Areas of legal expertise


We are a specialty law firm with over 30 years of experience representing individuals, municipalities, businesses, and insurance companies .

Insurance Services

In the past 30 years I have been heavily involved in first party coverage issues and the defense of insureds. This has been a favorite part of my practice and I have enjoyed the many types and varieties of cases I have worked on over the years for Insurers.

Municipal Services

Cooke Law has defended municipal employees effectively against Federal and State claims in all the arenas important to municipalities.

Business Services

We have familiarity with business organization, drafting of contracts, Federal State regulations, employment matters, land use and planning, permitting, liquor liability and regulation, and direction and management of business entities.

Individual Services

Cooke Law specializes in the following personal legal services.
  • Personal Injury and Other Civil Wrongs:
  • Criminal Defense
  • License Restoration

About Chris


Cooke Law is the culmination of my 30 years experience in trial work.

Christopher Cookehover background

Christopher Cooke

Growing up on the east side of Detroit in a modest home with my 5 brothers and sisters, the son of a Ford Motor Company pipe fitter, I learned the value of effort and hard work. I followed my older brother, John, to the prestigious Cranbook School for Boys on a scholarship won through educational training in the Catholic elementary schools and my mother’s demanding “homework first” regimen. I mastered the transition to this English style boarding school and excelled in athletics, music, and theater.

I attended Albion College, a small MIAA private college in Southwestern Michigan, where I majored in Computational Mathematics and Economics. I was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and continued my athletic pursuits in Soccer and Baseball. I achieved my Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1982 and landed my first position as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Kalamazoo County the following year. I worked in this office, led by legendary State Prosecutor James Gregart, for the first five years of my career. I tried over 100 jury trials during this tenure ranging from the simplest misdemeanor to capital murder.

In 1988, I moved into the Civil Law taking a position with Denenberg, Tuffley in Grand Rapids Michigan investigating arson and fraud claims for insurance companies. This work dove- tailed nicely with my interest in criminal prosecution and I maintain this part of my practice to this day. I currently have clients that send me to Detroit and other parts of the State to investigate arsonous and fraudulent insurance claims. Transitioning to other similar firms, I also developed a subrogation, product liability, and small business practice.

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Legal Services


We offer a wide range of legal services. If you need further information, please don't hesitate to contact us.

INSURANCE SERVICES

In the past 30 years I have been heavily involved in first party coverage issues and the defense of insureds. This has been a favorite part of my practice and I have enjoyed the many types and varieties of cases I have worked on over the years for Insurers.

Arson and Fraud:

Sadly, insurance fraud is a way of life for a significant part of our population. Cooke Law is devoted to doing its part to battle fraud.The homeowners insurance concept, first launched in America by Benjamin Franklin in 1752, gives each individual property owner the assurance and financial strength to know that, if their property should be injured or destroyed in a covered loss, the insurance company will stand behind its insured and put them back on their feet. In light of the personal, financial costs to rebuild your own home, the premiums that we pay are a small measure for the protection that is afforded. However, when unscrupulous parties are allowed to tap into the insurance system by prevailing on arsonous or fraudulent claims, all premium payers, as well as their insurers, suffer.

In addition, with the changes to NFPA 921, (“the guideline” or “treatise” for fire investigators, depending on your side of the controversy), and the sophistication of those setting incendiary fires, it has become more and more difficult to defend against this drain on the industry. However, given a diligent pursuit for the truth, the right experts for the job and a dogged pursuit of the documents and circumstantial evidence, it is often possible to turn the tables on fraud. Cooke Law has had great success in taking a bite out of this crime.

Subrogation:

Subrogation is a principal by which an Insurer, who pays for a covered claim may “stand in the shoes” of the insureds and bring claims and litigation against other at fault people or entities. A substantial amount of change in the quality of our products has come through litigation against manufacturers of defective commodities. Although the law has become increasingly more stringent as to the proofs necessary to show product liability, Cooke Law has battled and won many subrogation cases involving heaters, furnaces, defective electrical wiring, defective manufacturer of automobiles and trucks, and, even in the industry of carbon arrow manufacturing. Being a former prosecutor I understand the elements of a Plaintiff’s case and the necessary proofs required to obtain a successful verdict.

Rates:

Cooke Law offers competitive rates for Insurors who seek a high level of experience in the litigated arena. We travel to all counties in the State of Michigan and are willing to negotiate favorable rate structures to offset travel costs that Insurors might not otherwise be able to justify. I also believe that there is an advantage for an Insuror to have an attorney who they work with and trust on a statewide basis rather than dealing with local counsel who may be beholden to the system or other local plaintiff’s attorneys.

We would be happy to discuss these matters in greater detail with you at your convenience.

