Skip to main content
A Better Partnership

Conor B. Dugan

Senior Counsel | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.752.2127

    f. +1.616.752.2500


Conor B. Dugan is senior counsel in the appellate practice group. He has a wealth of appellate experience at the state and federal level, successfully representing clients in the U. S. Supreme Court, the Michigan Supreme Court, numerous federal courts of appeals, and the Michigan Court of Appeals. In particular, Conor has briefed and/or argued cases in the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and the Federal Circuits. He has argued in the federal courts of appeals a dozen times including an argument before an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit. Conor has also argued several cases in the Michigan Court of Appeals. 
Before joining Warner Norcross + Judd, Conor clerked for then-Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, worked as an appellate litigator in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for nearly seven years, and served as counsel at an appellate and Supreme Court boutique firm in Washington, D.C.
Conor's appellate experience includes submitting an amicus curiae on behalf of a group of agricultural, environmental, and conservancy clients that successfully convinced the Michigan Court of Appeals to grant an application for leave to appeal.  He has also submitted amicus curiae briefs for a group of business professors, the International Municipal Lawyers Association and the federal government.
Conor also has significant trial experience, including serving as co-counsel for the federal government in two felony criminal prosecutions, both which resulted in convictions, and representing the state of South Carolina in its defense of its voter identification law.
Conor's legal accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. He has been elected to the board of MDTC (the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel) and is a Council Member of the Michigan State Bar's Appellate Practice Section Council. Conor is also involved in the community as a member of the Board of the Notre Dame Club of Grand Rapids, Treasurer of the Catholic Lawyers Association of Western Michigan, and a member of the Programming Committee of Catholic Charities West Michigan.


    No data found


  • University of Notre Dame J.D. 2003 magna cum laude
  • Dartmouth College A.B. Ed. 2000 cum laude


  • District of Columbia
  • Michigan


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

Clerk Experience

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Honorable Samuel A. Alito, Jr.

Bar Associations

  • U.S. Supreme Court Bar
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Member, Appellate Practice Section Council
  • District of Columbia Bar


Federal Courts of Appeals

  • Election Law
    • United States v. New York State Bd. of Elections, No. 10-2320 (2d Cir. Sept. 7, 2010) (successfully represented the United States as Appellee in defending the enforcement of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA)) (briefed and argued)
  • Criminal Law
    • United States v. Perez-Laguna, 357 F. App'x. 507 (4th Cir. 2009) (represented the United States as Appellee in a sex-trafficking case defending allegation of a breach of the plea agreement and an error in sentencing guideline calculation)
    • United States v. Aguilar, 242 F. App'x. 239 (5th Cir. 2007) (successfully represented the United States as Appellee on appeal of a prosecution of a police officer for civil rights violations, witness tampering, and the making of a false statement)  (briefed and argued)
    • United States v. Lanham, 617 F.3d 873 (6th Cir. 2010) (successfully represented the United States as Appellee on appeal of prosecution of prison guards for civil rights violations and obstruction of justice for the rape and beating of a pretrial detainee) (briefed and argued)
    • United States v. Kaufman, 546 F.3d 1242 (10th Cir. 2008) (successfully represented the United States as Appellee on appeal of prosecution of a conspiracy to commit forced labor, involuntary servitude, health care fraud, and obstruction of justice) (co-lead counsel; briefed)
    • United States v. Pilati, 627 F.3d 1360 (11th Cir. 2010) (successfully represented the United States as Appellee on appeal of civil rights prosecution of district attorney's sexual misconduct resulting in affirmance and the first published opinion on issue of first impression) (briefed and argued)
  • Immigration
    • Gallegos v. Gonzales, 161 F. App'x. 398 (5th Cir. 2006) (successfully represented the Attorney General in defending a petition of review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals)
    • Abdulnour v. Gonzales, 177 F. App'x. 597 (9th Cir. 2006) (successfully represented the Attorney General in defending a petition of review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals)
  • Civil Rights
    • Khatib v. County of Orange, 639 F.3d 898 (9th Cir. 2011) (en banc) (briefed and argued as amicus curiae resulting in unanimous opinion affirming that Orange County’s jailhouse detention center was an institution for the purposes of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA))
    • Armstrong v. Schwarzenegger, 392 F. App'x. 532 (9th Cir. 2010) (briefed and argued as amicus curiae that the ADA and Rehabilitation Act regulations at issue in the case were neither contrary to the acts' statutory language nor arbitrary or capricious)
  • Attorneys' Fees/Constitutional Law
    • Rothe Development Corp. v. Department of Defense, 374 F. App'x. 36 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (successfully represented the Department of Defense as Appellee in arguing that it had been substantially justified in defending constitutionality of provision of the National Defense Authorization Act) (briefed and argued)

State Appeals

  • Johnson v. Dept. of Natural Resources, Nos. 321337-9, Mich Ct Appeals (Application granted Sept. 18, 2014) (Appeal Pending) (Filed amicus curiae brief on behalf of a dozen agricultural, environmental, and conservancy groups urging the Court of Appeals to grant application for leave to appeal in case involving Michigan's feral pig ban)

Honors & Awards

  • A Lawyer Helps Pro Bono Honor Roll, State Bar of Michigan, Tier 3, 2021
  • Top Lawyer in Appellate Law, Grand Rapids Magazine, 2020-21
  • Awarded Michigan Distinguished Brief Award, 2017
  • Michigan Super Lawyer Rising Star, 2016-18
  • Notre Dame Law Review


One Court of Justice Blog


Professional Affiliations

  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (MDTC)
    Board of Directors

Community Affiliations

  • Notre Dame Club of Grand Rapids
    Board Member
  • Catholic Lawyers Association of Western Michigan
  • Catholic Charities West Michigan
    Member, Board of Directors (2015-18); Programming Committee

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.



+ -