Monday Profile: Steve Borgsdorf

Stephen Borgsdorf is a litigator in Dykema’s Ann Arbor office. His practice focuses on class action defense, contract disputes, and complex commercial matters. He says he is also an occasional recipient of phone calls intended for his father, Charles Borgsdorf. 

Borgsdorf serves on the board of directors of the Ann Arbor YMCA, of the Old West Side Neighborhood Association, and of Community Action Network Southeast.

The Ann Arbor native went to law school at Wisconsin and has the temerity to wear his Badger colors about town. 

 

Residence: Ann Arbor.

 

Currently reading: “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” by Daniel Okrent.

 

What is your most treasured material possession? A wooden axe carved by my great-great-grandfather.

 

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Get the big bottle of ibuprofen.

 

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be? A starving artist.

 

Favorite local hangouts: Knight’s, and whatever playground my kids are enjoying.

 

Your proudest moment as a lawyer? Being honored by Community Action Network for service as president of its board, with the award presented by our own Judge Cedric Simpson.

 

Your worst moment as a lawyer? Losing a pro bono case in immigration court which had the gruesome result of separating the immigrant mother from her U.S. citizen children.

 

Which things do you not like to do? Anything involving ladders.

 

What would surprise people about your job? People seem to think litigation is lots of arguing and swashbuckling, but we seem to spend more time listening and reading than anything else.

 

What do you wish someone would invent? An ocean trash cleaner-upper (zero-emissions, of course, perhaps powered by little bits of the trash it collects).

 

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Trick question! My sixteen-year-old self would not listen to any advice from a grown up.

 

Favorite joke: A snail goes into a car dealership and asks for the fastest car on the lot. At the end of the transaction, after haggling over every detail, the snail says he wants a custom paint job with the letter “s” all over the car. The beleaguered salesperson asks why. The snail responds, “So when I am racing down the road, people say wow, look at that S car go.”

 

What is guaranteed to make you laugh? My mom laughing.

 

Why is that? Sometimes she gets started laughing uncontrollably and it is absolutely contagious.

 

What word do you overuse? Ipse dixit. I use it ad nauseam and I don’t even speak Latin.

 

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Play the piano.

 

Can’t-live-without technology: My iPad.

 

Favorite law-related movie: “The Paper Chase.”

 

 

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Definitely my spouse Amanda. We have little kids, so having a grown-up dinner is a nice treat. While I’m tempted to appear worldly by inviting obscure figures from various epochs, I fear that might result in rather stilted conversation. Perhaps Barack and Michelle would join us?

 

What’s the best advice you ever received? To have at least one hobby or passion other than work and family.

 

If you can help it, where will you never return? Immigration court.

 

What do you drive? A hard bargain.

 

What would you drive if money were no object? A square deal.

 

Residence: Ann Arbor.

 
Currently reading: “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” by Daniel Okrent.
 
What is your most treasured material possession? A wooden axe carved by my great-great-grandfather.
 
What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Get the big bottle of ibuprofen.
 
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be? A starving artist.
 
Favorite local hangouts: Knight’s, and whatever playground my kids are enjoying.
 
Your proudest moment as a lawyer? Being honored by Community Action Network for service as president of its board, with the award presented by our own Judge Cedric Simpson.
 
Your worst moment as a lawyer? Losing a pro bono case in immigration court which had the gruesome result of separating the immigrant mother from her U.S. citizen children.
 
Which things do you not like to do? Anything involving ladders.
 
What would surprise people about your job? People seem to think litigation is lots of arguing and swashbuckling, but we seem to spend more time listening and reading than anything else.
 
What do you wish someone would invent? An ocean trash cleaner-upper (zero-emissions, of course, perhaps powered by little bits of the trash it collects).
 
What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Trick question! My sixteen-year-old self would not listen to any advice from a grown up.
 
Favorite joke: A snail goes into a car dealership and asks for the fastest car on the lot. At the end of the transaction, after haggling over every detail, the snail says he wants a custom paint job with the letter “s” all over the car. The beleaguered salesperson asks why. The snail responds, “So when I am racing down the road, people say wow, look at that S car go.”
 
What is guaranteed to make you laugh? My mom laughing.
 
Why is that? Sometimes she gets started laughing uncontrollably and it is absolutely contagious.
 
What word do you overuse? Ipse dixit. I use it ad nauseam and I don’t even speak Latin.
 
What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Play the piano.
 
Can’t-live-without technology: My iPad.
 
Favorite law-related movie: “The Paper Chase.”
 
 
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Definitely my spouse Amanda. We have little kids, so having a grown-up dinner is a nice treat. While I’m tempted to appear worldly by inviting obscure figures from various epochs, I fear that might result in rather stilted conversation. Perhaps Barack and Michelle would join us?
 
What’s the best advice you ever received? To have at least one hobby or passion other than work and family.
 
If you can help it, where will you never return? Immigration court.
 
What do you drive? A hard bargain.
 
What would you drive if money were no object? A square deal.
 

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