Experience Matters

Experience matters. When Kent County chooses its judges this fall, two spots will go to someone new to the bench. This year we have an opportunity to choose a candidate who really knows how a courtroom should work. Stephen Willison has been in courtrooms all over the state trying cases and arguing motions for nearly 25 years. In fact, during that time he has appeared in 43 of Michigan’s 57 Circuit Courts!

“There are not a lot of lawyers who do what I do, so my clients have sent me all over to help them with some pretty complicated cases” explains Willison. “Everyone works from the same rule book, but it is surprising how small differences in how courtrooms are managed can make a big difference. These differences impact not only how the cases are presented, but also the interactions parties, witnesses, lawyers and jurors have with the court.”

His experience involves a lot more than just travel! He has worked in a broad range of legal situations.  He has worked for a large national law firm and has managed his own small firm.  He has represented Plaintiffs and Defendants.  He has worked for both the "David" and the "Goliath" in court.  He has fought for clients in lengthy custody battles and has helped other clients walk through simple divorces.  He has successfully defended people wrongfully accused of crimes and has been a key factor in putting dangerous criminals away for the rest of their life.  He has helped injured people recover from companies that harmed them and successfully defended corporations from unfounded claims.  Very few lawyers in the country can boast of that range of experiences.

So what does all this mean for the voters of Kent County? Experience! Stephen Willison has seen 43 different courtrooms – and even more judges – and experienced how each one handles motions, and trials, and schedules, and deadlines.  
He has had to explain the law to CEO's and to people who never finished high school.  He has seen first hand the impact rulings can have on a child's life.  He is a business owner, a father and a life-long member of our community.  He knows what works. He has seen what creates problems. He is ready to put first-hand knowledge of the best practices to work for Kent County!

“Kent County has an outstanding group of judges, and it has had that reputation for a long time,” Willison says. “No doubt that will continue well into the future. The judicial system, like many other parts of our life, is going through a lot of changes to keep up with advances in technology, the new ways we interact with each other and the expectations of society.” Stephen Willison has the EXPERIENCE WE NEED to make sure those changes always serve the people of West Michigan.


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