B.A. 1989).   Mr. Ecklund joined our firm on August 17, 1992, and became a shareholder of the firm on July 1, 2000. He has been the lead attorney in over 300 municipal bond and note offerings.

Mr. Ecklund was a candidate for the Michigan State Senate in 1994 and is actively involved in political campaigns and activities. Mr. Ecklund is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and the Michigan Bar Association.



Deborah M. Miller

Phone: 313.309.9455

Deborah MillerDeborah M. Miller, who joined the firm in 1999, is a Paralegal in charge of the firm’s closing division. Ms. Miller performs all bond and note closings, including all post-sale filings with the State and Federal Government. She has strong computer and mathematical skills and is able to assist in many of Axe & Ecklund’s services. Ms. Miller, who is a graduate of the University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, had experience with other firms prior to joining Axe & Ecklund, P.C.



Sophie Zhang

Sophie ZhangSophie Zhang joined the firm in 2015 after earning her JD from Wayne State University Law School in 2015. Ms. Zhang has been appointed Law Clerk. Ms. Zhang has past experience as a Student Attorney at the Business and Community Law Center at Wayne State University. Ms. Zhang has worked as a judicial intern to Chief Judge Gerald E. Rosen and the Honorable Gershwin A. Drain at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and as a legal intern at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Sophie assists Mr. Axe and Mr. Ecklund with the preparation of all proceedings, resolutions and legal opinions, as well as orchestrating meetings with clients.



Sara Lucas

Sara LucasSara Lucas joined the firm in 2015, after formerly working here in the 1990’s and has recently been appointed Junior Paralegal. She assists Ms. Miller in all her responsibilities, especially in the preparation of closing transcripts and the Department of Treasury filings. Ms. Lucas has a Bachelor’s Degree from Kalamazoo College.