Elected Member

John J. Bursch

Caledonia, MI
Bursch Law PLLC
Western Michigan University, B.A., B.M.
University of Minnesota Law School, JD


John Bursch represents Fortune 500 companies, foreign and domestic governments, top public officials, and industry associations in high-profile cases, primarily on appeal. This fall, he will be arguing his 10th U.S. Supreme Court case and presenting his 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th Michigan Supreme Court arguments.

John has been widely recognized for his advocacy.  He is one of only seven Michigan lawyers inducted into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and one of only 62 Michigan attorneys serving as a Member of the American Law Institute.  John's appellate skills have resulted in listings in both Michigan Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers.  John is also the principal author of the Michigan Supreme Court's Guide for Counsel, the Court's own manual for effective written and oral advocacy.  He was recently recognized as Best Lawyers 2017 Grand Rapids Appellate Practice "Lawyer of the Year."

A recent study concluded that over the past four Terms, John was one of the most successful attorneys in the country at persuading the U.S. Supreme Court to grant petitions for certiorari.  And John has compiled a Supreme Court merits record that the National Law Journal observed "even more veteran high court advocates would envy."  John's cases have involved many of the most important public-policy issues of the past decade.


John has particular expertise with federal-court consent decrees governing state executive-branch agencies.  He represented Michigan and New Jersey in those states’ lengthy renegotiations of their child-welfare consent decrees, and he advised South Carolina in its ongoing negotiations over a similar consent decree. John recently co-authored a research paper on the subject, Rethinking Consent Decrees, published by the American Enterprise Institute.

 John J. Bursch Image
Areas of Expertise
Appellate Practice & Procedure (Litigation)