Ed Perdue opens boutique civil litigation firm and expands into speaking, writing


By Cynthia Price
Legal News

Says Ed Perdue, experienced litigator well-known for his assistance to veterans, about opening his own law firm, “It’s not really something I always thought I was going to do. But I figured if I wanted to build something to be proud of, I had to do it now.”

Perdue says he was “guided” by this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”

In keeping with the challenge he issued himself, Perdue will start a speaking practice in addition to opening Perdue Law Group. He has also written a book.

The leadership manual that will be published this year through Jenkins Group is entitled The Little Green Book” and subtitled, “What History and the Marines Teach Us About How to Lead and Win at Work.” That is also the theme of his upcoming speaking initiative: how to bring the focus required for winning wars to the development of leadership skills.

“Few people in our society train in the art of leading men and women to achieve common goals,” Perdue says in his promotional materials, which go on to talk about “specific mission planning and execution techniques” that are adaptable to the clients’ needs. The new practice leverages eight years of experience speaking around the country on similar topics.

At Perdue Law Group (www.perduelawgroup.com), Perdue will bring his years of expertise to bear on commercial, labor and employment, real estate, automotive, and product liability litigation to help clients with a broad range of ability to afford legal services.

“I’m using technology and outside vendors to keep my overhead low and translating the savings into helping my clients,” Perdue says.
 It is no secret that Perdue was most recently a litigator at the Grand Rapids office of prestigious national firm Dickinson and Wright. He comments, “I left on good terms. I still have great relationships with them.”

His heart has long been with helping veterans, and he is also the acting president of the Grand Rapids Veterans Bar Association – though he says that the demands of starting his own practice may cause him to take a step back.

Himself a disabled veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Perdue grew up on Long Island as the son of a Colombian immigrant. (He is able to speak Spanish.) He received an ROTC scholarship to attend Villanova University in Pennsylvania, majored in political science and history, and then   did his service in the Marines from 1989 to 1997 as an artillery officer. He also graduated from the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, the U.S. Army Airborne School, and the U.S. Army Artillery School.

Following his time in the military, Perdue received his J.D. from University of Notre Dame Law School. Outside of a stint as a municipal prosecuting attorney, he spent his entire career at Dickinson and Wright.

His military service resulted in receiving a number of awards, including the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, a Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross. That has continued in his legal career; he was named as a Best Lawyer in America in the commercial litigation category in 2018 and 2019, and last year was given the Grand Rapids Bar/WMU-Cooley Law School Marion Hilligan Public Service Award on behalf of the Grand Rapids Veterans Bar Association, which he co-founded. As readers of a 6/26/2019 Grand Rapids Legal News article may remember, the Veterans Bar was organized in part to provide pro bono services to local veterans.

Perdue’s concern for helping veterans continues. “I want to be the go-to guy for veterans and first responders that need legal assistance,” he says. “I’m offering discounted rates to them and their families.”

At Perdue Law Group, which is a federally-registered Minority and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, he expects to attract clients through  referrals from many sources: from his former firm; through his service on Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, where he serves on the board; through the national Defense Research Institute (“the voice of the defense bar” of which he is a former director); and from fellow Veterans Bar attorneys.

“All my referrals are going to flow both ways. Whenever there are matters outside of my expertise, I’ll refer them to other members of the Veterans Bar or my old firm,” he comments.

“This has all been a little uncomfortable, starting my own practice – before now, I spent my whole career at just one firm. But I decided I had to take this leap of faith, and trust in the universe,” Perdue says.


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