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University of Michigan Law School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
J.D., cum laude, 1990
Order of the Coif

Calvin College
Grand Rapids, Michigan
B.A., 1987

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Court of Federal Claims

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (including Trial Bar)

United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan

United States District Court for the Northern District of New York

United States Supreme Court

United States Tax Court

Litigation Attorney

Ron is a trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor. He concentrates his practice in civil and white collar litigation, as well as internal investigations. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and has been recognized as one of Michigan’s top lawyers by Best Lawyers®Super Lawyers®, Benchmark Litigation© and by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Leader in the Law. Ron served as Chair of the firm from 2019 through 2023 and has also served as leader of the Litigation and Trial Practice Team.

Before joining Varnum, Ron served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Miami for the Southern District of Florida, where he prosecuted and tried several large criminal cases. He was also the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Division in that office from 2000 – 2001. Since joining Varnum, Ron has tried cases in courts across the country, including New York, Washington, D.C., Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Kansas. Ron has obtained multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements for plaintiff businesses, including a top ten verdict in Michigan, as recognized by the Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has also obtained a number of defense verdicts against plaintiffs claiming high damages.

Ron has extensive experience as an instructor of trial advocacy. He has taught at the preeminent trial advocacy program in the United States, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and at the National Advocacy Center, which is the trial practice school for the Department of Justice. Since 2006, he has taught at the Hillman Trial Advocacy Clinic, the trial advocacy program for the Western District of Michigan, and he led that program in 2012 and 2013. He is also a federal court approved mediator.

As a former federal prosecutor, Ron represents companies and officers in white collar criminal matters and governmental investigations, and he conducts internal investigations.


Member of the leadership team assembled by the Independent Monitor named by the U.S. Department of Justice to oversee General Motors’ compliance with its obligations under the Deferred Prosecution Agreement stemming from its recall of defective ignition switches.

Represented the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in connection with investigations arising out of the Flint water crisis.

Represented former owner of Dr. Pepper, Snapple and Squirt products in a series of income tax related suits against the United States Department of Justice, as well as related litigation, and in separate cases obtained a jury verdict in excess of $4 million, a bench verdict in excess of $3.5 million, and an $8.5 million settlement. The jury verdict was upheld by the 6th Circuit in a published opinion and was hailed by Forbes as one of the top ten tax cases of the year in 2014.

Represented financing company in a series of lawsuits against dealers and administrators of vehicle service contracts brought in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and obtained a summary judgment in excess of $10 million and additional settlements exceeding $10 million.

Conducted an internal investigation for and represented top 100 global automotive supplier in multiple grand jury investigations into criminal violations of the Clean Air Act. Obtained a declination of prosecution from two U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Department of Justice.

Conducted an internal investigation and represented foreign auto supplier in Department of Justice Antitrust Division “Auto Parts” investigation, and also represented company in federal class actions brought by auto dealers and consumers.

Honors and Recognitions

American College of Trial Lawyers, fellow, 2017 – present

American Board of Trial Advocates, 2020 – present

Benchmark Plaintiffs, Leading Commercial Litigation Plaintiffs Star in Michigan, 2012 – present

Best Lawyers in America®, since 2011

Grand Rapids Business Journal, Notable West Michigan Lawyers, 2023

Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Banking and Finance Litigation, Grand Rapids, 2013

Grand Rapids Magazine’s Top Lawyers: Litigation – Commercial; White-Collar Criminal Defense; 2019-2021

Leading Lawyers: Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense Law – White Collar

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Leader in the Law Award, 2014

Michigan Super Lawyers® since 2010

Special Commendations from the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Customs, and the ATF

United States Department of Justice, Volunteer Service Award, 1999

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

American Bar Foundation, fellow, 2010 – present

Federal Bar Association Western District of Michigan, president, 2014; Executive Committee, 2006 – 2016; officer, 2007 – 2016

Grand Rapids Bar Association

Michigan State Bar Foundation, fellow, 2008 – present

State Bar of Michigan

Community Involvement

Camp Henry, Board of Directors, 2017 – 2020

Federal Pro Bono Committee, 2010 – present

Grace Christian Reformed Church, Council member, 2005 – 2008

Heartside Ministries, president, Board of Directors, 2003 – 2009

Hillman Advocacy Clinic held by the Federal Court for the Western District of Michigan: Executive Committee, 2006 – present; chair, 2011 – 2012; vice chair, 2009 – 2010

Land Conservancy of West Michigan, Board of Directors, 1992 – 1995

Log Cabin vocational training program for disabled, Board of Directors, 1998 – 2001

Northeastern Little League, coach, 2010 – 2019

The Right Place, Board of Director, 2019 – present

Recent Presentations

Strafford, speaker, DOJ Investigations of Fraud in PPP Loan Applications: False Claims Act, Corporate and Personal Liability, 2022

MSU Midwest Securities Law Institute, speaker, SEC Issues and Securities Litigation Developments, 2019


Hillman Advocacy Clinic, Western Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Faculty

National Advocacy Center, Faculty

National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Faculty

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