Attorney Earns 2014 Leader of the Law Award


GRAND RAPIDS — Trial attorney Ronald G. DeWaard was recently selected as a 2014 Leader in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. DeWaard was recognized for his legal practice as well as his commitment to improving the legal community and community at large.

Honorees were selected by a Lawyers Weekly editorial panel who considered such details as: demonstrates a commitment to excellence in the practice of law; is an inspiring and accomplished leader in the profession; seeks improvements to the legal community and their communities at large; shows leadership in improving the justice system in Michigan; and contributes significant time and effort to volunteerism and/or pro bono.

During his career, DeWaard, who works for Grand Rapids’ based Varnum law firm, has obtained numerous favorable verdicts and settlements for clients, including one of the Top Ten Verdicts in Michigan as recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in 2008. In addition to his litigation practice, DeWaard also represents parties in white collar criminal matters and conducts internal investigations for corporations.

 DeWaard has participation in the West Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, for which he currently serves as president, and the Hillman Advocacy Program, a three-day annual seminar which provides young lawyers the opportunity to develop courtroom skills under the guidance of some of trial lawyers. DeWaard has served as an instructor for the Hillman program for many years and has also chaired the program for two years.

From 1995 – 2001 DeWaard served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. During his time in Miami, he worked his way through several divisions including Special Prosecutions and Economic Crimes divisions, and eventually became Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Division. He also received special commendations from the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Customs, and the ATF.

He and other recipients — including some of the state’s most widely recognized attorneys, prosecutors, judges and justices — will be honored at a luncheon in Detroit this month.