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Schaefer, John F.

380 N. Old Woodward Ave.Suite 320Birmingham, MI 48009
Phones: 248-642-6655
Fax: 248-642-7878
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Lawyer Overview

John Schaefer, our firm's founding partner, is one of the best-known and most highly-respected matrimonial lawyers in the United States. From its inception, Best Lawyers in America has listed John Schaefer as one of the premier matrimonial lawyers in America. More recently, Worth magazine named him one of the top 100 lawyers in America, in any practice area.

Mr. Schaefer has been practicing matrimonial law for more than 40 years on a national basis. Clients from Michigan, New York...

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John Schaefer, our firm's founding partner, is one of the best-known and most highly-respected matrimonial lawyers in the United States. From its inception, Best Lawyers in America has listed John Schaefer as one of the premier matrimonial lawyers in America. More recently, Worth magazine named him one of the top 100 lawyers in America, in any practice area.

Mr. Schaefer has been practicing matrimonial law for more than 40 years on a national basis. Clients from Michigan, New York, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Colorado and California to name a few, have regularly sought him out for representation in divorce actions where millions of dollars have been contested and, in at least one case, where more than $1 billion was at stake.

Mr. Schaefer has served on the Board of Trustees and as an adjunct professor of law at the Michigan State University College of Law. He is listed in all editions of The Best Lawyers in America, and he holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Mr. Schaefer regularly appears on radio and television programs discussing legal topics, including matrimonial law.

Mr. Schaefer has been associated with numerous organizations, including: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past President (Michigan Chapter); Detroit College of Law, Trustee; Michigan State Bar Foundation Fellows; Oakland County Bar Association, Past President; and State Bar of Michigan: Family Law Section, Past Chairman; Attorney Grievance Commission, Arbitrator; and Committee on Character and Fitness.

In addition to his courtroom accomplishments, he is also involved in numerous professional, civic, and philanthropic organizations. He was an instructor in the Michigan Judicial Institute, educating hundreds of Michigan circuit court judges in the substance of matrimonial law. He has served on the board of trustees of William Beaumont Hospital, and the Detroit Police Athletic League.

Some of Mr. Schaefer's notable cases include Dart v. Dart, a case involving the laws and courts of a foreign jurisdiction and assets in excess of $1 Billion; Nasser v. Nasser, representing the 36 year wife of Jacques Nasser, the CEO of Ford Motor Company; and two cases of lacocca v. lacocca, representing two wives of Lee lacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler Corporation. He has also represented members of the Ford family and the distinguished former president of the Chrysler Corporation and Vice Chairman of General Motors R.A.L.

Mr. Schaefer attended Cranbrook School, the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University, and the Detroit College of Law.

