Monday Profile: David Mittleman


David Mittleman is a partner of the Church Wyble Law Firm in Lansing. He started part-time in 1983 while attending Cooley Law, full time in 1985 after graduation, and became a shareholder in 1990.

He has litigated cases throughout Michigan in State and Federal Court; with well over 60 cases tried to a verdict, his experience enables him to settle 98+% of his cases for top dollar.

He has been recognized with the distinction of AV status by Martindale Hubbell, The Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association and has been a Michigan Super Lawyer since 2009.

He has also served on numerous committees by appointment, Michigan Finance Authority, Michigan Supreme Court Civil Model Jury Instruction Committee, State Bar of Michigan Negligence Section; is involved with many professional organizations, Michigan Association of Justice, AAJ, The Injury Board, and also devotes time to his congregation Shaarey Zedek, and the MSU Jewish Studies Advisory Board.

When not working or volunteering, he most enjoys spending time with Jill, his wife of 30 years this June, daughter Hannah, and son Max.

By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

Residence: East Lansing

What is your most treasured material possession? Our home.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Don’t be afraid to take some risks and follow your instincts, but get some practical experience along the way. Don’t be afraid to contact a lawyer to talk and ask questions. There are no dumb questions.

Favorite local hangouts: When I was in law school it was Rick’s; now the MAC outdoor pools when covered by the dome.

Favorite app: I am one of the last BB (Blackberry) guys — no apps, but when I travel with my family, Uber.

Favorite music: I like classical and classics.

What is your happiest childhood memory? Playing in our neighborhood with neighborhood friends, before technology, which has been a blessing and a curse for children today.

What would surprise people about your job? It can be much like an elevator operator; we have ups and downs and some jerks. Practicing for the most part in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties has been a pleasure.

What do you wish someone would invent? A ‘good health’ machine.

What has been your favorite year so far and why? 1985 I passed the bar /married Jill; 1988 Hannah was born and 1992 Max was born, they were all good years.

Why did you become a lawyer? Why doesn’t matter now, I am glad I choose representing injured people, which I love doing every day.

What’s your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book? The Verdict, Devil's Advocate, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Who are your role models - real and/or fictional? My grandfathers who escaped Europe in the mid ’20s to come to America; father’s father from Hungary and mother’s father from Russia/Romania.

What's the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? Israel.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
The ability to cure the sick.

What is something most people don’t know about you? Before I became a lawyer, I was a registered pharmacist practicing in Pittsburgh.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? You did good.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Obviously, the most successful results come to mind, but when a client thanks me for all that I have done for them even when the jury doesn’t agree with us, that is pretty special.

What do you do to relax? Golf, working in our flower beds, Bombay Sapphire and red wine.

If you were starting all over again and could not go into law, what career path would you choose?
Real estate developer.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Always wanted to be able to play the piano.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
Moses, Abraham, David.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Say ‘thank you’ and don’t just watch your children grow up, grow up with them.

What is your motto? ‘No matter how good you are, never let them see you coming.’ – Al Pacino, playing John Milton in Devil’s Advocate.

Which living person do you most admire? Elie Wiesel, who I got to meet at Cowles House on the MSU campus; when we were walking out together after the gathering his cell phone rang, and I overheard his wife making sure he was going to be home on time for dinner.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Being a good role model for my children.

What is the most unusual thing you have done? Jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet with them.

Where would you like to be when you're 90? I think Bubba Watson had the best answer to this question when asked after winning the Masters, how he felt, his answer and my answer to this question is, “I never got this far in my dreams”; of course, healthy and on a beach wouldn't be a bad place.