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Bruce Courtade

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

courtade-op

Key Service Areas

  • Services for Business and Industry
  • Dispute Resolution and Litigation Services

616.233.5152

legal assistant - Dawn Lieffers

About Bruce

How do you help businesses and individuals?

My clients count on me for sound advice and strategic guidance, neither of which is possible without listening to what they have to say about not only what problem brings them to me, but their long-term goals. Therefore, I strive to get to know my clients and their hopes for the future so that we can get past the immediate issue, avoid future problems, and put them in the best possible position to reach their goals. Nothing satisfies me more than helping a client accomplish his or her goals.

What is the most important advice that you have given a client?

I have had clients draw lines in the sand, saying "It's a matter of principle!" When that happens, I remind them that there are two ways to spell that word: while standing on your principles (values), you can be throwing your principal (money) out the window. Too often, litigation is a costly effort, so I always try to help my clients minimize their costs as much as possible through the efficient delivery of legal services while I maintain focus on the "big picture" and zealously advocate for their best interests.

What case did you find the most rewarding to work on?

I worked with a team of RM lawyers to help two minority shareholders stand up to a bully who was forcing through a sale of their business at an incredibly low price without giving them even the chance to vote on it. After more than 3 years of litigating against one of the biggest firms in the State, and after a four-week trial, we received the largest jury verdict in Kent County history in favor of our clients. It was such a great team victory for two kind and honorable men - definitely the highlight of my career so far!

Education

University of Michigan, J.D., 1988

University of Michigan, B.A., 1984

Insights

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Q: Is it true that the client is always right?

A:

No, but they always have the right to be heard, understood and respected. As lawyers, we must listen to what they have to say, explain their rights and responsibilities, guide them to the best possible way to address their needs, and advocate so that their positions are heard and understood.

A Past President of the State Bar of Michigan, Bruce is Chair of the firm’s Construction Law Practice Group and active in many community and professional organizations.

Associations

American Bar Association, Member of Business Law, Forum on Construction Law, Litigation and Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Sections

Builders Exchange of Michigan, Member

Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Member

Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Michigan

Grand Rapids Bar Association, Court Liaison and Judicial Review Committees

Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Legislative, Public Policy and Tax & Regulatory Affairs Committee

Justice Foundation of West Michigan, Life Member

Litigation Counsel of America, Member

Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow

State Bar of Michigan, Attorney Discipline Board

State Bar of Michigan, Chair - 21st Century Task Force on the Practice of Law

State Bar of Michigan, Representative Assembly, Past Chair

State Bar of Michigan, Litigation and Negligence Sections

University of Michigan Advisory Board on Intercollegiate Athletics, Past Member

West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, Past Board Member

Bar Admission

Michigan State and Federal Courts, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Awards and Recognition

Best Lawyers of America®, Commercial and Construction Litigation

Leading LawyersSM

Alumni Association of the University of Michigan Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2013 Leader in the Law

Martindale Hubbell Highest AV® Preeminent Rating

Michigan's Law and Politics, Super Lawyer, Consistently ranked since 2006

State Bar of Michigan, John W. Cummiskey Award, 1991

Grand Rapids Bar Association's President's Award for outstanding service, 2007

Grand Rapids Business Journal, Top 40 Under 40, 1998 and 2002