Schaefer, John F.

380 N. Old Woodward Ave.Suite 320Birmingham, MI 48009

1

Updated: 03/16/2017

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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Office Info

Current Employment Position(s)

  • Managing Partner

Practice Areas

  • Family Law

Representative Cases

  • Dart v. Dart
  • Nasser v. Nasser
  • Iacocca v. Iacocca

Qualifications

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1969
  • New 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 - 1979
  • Detroit 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 - 1979
  • International 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 - 1985
  • Michigan Inter-Professional Association on Marriage, Divorce and the Family, 1974 - 1981
  • Michigan 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 America
  • One of the Top 100 Lawyers in America, Worth Magazine
  • The Best Lawyers in America by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
  • Lawyer of the Year 2013, Family Law - Detroit Area
  • Who'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 edition
  • The Nations' Top 100 Attorneys', Worth Magazine, 2005 - 2008
  • The 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, 2010
  • P.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, Michigan
  • Endowment of the John F. Schaefer Chair in Matrimonial Law, September 15, 2011, Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan
  • Honorable 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 Hospital
  • Board of Trustees, Detroit Police Athletic League
  • Detroit College of Law Foundation, Chairman, 1995 - 2001
  • Hundred Club, Detroit, Michigan, 1999 - Present
  • J.P. McCarthy Foundation, Board of Directors - Secretary, 1997 - 2004
  • Michigan Cancer Foundation, Board of Trustees, 1985 - 1988
  • Oakland County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 1996 - 2006
  • Oakland County Bar Association, President, 2005 - 2006
  • Detroit Police Athletic League (P.A.L.), Board of Directors, 2000 - 2005
  • William Beaumont Hospital, Board of Trustees, 2000 - Present

Past Positions

  • Buesser, Buesser, Snyder & Blank, Associate & Partner, 1968 - 1973
  • Williams, Schaefer, Ruby & Williams, P.C., Shareholder, 1973 - 1989
  • Williams, 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, Michigan
  • University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
  • Michigan 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, 1994
  • T & C's Guide to Civilized Divorce; America's Top Divorce Lawyers, Town & Country, January, 1998
  • Family Law in Michigan, Legal Education Institute
  • Author: "Why Michigan Should Divorce Antenuptial Agreements From Divorce Cases", Michigan Bar Journal, October Issue, 1997
  • Author, "The Uncertain State of Michigan Equitable Distribution Law Post-Reeves", State Bar Journal, 2000
  • Author, "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, 2007
  • The Divorce Issue, "Fighting Words", Worth Magazine, September, 2007
  • Guest Author, "When Your Own Private Investigator Lands You Behind Bars", The Journal - Family Law Edition, Stout Risus Ross, Fall, 2009
  • Author - 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

Fax

  • 248-642-7878

Email

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