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Current Employment Position(s)
Managing Partner
Practice Areas
Family Law
Representative Cases
Dart v. DartNasser v. NasserIacocca v. Iacocca
Qualifications
Bar Admissions
Michigan, 1969New York
Other Affiliations
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1980 - 1987 (Board of Directors (Michigan Chapter)) American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1983 - Present (Secretary (Michigan Chapter)) American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1984 - Present (Treasurer (Michigan Chapter)) American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1985 - Present (Vice President (Michigan Chapter)) American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1986 - 1987 (President (Michigan Chapter) Boys and Girls Club of Metro Detroit) American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1980 - 1986 (Corporate Board) Cranbrook Schools, 1983 - 1988 (Board of Governors) Consortium for Human Development, 1982 - 1988 (Board of Directors) Detroit College of Law, 1985 - 2001 (Board of Trustees) Michigan State University - College of law, 2001 - Present (Trustee Emeritus) American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1976 - Present American Bar Association, 1969 - Present (Family Law Section) American Judicature Society, 1969 - 1979Detroit Bar Association, 1969 - Present Detroit Bar Association, 1972 - Present (Friend of the Court and Domestic Relations Committee; Chairman) Detroit Bar Association, 1975 - 1976 (Public Advisory Committee) International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1976 - 1979International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2000 - Present (Judicial Review Committee) International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1997 - 1999 (Member (U.S. Senate Committee)) Michigan Association of the Professions, 1976 - 1985Michigan Inter-Professional Association on Marriage, Divorce and the Family, 1974 - 1981Michigan State Bar Foundation Fellows, 1977 - Present Notre Dame Club of Michigan, 2010 - Present Oakland County Bar Association, 1969 - Present Oakland County Bar Association, 1973 - 1979 (Family Law Committee) Oakland County Bar Association, 1974 - 1977 (Family Law Committee; Chairman) Oakland County Bar Association, 1985 - 1988 (Circuit Court Committee) Oakland County Bar Association, 2001 - 2003 (Domestic Relations Task Force) State Bar of Michigan, 1969 - Present State Bar of Michigan, 1971 - 1973 (Family Law Committee) State Bar of Michigan, 1973 - Present (Family Law Section) State Bar of Michigan, 1974 - Present (Family Law Section Council) State Bar of Michigan, 1977 - 1978 (Family Law Section Treasurer) State Bar of Michigan, 1978 - 1979 (Family Law Section Chairman) State Bar of Michigan, 1976 - Present (Attorney Grievance Commission Arbitrator) State Bar of Michigan, 2006 - Present (Committee on Character and Fitness) State Bar of Michigan, 1972 - 1975 (Committee on Character and Fitness)
Honors
One of the Premier Matrimonial Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in AmericaOne of the Top 100 Lawyers in America, Worth MagazineThe Best Lawyers in America by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White SmithLawyer of the Year 2013, Family Law - Detroit AreaWho's Who in American Law by Marquis Who's Who, Inc, 2nd edition, 1979 - Present Who's Who in American Law by Marquis Who's Who, Inc, 50th edition, 1995 - Present Who's Who I n The World by Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 12th Edition, 1995 - Present Oxford's Who's Who 1992 editionThe Nations' Top 100 Attorneys', Worth Magazine, 2005 - 2008The Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, dbusiness, 2006 - Present One of Michigan's Top Attorneys, Michigan Super Lawyers, 2007 - Present Top Lawyers, Grain's Detroit Business, December 6, 2010 - December 12, 2010P.A.L.'s PAL, John F. Schaefer, 1999 - Present A true friend to the Detroit Police Athletic League and to the youth of Detroit, Detroit Police Athletic League, 1999 - Present Naming of the John F. Schaefer Law Library, Dedication November 4, 2010, Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, MichiganEndowment of the John F. Schaefer Chair in Matrimonial Law, September 15, 2011, Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, MichiganHonorable George N. Bashara '60 Distinguished Alumni Award, Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan, 2012 - Present Lawyer of the Year, Family Law (Detroit Metropolitan area) Best Lawyers in America, 2013 - Present
Classes and Seminars
Instructed Hundreds of Michigan Circuit Court Judges in the Substantive Law of Matrimonial Matters, Michigan Judicial Institute
Instructed Thousands of Practicing Lawyers in the Substantive Law of Matrimonial Matters, Institute of Continuing Legal Education
Adjunct Professor of Domestic Relations, Michigan State University/Detroit College of Law, 1971 - Present
State Bar of Michigan, Young Lawyer Section, Speaker: "Attorney 1972 Fees in Divorce Cases"
State Bar of Michigan, First Annual Family Law Section Seminar, 1975 Principal Participant: Attorney for Plaintiff, Mock Trial, Bay City, Michigan
State Bar of Michigan, Second Annual Family Law Section Seminar, Speaker: "The Motion Docket", Dearborn, Michigan, 1976 - Present
