Robert J. Christians

Bob Christians is a Member of the firm and has been practicing law since 1981.  His practice focuses on litigation for both businesses and individuals.

Hospital Reimbursement Litigation

As a member of the firm’s Hospital Reimbursement Group, Mr. Christians works with the firm’s hospital clients to obtain payment for their medical services.  His practice involves counseling, advising, and training for clients about reimbursement issues, as well as litigation and litigation management for claims of all types, including Michigan no-fault motor vehicle insurance, health insurance, and self-pay.

No-Fault Law Litigation and Counseling

Representing medical providers and individuals, Mr. Christians has handled Michigan motor vehicle no-fault cases against a wide array of insurance companies.  He counsels, advises and trains medical providers, such as the firm’s hospital clients, regarding Michigan no-fault law, and has been a frequent speaker to other lawyers throughout the state on no-fault law.  He has also handled numerous no-fault claims for individuals, helping clients recover millions of dollars in no-fault benefits over the years.

General Business Litigation

Mr. Christians has handled litigation and tried cases in both state and federal courts for business clients.  He obtained a jury verdict of $7.4 million for a West Michigan business against a foreign corporation, one of the largest verdicts in Kent County Circuit Court history.  He has also litigated a number of condemnation and property tax cases for businesses, individuals and governmental units.  In one property tax appeal he tried in the Michigan Tax Tribunal, he obtained a reduction in true cash value of more than $10 million for one of the firm’s business clients.

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation

Mr. Christians has handled many cases for individuals with personal injury and wrongful death claims. His recent recoveries include: $1.15 million for a man injured in a motorcycle accident who returned to full time work within 6 months of the accident; $300,000 for a woman who was medically evaluated and cleared after an accident and then did not return to the doctor until more than 9 months later; $500,000 for a man who developed hypersomnia and traumatic narcolepsy as a result of a head injury; $700,000 for a mentally and physically handicapped woman who was injured when the van transporting her was in an accident. His other recoveries also include $1.6 million for a middle-aged woman injured in a one-car accident.

Professional Affiliations and Activities

Mr. Christians is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Grand Rapids Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers and Michigan Trial Lawyers.  He is a Fellow in the Michigan State Bar Foundation and for several years was a member of the State Bar Standing Committee on Character and Fitness.  He has been a long-standing member of the Christian Legal Society of West Michigan.  Mr. Christians has an AV® rating by Martindale-Hubbell  [1] (The Legal Ability Ratings of A indicates Very High to Preeminent and a General Ethical Standards Rating of V indicates Very High).

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Christians taught English for eight years at Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville, Mich. and Seymour Christian School in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Articles and Presentations

Mr. Christians has both written and spoken on a variety of subjects related to his practice areas, including:

  • Michigan No-Fault Law – Since 1994, Mr. Christians has written and updated annually this book published by our firm which provides an overview of the state’s motor vehicle no-fault law.  It is used widely by both medical providers and individuals as a guidebook to this area of the law.
  • Car Insurance – What You Need . . . and Why – A Lawyer’s Perspective – Since Mr. Christians has come face-to-face with many car insurance problems while handling numerous cases for individuals and medical providers, he wrote this eight-page booklet to explain Michigan’s car insurance requirements and options, and to recommend coverage an individual should have.  This booklet has been used as a guide by many individuals and insurance agents.
  • The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Buying Car Insurance – Because people whose lives have been shattered by serious car accidents too frequently find that they have unwittingly made their tragic situations even worse because of unwise or unknowing insurance choices, Mr. Christians has written this four-page pamphlet, which has appeared in multiple editions, to alert individuals to the most common problem areas.
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Michigan No-Fault Law Update – Mr. Christians has prepared written materials and has made oral and Power Point presentations for more than 10 years at this annual training seminar for attorneys, which is sponsored by the State Bar’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education.
  • No-Fault Law for Medical Providers – Mr. Christians has created and presented this PowerPoint training seminar numerous times over the years for the firm’s many hospital clients, and has also adapted it for several presentations to professional organizations of medical providers.
  • No-Fault Practice and Tort Reform – Mr. Christians was one of the attorneys chosen to prepare written materials and speak at these statewide Institute of Continuing Legal Education seminars focused on the impact of Michigan’s tort reform changes.
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Trial of a Closed Head Injury Case – In this statewide training seminar for lawyers, Mr. Christians was one of a handful of lawyers chosen to participate in a demonstration of trial advocacy techniques.
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Fundamentals of No-Fault Practice – Mr. Christians prepared written materials and has spoken on this topic at statewide seminars.
  • Michigan Property Tax Appeals – Mr. Christians has been one of the presenters at this firm seminar for clients and prospective clients.
  • Western Michigan University, Instructor – Mr. Christians has taught a graduate-level law class at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Community Activities

Mr. Christians is a graduate of the Leadership Grand Rapids program sponsored by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.  He has been a board member and served as president of several community organizations, including:  Hospice of Greater Grand Rapids, Family Service Association and Camp Roger.  He has also been a member of the Wyoming Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee, and of the school board for Sylvan Christian School.

In addition, he has served as elder, deacon, Sunday school teacher, children’s worship leader, adult fellowship leader, instruction committee chair, worship committee member, Young People’s Group leader and Cadet Counselor in his church.  Mr. Christians dedicated many years as a basketball and baseball coach for youth programs such as the YMCA, Grand Rapids Recreation Department and Little League while his own children were growing up.

Education

Mr. Christians is a graduate of Calvin College and has a Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan.  His law degree is from the University of Notre Dame, summa cum laude, where he received the Dean Joseph O’Meara Award for outstanding academic achievement and the Edward F. Barrett Award for outstanding achievement in the art of trial advocacy.  He was a member of the Notre Dame Law Review, and competed on the school’s National Trial Competition Team at both the regional and national levels, where he received a National Trial Competition Award of Merit for Outstanding Trial Advocacy.

[1]  CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.  Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.