David L.J.M. Skidmore

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate & Trust Litigation Attorney in Grand Rapids, MI

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
 | 900 Fifth Third Center, 111 Lyon Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2487
Phone: 616-426-8174
Fax: 616-222-2491
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2018
Selected to Rising Stars: 2008
Licensed Since: 1998
Practice Areas:
  • Estate & Trust Litigation (80%),
  • Estate Planning & Probate (10%),
  • Real Estate: Consumer (10%)
Attorney Profile

Attorney David L.J.M. Skidmore is a partner in Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mr. Skidmore represents in-state and out-of-state clients in probate litigation, inheritance disputes, trust and estate lawsuits, breach of fiduciary duty cases, complex and difficult trust and estate administrations, and real property disputes. In addition to being an experienced litigator, he is also trained in alternative dispute resolution and serves as a qualified civil mediator. His practice takes him to probate courts throughout the state of Michigan.

Mr. Skidmore earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University (graduating with high honors) and his law degree from University of Michigan Law School (receiving the Rockwell T. Gust oral advocacy award). He is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He serves on the council which governs the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan, chairing the council's committee on amicus briefs.

Mr. Skidmore has written extensively on matters related to trust and estate law and probate litigation, authoring many articles, several chapters, and a treatise on the Michigan law of wills. He is a frequent speaker on probate litigation and related topics; he annually addresses the Michigan Bankers Association on new developments in trust litigation; and he regularly speaks at events organized by the Institute of Continuing Legal Eduation.

Mr. Skidmore has received recognition for his accomplishments in the legal profession, including attaining the rating of AV Preeminent (the highest possible) by Martindale-Hubbell, being listed in the Best Lawyers in the U.S., and being listed as a Michigan Super Lawyer.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Estate & Trust Litigation (80%): Will Contests

Estate Planning & Probate (10%): Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Probate & Estate Administration, Trusts

Real Estate (10%)

Focus Areas

Will Contests, Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Probate & Estate Administration, Trusts


Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 1 years

Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2018 Rising Stars: 2008

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About David Skidmore

Admitted: 1998, Michigan

Professional Webpage: http://www.wnj.com/Professionals/Attorneys/David-L-Skidmore#...


  • Named by Michigan Super Lawyers magazine as Rising Star, 2008
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2013-Present
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation-Trusts & Estates, 2015-Present
  • Named the Best Lawyers’ Grand Rapids Litigation - Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year, 2016
  • Received Rockwell T. Gust Oral Advocacy Award, University of Michigan Law School, 1998
  • Named as Clarence Darrow Scholar, University of Michigan Law School, 1995
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Ranked Band 1, Private Wealth Law, Michigan, Chambers High Net Worth Guide, 2016
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Michigan State University, 1992

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Kent County Circuit Court, Qualified Civil Mediator
  • Kent County Circuit Court, Case Evaluator
  • Western Michigan Estate Planning Council, Director, 2013-2016
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Member, Fiduciary Litigation Committee
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow, 2013-Present
  • Michigan Bankers Association Trust Counsel Committee, Member, 2015-Present
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan, Member, Real Property Law Section
  • State Bar of Michigan, Character & Fitness Committee, 2011-2014
  • State Bar of Michigan, Character & Fitness Committee, 2005-2007
  • State Bar of Michigan, Chair, Amicus Curiae Committee
  • State Bar of Michigan, Member, Probate and Estate Planning Council, 2012-Present
  • American Bar Association, Member, Probate and Fiduciary Litigation Committee
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1998
  • Michigan, 1998

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Board of Directors, Cast Member, Peter Pan, 2010
  • Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Vice President, 2007-2008
  • Central High School, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Mock Trial Team, 2006-2007
  • Central High School, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Volunteer Coach
  • Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Board of Directors, Member, 2006-2008
  • Leadership Grand Rapids Class of 2010
  • Hillman Advocacy Program, Member, Steering Committee, 2010-2013
  • Widowed Persons Service Board of Directors, Chairperson, 2013-2014
  • Widowed Persons Service Board of Directors, Secretary, 2012
  • Widowed Persons Service Board of Directors, Member, 2011-Present
  • Broadway Grand Rapids, Member, Board of Directors, 2013-Present
  • Member, Widowed Persons Service Board of Directors, 2011-2014

