Silver & Van Essen, PC.  Commercial Litigation Attorneys & Counselors
Skill, Experience & Exceptional Results616-988-5600

Attorney Bios

At Silver & Van Essen, PC, we provide the experienced perspective of more than 50 years of the practice of law as it relates to our areas of expertise, focusing exclusively on commercial litigation. Our attorneys are very involved in the community as members and active participants in legal and non-legal capacities.

Our Attorneys:

Lee T. Silver
Lee T. Silver received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Redlands in 1981 and his law degree from Indiana University Law School (Bloomington) in 1984. He was admitted to the state bar of Michigan in 1984, and has also been admitted to practice before the Western and Eastern Federal District Courts of Michigan, the Northern Federal District Court of Illinois and the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has appeared in Federal courts in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, New York, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Connecticut. Lee has been very active in the Grand Rapids Bar Association, having served as Chairman of the Bench/Bar Committee, and a member of the Judicial Evaluation, Finance and Court Liaison Committees. Lee regularly serves as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") and he is certified as a Mediator by the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan. Lee has been recognized as a Michigan Super Lawyer, which is awarded to the top 5% of attorneys in Michigan based on selection by a "blue ribbon" review panel of leading attorneys.

Douglas W. Van Essen
Douglas W. Van Essen received his Bachelor's Degree from Calvin College in 1978 and his J.D. from Notre Dame University in 1981. He was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1981, and has also been admitted to practice before the Western and Eastern Federal District Courts of Michigan, Northern District Federal Court of Illinois, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Van Essen has served as a Guest Lecturer at the Vermont School of Law, and as lead counsel, arguing four cases before the Michigan Supreme Court, including two class action lawsuits involving damages in excess of $200,000,000 each.

Michael L. Gutierrez
Our newest attorney. His full bio is coming soon.

Of Counsel:

Phillip Stenger
Mr. Stenger's extensive experience in corporate law, taxation, banking, and finance enable him to effectively assist clients in sophisticated transactions. Mr. Stenger has lectured extensively on estate planning for various civic and charitable organizations. In addition, Mr. Stenger has been a guest speaker at the Annual Small Practitioners Conference for Certified Public Accountants and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce regarding the law and taxation of limited liability companies and year end tax planning strategies.

Mr. Stenger has worked extensively in the area of creditor's rights and has overseen State and Federal Receiverships and liquidations of significant operating businesses. Mr. Stenger received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration (concentration in accountancy) from the University of Notre Dame in 1985, his law degree from Wayne State University in 1988 and his Masters in Taxation from Grand Valley State University in 1993. Mr. Stenger sat for and passed all four parts of the Certified Public Accountancy Examination. Prior to founding Stenger & Stenger, Mr. Stenger spent six years at a large full service Grand Rapids based law firm, Clary, Nantz, Wood, Hoffius, Rankin & Cooper and one year at a small law firm specializing in commercial transactions.