Attorney’s work includes multi-million dollar cases

Bodman attorney Alan J. Gocha, who earned his undergrad degree from U-M, earned a place on the SBM Pro Bono Honor Roll.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

With a passion for learning and solving puzzles, Bodman attorney Alan J. Gocha launched his academic trajectory with an undergrad degree in philosophy from the University of Michigan.

“Studying philosophy is a great way to explore a broad array of concepts, strengthen analytical and creative skills, and learn to efficiently digest large volumes of information,” he says. “As an academic discipline, philosophy also provides an invaluable foundation for the study and practice of law.”

Gocha went on to earn his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as Articles Editor of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. He won the Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives’ Annual Essay Contest and was named an Exceptional Pro Bono Pledge Honoree, Georgetown Law Center’s highest pro bono honor.

“I’m passionate about the law because it’s an indispensable

component of a well-functioning society and the preeminent mechanism for the promotion of justice, freedom, and peace,” he says. “I’m passionate about the practice of law because it allows me to serve others in an important, meaningful, and impactful way. For me, it is deeply fulfilling to protect, defend, and advance legal rights.”  

Before joining Bodman, Gocha was a member of the Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution, IP Litigation, and International Arbitration teams with an AmLaw50 global law firm; and also practiced as a Litigation Associate with a highly regarded IP boutique law firm, serving as lead counsel in many state and federal court cases.  

He joined Bodman’s Grand Rapids office last July, and was admitted as a member in January; and is thoroughly enjoying the work experience.  

“I like working at a law firm because it’s an opportunity to be surrounded by, and learn from, a diversity of people and legal minds,” he says. “I love working at Bodman because it’s more than just a law firm—Bodman is a family.”

He represents business clients in complex litigation matters, and has successfully represented clients ranging from small startups to Fortune 10 corporations in a broad array of business disputes, including some eye-popping multi-million dollar cases.

He has experience in litigation matters involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, contracts, torts, fraud, RICO, the False Claims Act, shareholder rights, tax, construction, probate, bankruptcy, elections, municipalities, and civil rights. He also has drafted and negotiated many complex manufacturing and supply agreements.

“I enjoy complex commercial and intellectual property litigation because the cases are high stakes, teamwork driven, and involve challenging factual and legal issues,” he says. “I’ve been exceedingly fortunate in my career in that I’ve litigated numerous interesting cases. The important thing is that I’m a better lawyer after each and every single case.”  

He is active in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), typically used to describe various forms of arbitration and mediation.

“For me, arbitration is rewarding for the same reasons traditional litigation is rewarding. For litigants, there are benefits and drawbacks to both, depending on the context,” he says. “Mediation is rewarding as it often results in mutually beneficial outcomes and brings closure to disputes.”  

For his pro bono representation of indigent individuals and community-based nonprofits he earned a place on the State Bar of Michigan’s A Lawyer Helps Pro Bono Honor Roll; and would encourage others to involve themselves in pro bono activities.

“Absent pro bono, I would not be the person or lawyer that I am today,” he says.

A member of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, and the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section, he also is a member of the American Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association.

“We all stand on the shoulders of giants,” he says. “It’s difficult to fathom becoming an exceptional person or attorney without the help of others.”

Previously a resident of Hudsonville and Birmingham, he currently lives in Grand Rapids, where his hobbies include chess and karaoke.

In West Michigan, his family includes his mother Lisa, sister Callie, brother-in-law Jerry, niece Naomi, and nephew Connor.

In East Michigan, his family includes his father, H. Alan, Gocha, stepmother Kari, and stepbrother Marcus. His mother, father and stepmother are all practicing attorneys.

Gocha co-founded the Detroit Legal Alliance (DLA), a partnership between Georgetown University Law Center and local Detroit nonprofits that provide pro bono legal services to Detroit residents; and he currently serves as ad hoc advisor.

“The Detroit Legal Alliance would not exist, or have survived for over 10 years, without the sacrifice and astonishing commitment of an incredible number of exceptional individuals and organizations,” he says.

He previously was involved with Partners for a Racism Free Community (PRFC) in Grand Rapids, noting that he learned a lot from working with the organization—“Perhaps most importantly, how to listen better,” he says, adding that volunteerism is important.

“We are what we give back to the world.”

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