Jim Peterson is a Member of the firm and has been practicing law since 1989.  His practice areas include trade secret litigation, employment litigation, commercial litigation, professional liability and unfair competition.

Commercial Litigation 

Mr. Peterson works primarily with companies, and has handled their cases at the trial and appellate levels in the U.S. District Courts (both Eastern and Western districts) and state courts throughout Michigan.

Mr. Peterson is the chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice group.  As such, he understands the need to protect sensitive business information.  When non-compete agreements are violated and trade secrets are threatened, his considerable litigation experience comes to the forefront.

He counsels and represents companies regarding all issues associated with unfair competition, including non-competition agreements and trade secrets.  He has extensive experience with injunction hearings and has protected clients with restraining orders and injunctions when an employee resigns hoping to join a competitor.

Mr. Peterson has won many cases involving employment and business disputes.  He has successfully litigated several multi-million dollar cases. These results are due to his knowledge of the clients’ industry coupled with his experience.  He is known for an ability to think creatively and quickly.

Professional Liability

Mr. Peterson represents attorneys and law firms that have been sued by former clients and others.  He has also counseled attorneys regarding issues involving conflicts of interest and the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Employment Litigation

Mr. Peterson has successfully defended employers from lawsuits by past/current/prospective employees.  There have been many types of claims he has handled favorably, and he is most noted for wrongful discharge, retaliatory discharge and whistleblower act violations.

Professional Affiliations, Activities and Honors

Mr. Peterson belongs to the State Bar of Michigan and Grand Rapids Bar Association. He is a mediator with the Kent County Circuit Court and serves as counsel to the West Michigan Better Business Bureau. He formerly served on the Civil Procedure Committee of the State Bar of Michigan. He served on Miller Johnson’s Management Committee and was chair of Miller Johnson’s Litigation Section.

Mr. Peterson was named a Michigan State Bar Foundation Fellow in 2010.  Mr. Peterson is listed in the “Best Lawyers in America®” for Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants and Trade Secrets Law and he is also recognized as a Michigan “Super Lawyer” in Business Litigation.

Articles and Presentations

Mr. Peterson is a frequent speaker on topics including non-compete and confidentiality agreements, advocacy and cross-examination.  He is the co-author of “Defending Employment Litigation in Michigan,” published by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE).

Community Activities

Mr. Peterson is Past President of the Pine Rest Foundation Board of Governors.


Mr. Peterson received his law degree, cum laude, in 1989 from Wayne State University Law School and his undergraduate degree in 1986 from Calvin College.  He is admitted to practice in Michigan.