My 35 years with Dickinson Wright (DW) opened many doors with countless opportunities to stretch and develop my skills and build trust in my professional judgment and instincts. I learned from role models who placed client service above personal gain. I have tried to pay that forward, through associate training and management roles at DW, and into my solo practice mentoring younger attorneys, supporting learning opportunities and worthy causes that give back to the community.
In my first twelve years in Detroit, I worked on an array of cases ranging from antitrust to labor law and banking. I specialized in products liability (representing, e.g., Ford Motor, Corning Glass, Mallinckrodt), developing a concentration in pharmaceutical and medical device defense (Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Schering Plough, Schmid Laboratories, Physio Control, General Electric, Picker Int’l).
I was selected to co-chair the Steering Committee for the twenty-plus companies named in the Michigan DES litigation, was invited to speak at the Defense Research Institute Medical Drug and Device Conference, and earned early in my career and have consistently maintained Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating (AV). I also served on the Medical Ethics Committee at St. John Hospital.
In 1989, I relocated to West Michigan to open the Dickinson Wright office in Grand Rapids, which quadrupled in size during my tenure managing the office and serving on the firm’s Executive Committee. My practice evolved to focus on commercial litigation and business law, representing NBD (JP Morgan Chase), Accenture, Dow Chemical, Menasha, Tiburon Inc., TriTech Software Solutions, Tetra Discovery Partners, Accenture, Byron Bank, S2 Yachts, Deloitte & Touche, BDO Seidman, Lamb Technicon, Gencor, Egypt Valley CC, Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority.
As I became established in West Michigan, I earned distinctions and served in leadership positions, both professional and in the community for local and international organizations:
- Best Lawyers in America (consistently recognized)
- Michigan Super Lawyers (Business Litigation)
- Martindale-Hubbell, highest rating of AV for over 30 years
- Selected by U.S. District Court of West Michigan to train and serve on original Panel of Facilitative Mediators
- Past Chair, Faculty and Steering Committee, Hillman Advocacy Program
- Federal Bar Association, Western District of Michigan (past Executive Committee)
- Presenter and Trainer at Annual Voluntary Facilitative Mediation Refresher Courses, U.S. District Court of West Michigan, 2014-15
- Adjunct Professor of International Commercial Arbitration, Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, 2009-12
- Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., National Moot Court Team, Selected Research Assistant to Faculty Member.
- Denison University, B.A., Kenneth I. Brown Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude.
- “Educate, Explore and Engage: Pointers to Prepare Your Clients for Facilitative Mediation,” ADR Quarterly, January 2016.
- “Unintended and Unexpected Consequences of Med-Arb,” ADR Quarterly, July 2015.
- “What I Say Can And Will Be Used Against You,” Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly, June 2012.
- “The Death of Boilerplate—Part 1: New Wrinkles in Arbitration” and “Part 2: Practical Considerations for and Legal Ramifications of Crafting Arbitration Clauses,” co-authored with D. Quick, The Litigation Newsletter, Spring and Fall editions, 2009.
- “The Statute of Limitations and Accountant Malpractice – Two Years and Counting,”co-authored with G. Fields, Michigan State Bar Journal, October 1996.
- “Redefining the Professional: The Policies and Unregulated Development of Consultant Malpractice Liability,” co-authored with L. Lewis,72 University of Detroit Mercy Law Review 563; ABA Professional Liability Update (1995).
- “Ex Parte Interviews with Plaintiff’s Treating Physicians: The Offensive Use of the Physician-Patient Privilege,” co-authored with J. Asher and B. Erard, University of Detroit Law Review (1990) and Defense Law Journal (1991).
- “Privilege and Parity in the Discovery Process: The Dierickx Case,” Michigan Defense Counsel Quarterly Journal, 1986.
Presentations and Discussion Facilitator at various trial practice, alternative dispute resolution, and product liability and pharmaceutical law conferences.
- Additional articles published in West Michigan business periodicals regarding Viatical Settlement Contracts, Non-compete Agreements, and Developments in Mediation.