Our People

Shareholder

William W. Jack, Jr.

Grand Rapids
Secretary

Yvonne Ouellette

Biography

Bill joined Smith Haughey in 1975, and currently serves as the firm’s CEO. For a number of years he practiced in the areas of health law, medical malpractice defense, general litigation, and the defense of professional liability actions. 

In the past 10 years, Bill has transitioned his practice and built a highly successful mediation/alternative dispute resolution practice on his solid reputation as a seasoned trial attorney and devotion to the legal community. A certified facilitative mediator by the U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, he has served as mediator and case evaluator for more than 300 cases in the state and federal courts throughout Michigan. Representative cases include catastrophic personal injury, complex multi-party commercial litigation, and complex trademark and intellectual property matters.

Bill has trained lawyers in advocacy skills for individual law firms in several states and has also trained litigation counsel for a number of national insurance carriers. In addition, he is very active in both his profession and community, having held a number of elected positions and memberships in legal and community organizations.


Previous Experience

Affiliations

  • Faculty, Steering Committee, Hillman Advocacy Program
  • President: Western Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
  • Faculty, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 1985—present
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Fellow: American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow: Michigan State Bar Foundation
  • Faculty, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Sections on: Tort and Insurance Practice; Litigation)
  • State Bar of Michigan (Member, Sections on: Negligence Law; Law Practice Management; Alternative Dispute Resolution)
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association (President, 1998-1999)
  • American Inns of Court (Past President, Western Michigan Chapter)
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (President, 1987-1988; Member, Board of Directors, 1986--)
  • Team Leader, University of Michigan Law School Trial Advocacy Course, 1986-1996
  • Former adjunct faculty, MSU College of Law and Cooley Law School
  • Former Board Member, Kids Food Basket
  • Planned Parenthood Centers of West Michigan, Board of Directors, 1995-2000

Education

  • Denison University (B.A., 1969)  
  • University of Denver  
  • The George Washington University (J.D., with honors, 1973)  

Admitted

  • State Bar of Michigan, 1973

Accolades

  • AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

  • 2017 Michigan Lawyers Weekly Michigan Lawyer of the Year

  • Listed in Best Lawyers (2017) -- Legal Malpractice Law -- Defendants, Medical Malpractice Law -- Defendants & Personal Injury Litigation -- Defendants

  • Listed in Best Lawyers (1999-2016) Alternative Dispute Resolution, Legal Malpractice Law, Medical Malpractice Law & Personal Injury Litigation

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America – Mediation, Legal Malpractice, Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Litigation

  • Listed as Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" (2013) -- Personal Injury Litigation, Defendants

  • Listed in Leading Lawyers (2014) -- Medical Malpractice Defense Law, Personal Injury Defense Law: General, ADR Law: Personal Injury

  • Listed as a "Michigan Super Lawyer" (2006-2016) -- Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Recipient, Hillman Award, presented by the Hillman Advocacy Institute, 2011

  • Recipient, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Excellence in Defense Award, 2002

  • Recipient, Respected Advocate Award, presented by the Michigan Association for Justice, 2009

News and Publications