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A Better Partnership


May 2014
May 20, 2014

Warner Norcross Opens Office in Kalamazoo

West Michigan’s Largest Law Firm Now has Offices in Eight Michigan Cities

The law firm Warner Norcross & Judd LLP continues to grow its presence in Michigan with the opening of a new office in Kalamazoo.

One of the largest law firms in the state, Warner Norcross has opened its new office in the heart of Kalamazoo’s business district at 259 E. Michigan Ave., Suite 208 while it looks for larger space to accommodate anticipated growth.

Four experienced litigators and business attorneys have joined the firm and will practice in the Kalamazoo office.  They are:
  • John N. Cooper II, a civil litigator with more than 30 years of experience who also serves as executive partner
  • Pamela Enslen, a litigator and mediator with extensive experience in employment law
  • Ian R. Kennedy, a corporate attorney with significant experience in business and real estate law
  • Jay Yelton, a litigator who is nationally recognized for his work on litigation readiness and e-discovery

Elisabeth Von Eitzen, a partner in the firm’s Grand Rapids office and an experienced litigator, will also be based in the new Kalamazoo office.  She focuses her practice on creditors’ rights cases, bankruptcy matters and employment litigation.
Additionally, Myra L. Willis has joined the firm as a senior attorney.

“As the largest law firm headquartered in West Michigan, opening a Kalamazoo office was the next logical step in furthering our Michigan growth strategy,” said Douglas E. Wagner, managing partner of Warner Norcross.  “We can now better serve our clients in Southwest Michigan from our new base in Kalamazoo, which will allow us to become more fully engaged with the community.

“We are also pleased to welcome John, Pam, Ian, Jay and Myra to Warner Norcross.  They bring varied and tremendous experience and expertise to the firm, as well as solid reputations in the Kalamazoo area.  We look forward to the continued growth of our client base in Southwest Michigan.”

This is the eighth office for Warner Norcross in Michigan.  The firm opened a new office in Midland in 2013 as a base to better serve clients in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Cooper is a partner with the firm who concentrates his practice in civil litigation and has led dozens of trials in state and federal courts during his legal career.  He has represented a wide range of clients, from individuals and shareholders to retailers, colleges and hospitals.

He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, or SBM, and State Bar of Florida.  He is a founding director of the Junior Golf Association of Kalamazoo and has volunteered his time in leadership roles for United Way, Portage Education Foundation, Lakeside Home for Children and Lakeside Foundation, where he current serves as a board member.

Cooper holds a bachelor of arts cum laude from Amherst College and a doctor of jurisprudence with honors from the University of Michigan.

Enslen is a partner with Warner Norcross who will focus on employment and commercial litigation.  She has extensive experience working with corporations, municipalities, colleges and universities and medical practices on matters ranging from software misappropriation to product liability to white-collar criminal defense.  A highly regarded trained mediator and arbitrator, she has extensive experience in dispute resolution.

In 2013, Enslen was one of eight non-governmental observers who traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to attend trial proceedings for the alleged masterminds of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  She represented the American Bar Association, or ABA.

Extremely active professionally, Enslen is a Fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America, American Bar Foundation and Michigan State Bar Foundation, as well as a Master with American Inns of Court.  She is a member of the state bars of Michigan, Massachusetts and California, along with the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, Women Lawyers’ Association of Michigan, Federal Bar Association and American Bar Association.  Enslen has held numerous leadership positions within the SMB and ABA, where she is a member of the Board of Governors.

She has been recognized for her legal work by Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyers, which names her one of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers.  She has also been named Lawyer of the Year by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and one of the Thought Leaders in the Law by Business Review.

Engaged in the community, Enslen serves as chair of Gryphon Place and on the boards of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Women’s Foundation.  A graduate of Leadership Kalamazoo and Inforum Executive Leadership Program, she volunteers with Personnel Leadership Group.

Enslen holds a bachelor’s and master’s in music from the University of Michigan and a JD from Wayne State University.

Kennedy is a senior counsel with the firm who concentrates his practice in general corporate, employment and business law.  He regularly counsels closely held businesses, as well as nonprofit, educational, governmental and religious institutions.

He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and vice president of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association.  He serves on the board of Community Advocates Pooled Trust Committee and is a past board member of Friends of Parks and Recreation and Michigan Works! Kalamazoo/St. Joseph.

Kennedy holds a BS from Alma College and a JD cum laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Yelton is a partner with the firm and focuses on records management, litigation readiness and e-discovery, representing Fortune 500 companies, governmental agencies and other organizations.  He regularly conducts educational and training seminars on these topics for in-house legal and IT departments, bar and trade associations, and state and local municipalities.

He is a member of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, SBM, Federal Bar Association and ABA.  Yelton is a member of the Economic Club of Southwest Michigan and a past president and board member of the Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo.  Active in youth sports, he has coached football and little league.

Yelton speaks, writes and presents regularly on e-discovery and related issues and has been quoted extensively by state and national publications in this area.

Yelton holds a BA from Michigan State University and a JD from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

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About Warner Norcross & Judd

Warner Norcross & Judd is a corporate law firm with 230 attorneys practicing in eight offices throughout Michigan: Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Macomb County, Midland, Muskegon and Southfield. By providing discerning and proactive legal advice, Warner Norcross & Judd forges a better partnership with its clients.

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