Muskegon Warner Norcross attorneys honored

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– PHOTOS COURTESY OF WARNER NORCROSS + JUDD

By Cynthia Price

As most of attorneys will tell you, there is nothing like being recognized for excellence by your peers, and three Warner Norcross + Judd partners in the Muskegon office can say they have received that honor.

The Best Lawyers in America® chooses its honorees based entirely on peer reviews, after they are initially nominated. In fact, it calls its methodology “purely peer review.”

After receiving a nomination, Best lawyers goes out and conducts “a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process” of a nominee’s colleagues who are in the same geographical and legal practice area. The company then analyzes the responses and does an eligibility check before adding them to the Best Lawyers list, which can include as many attorneys as are qualified.

That contrasts with the “Lawyer of the Year” recognition, also determined by Best Lawyers, which chooses only one lawyer in a given (very specific) practice area per each geographic region.

Rob Dubault, who practices out of the Warner Norcross Muskegon office  was honored in the 2019 list with just such a designation.

Chosen as the “Grand Rapids” region (roughly equivalent to West Michigan) Labor Law Lawyer of the Year, Dubault comments, “There truly are some outstanding labor and employment lawyers in the whole Grand Rapids market, and it’s very flattering to be considered.”

Dubault, who graduated summa cum laude from Central Michigan University  with his B.S.B.A., obtained an MBA from Western Michigan, and got his J.D. magna cum laude from Indiana University School of Law, is a Muskegonite born and bred.

He counsels and represents employers in labor and employment matters, including employment discrimination, benefits, collective bargaining, labor arbitration, and National Labor Relations Board (as well as other) proceedings. He does not litigate himself – “I’m the guy who tries to keep people out of court,” he says – but he has expertise in a wide array of areas relating to labor and employment law. He is sought after as a speaker and has many publications, some of which, he says, are reprints of blogs and newsletter articles he writes for community organizations he serves.

He currently serves as secretary of the board of the Employers Association of West Michigan. In the past he has worked with many organizations, including The Muskegon Child Abuse Council, the Lakeshore Lung Society and the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra.

In addition, Dubault is a past chair of Warner’s labor and employment practice group, and a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section of both the American Bar and the State Bar of Michigan.

Dubault has appeared on the Best Lawyers general list in the categories of employment law and labor law since 2010, and he comments, “It’s really nice just to be included in Best Lawyers, much less a Lawyer of the Year.”

In the Muskegon office of Warner Norcross, he is joined on that list by Brian T. Lang in commercial litigation and Paul R. Jackson in tax law.

Lang, who has been the subject of a previous Legal News profile and devotes 100% of his practice to litigation, is named a Best Lawyer for the second year. He agrees with Dubault that it is an honor to be chosen. “It’s really nice to be acknowledged,” Lang says.

As the founder and chair of Warner Norcross’s Real Estate Litigation Practice Group, Lang is proud of the success the firm and he himself have seen, as well as of the well-organized way in which they practice.

He also has seen a lot of success in resolving international disputes, involving countries from Korea to Canada to the United Arab Emirates. “I think it may be true of a lot of people who do commercial litigation, but it just seems that for me it almost always comes up,” he comments.

After graduating cum laude from Hillsdale College, Lang did graduate work in Cognitive Psychology at St. Louis University before receiving his J.D. with honors from Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University. He is very involved with the Muskegon Museum of Art, serving on the board and the collections committee, and chairing its personnel committee.

Paul Jackson, a former managing partner of the Muskegon office, practices in tax and business law, involving special expertise in counseling pass-through entities, including partnerships, limited liability companies and S corps in taxation matters. He has a particular emphasis on health care provider, as well as with other 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

He also handles capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, redemptions, incorporations and liquidations, and counsels closely held companies on a general counsel basis. A member of the Taxation Sections of both the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan (where he served on its Council from 1989-1992 and again from 2004-2007), Jackson attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate work. He then received his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh J.D. 1977 and his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida.

He has served the Muskegon County Bar Association as Treasurer and Secretary. He has also been very active in the community over his career, including with the Muskegon Civic Theatre, Muskegon Country Club, the Muskegon County United Way, and the West Michigan Symphony, which he chaired from 2006 to 2009.

Jackson was out of the country and could not be reached for comment for this article.

Warner Norcross + Judd has eight offices around the state, and 100 of its 220 attorneys are listed in Best Lawyers 2019.

In addition, the firm has just been named again to the State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Circle of Excellence.

 

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