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Practice Sections 

Practice Sections keep GRBA members abreast of developments in substantive areas of the law. Section membership is open to all general members of the GRBA. Each Section elects its own officers; has its own bylaws, which define its purpose and structure; and funds its own activities through the collection of individual Section dues. All Sections maintain a degree of autonomy, but their activities must be conducted in accordance of Article V of the Association's bylaws and with the approval of the Board of Trustees.

If you would like to join a Section, please contact Debbie Kurtz at 616-454-5550 or debbie@grbar.org.

MENU:

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Business & Taxation
Corporate Counsel
Criminal Law
Environmental Law
Family Law
Intellectual Property
Labor & Employment

Legal Assistant
Litigation
Parents & Children
Probate
Real Property
Seniors
Solos & Small Firms
Workers' Compensation
Young Lawyers



ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)
Thomas L. Saxe, Chair

Rhoades McKee
161 Ottawa Ave NW, Suite 600
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Tel: 616-235-3500

Email: tlsaxe@grlaw.com

What do they do?
Benefit GRBA members and the general public by facilitating communication and cooperation among practitioners, the courts, and the public on alternative dispute resolution methods. Develop, sponsor, and carry out continuing legal education programs; collaborate with other organizations and individuals involved with ADR; promote social interaction among GRBA members; and work to improve the quality of ADR services and practices available to the community. Click here to view the Section's September 2010 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes.


BUSINESS AND TAX
Maxwell N. Barnes, Chair
Miller Johnson
250 Monroe Ave NW, Suite 800
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-831-1725

Email: barnesm@millerjohnson.com

What do they do?
Review those laws and regulations dealing with the governance, operation and taxation of businesses. The Section shall endeavor to accomplish these purposes by examining proposed legislation and regulations concerning business and taxation law, promoting the education of members of the local Bar and the general public in those areas pertaining to business and taxation law, and by sponsoring meetings and seminars devoted to those issues.


CORPORATE COUNSEL
Linda Jo Carron, Chair
Knape & Vogt Manufacturing Co.
2700 Oak Industrial Drive
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Phone: 616-459-3311
Email: linda.jo.carron@kv.com

What do they do?
Provide a forum and mechanism to exchange information, including laws and regulations, helpful to lawyers acting as in-house attorneys. The Section shall endeavor to accomplish these purposes by examining proposed legislation and regulations concerning business, corporate employment, contracts, environmental, and other areas of the law; they promote the education of members of the local Bar and the general public in those areas pertaining to the same; they sponsor meetings and seminars devoted to those issues.


CRIMINAL LAW
Richard E. Zambon, Chair
Richard E. Zambon, PLLC
161 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste 202
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-456-7831
Email: 
rick@zambonlaw.com

What do they do?
The Criminal Law Section exists to educate our members about changes in the criminal law, as well as to give practice pointers to those who are new to the practice of criminal law. The Criminal Law Section was created in July 2007 and its first meeting was in September 2007, when a 2007 Criminal Law Review was given by Timothy McMorrow of the Kent County Prosecutor's Office. As of July 2008, the Criminal Law Section has also had speakers from the Kent County Correctional Facility, Prison Legal Services, and U.S. Immigration. All seminars are held in the Cassard Room in the centrally-located Waters Building, one block from the downtown courthouse. If you have suggestions for future topics for this section, please e-mail the Section chair at the e-mail address listed above
.


ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 
James Enright, Chair

Enright Law Firm, PLLC
111 Lyon Street NW
2522 Woodmeadow Dr. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: 616-957-2984

Email: 
enrightj@me.com

What do they do?
Review laws and regulations dealing with the conservation, protection and development of the natural resources of this State and its environment and to promote the fair and just administration of those laws and regulations which implement the mandate of Article IV, Section 52, of the 1963 Constitution of Michigan. The Section accomplishes these purposes by examining proposed legislation and regulations concerning natural resources and environmental law; by promoting the education of members of the local Bar and the general public in those areas pertaining to natural resources and environmental law; and by sponsoring meetings and seminars including the publication of legal writing devoted to these issues.

Lynn M. Perry, Chair 
Perry Law Office, PC
161 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste 200B
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-776-3900
Email: 
lmperry@lynnperrylaw.com

What do they do?
Study the laws, court rules and procedures pertaining to the family. Further, the Section involves local practitioners in efforts to encourage efficient, predictable and civil practice of family law in local courts. 

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
Matthew D. Kendall, Chair
Gardiner Linn Burkhart & Flory, LLP
2851 Charlevoix Drive SE, Ste 207
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: 616-975-5500
Email: kendall@glbf.com

What do they do? 
Provide insight into the often mystifying world of patent law as well as bringing together well-versed patent practitioners with other attorneys having a general interest in IP Law. The Section will provide forums for discussion on current legal topics as well as provide seminars that seek to educate Bar members on the basics of IP practice. The Section will also look to sponsor social events for networking with other members of the Bar. Meetings will be scheduled on a quarterly basis.


LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW
Glenn L. Smith, Chair
Wheeler Upham
250 Monroe Ave. Ste 100
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-459-7100
Email:
smith@wuattorneys.com

What do they do?
Provide both educational and collegial opportunities. The Section accomplishes these purposes by conducting educational programs on Labor/Employment law, especially new legislation and regulations; by promoting the education of members of the local Bar and the general public in those areas pertaining to Labor/Employment law; and by sponsoring meetings and seminars and the publication of legal writing devoted to those issues. Meetings occur quarterly.


