Jon VanderPloeg comes to Hilger Hammond, PC, with 47 years of legal experience. For the last 40, he has concentrated on appellate practice in the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, and in the Federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Jon has handled hundreds of cases in those courts, and has obtained numerous decisions of significance for Michigan jurisprudence. Appellate work focuses upon written and oral advocacy, and Jon has concentrated on those skills to be a persuasive advocate without hyperbole. His goal is to have judges respect the integrity of his presentation when urging the facts and the law, and for his arguments to be as persuasive as possible. His skills as a legal tactician and advocate have application throughout the legal landscape.

Jon and his wife Pam are regular teachers at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), hosted at Aquinas College. Jon’s interest is music, and his obsessively gathered record collection numbers in the thousands.  He has lectured on the history of jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, gospel, soul, country, and rock and roll, and always within the context of music as a reflection and as a shaper of societal attitudes.  Pam is an architectural historian, writer and presenter.  She is completing a book on 180+ downtown Grand Rapids buildings to be published this year.  Jon and Pam travel often in search of used record stores and architecture to chronicle.  They are each patient with the other’s interests.

Jon’s other outside passion is residential remodeling and construction, including the home where they currently live in Pentwater.

Jon is guided by at least 2 of Satchel Paige’s rules for living. Paige was the great Negro Leagues pitcher, who in his final years played in the majors when the color line was broken.   First–“Don’t look back. Something might be gainin’ on you.” Second– “Age is mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”

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