Academy Member Inducted 2019

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Lee T. Silver, Mediator & Arbitrator, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Lee T. Silver

Silver & Van Essen
300 Ottawa Avenue N.W.
Suite 620
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Tel: (616) 988-5600
Fax: (616) 988-5606
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Recognized to Michigan Chapter for Mediation & Arbitration Other ADR Services: Discovery Referee, Med-Arb, Special Master
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  • Practice Commenced: 2000
  • Total Mediations (as of Jan 2023): 400
  • Total Arbitrations (as of Jan 2023): 75
Practice Percentages


Lee is an experienced trial lawyer who has 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. 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.

In addition to a very busy litigation practice, Lee also has an active mediation/alternative dispute resolution practice. He is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, has been on the approved list of mediators for the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan since 2003, and has served as an arbitrator in over 75 cases, including those administered by the American Arbitration Association, as well as private arbitrations. Lee has successfully mediated over 400 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 tanacity 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 experieence who has litigated over a thousand cases, successfully mediated over 400 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 analayze a case and help the parties reach a settlement.  

Case Experience

  • Anti-Trust
  • Automotive
  • Banking & Finance
  • Business Dissolution
  • Civil Rights
  • Commercial/Business
  • Construction
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Contract Disputes
  • Divorce (High Asset)
  • Employment
  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Libel & Slander
  • Local Govt./Municipalities
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Probate
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
  • Real Estate
  • Securities
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Torts
  • Trusts / Estates
  • Unfair Competition
  • Wage & Hour/FMLA
  • Wrongful Death


  • J.D., Indiana University School of Law, 1984 (Member, National Moot Court Team; Teaching Assistant in Appellate Advocacy)
  • B.A., with honors, University of Redlands, 1981

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Listed in "Best Lawyer's in America" for Commercial Litigation and Mediation every year since 2012
  • Named as a Michigan "Super Lawyer" in Commercial Litigation every year since 2007
  • Selected, Grand Rapids Magazine's List of Top Lawyers
  • AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell every year since 1997
  • Selected for inclusion in "Leading Lawyers" for Commercial Litigation and ADR Law
  • Selected as a Fellow in "Litigation Counsel of America"
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Selected, America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
  • Faculty member for the Hillman Advocacy Program
  • 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 Southern District of California
  • 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 (Member, Board of Directors)

Rates Information

Please contact for rate information.

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