Grand Rapids, Mich., July 25, 2012 – L. Roland “Bud” Roegge, an attorney with Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, has been awarded the prestigious “Champion of Justice Award” from the State Bar of Michigan. The award recognizes not only Roegge’s storied legal career, but also his tireless efforts on behalf of the underserved in Grand Rapids.
“Bud has said that to be a good lawyer, you must first be a good person,” stated Smith Haughey CEO, Bill Hondorp. “He certainly has led by example and our firm, the legal profession, and our community are better for it. The Champion of Justice Award is a well-deserved honor.”
Mr. Roegge is a highly respected trial lawyer in Michigan who gained respect early in his career when he successfully served as lead defense counsel for a case that involved the largest chemical contamination in United States history. The accidental contamination of Michigan dairy cattle feed with PBB (poly brominated biphenyl) in the early ‘70’s by Smith Haughey client, Michigan Chemical Company, now Velsicol, gave rise to some 1,000 claims, over 250 lawsuits, and litigation spanning over a decade. The historic accident and resulting litigation were widely covered by local, national, and international media, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Roegge’s current practice includes the representation of health care providers and attorneys in professional liability and business litigation.
Mr. Roegge is also very active in the Grand Rapids community and has volunteered countless hours to the Justice Foundation of West Michigan, Legal Aid of West Michigan, and Dégagé Ministries. Mr. Roegge is a past recipient of the Grand Rapids Bar Association’s “Donald R. Worsfold Distinguished Service Award”, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel’s “Excellence in Defense Award”, and NALS of West Michigan’s “Legal Professional of the Year Award”.
The “Champion of Justice Award” is given to practicing attorneys and judges who exhibit integrity and adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession, superior professional competence, and an extraordinary professional accomplishment that benefits the nation, the state, or the local community in which the lawyer or judge lives.
Mr. Roegge will receive the award in Grand Rapids at the State Bar awards banquet on September 19.