Sara G. Lachman

Sara Lachman is an experienced civil litigator and has been practicing law since 2004. She is a problem solver with a strong record of success. Ms. Lachman leads disciplined teams known for thorough, imaginative and professional advocacy. Her client work has produced consistently successful results, with outright dismissals, favorable settlements, and wins at trial and on appeal.

Litigation Practice

Ms. Lachman has experience in a wide variety of commercial litigation. That experience includes:

  • Real estate
  • Construction
  • Contract
  • Shareholder oppression
  • Commercial appeals
  • Professional licensing
  • Employment
  • Unfair competition/trade secrets
  • Corporate raiding
  • Sales commission

Real Estate & Construction Disputes

While Ms. Lachman’s practice continues to involve a wide array of cases, her focus involves disputes with a real estate component. For example, she frequently handles:

  • Quiet title and ownership interests
  • Restrictive covenant disputes
  • Adverse possession
  • Easement disputes
  • Lake property uses and rights
  • Partition actions
  • Street vacations
  • Zoning board of appeals challenges
  • Government takings
  • Nuisance and trespass
  • Property damage
  • Boundary disputes
  • Condo association restrictions and violations
  • Equitable mortgages
  • Mortgage and general lien foreclosures
  • Land contract forfeitures
  • Commercial and residential leases
  • Construction lien foreclosures
  • Construction defect claims
  • Contractor/subcontractor/supplier disputes
  • Builders Trust Fund claims
  • Agricultural land disputes
  • Environmental contamination
  • Family cottage disputes
  • Government ordinance challenges

Ms. Lachman represents plaintiffs and defendants, individuals and corporations. She has represented Fortune 500 companies, as well as private individuals with net worth of millions of dollars. She has counseled small locally-owned companies and individuals working on a conservative budget. She has handled cases of all property sizes, including some with hundreds of acres involved, and others where only small slivers of property were at stake. Many of her cases involve challenging dynamics between family members or neighbors. Ms. Lachman also routinely works with local and state government or government agencies to resolve matters.

Unfair Competition

Ms. Lachman has also prosecuted and defended numerous unfair competition cases, involving claims over non-competition agreements, misuse of trade secrets, corporate raiding, palming-off, and tortious interference. Many of these cases required emergency action to obtain or block a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. Most of these cases also involved sensitive e-discovery issues. A few of Ms. Lachman’s recent cases include:

  • Summary disposition in Michigan’s Calhoun County Circuit Court, awarding a manufacturing employer a two-year injunction plus liquidated damages against a former design engineer employee
  • Successful resolution in defending a start-up staffing company against an industry giant that alleged violations of Michigan’s Trade Secrets Act
  • Successful resolution of a non-compete case that resulted in the company’s former President being terminated from new employer

Business/Professional Licenses and Privileges

Ms. Lachman routinely represents businesses and professionals in compliance, licensing, and medical privileges and issues. These matters often include defending individuals facing state action against their professional licenses for alleged violation of laws, regulations or professional standards. Another matter involved a medical staff peer review hearing under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act to address the revocation of a physician’s privileges. Ms. Lachman has also successfully defended various business entities, including health care facilities and day care facilities, through state licensing investigations and administrative hearing procedures based upon state action to revoke necessary licenses.

Litigation Philosophy

Ms. Lachman subscribes to the philosophy instilled in her by mentor Jon March, a longtime successful litigator with Miller Johnson.  Mr. March believes, “Lawyers are either problem creators or problem solvers.” In accordance with this philosophy, Ms. Lachman strives to:

  • Listen to understand the client’s interests
  • Develop a strategy at the onset that accounts for legal, financial, relational and psychological factors
  • Communicate regularly with the client
  • Seek creative, practical, and efficient solutions
  • Maintain the highest standards of professionalism

Professional Affiliations, Activities and Honors

Ms. Lachman was:

  • Selected as the 2015 ATHENA Young Professional Award winner. The ATHENA Young Professional Award recognizes, individuals who have embarked upon their career path as emerging leaders of excellence and creativity, devoting time and talent in service of others within the community, and serving as a role model for young women both personally and professionally.
  • Selected as one of 30 women in Michigan named 2014 Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly Women in the Law, awarded to those who: (1) “have a commitment to excellence in the practice of law;” (2) “are inspiring and accomplished leaders in the profession;” (3) “serve as a mentor to other women;” and (4) “contribute significant time and effort to volunteerism and/or pro bono”
  • Named a 2012 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).  LCLD is a national organization which annually selects approximately 30 “high-potential” attorneys from across the country from law firms and global corporations including Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, and Starbucks, to develop diversified leadership within their organization and the legal profession
  • Selected to serve as Chair of the Grand Rapids Bar Association Litigation Section
  • Appointed to a three-year term on the State Bar of Michigan’s Civil Procedure and Courts Committee
  • Selected to complete an Internship with the Honorable Hugh Brenneman, Jr., Federal Magistrate for the Western District of Michigan

Community Activities

Ms. Lachman is committed to serving her community. Her current community activities include serving on the Board of Trustees for the Grand Rapids Public Museum Foundation, the Planning Commission for the City of East Grand Rapids, and as a Councilmember for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Community Leadership. She is also the Founder and President of Good Seeds, dedicated to educating people about the personal and societal impacts of dietary choices and help move people towards healthier diets.

She formerly served on the Board of Directors for Fulton Street Farmers Market, Local First, and Safe Haven Ministries and on committees for the Grand Rapids Ballet, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, and John Ball Park Zoo. She also served as co-chair for the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Night on the Nile. She has participated in several programs through the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Center for Community Leadership, including being a 2008 graduate of Leadership Grand Rapids program and a 2014 graduate of Leadership Advantage.

She often serves suppers at Degage Ministries and through Inter-Faith Hospitality Network.

Education

Ms. Lachman received her law degree cum laude in 2004 from University of Michigan Law School where she served as Associate Editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. She received undergraduate degrees magna cum laude from Northern Arizona University in 1998, majoring in Psychology, and cum laude from Pacific University in 1999, majoring in Biology. She is admitted to practice law in Michigan.