• Sensitivity towards our clients
  • Commitment and dedication
  • Licensed and experienced attorney
  • Flexibility to work around your needs
  • Open communication
  • Accurate assessment of legal issues
  • ​​Successful trial attorney

OUR CORE VALUES:

GENERAL PRACTICE ATTORNEY

174 E Adams, Ionia, MI 48846

Copyright © Walter J. Downes. All Rights Reserved.

Call Today: 616.527.7777

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

WALTER J. DOWNES, J.D.

Walt has been a licensed attorney in the state of Michigan since 1985, and brings an array of tremendous legal and trial experience to his current law practice. His deep experience as a trial lawyer involving many complex cases has resulted in a strong success record.

​​CURRENT

IONIA/MONTCALM BAR ASSOCIATION
    President 2010-2011
IONIA AREA CHAMBER AMBASSADORS
    2010 President
IONIA ROTARY CLUB
    Rotarian of the Year 2001-2002
    President 2002-2003
    Paul Harris Fellow
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS - Council #944
   4th Degree member
   39+ years member
   Grand Knight (2005-07)
STS PETER and PAUL PARISH, Ionia
   Past Finance Council Chairperson
   Lector and Eucharistic Minister

IONIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

   Scholarship Foundation Board 
IONIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE member
IONIA COMMUNITY THEATRE

IONIA THEATER volunteer
National Eagle Scout Association
Licensed Foster Care Parent/Home


PAST INVOLVEMENT
IONIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BOARD OF EDUCATION

   President 2012

IONIA JAYCEES
    Chapter President 1989-90        
    Jaycee of the Year
MICHIGAN JAYCEES 
    72nd President 1995-96 
    Legal Counsel

    JCI Senator #57285
UNITED STATES JAYCEES
    Legal Counsel 1998-2000
    Chaplain 1996-97
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
    Eagle Scout - 1973
ORDER OF THE ARROW
    Vigil Honor member
    Chapter Chief

PRESIDENT GERALD R. FORD FSC 
    Boy Scouts of America - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
IONIA COMMUNITY THEATRE  
   
    President 1999-2003; 2005-2007
    Life Member
    Best Supporting Actor - 2006 season
IONIA CHILDWATCH - Board of Directors
KIWANIS CLUB of Grand River Valley - Ionia
IONIA CO. HISTORICAL SOCIETY-Member
MICHIGAN JAYCEES FOUNDATION
     Board Trustee and Secretary
JUNIOR CHAMBER MISSION INN        
    FOUNDATION
Board Trustee
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
    Ionia Unit Board of Directors -  Secretary
MONTCALM COMMUNITY COLLEGE
    Part-time Instructor 1989-1993
ALPHA PHI OMEGA
    President - Beta Beta chapter 1981-82
    Life Member
2002, 2012 Committees to Promote Senior
    Millage in Ionia County
2003 Ionia Co Intermediate School District
    Special Education Millage Committee
2005 Ionia Community Library Bond
    Millage Committee

HOST FAMILY - for exchange students
    last hosted Summer 2010

CREDENTIALS

Educational Background

1978 - St. Frances Cabrini High School, Allen Park, MI
1982 - Michigan State University dual major: James Madison College/Criminal Justice
1985 - Wayne State University Law School


Work Experience:
May, 2006-present Township Prosecutor
              Ionia County - Lyons Township
1992-present        Solo Practitioner - Ionia, MI
                    General Practice
2004-present        Village of Muir - Village Attorney
1997-present        Township Prosecutor - Ionia County
                    Orleans/Easton/Boston Townships
1998-2000             Legal Counsel - Tulsa, Oklahoma
                               US Junior Chamber of Commerce
1989-1993            Instructor - Montcalm Community College
1991-1994            Legal Counsel - Michigan Jaycees
1990-1992            Trial Attorney - Lansing, MI
                    Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Foster PC
1988-1990          Chief Assistant Prosecutor
                    Ionia County Prosecutor's Office
1988-1989            District Court Forms Committee
1986-1988            Assistant Prosecutor
                    Ionia County Prosecutor's Office
1985-1986            Assistant City Attorney - City of Troy (MI)
1985                      Intern - Wayne County Prosecutor's Office
1984                      Intern - Menominee Co Prosecutor's Office
1983-1984            Law Clerk - Detroit, MI
                    Milan Miller Berger Brody & Miller PC  


Professional Associations:
State Bar of Michigan - since 1985
     Member of Probate Law, Criminal Law, Family Law and Masters Sections

Ionia/Montcalm Bar Association 
     President 2010-2011; Vice-President 2009-2010; Secretary/Treasurer 2008-09
Institute of Continuing Legal Education - Probate and Estate Planning Certification

University of Phoenix - Lead Faculty/Area Chair
     College of Criminal Justice and Security - West Michigan Campus

​Davenport University - Adjunct Faculty

Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan
Michigan Trial Lawyers Association
Catholic Society of Lawyers
Incorporated Society of Irish/American Lawyers


Admitted to practice in:  

     US District Court - Western District of Michigan
     US District Court - Eastern District of Michigan
     US Bankruptcy Court - Western District of Michigan
     Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Court (Mt. Pleasant)


PEER REVIEW RATED - Lexis-Nexis Mardindale-Hubbell
VERY HIGH Rated in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards
1999 - 2017 (18th consecutive year)


TOP LAWYERS IN MICHIGAN: Recognized by The Legal Network for highest in Ethical Standards and Professional Excellence.  2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 


NOMINATED Ionia County Citizen of the Year 2014, 2015


RECIPIENT OF IONIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS' SILVER SLATE AWARD - presented at IPS Annual Community Dinner on March 29, 2016


BEST OF IONIA COUNTY - #1 Law Firm 2016; Top #3 Law Firm - 2014, 2015