Thursday Profile: Ken Hotchkiss

A life-long resident of Jackson County, Ken Hotchkiss and Julie, his wife of 24 years, live in Spring Arbor, where they raised two children, Matthew, 21 and Kaylee, 18, both now in college.

Hotchkiss graduated from Spring Arbor University, magna cum laude, with a B.A. degree, and graduated cum laude from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he was awarded the top mock trial award on two separate occasions. 

Immediately upon graduating from law school, he went to work with Eric White and the two later became partners.  Their law practice is now known as White, Hotchkiss and Falahee, PLLC.  They are a member of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.

Hotchkiss is an experienced trial attorney who has tried criminal cases ranging from drunk driving, assault and battery and criminal sexual conduct, to a gang related murder case. 

He completed Family Mediation training in 2011 and has successfully mediated many divorce cases.  He believes that parties are generally better served by mediating important family issues rather than litigating them.

A member of the Michigan Bar Association and the Jackson County Bar Association, Hotchkiss currently serves on the Spring Arbor Township Public Safety Advisory Board.  He has also served on the Child and Parent Center Safe Haven Project, the Family Services and Children’s Aid board, and the Jackson County Community Corrections Board. 

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

What is your most treasured material possession?
An engraved pocket watch, a gift from my Dad.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?  That decision should not be entered into lightly.  But, once you make the commitment, don’t let anyone discourage you from doing so.

Favorite local hangouts: Laughlin’s Slice of Spice in Spring Arbor

Favorite websites: MECUM Auctions; Barrett Jackson Auctions, any websites pertaining to classic cars or muscle cars.

Favorite app: Kindle

Favorite music: Classic country and classic rock

What is your happiest childhood memory? Spending time with my Dad working on cars and our weekends spent at the race track.

What would surprise people about your job? The amount of time and preparation that goes into representing a client.

Why did you become a lawyer? I was a Deputy Sheriff for approximately 18 years and during that time I became exposed to many aspects of the legal system.  I believed I could use my personal and professional experiences to represent individuals with their legal issues.  Becoming a lawyer was the next logical step.

What’s your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book?  Anything written by John Grisham.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?
Craig Jackson, of Barrett Jackson Auction Company.

What did you do last weekend? Put in a raised garden with my son, Matt, at our home and cooked out with my family.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Success depends upon the support of other people.  Find role models and mentors in all areas of your life and learn from them.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?
I would like to learn how to do a ground up restoration on a classic car.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
When you pour your heart and soul into a case and you get a genuine ‘thank you” from your client.  That makes it all worthwhile.

What do you do to relax? Anything auto related, including: car shows, car auctions, car museums, etc.

If you were starting all over again and could not go into law, what career path would you choose? I would be an architect/designer of high end homes.

What is something most people don’t know about you?  I enjoy hot, spicy foods - the hotter the better.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Work hard and believe in yourself. 

Favorite place to spend money:
Classic car auctions and buying auto memorabilia

What is your motto? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Having a great marriage with my best friend, Julie.

What is the most unusual thing you have done? Skydive.

Where would you like to be when you’re 90?  If I’m fortunate to reach the age of 90, I hope I am still able to contribute to my family in some way.

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