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Moderator, “View from the Probate Court Bench” (ICLE On-Demand Seminar), January 4, 2017
  • “Observations on Undue Influence,” Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal (Vol. 36, No. 1), Winter 2016
  • Disability Planning: Where Do Conservators and Guardians Fit In?, 12/22/2016
  • Halting Elder Abuse: Know Your Options, 11/16/2016
  • Agents Beware: Risks of Serving as a Power of Attorney, 11/16/2016
  • Not All Mental Capacity is Created Equal, 11/16/2016
  • Finish Your Estate Plan: Ensuring Consistency with Your Property Ownership and Your Plan, 7/21/2016
  • "Property Ownership," Michigan Estate Planning Handbook, 3rd Edition, June 2016
  • The Probate Exception to Federal Diversity Jurisdiction, 4/1/2016
  • Serving as an Amateur Fiduciary is Risky – Legally and Financially, 11/5/2015
  • 15 Years of MCL 700.2503 and "Writings Intended as Wills", 6/1/2015
  • There Is No Such Thing as "The Attorney for the Trust", 12/1/2014
  • Post-EPIC Case Law Evaluating The Reasonableness Of Fiduciary Fees, 6/1/2014
  • “Discovery in Probate Court Litigation,” Michigan Bar Journal (Vol. 93, No. 5), May 2014
  • Putting Adult Children on Bank Accounts is Risky, 4/9/2014
  • Seeking Divorce During A Spouse's Disability, 4/1/2014
  • “Michigan Rule of Evidence 803(3) and Decedent’s Statements of Then-Existing Intent,” Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal (Vol. 33, No. 1), Winter 2013
  • Whose Privilege Is It, Anyway? the Fiduciary Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege, 9/1/2013
  • "Intestacy and Determination of Heirs," Michigan Probate Litigation: A Guide to Contested Matters, 2nd Edition, September 2013
  • “Show Me the Money! The Intricacies of Joint Bank Account Litigation in Michigan” (co-authored with Laura E. Morris), The Litigation Newsletter (SBM Litigation Section), Summer 2013
  • Giving Effect To Every Word: An Impossible Task For An Ambiguous Legal Instrument, 6/1/2013
  • Supreme Court Rules on Patented Seed Case, 5/15/2013
  • “Before the Party’s Over: The Arguments For and Against Pre-Death Will Contests” (co-authored with Laura E. Morris), Probate & Property (Vol. 27, No. 2), March/April 2013
  • "Legal and Ethical Issues Raised by an Attorney Acquiring a Lien or Mortgage Against A Client's Real Property," Michigan Real Property Review, Fall 2012/Winter 2013
  • Admissibility of Extrinsic Evidence in Will and Trust Proceedings, 12/1/2012
  • Loath To Supplement the Language: 2010 Michigan Appellate Decisions Concerning Extrinsic Evidence of Testator’s or Settlor’s Intent, 12/1/2011
  • "15 Pointers, Practice Tips, and Reminders Regarding Easements: Highlights of 2010 Michigan Appellate Decisions," Michigan Real Property Review (Vol. 38, No. 2), Summer 2011
  • Wills & Trusts Litigation: 3 New Cases in a Nutshell, 4/20/2011
  • Estate Planning Focus - Spring 2010, 5/10/2010
  • Estate Planning Focus - Summer 2007, 6/19/2007
  • Estate Planning Focus - Fall 2006, 10/20/2006
  • What Businesses Should Know About -- Identity Theft, 2/19/2005
  • Michigan Law & Practice Encyclopedia, 1/1/2004
  • "Wills and Estate Administration," Michigan Law and Practice Encyclopedia, Vol. 34, 2nd Ed., 2004
  • Estate Planning Focus - Fall 2003,

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Member, Leadership Grand Rapids Class of 2010

Educational Background:

  • Michigan State University, B.A., High Honors, 1992
  • Cannon Trust School, 2010

Industry Groups

  • Banking
  • Commercial Lending
  • Construction
  • Fiduciary Services
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Realtors
Find Me Online
Website - www.wnj.com
Office Location for David L.J.M. Skidmore

900 Fifth Third Center
111 Lyon Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2487

Phone: 616-426-8174

Fax: 616-222-2491

David L.J.M. Skidmore:

Last Updated: 2/13/2019

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