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Charles F. Behler Photo

Of Counsel

Charles F. Behler

Grand Rapids

Jane Johnson



Chip Behler is a seasoned "bet-the-company" litigator who successfully represents governmental agencies, businesses, construction contractors, design professionals, and real estate owners and developers in complex commercial litigation and matters involving personal injury, real estate, breach of contract claims, construction defects, construction accidents, architectural and engineering intellectual property issues, and employment claims. He also is a well-regarded counselor with extensive experience in risk avoidance and contract drafting and negotiation for those in government and the construction industry. Chip is regularly sought after to defend lawyers and law firms against claims of legal malpractice, malicious prosecution, and other related issues.

In addition, Chip is a certified commercial and construction arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.

Chip's honors include being listed in "Michigan Super Lawyers", "Best Lawyers in America", Benchmark Litigation, and he is AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. 

Chip has a passion for motorcycling and has ridden to all 49 continental states, nine Canadian provinces, and much of Europe. In addition to decades and hundreds of thousands of miles of riding experience, he has had extensive training including attendance at Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses, the Ride Like a Pro class, police motorcycle training, and Superbike School. Chip represents plaintiffs, defendants, and governmental roadway authorities in motorcycle crash litigation throughout the state of Michigan. 

In addition to motorcycling, Chip enjoys cooking, wine collecting, golf, snow skiing, the arts, and spending time with his family. He has two adult sons, both of whom are married, and five grandchildren. 

Previous Experience


  • American Bar Association (Member, Sections: Forum on Construction Industry; Litigation; Government and Public Sector Lawyers)
  • State Bar of Michigan (Member, Sections on: Litigation; Negligence Law; Public Corporation Law; Law Practice Management. Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Character & Fitness, 1989-1991; Member, 1984-1991)
  • Fellow, Michigan Bar Foundation
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association (Member, Diversity Committee)
  • Member, National Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators, American Arbitration Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
  • Board of Law Examiners, State of Michigan, 1995-2005
  • Professional Affiliate, Michigan Society of Architects
  • Associate Member, American Institute of Architects
  • National Conference of Bar Examiners, 1995-2005
  • Board of Advisors, Legal Studies Program, Grand Valley State University
  • Major Gifts Committee, West Michigan Literacy Center
  • Co-Chair, Make-a-Wish Foundation 2012 Wish Ball
  • Co-Chair, Grand Rapids Ballet Capital Campaign
  • Co-Chair, 2011 “Twilight Series” Gala for Senior Neighbors
  • Member, Board of Directors, Literacy Center of West Michigan
  • Member, Board of Directors, Conductive Learning Center
  • Member, Rotary Club of Grand Rapids
  • Member, Grand Rapids Economic Club
  • Co-Chair, Great Artist Gala, St. Cecilia Music Society, 2009
  • Member, Board of Directors, St. Cecilia Music Society
  • Member, Board of Directors, Legal Assistance Center
  • Member, Board of Directors, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre
  • Member, Board of Directors, Blythefield Country Club
  • Member, East Grand Rapids Recreation Commission
  • Board Member and President, Grand Rapids Ballet
  • Member, Grand Valley Blood Program Board of Trustees
  • Chairperson, American Cancer Society, Kent County Chapter, Campaign Committee
  • Member, Crime Prevention Committee, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, National Ski Patrol Systems, Inc., Outstanding Auxiliary Ski Patroller in United States


  • University of Denver (B.A., 1969)
  • University of Denver (J.D., 1971)


  • State Bar of Michigan, 1972


  • Listed in GR Magazine Top Lawyer - Litigation Construction (2021) 

  • Listed in Benchmark Litigation 2010-2016

  • Listed in Best Lawyers (2001-2021) -- Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation & Construction Law

  • Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year - Construction  (2013)

  • Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year - Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Litigation-Construction (2020)

  • Listed in Leading Lawyers -- Medical Malpractice Defense Law; ADR Law: Commercial Litigation; ADR Law: Commercial Real Estate, Environmental & Construction

  • Listed as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” (2006-2018) -- Construction/Surety 

  • Listed as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” (2020) -- Business Litigation 

  • Listed as a "Local Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation (2010-2015) -- Commercial Litigation

  • AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell 

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