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A Better Partnership


Dec 2008
December 03, 2008

Bill Schuette, Appeals Court Judge and Veteran Lawmaker, Joins Warner Norcross

Judge Bill Schuette will join Warner Norcross & Judd LLP on Jan. 1, 2009, when he concludes his term on the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Schuette has also served as a U.S. Congressman, Michigan Department of Agriculture Director and a Michigan State Senator. Schuette will be named senior counsel at Warner Norcross, which is one of the largest law firms in the state of Michigan.

Schuette will join the Appellate, Litigation and the Government Affairs practice groups at the Firm. He will be based at the Firm’s Lansing office but will be in active practice at Warner Norcross offices across Michigan.

"We are very pleased that Bill Schuette has agreed to join Warner Norcross," said Managing Partner Douglas E. Wagner. "He is a respected jurist and an exceptional attorney. Bill has a broad range of experience serving Michigan in all three branches of state government and at the federal level as well. He has an exceptional track record as a strong and effective advocate for our state. Bill will be able to provide valuable counsel to our clients and is a tremendous addition to our growing organization."

Schuette said: "I am delighted to be joining this outstanding law firm. I look forward to working with such a skilled group of attorneys and to being part of the Warner Norcross team."

Schuette ran against James G. Cavanagh in 2002 for the position of one of 28 judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals. He will now work side-by-side with Cavanagh, who joined Warner Norcross as an attorney and lobbyist in 2007.

Schuette began his political career in 1984 when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. At the age of 31, he was one of the youngest members of Congress in the nation. During his three terms in Washington, Schuette served on several key committees, including the House Budget Committee, the House Agriculture Committee and the Select Committee on Aging.

In January 1991, Gov. John Engler named him director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. As a cabinet member, Schuette had wide-ranging policy responsibilities, including agribusiness export development and environmental stewardship initiatives for production agriculture.

Schuette and his wife, Cynthia, created the Michigan Harvest Gathering, a food and fund drive designed to help feed hungry people in Michigan. In partnership with the Food Bank Council of Michigan, this nationally recognized effort has raised more than $6.1 million and distributed more than 7.8 million pounds of food to Michigan families since its inception.

Schuette was elected to the Michigan Senate in 1994, serving two terms. As senator, he was a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Technology and Energy Committee and the Gaming and Casino Oversight Committee. He also served as chairman of the Economic Development Committee and the Reapportionment Committee.

Schuette has served on the board of many civic, community and charitable organizations. He currently serves as vice president of the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation and as a trustee of the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation. He is a member of the board of trustees of Albion College and is also a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation. He was selected by Pres. George W. Bush in 2001 to serve as his personal representative to Australian-American Friendship Week.

Schuette graduated cum laude from Georgetown University with a bachelor of science in the foreign service and received his doctor of jurisprudence from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He also studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Schuette received an honorary doctorate of laws from Northwood University in 2006.

A native of Midland, Schuette, his wife, the former Cynthia Grebe, and their children, Heidi and Billy, continue to live in Midland.

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About Warner Norcross & Judd

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and one of the top 200 in the nation. With more than 220 attorneys in Grand Rapids, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Holland and Muskegon, Warner Norcross is a full-service provider of legal services. Nearly half of our partners are listed in the 2009 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Warner Norcross was also named the best corporate law firm in West Michigan by Corporate Board Member magazine for the third year in a row. Warner Norcross has been recognized as a national leader in client service among law firms by BTI Consulting, as one of the nation's leading employment law firms by Workforce Management, as one of the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For in both West Michigan and Metro Detroit and as one of the Best Michigan Businesses by Corp! Magazine. The Firm represents local, statewide, regional, national and international clients in all areas of business and civil law.

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