Institute on Continuing Legal Education, Speaker: "The Contested Divorce Case", Southfield, Michigan and Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1976 - Present
The Law Society of Upper Canada, Delegate and Speaker: "An Extended Program on Family Law", Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1977 - Present
Institute on Continuing Legal Education, Speaker: "Settlement Agreements in Divorce Cases", Detroit, Michigan, Kalamazoo, Michigan and Petoskey, Michigan, 1977 - Present
Annual Meeting of State Bar of Michigan, Program Director and Principal Speaker: "Attitudes of Circuit Judges Regarding Alimony", Detroit, Michigan, 1977 - Present
University of Detroit, Continuing Legal Education, Speaker: "The Effective Handling of the Non-Routine Divorce Case", Detroit, Michigan, 1977 - Present
Institute on Continuing Legal Education, Speaker: "The Divorce Case: From Separation to Settlement", Detroit, Michigan and Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1978 - Present
State Bar of Michigan, Fourth Annual Family Law Section Seminar, Speaker: "Discovery Procedures in Divorce",Traverse City, Michigan, 1978 - Present
State Bar of Michigan, Second Annual General Practice Section Seminar, Speaker : "Post-Divorce Motion Practice", Bay City, Michigan, 1978 - Present
Michigan Inter-Professional Association on Marriage, Divorce and the Family, Speaker: "Divorce Settlement: Compulsory Arbitration or Mediation", Southfield, Michigan, 1978 - Present
Annual Meeting of State Bar of Michigan, Principal Speaker: "Alimony, How Would You Decide?", Detroit, Michigan, 1978 - Present
Institute on Continuing Legal Education, Speaker: "Divorce Trial Advocacy", Kalamazoo, Michigan and Southfield, Michigan, 1978 - Present
Institute on Continuing Legal Education, Speaker: "Michigan Divorce Law and Procedure", New Orleans, Louisiana, 1979 - Present
Institute on Continuing Legal Education, Speaker: "Child Custody Contests", Kalamazoo, Michigan and Southfield, Michigan, 1979 - Present
Dearborn Bar Association, Speaker: "Trying the Big Case - Divorce", Dearborn, Michigan, 1980 - Present
Southfield Bar Association, Speaker: "Tax Ramifications of Divorce Cases", Southfield, Michigan, 1980 - Present
Michigan Judicial Institute, Principal Instructor to Michigan Circuit Judges: "Domestic Relations: Substantive Law", Detroit, Michigan, 1980 - Present
Michigan Judicial Institute, Principal Instructor to Michigan Circuit Judges: "Domestic Relations: Substantive Law", Lansing, Michigan, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Traverse City, Michigan, 1981 - Present
State Bar of Michigan, Speaker: "Pitfalls of a Domestic Relations Practice", Southfield, Michigan, 1985 - Present
Oakland County Friend of the Court Divorce and Family Counseling Workshop, Speaker: "Straight Talk About Divorce - Bitter Reality", Birmingham, Michigan, 1985 - Present
Michigan Trial Lawyers Association and State Bar of Michigan, Speaker: "Legal Malpractice", Troy, Michigan, 1987 - Present
Oakland University Continuum Center, Speaker: "Choosing an Attorney", Rochester, Michigan, 1987 - Present
Oakland University Continuum Center, Speaker: "The Economics of Divorce", Rochester, Michigan, 1988 - Present
State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section, Divorce State of the Law Seminar, Panelist and Principal Speaker: "Ask the Experts", Southfield, Michigan, 1989 - Present
Family Law In Michigan. Legal Education Institute, Inc: Author and Speaker, Southfield, Michigan, 1990 - Present
State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section, Speaker: "Divorce Tips from the Experts", Southfield, Michigan, 1991 - Present
Womens' Information Network, Speaker and Panelist: "Legal Trends in Family Law," Birmingham, Michigan, 1993 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "Valuing Closely Held Corporations," Troy, Michigan, 1994 - Present
State Bar of Michigan, Speaker, "Cutting Edge Family Law Issues" Seminar, "Handling the Million Dollar Divorce Case," Southfield, Michigan, 1995 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "Presentation of Direct and Cross Examination of CPA," Troy, Michigan, 1995 - Present
The Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, "The Role of the CPA Regarding Pre-Trial Discovery, Financial Analysis and Advice, Valuations, Tax Matters, Trial Preparation and Testimony, Use of Reports and Other Visual Aids," Troy, Michigan, 1996 - Present
Institute on Continuing Legal Education, Tax and Financial Aspects of Divorce, Speaker: "Spousal Support Post Judgment, Troy, Michigan, 1997 - Present
Judicial Educational Seminar, Wayne County Circuit Court, Family Court Judges, 1997 - Present
Judicial Educational Seminar, Oakland County Circuit Court, Family Court Judges, 1997 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "Stock Options: How to Value," Novi, Michigan, 1998 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "Stock Options Revisited," Southfield, Michigan, 1999 - Present
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "Revisiting Reeves and Making QDROs part of Judgments of Divorce," Birmingham, Michigan, 2000 - Present
Speaker: "State of Michigan Spousal Support Law", State Bar of Michigan, Family Law Section, 2001 - Present
Speaker: "Handling Separate Property in the Divorce Case," Troy, Michigan, Institute on Continuing Legal Education, 2002 - Present