LEGAL ASSISTANT 
Tiesha N. Hogue, Chair
GVSU, Counsel's Office
260 Lake Michigan Hall
Allendale, MI 49401
Phone: 616-331-2067
Email: hogueti@gvsu.edu

What do they do?
Encourage a high order of ethical and professional attainment, including but not limited to continuing the educational needs of Legal Assistants; promotion of the profession; the exchange of ideas among members; and support of pro bono work within the legal community. To connect with the Legal Assistant Section, please visit our Facebook page. By liking the Facebook page, you will get updates on upcoming events and meetings.


LITIGATION
Sara G. Lachman, Chair
Miller Johnson
250 Monroe Ave NW Ste 800
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-831-1789
Email: lachmans@millerjohnson.com

What do they do?
Take actions to benefit the Section's members and the general public, including but not limited to the following: develop, sponsor and carry out continuing legal education programs; review and analyze legislative developments in areas of substantive law; publish articles on litigation; promote social interaction among GRBA members; and advance the level of local court practice.

PARENTS & CHILDREN
Hon. G. Patrick Hillary, Chair
17th Circuit Court
180 Ottawa Ave NW, Ste 9200A
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Tel: 616-632-5206
Email: patrick.hillary@kentcountymi.gov

What do they do? 
The purpose of this section is to enhance, educate, and improve the practice and administration of law pertaining to juvenile neglect, abuse and delinquency.


PROBATE AND ESTATE PLANNING
Linsey Gleason, Chair
Varnum LLP

333 Bridge Street NW
PO Box 352
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Phone: 616-336-6528
Email: lgleason@varnumlaw.com

What do they do?
Provide a cooperative and collegial forum for members of the Grand Rapids Bar Association interested in or engaged in the practice of Trusts and Estates law, in all of its forms. Communicate with one another on matters affecting the practice of Trusts and Estates law including, but not limited to: the effect of existing and pending legislation and case law; changes in procedures involving the administration of governmental programs (such as Medicaid); and changes in Internal Revenue Service and Kent County Probate Court procedures. The Section promotes the continuing legal education of its members and the general public by sponsoring meetings, seminars, and legal writings pertaining to the practice of Trusts and Estates law. The Section will at times collaborate with other organizations, including the Western Michigan Estate Planning Council, and other GRBA Sections, to promote such continuing legal education. The Section promotes social interaction among Section members and works to improve the overall quality of practice of Trusts and Estate law among Section members.


REAL PROPERTY
Melissa B. Papke, Chair
Varnum, LLP
333 Bridge St. NW
PO Box 352
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-336-6000
Email:
mbpapke@varnumlaw.com

What do they do?
The purpose of the Real Property Section is to provide a means for members of the Grand Rapids Bar Association interested and/or engaged in the practice of real estate law to communicate with one another on matters affecting the practice of real estate law including, but not limited to, the effect of existing and pending legislation, recent case decision, changes in local, state and federal practices and procedures and relationships with public agencies, businesses and community organizations engaged in, affected by or related to real estate.  The Section shall provide continuing legal education to members of the Grand Rapids Bar Association and information to the community concerning matters affecting real property law and practice.


SENIORS
Michael F. Kelly, Chair
Kelly Law Officers

312 E Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 4950
3
Ph: 616-774-0125
E-mail: mkelly@mkellylawoffice.com

What do they do?
Currently the Senior Section exists for social purposes only. The Section conducts three meetings per year: two luncheon meetings without spouses, and one evening meeting in late spring or early fall with spouses or significant others. These meetings provide a good time; help renew acquaintances; and promote a sense of camaraderie and friendship with our professional colleagues. Note: the Senior Section by-laws do not specify an age at which one becomes a senior. So, you are eligible when you think you are.

SOLO AND SMALL FIRMS
Wafa Adib-Lobo, Chair
Safe Harbor Legal, PLC
161 Ottawa Ave NW, Ste 305A
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-401-1126
Email: wafa.safeharborlegal@gmail.com

What do they do?
Provide a forum for networking among its membership, with a focus on exchanging practical information regarding solo/small firm administration issues (e.g., computer software, staffing, purchasing, etc.) and informal exchanges on legal topics of general interest. It is anticipated that the Section will provide both formal and informal opportunities for support, mentoring and consultation to the membership.


WORKERS' COMPENSATION
Christopher M. Westgate, Chair
Ryan, Podein & Postema, P.C.
3330 Grand Ridge Drive NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Phone: 616-363-7000
Email: chris@rpplawfirm.com

What do they do?
Provide both educational and collegial opportunities. The Section accomplishes these purposes by conducting educational programs on Workers' Compensation, especially new legislation and regulations; promoting the education of members of the local Bar and general public in those areas pertaining to Workers' Compensation; and by sponsoring meetings and seminars and the publication of legal writing devoted to those issues.
 

 
YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION
Peter Kulas, Chair
Kulas Law Office
250 Monroe Ave. NW Ste 400
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616-717-5767
Email: pmkulas@kulaslawoffice.com

What do they do?
All regular members of the Association who have not reached their 36th birthday or who have been practicing less than five years qualify as members of the Young Lawyers Section (YLS). These members can elect to pay no YLS Section dues for their first year of practice after passing the Bar Exam.  After the first year of practice, dues for membership in the YLS are $15 per year. YLS members enjoy opportunities to network and participate in activities that contribute to their personal and professional enrichment. For more information on YLS, click here.


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Grand Rapids Bar Association
161 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 203-B
Grand Rapids, MI  49503
Phone: 616.454.5550
Fax: 616.454.7707
© 2008