Human Resources, Law, and Real Estate

Law firm expands into downtown Kalamazoo

May 21, 2014
| By Pat Evans |
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Law firm expands into downtown Kalamazoo
John Cooper II. Courtesy Warner Norcross & Judd

A local law firm with a statewide presence is expanding into downtown Kalamazoo.

Warner Norcross & Judd said yesterday that it has opened an office in downtown Kalamazoo, at 259 E. Michigan Ave., while it looks for a larger space to “accommodate anticipated growth.”

The firm now has eight offices in the state, including Grand Rapids.

“As the largest law firm headquartered in West Michigan, opening a Kalamazoo office was the next logical step in furthering our Michigan growth strategy,” said Douglas Wagner, managing partner, Warner Norcross. “We can now better serve our clients in southwest Michigan from our new base in Kalamazoo, which will allow us to become more fully engaged with the community.”

Kalamazoo attorneys

Four attorneys have joined the Warner Norcross team in Kalamazoo: John Cooper II, Pamela Enslen, Ian Kennedy and Jay Yelton.

“They bring varied and tremendous experience and expertise to the firm, as well as solid reputations in the Kalamazoo area,” Wagner said. “We look forward to the continued growth of our client base in southwest Michigan.”

The firm said Grand Rapids office partner Elisabeth Von Eitzen will move to Kalamazoo. She primarily handles creditors’ rights cases, bankruptcy matters and employment litigation.

Myra Willis has also joined the firm as a senior attorney.

John Cooper II

Cooper has more than 30 years of civil litigation experience and will serve as an executive partner and the primary contact for the Kalamazoo office. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and Florida. Cooper holds a bachelor of arts cum laude from Amherst College and a doctor of jurisprudence with honors from the University of Michigan. Cooper helped found the Junior Golf Association of Kalamazoo and has held volunteer leadership roles for United Way, Portage Education Foundation, Lakeside Home for Children and Lakeside Foundation.

Pamela Enslen

Enslen is a litigator and mediator with an employment law background who will serve as a partner. Enslen was one of eight non-governmental observers who travelled to Guantanamo Bay to attend the trials of alleged 9/11 terrorist attack masterminds, representing the American Bar Association. Enslen holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in music from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Wayne State University.

Ian Kennedy

Kennedy is a senior counsel with the firm as a corporate attorney with a background in business and real estate law. Kennedy is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and vice president of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association. Kennedy holds a B.S. from Alma College and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Jay Yelton

Yelton is a partner with the firm who focuses on records management, litigation readiness and e-discovery. He leads seminars on the topics for in-house training sessions and writes and presents statewide and nationally. Yelton is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Kalamazoo County Bar Association, Federal Bar Association and American Bar Association. Yelton holds a B.A. from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

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