Speaker: "Evidence by the Rules From the Experts," Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Oakland County Bar Association, Family Court Committee and Domestic Relations Task Force, 2003 - Present
Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "Why Bother With a Prenuptial Agreement; Use a Trust to Disinherit the Intended Spouse," Birmingham, Michigan, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2003 - Present
Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "Nuances in Blue Cross Conversion Policies," Birmingham, Michigan, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2004 - Present
Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "Tricky and Difficult Evidence Problems in Domestic Relation Case Made Plain," Birmingham, Michigan, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2005 - Present
Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "The Problem with a 'Holder's Interest' Standard of Value," Birmingham, Michigan, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2006 - Present
Speaker, Advanced-Level Family Law Seminar, "Point-Counter Point - Drifting Down Memory Lane. Better then or now?" Birmingham, Michigan, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2007 - Present
Speaker, Advanced-Level Family Law Seminar, "Big Bucks, Big Risks: The role of Results - Oriented Fees in the Practice of Matrimonial Law." Birmingham, Michigan, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2007 - Present
Speaker, "Hot Tips" Seminar, "Is the Attorney Culpable for All Acts of the Private Investigator," Birmingham, Michigan, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2009 - Present
Mediator of Panel Discussion with Judges Feeney, Hallmark and Newblatt, Birmingham, Michigan, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2010 - Present
Judge's Panel: ''Ask the Judges", American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2011 - Present
Panel Speaker with Hon. David Lawson and B. Andrew Rifkin on the topic of "Laying the Foundation for Specific Types of Exhibits and Voir Dire of Proposed Exhibits", American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2012 - Present
Speaker: Creating a Statement of Net Worth; Date of Valuation with Honorable Janice Cunningham, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2013 - Present
Speaker: What is the true meaning of a "double-dip" from a Mathematical Perspective, and Why do I need to know this?, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2014 - Present
Speaker: Non-Refundable Retainers and Value Added Billing, ICLE Seminar - Ethics Update 2014
Speaker: MCR 3.206(C), American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2015 - Present
Appearance before the Michigan Supreme Court addressing Proposed Alternative Amendments of Rule 1.5 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct and Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.215 of the Michigan Court Rules, September 16, 2015 - Present
Pro Bono Activities
Board of Trustees, William Beaumont HospitalBoard of Trustees, Detroit Police Athletic LeagueDetroit College of Law Foundation, Chairman, 1995 - 2001Hundred Club, Detroit, Michigan, 1999 - Present J.P. McCarthy Foundation, Board of Directors - Secretary, 1997 - 2004Michigan Cancer Foundation, Board of Trustees, 1985 - 1988Oakland County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 1996 - 2006Oakland County Bar Association, President, 2005 - 2006Detroit Police Athletic League (P.A.L.), Board of Directors, 2000 - 2005William Beaumont Hospital, Board of Trustees, 2000 - Present
Past Positions
Buesser, Buesser, Snyder & Blank, Associate & Partner, 1968 - 1973Williams, Schaefer, Ruby & Williams, P.C., Shareholder, 1973 - 1989Williams, Schaefer, Ruby & Williams, P.C., Of Counsel, 1989 - 1996
Education
Detroit College of Law, Detroit, Michigan
Juris Doctor
Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan
Doctor of Laws
Cranbrook School, Bloomfield Hills, MichiganUniversity of Notre Dame, South Bend, IndianaMichigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Bachelor of Arts
Fees
Accepts Credit Cards
Articles
Published Works
Can You Afford a Divorce?; 10 Divorce Lawyers You'd Want in Your Corner, Detroit Monthly, March, 1994T & C's Guide to Civilized Divorce; America's Top Divorce Lawyers, Town & Country, January, 1998Family Law in Michigan, Legal Education InstituteAuthor: "Why Michigan Should Divorce Antenuptial Agreements From Divorce Cases", Michigan Bar Journal, October Issue, 1997Author, "The Uncertain State of Michigan Equitable Distribution Law Post-Reeves", State Bar Journal, 2000Author, "Beyond Rinvelt: Where Do Prenuptial Agreements Go From Here?", Laches, Family Law Issue, 2001"John F. Schaefer, Courtly Lawyer", DBusiness, September 2006 - October 2006"For Love or Money", Worth Magazine, July, 2007The Divorce Issue, "Fighting Words", Worth Magazine, September, 2007Guest Author, "When Your Own Private Investigator Lands You Behind Bars", The Journal - Family Law Edition, Stout Risus Ross, Fall, 2009Author - Divorce in Michigan - The Legal Process. Your Rights. and What to Expect, Addicus Books, Inc, Omaha, Nebraska. Copyright 2016, 2015
Office Information
Address
380 N. Old Woodward Ave.Suite 320Birmingham, MI 48009
Phone
248-642-6655
Fax
248-642-7878
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