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Hal Ostrow

"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right"

Robert Hunter

Business Attorney Hal Ostrow

Key Service Areas

  • Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Privacy
  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Business and Corporate Planning

616.233.5120

Legal Assistant - Patty Doren

About Hal

How do you help businesses and individuals?

As a business attorney who focuses on serving clients providing information technology and creative services, my practice includes:

Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Privacy: I assist numerous businesses in negotiating and drafting agreements such as data ownership and licensing contracts, terms of use, privacy policies, and cybersecurity prevention policies. I also guide businesses on their evolving obligations to safeguard their users’ data and through their response to cyberattacks.

Creative Professionals: I advise software developers, designers, and other creative professionals in documenting their relationship with their clients – and clients doing business with creative professionals – including negotiating and drafting software and design service agreements and statements of work. I focus on ensuring that all parties understand their obligations to one another and the terms on which each deliverable is to be provided.

General Business Counsel: I help business owners form new companies and serve as a general counsel to numerous small and medium sized businesses. On a day to day basis, I assist my clients in navigating matters ranging from formation to angel and venture capital funding to interaction with third parties to mergers and acquisitions. I also help individuals and businesses negotiate non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-circumvention agreements – and to resolve disputes involving restrictive covenants.

The nucleus of my practice is innovation. As technology evolves, the body of law addressing our relationship with data grows, too. I work proactively with my clients to continually assess the legal foundations of their business relationships.

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

Listen. There’s a great line in Hamilton: “Talk less, smile more.” The only way to ever get to a win-win in a deal is to know what the other party considers to be a win. The only way to do that is to listen – or talk less and smile more. Listening doesn’t mean not being aggressive; it means obtaining insight we otherwise wouldn’t have so that we can develop effective strategies and tactics to reach our objective.

What did you learn in your first year of practice that you still utilize today?

I was privileged to begin my practice by serving as a judicial law clerk. The judge for whom I clerked imparted in me the importance of evaluating every possible approach to the cases on his docket, even if that position hadn’t been briefed. In a transactional practice that often means looking at every deal from multiple angles until finding a way to meet every party’s goals and expectations in a way most beneficial to my client.

Education

University of Pittsburgh, J.D., 1999

Wittenberg University, B.A., 1996

Insights

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Q: What is the most important ingredient to making a positive legal experience?

A:

Setting clear goals for every phase of a transaction and continually making sure that we’re on track to meet them. We can’t predict everything, but we can have a smoother path to getting to a successful result if we know what “success” means at the outset.

I served on the State Bar of Michigan’s “Building a 21st Century Practice” Task Force and have presented to numerous other groups on the intersection of law and technology. I am a member of Rhoades McKee’s Information Technology committee, where I advise my colleagues on matters ranging from new privacy regulations to the software and services we use on a day to day basis.

Associations

State Bar of Michigan, Building a 21st Century Practice Committee, 2015-2016

State Bar of Michigan, Judicial Qualifications Committee, 2013-2015

State Bar of Michigan, Law & the Media Committee, 2012-2015

State Bar of Michigan, Representative Assembly, 2007-2010

Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2015-Present

Grand Rapids Bar Association, Member

Michigan Israel Business Bridge, Vice President (2013-2016) & Member, Board of Directors (2011-2017)

American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Member, National Council (2014-Present) & Michigan Council (2009 - Present)

Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Member, PAC Board (2013-Present)

University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association, Grand Rapids Area Representative (2010-Present)

Temple Emanuel, Member, Board of Trustees (2010-2012)

Bar Admission

State of Michigan

Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Awards and Recognition

University of Pittsburgh, CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Legal Negotiation, 1999

Super Lawyers®, Rising Star, 2010 and 2012-2014

Avvo Client's Choice Award, 2012