Lee T. Silver

lee silver

35+ years of litigation experience

Phone: (616) 988-5600
Email: ltsilver@silvervanessen.com

Lee is an experienced trial lawyer who has a long record of obtaining outstanding results for his clients.   Lee has successfully handled complex commercial litigation cases of virtually every type over the past 35 years in state and federal courts throughout Michigan and well over a dozen other states.  This wealth of experience enables Lee to develop the most effective strategies for achieving his client’s objectives in an efficient and cost-effective manner.   His representative clients range from Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, manufacturers, and a variety of closely-held companies of all sizes to individual business owners, shareholders, executives, professionals, and other individuals.   Lee is widely recognized for his success in the courtroom and has received several honors for his work as a trial lawyer, and as a mediator, including many that are based on peer review, including the following:

  • Listed in “Best Lawyers in America” for Commercial Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, and Mediation every year since 2012.
  • Named 2021 Grand Rapids Lawyer of the Year for Mediation by "Best Lawyers in America."
  • Selected as a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators.
  • Named as a Michigan “Super Lawyer” in Commercial Litigation every year since 2007.
  • Named by "Michigan Super Lawyers" as one of the top 100 attorneys in Michigan in 2021.
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell every year since 1997 (the highest rating possible for legal ability and ethics).
  • Selected, Grand Rapids Magazine’s List of Top Lawyers.
  • Selected for inclusion in “Leading Lawyers” for Commercial Litigation and ADR Law.
  • Selected as a Fellow in “Litigation Counsel of America.”
  • Selected, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation.
  • Selected as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms.
  • Selected as a faculty member for the Hillman Advocacy Program.
  • Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
  • Selected, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. 

Lee has substantial experience serving as local counsel in federal and state courts as he is routinely asked to assist out-of-town counsel in navigating and complying with local rules, procedures, and practices.

In addition to a very busy litigation practice, Lee also has an active mediation/alternative dispute resolution practice.  He is one of only three Mediators in Michigan to be selected as a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. He is also a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, was named by Best Lawyers In America as the 2021 Grand Rapids Lawyer of the Year for Mediation, has been on the approved list of mediators for the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan since 2003, and regularly serves as an Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, as well as in private arbitrations.   Lee has successfully mediated over 700 cases in state and federal courts throughout Michigan and takes great pride in the fact that an extremely high percentage of the cases he mediates settle as a result of the mediation. As a mediator, Lee approaches every matter fully prepared and he is known for his tenacity and his ability to settle difficult cases by never giving up and believing that every case can be settled. As a trial lawyer with over 35 years experience who has litigated over a thousand cases, mediated over 700 disputes, served as an arbitrator in over 75 matters, and earned the highest rankings from his peers for his legal ability, Lee is uniquely qualified to analyze a case and help the parties reach a settlement.

Significant Areas of Specialization

  • Contract Disputes
  • Shareholder and Partnership Disputes, including claims of Minority Shareholder Oppression
  • Employment Disputes
  • Covenants Not To Compete, Trade Secrets, and Unfair Competition
  • Construction Disputes representing owners, contractors, and design professionals
  • Supply Chain disputes in the auto industry and other industries
  • Probate Litigation
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Financial Services Litigation
  • Mediation and Arbitration
  • Defamation and Business Disparagement
  • Fraud
  • Business Torts, including claims for Tortious Interference, Conversion, and Breach Of Fiduciary Duty
  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Professional Malpractice involving Legal, Accounting, and Design Professionals
  • Commission Disputes, including Procuring Cause Claims
  • Constitutional and Civil Rights Claims
  • Corporate Governance and Liability of Corporate Officers and Directors
  • Complex Commercial Litigation

Bar Admissions & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association (Past Chairman of the Bench/Bar Committee; Past Member of the Judicial Evaluation, Finance, and Court Liaison Committees).
  • United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • United States District Court for Colorado
  • American Bar Association (Litigation, Business Law, and ADR Sections)
  • Federal Bar Association for the Western District of Michigan
  • American Association for Justice
  • Michigan Association for Justice
  • International Society of Primerus Law Firms


J.D., Indiana University School of Law, 1984 (First Place, Moot Court Competition; Member, National Moot Court Team; Teaching Assistant in Appellate Advocacy)

B.A., with honors, University of Redlands, 1981