DeWaard to chair Hillman program

September 2, 2011
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Varnum attorney Ronald DeWaard has been named chair of the Hillman Advocacy Program, which will take place Jan. 18-20, 2012, in Grand Rapids.

The Hillman Advocacy Program is an annual three-day seminar that has provided high-quality, professional courtroom training to hundreds of trial lawyers in West Michigan.

The program was founded by Judge Douglas W. Hillman in 1981 in response to the call from Chief Justice Warren Burger and an investigatory committee for the U.S. Supreme Court stating there was “a need to take positive steps to improve the quality of advocacy in the United States District Courts.”

Since then, the Hillman Advocacy Program has assisted more than 1,800 young attorneys in developing courtroom skills under the guidance of some of the region's top trial lawyers. The program has been at full capacity since its inception and hosts an average of 62 attorneys each year. Sponsors include the Western District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

DeWaard is a partner in Varnum’s Litigation and Trial Services practice group. With past experience as a federal prosecutor and Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Division of the United States Attorney's Office in Miami, DeWaard has tried cases in courts across the United States. He has handled complex commercial, corporate tax, patent, environmental, labor and general liability cases for defendants and plaintiffs.

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