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   3James P. CunninghamBirmingham(248) 642-0333jpc@wwrplaw.comjpc@wwrplaw.comWilliams Williams Rattner & Plunkett PCwww.wwrplaw.comwww.wwrplaw.comcunninghamjp.jpgFamily Appellate LawFamily LawNon-Routine Property IssuesNon-Routine Support IssuesHigh-Profile CasesInternational Family LawMediation, Arbitration and Litigation
James P.
Williams Williams Rattner & Plunkett PC
380 N Old Woodward Ave Ste 300
Birmingham MI 48009
Ph.(248) 642-0333 Fx.(248) 642-0856
Recommended by peers in:    Extensive Experience in:
Family Appellate Law    Non-Routine Property Issues
Family Law    Non-Routine Support Issues
    High-Profile Cases
    International Family Law
    Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation
Advisory Board Member
County:  Oakland
Litigator:  Yes

Practice Description:  
Recognized locally and nationally as a specialist in family law and matrimonial litigation, James P. Cunningham possesses over a quarter century of experience. While confidentiality prohibits naming names, he has represented men and women well-known to the Detroit metropolitan community. His career includes ten published appellate cases concerning important family law issues, three of these before the Michigan Supreme Court.

Mr. Cunningham has authored many articles on family law topics and he lectures extensively throughout the state. His practice also involves international family law. He is on the faculty of three institutes that provide legal education and certification to lawyers and non-lawyers, and is the adjunct professor of family law at Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He is a Fellow and past President, Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the most prestigious organization of family law practitioners in the nation and as well, the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Cunningham is also listed in Who's Who in American Law, 6th Edition, and Who's Who in the World, 19th edition, as well as other recognition services such as Super Lawyers/Top 100 Lawyers, dbusiness Top Lawyers, NY Times Top Attorneys in Michigan, and Best Lawyers in America.

Mr. Cunningham is a former President of the Oakland County Bar Association, one of the largest voluntary bar associations in the country, and was a Charter Master, OCBA branch of the American Inns of Court. His membership in the State Bar of Michigan includes the Family Law section where he served on its Executive Board for six years. He is past chair of the State Bar's Character and Fitness Committee for District I (Oakland County).

Prior to law school, Mr. Cunningham served five years with distinction as an officer in the United States Navy. He also serves on several Board of Directors, including the Board of Trustees for the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit.

Notable Cases and Results:  
Marshall v. Marshall, 135 Mich App 702 (1984) (settlement agreements)

Syrkowski v. Appleyard, 420 Mich 367 (1985) (reproductive technology)

Zecchin v. Zecchin, 149 Mich App 723 (1986) (alimony)

In re: Dodge Estate, 162 Mich App 573 (1987) (probate litigation)

Krause v. Krause, 177 Mich App 184 (1989) (professional degrees)

Solomon v. Shuell, 435 Mich 104 (1990) (evidence)

Sparks v. Sparks, 440 Mich 141 (1992) (misconduct)

Dick v. Dick, 210 Mich App 576 (1995) (arbitration)

Mauro v. Mauro, 196 Mich App 1 (1992) (custody and attorney fees)

Tokar v. Alberry, 258 Mich App 350 (2003) (jurisdiction)

Bar Admissions:  
Michigan, 1980
United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1980
United States Tax Court, 1980

Hourly Rate:  $301-$400/hour

Retainer:  Varies By Case

Additional languages spoken:  French and Arabic available within the law firm.

Law School:  Detroit College of Law, J.D., 1980 (now Michigan State University School of Law)
Law School Honors/Involvement:  Cum laude

Undergraduate School:  Brown University, B.A., 1972
Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement:  With honors

Employment History:  
Lieutenant, United States Navy, 1972-1977
Williams, Williams, Rattner & Plunkett, P.C., 1979-present

Bar/Professional Association Involvement:  
  • Former President, Oakland County Bar Association
  • Charter Master, American Inns of Court, Oakland County Bar Association Chapter
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Executive Board, Family Law Council
    • Past Chair, Character and Fitness Committee for District I (Oakland County)
  • Fellow and past President, Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
Listed in Who's Who in American Law, 6th Edition; Who's Who in the World, 19th edition; Super Lawyers, 2006-present; Top 100; Leading Lawyers, 2013-present; dbusiness Top Lawyers; New York Times, Top Attorneys in Michigan; and Best Lawyers in America.

Teaching Experience
Mr. Cunningham is on the faculty of three institutes that provide legal education and certification to lawyers and non-lawyers, and is presently the adjunct professor of family law at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Community Involvement:  
  • Oakland County Bar Foundation, past director
  • Board of Trustees, Charles H. Wright Museum
  • American Bar Association, 2012 Pro Bono Award for Assistance to Military Veterans

Published Legal Writing:  
25 published articles

Legal Lectures:  
Over 70 speaking engagements, including guest appearances on radio and television.

Firm Description:  
Nine partners, 22 attorneys with a number of specialists in business, estates and litigation support as well as family law. 7 lawyers named Best Lawyer in America. For more information see

Practice Group Description:  
Family Law, mediation, business dissolution, international family law.

Map to Office:   Click here to view map

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