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David L.J.M. Skidmore

Attorney Profile

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

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
150 Ottawa Ave NW, Suite 1500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2487
Phone: 888-615-0492
Fax: 616-222-2491
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2021
Selected to Rising Stars: 2008
Licensed in Michigan Since: 1998
Practice Areas: Estate & Trust Litigation (80%), Estate Planning & Probate (20%)
Attorney Profile

David Skidmore is a premier trial attorney whose practice focuses on probate, trust, estate, fiduciary, and real property disputes and litigation. David uses creative and strategic thinking to forge lasting solutions to complex and emotional probate disputes. He is a zealous advocate and a gifted writer, and he has a unique ability to communicate his clients’ stories. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, as well as an officer of the governing council for the Probate & Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and he delivers the annual trust and estate case law update at ICLE’s annual Probate Institute. He has written extensively on mental incapacity, undue influence, and other topics related to trust and estate litigation. David is also a trained mediator who is available to mediate probate disputes.

Practice Areas
  • 80%Estate & Trust Litigation
  • 20%Estate Planning & Probate
Focus Areas

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


9 Years Super Lawyers
1 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2021
  • Rising Stars: 2008

About David L.J.M. Skidmore

First Admitted: 1998, Michigan

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

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

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Disability Planning: Where Do Conservators and Guardians Fit In?, 12/22/2016
  • There Is No Such Thing as "The Attorney for the Trust", 12/1/2014
  • “Observations on Undue Influence,” Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal (Vol. 36, No. 1), Winter 2016
  • 15 Years of MCL 700.2503 and "Writings Intended as Wills", 6/1/2015
  • Moderator, “View from the Probate Court Bench” (ICLE On-Demand Seminar), January 4, 2017
  • 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
  • Seeking Divorce During A Spouse's Disability, 4/1/2014
  • Putting Adult Children on Bank Accounts is Risky, 4/9/2014
  • "Intestacy and Determination of Heirs," Michigan Probate Litigation: A Guide to Contested Matters, 2nd Edition, September 2013
  • Whose Privilege Is It, Anyway? the Fiduciary Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege, 9/1/2013
  • “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
  • Giving Effect To Every Word: An Impossible Task For An Ambiguous Legal Instrument, 6/1/2013
  • “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
  • Supreme Court Rules on Patented Seed Case, 5/15/2013
  • Estate Planning Focus - Summer 2007, 6/19/2007
  • Estate Planning Focus - Spring 2010, 5/10/2010
  • Estate Planning Focus - Fall 2006, 10/20/2006
  • Wills & Trusts Litigation: 3 New Cases in a Nutshell, 4/20/2011
  • "15 Pointers, Practice Tips, and Reminders Regarding Easements: Highlights of 2010 Michigan Appellate Decisions," Michigan Real Property Review (Vol. 38, No. 2), Summer 2011
  • 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
  • Loath To Supplement the Language: 2010 Michigan Appellate Decisions Concerning Extrinsic Evidence of Testator’s or Settlor’s Intent, 12/1/2011
  • Admissibility of Extrinsic Evidence in Will and Trust Proceedings, 12/1/2012
  • "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
  • “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
  • Estate Planning Focus - Fall 2003,
  • Serving as an Amateur Fiduciary is Risky – Legally and Financially, 11/5/2015
  • The Probate Exception to Federal Diversity Jurisdiction, 4/1/2016
  • "Property Ownership," Michigan Estate Planning Handbook, 3rd Edition, June 2016
  • Finish Your Estate Plan: Ensuring Consistency with Your Property Ownership and Your Plan, 7/21/2016
  • Not All Mental Capacity is Created Equal, 11/16/2016
  • Agents Beware: Risks of Serving as a Power of Attorney, 11/16/2016
  • Halting Elder Abuse: Know Your Options, 11/16/2016


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

Educational Background

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

Pro bono/Community Service

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

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Member, Leadership Grand Rapids Class of 2010

Industry Groups

  • Banking
  • Fiduciary Services
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Office Location for David L.J.M. Skidmore

150 Ottawa Ave NW
Suite 1500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2487

Phone: 888-615-0492

Fax: 616-222-2491

Last Updated: 5/14/2021

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