Biography Photo for Rock A Wood

Rock A. Wood

Of Counsel
Rock has over 35 years of legal experience. He has addressed a broad range of projects and matters on behalf of many types of clients, including both large and small corporations (both public and private), public universities, State government entities, numerous municipalities, developers, licensed professionals, insurance companies, corporate officers and individuals. His land use planning practice includes representation of clients acquiring and developing property for various uses, including addressing ordinance review, re-zoning, permitting and representation before municipal entities.  His municipal practice includes the full range of municipal representation including advising legislative boards and commissions, addressing needs of planning commissions and zoning boards of appeals, addressing ordinance review and revision, land use and zoning, and litigation matters. His litigation practice has involved the full range of land use planning disputes, matters pertaining to contracts, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, municipal issues and construction among others, as well as addressing a wide range of disputes involving State government. In addition, his practice has included counseling clients on a variety of topics, both of a day-to-day business nature as well as complex matters and disputes, with the goal of improving processes/procedures, risk avoidance, and addressing the client’s operational needs. His efforts have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers, and Top Gun Legal Counsel recognition by the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

Education & Credentials


Northern Michigan University

B.S., 1984
  • graduation ceremony GPA rank: 1st
  • summa cum laude

University of Michigan Law School

J.D., 1987

Bar Admission

  • Michigan


  • Best Lawyers in America® 
    • "Lawyer of the Year", Litigation, Banking & Finance Law, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2012
  • Michigan Super Lawyers®
    • Business Litigation, 2018
  • Lions Clubs International
    • International President’s Award for Outstanding Service
  • Michigan Department of Attorney General
    • "Top Gun," Legal Counsel Award, 2017 Award

Prominent Assignments

Development and permitting work involving a wide range of projects such as: Commercial grade solar and wind energy developments, battery energy storage systems, automobile reclamation centers, substance abuse rehabilitation facilities, and various commercial and business developments.

Successfully obtained $13 million from international IT firm on behalf of the State of Michigan, involving complex IT system contract regarding design and configuration for the Department of the Secretary of State.

Successfully obtained in excess of $4 million on behalf of seller of large manufacturing facility, after purchaser refused to pay full purchase price, and instead asserted breach of representations and warranties.

Successfully defended manufacturer of heavy duty quarry processing equipment from $13 million claim, resulting in complete dismissal.

Successfully defended Big Ten university from $19 million claim related to construction design and defect claims, arising from construction of new cardiovascular hospital center, resulting in complete victory and zero award against client.

Successfully represented major international financial and lending institution from multi-million dollar claims arising from the sale of mortgage-backed securities on the secondary market, resulting in complete dismissal, and an award of several hundred thousand dollars in attorney fee for the client.

Successfully represented the Michigan Supreme Court, Chief Justice and the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission in employment dispute, arising from termination of Grievance Administrator, resulting in complete dismissal.

Successfully defended class action lawsuit on behalf of the Michigan State Police, which challenged the testing procedures of the MSP crime lab, resulting in complete dismissal of all claims.

Successfully pursued fraud claim arising from sale and subsequent merger of two corporations in the plastics industry, resulting in judgment in excess of $2.9 million in favor of client.

Successfully represented tool and die manufacturer in dispute with the IRS, involving new interpretation of the Code by the IRS, resulting in complete dismissal of all claims against the client.

Successfully obtained $1.9 million judgment for client who had performed significant construction services to develop a landfill cell, including liners, drains, piping, and buildings.

Successfully defended manufacturer of nail polishes against claim of alleged misappropriation of trade secrets/intellectual property, resulting in complete dismissal.

Successfully brought suit on behalf of civil engineering firm, which had designed and managed road and bridge work involving three connected highway projects, for recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs and fees.

Successfully defended large corporate designer and seller of robotic automotive assembly plant against claims of alleged lack of throughput and lost productivity seeking $80 million in damages.

Obtained complete summary dismissal of claims for $100,000,000 asserted against manufacturer of cryogenic freezing and recovery plant system used to recycle used tires.

Professional Involvement

  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Hillman Trial Advocacy Program, prior faculty member
  • State Bar of Michigan, Attorney Discipline Board, hearing panelist (2003-2016)
  • State Bar of Michigan, Judicial Qualifications Committee (2012-2018)
  • Fellows of the State Bar of Michigan member
  • Grand Rapids Justice Foundation, Life Member

Community Involvement

  • The Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids, Inc., Board of Directors member for 18 years (this non-profit community development corporation constructed or rehabilitated over 1000 residential units and 15 commercial developments)
  • Courtland Township Planning Commission, current Chairman (member 2000-present)
  • Sawkaw, Inc., non-profit health care organization, member Board of Directors, (13 years)
  • Davenport University, adjunct instructor (for 7 years), Civil Procedure and Trial Practice
  • Lions Clubs International: (2000-present) Member of State Governing Council, and District Governor for West Michigan District (2012-2013, 2015-2016), Rockford Lions Club, Member and Past President

Court Admissions

  • Member of the Federal Bar Association for the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
  • The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • The United States Tax Court
  • The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana


  • Author: "Using Non-Compete and Confidentiality Agreements," Michigan Funeral Directors Association Journal, April, 2007, Volume 67.
  • Construction Liens: The Simple, But Often Neglected, Means to Recovery, Real Estate News, Fall 2006 edition
  • Contributing Author: A Practititoner’s Guide to Construction Law, 2009 Cumulative Supplement, ALI ABA
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