Skip to content

Practice Areas



Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Bloomington, Indiana
J.D., with honors, 1962
Indiana Law Journal, Editorial Board Member
Order of the Coif

Hope College
Holland, Michigan
A.B., with honors, 1959

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

Labor and Employment Attorney

Carl’s practice has focused on various aspects of labor and employment relations and dispute resolution. He has mediated and/or arbitrated hundreds of cases for the National Center for Dispute Settlement, Michigan Employment Relations Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), The Dispute Resource Center of West Michigan and the National Arbitration Forum. Carl is a frequent speaker at the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) and American and State Bar meetings on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and at Labor Arbitration Institute forums. He serves on many nonprofit, professional and business boards.

Dispute Resolution Experience

American Bar Association, Member of Dispute Resolutions Section Council

American Arbitration Association, Labor Panel arbitrator

National Center for Dispute Settlement

Michigan Employment Relations Commission, arbitrator

National Arbitration Forum, arbitrator

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), arbitrator

Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan, mediator

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America® since 1989

College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, fellow

Dispute Resolution Center, Local Peacemaker of the Year, 2017

Hope College: Distinguished Alumni Award, 2009; Second Century Club Annual Outstanding Services Award, 2001

Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Academy of Law Alumni Fellows, 2017

Leading Age of Michigan, Trustee of the Year, 2013

Leading Lawyers: ADR Law – Employment; Employment Law – Management

Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated

Michigan Health and Hospital Association, Special Recognition Award, 2007

Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research Center, Community Award, 2019

Senior Neighbors, 16 over 60 Award, 2019

State Bar of Michigan: Hudson Award, 2014 (highest State Bar award); Labor and Employment Section, Distinguished Service Award (highest Section award); Modernizing the Practice Committee, 2015

Who’s Who in American Law

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association: Dispute Resolution Section Council; Labor and Employment Section Council; Arbitration Committee, chair

American Employment Law Council

Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Board chair

Grand Rapids Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section

Modernizing the Practice Committee, 2015

State of Michigan: Attorney Grievance Commission, chair; Attorney Discipline, Board member

State Bar of Michigan: Labor and Employment Section, Character and Fitness Committee, chair


Community Involvement

Bethany Christian Services, past Board chair

Faith Hospice, past Board chair

Grand Rapids Downtown Rotary Club

Health Net of West Michigan, Board chair

Holland Home, past Board chair

Hope College, past Board and Executive Committee

Kent Health Plan Corporation, past Board chair

Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Board member

Reformed Church in America, Executive Committee


Frequent presentations to the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), American Bar Association – Alternative Dispute Resolution, and the Labor Arbitration Institute.

Sign up to be the first to access our leading legal insights.

The link you have selected will redirect you to a third-party website located on another server. We are offering the link for your convenience. Varnum has no responsibility for any external websites and makes no express or implied warranties about any external websites.

Please be aware that contacting us via e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send confidential information to the firm until you have spoken with one of our attorneys and receive authorization to send such materials.