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Jon D. Vander Ploeg Photo

Of Counsel

Jon D. Vander Ploeg

Grand Rapids

Francine Robinson

Practice Areas


Jon has devoted his practice to appeals for 35 years. He began to specialize in his first 12 years at another law firm, but he came to Smith, Haughey in 1986 to devote his full time to appeals. Jon has handled hundreds of cases in the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and also in the Federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.  Appellate practice is a specialty of procedure. It calls upon finely tuned legal scholarship skills and expertise in persuasive written and oral presentation. Experience matters.

Though an appeal might come in any area of the law, Jon has handled many cases involving medical malpractice defense, and the defense of road commissions from claims of liability for alleged improper roadway maintenance. Beyond those, he has also handled cases from across the legal spectrum including real property disputes, contracts, ordinary tort claims, trusts and estates, etc.

Jon has continually devoted his efforts to perfecting the skills of persuasion in written and oral advocacy. Over all of these years he has, first and foremost, paid attention to achieving the courts’ respect for his scholarly writing and effective oral presentation. Jon strives to best serve his clients with the very best of appellate advocacy.



Previous Experience


  • American Bar Association (Member, Section on Litigation)
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • President, Stony Lake Property Owners Association, 2013-2019
  • Board Member, Oceana County Community Foundation, 2016-to present
  • Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA), Vice-President and member, board of Directors, 2018 to present


  • Hope College (B.A., cum laude, 1971)  
  • Indiana University (J.D., magna cum laude, 1974); Order of the Coif; Indiana Law Journal Note Editor, 1973-1974  


  • State Bar of Michigan, 1974
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1985

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