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A Better Partnership


Jul 2007
July 31, 2007

Experienced Attorney, Lobbyist Joins Firm

Experienced attorney and lobbyist James G. Cavanagh has joined Warner Norcross & Judd LLP.

Cavanagh brings more than 25 years of experience in government relations, lobbying, administrative law and election law to the firm. He is the first attorney to practice in the new Lansing office of Warner Norcross, which opened Aug. 1 and is home to the Firm's Government Affairs Practice Group.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome James Cavanagh to the firm," said Douglas E. Wagner, managing partner of Warner Norcross. "Jim brings a wealth of experience in government relations, lobbying, public affairs and related areas of law, which will assist as we strengthen and expand our Government Affairs Practice Group."

"He is an extremely involved individual — in the Lansing community, the legal profession and in politics — and hails from one of Michigan’s most prominent political and legal families. We look forward to the strong contributions he will make in helping us establish and grow our new Lansing office."

Prior to joining Warner Norcross, Cavanagh was an attorney and lobbyist with Kelley Cawthorne, PLLC in Lansing. During his tenure with the firm, he concentrated his practice in government relations, administrative law, campaign finance law, association law and related matters. He regularly appeared before the legislative and executive branches of state government.

Cavanagh also spent a decade as a partner with Cawthorne, McCollough and Cavanagh, where he handled civil litigation, workers’ compensation and probate work, in addition to his government affairs work. While at CMC, he was named a Michigan Special Assistant Attorney General and spent seven years representing the state in workers' compensation matters.

Cavanagh began his legal career in 1982 as legal counsel to two speakers of the Michigan House of Representatives. As general counsel, he was responsible for negotiating contracts, employee disputes and constituent contracts. He also served as a liaison between the governor, attorney general and Michigan Supreme Court.

Recognized as one of the top 20 lobbyists by Inside Michigan Politics, Cavanagh comes from a long line of politically active family members. An uncle served as a mayor of Detroit while another uncle currently serves as a Michigan Supreme Court Justice. His father was a longtime health administrator for the state, and other relatives currently serve on the Wayne County Commission and the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Active professionally, Cavanagh is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Ingham County Bar Association. He is a current board member of Friends of the Capitol, Inc., and a past member of the Michigan Mid-South Health Systems Agency, Capital Area Substance Abuse Council and the Lansing Reinvestment Corp. In 1984, Cavanagh was elected a county commissioner for Eaton County, serving two terms before deciding not to run again.

Cavanagh holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Michigan State University and his doctor of jurisprudence from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

A native of Detroit, Cavanagh now resides in Lansing.

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About Warner Norcross & Judd

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP is one of the leading law firms in Michigan. With more than 190 attorneys in Grand Rapids, Metro Detroit, Lansing, Holland and Muskegon, Warner Norcross is a full-service provider of legal services. Nearly half of our partners are listed in the 2007 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 and as one of the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For in both West Michigan and Metro Detroit. The firm represents local, statewide, regional, national and international clients in all areas of business and civil law.

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