MUNICIPAL SERVICES

Cooke Law has defended municipal employees effectively against Federal and State claims in all the arenas important to municipalities. I have successfully tried to conclusion cases claiming excessive force by police officers, eighth amendment violations of corrections officers and facilities, jail suicide, and gross negligence matters. Municipalities can also be sued as employers and can face investigations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Civil Rights. Cooke Law has successfully represented municipalities, boards and municipal employees through these investigations and, if necessary, through trial. Principally, though, it is important for all employers, municipal and business, to understand the myriad of Federal and State regulations that govern their conduct and to effectively comply. This will substantially reduce the number of litigated matters and claims and, if one is brought, will lay the groundwork for a strong procedural and legal defense. In that regard, Cooke Law has presented seminars and lectured to numerous business and municipal groups on employment issues that are critical to your effective functioning. We would be happy to do the same for your business or governmental entity.

BUSINESS SERVICES

Cooke Law has maintained a number of strong business clients over the years. We have familiarity with business organization, drafting of contracts, Federal State regulations, employment matters, land use and planning, permitting, liquor liability and regulation, and direction and management of business entities. Cooke Law has the ability to assist if you are just commencing a new business or have broad business experience but are in need of critical legal consultation and advice. Our experience in investigating fraudulent insurance claims also gives us an advantage in helping small businesses ferret out dishonest employees or uncovering fraudulent manipulation of businesses by independent contractors, agents and attorneys.

Business Organization:

If you are starting your own business or have been operating a successful business for some years, your business organization is one of the most critical aspects of your business plan. Cooke Law has organized partnership and corporate structures for businesses that achieve flexibility, legal protection and tax advantages.

Liquor Licensing and Laws:

Cooke Law has experience in obtaining and protecting licensure before the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for bars and restaurants. Temporary authorizations, outdoor service permits, disciplinary hearings, and other administrative actions have been effectively handled by Cooke Law.

Intellectual Property:

Cooke Law has experience in copyright and trademark protection. Trade Dress and Trademarks are important ways for a business owner to protect the investment and the name and goodwill of the business. These matters can be effectively handled by Cooke Law.

INDIVIDUAL SERVICES

Personal Injury and Other Civil Wrongs:

My exposure in the insurance world has given me a broad perspective in personal injury, product liability, auto and other tort based matters. I addition, Cooke Law has considerable experience in employment matters, discrimination, Whistleblowers protection, retaliation, business torts, and defamation. While Cooke Law is principally a defense firm, we have taken on serious and important personal injury and product liability matters for individuals. Often these cases are ones which brother counsel has been either unable or unwilling to take on for a variety of reasons. I have achieved successful results in many of these cases that otherwise would not have not seen the light of day.

Criminal Defense

As a former Assistant Prosecutor, I have prosecuted criminal cases to conclusion ranging from simple misdemeanors to the most serious capital cases. I have strong empathy for victims of crime but, at the same timer, realize people can be wrongfully charged, overcharged, or unable to obtain sentencing concessions that are fair and just. In these special cases, Cooke Law brings its full weight of experience behind you and organizes and presents a strong, tenacious defense. The Criminal Law pendulum has swung away from individual liberties and has focused more on the process of moving people through the system. If you find yourself caught up in the system, with no one to turn to advance your worthy cause, Cooke Law will be your Sword and Shield. Please call for a personal appointment.

License Restoration

Restrictions on or loss of your driver’s license can be one of the most devastating impacts on your personal and business life. Cooke Law has successfully championed difficult license restorations before state tribunals. Your driver’s license, liquor license and other permits are privileges that can be restricted or revoked by the State. If you find yourself facing a difficult battle to restore your valuable licensure, Cooke Law is your resource and advocate.

Get in touch


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Recent Interesting Developments in the Law!


Ruling on prayer divides justices   slide1     ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ COOKE LAW RESPONSE TO RECENT DEVELOPMENTS   Thank you to my friends and clients for their well wishes for my safety due to recent developments in Traverse City.  I cannot comment to a great degree on the pending criminal charges against Mr. Gomery.  However, many have wondered what may have motivated my former adversary to attempt to solicit my early demise.  In that regard, I have attached pleadings that Cooke Law entered into the Bankruptcy Court in the Federal Western District of Michigan.  They highlight the State Court action that lead to a substantial judgment against Mr. Gomery and his law firm.  The debtor was petitioning the Bankruptcy Court to lift the stay on the appeal of the State Court case when he elected to pursue a different track.   Topous Response to Motion to Lift Stay 2289 case Exhibit 1 Signed Judgment Exhibit 2 Order Granting Motion for Sanctions Exhibit 3 Order Assessing Sanctions Exhibit 4 Judge Powers Ruling re Sanctions Exhibit 5 Email Exchange re Bond

Time to Stand Up!


COOKE LAW RESPONSE TO RECENT DEVELOPMENTS   Thank you to my friends and clients for their well wishes for my safety due to recent developments in Traverse City.  I cannot comment to a great degree on the pending criminal charges against Mr. Gomery.  However, many have wondered what may have motivated my former adversary to attempt to solicit my early demise.  In that regard, I have attached pleadings that Cooke Law entered into the Bankruptcy Court in the Federal Western District of Michigan.  They highlight the State Court action that lead to a substantial judgment against Mr. Gomery and his law firm.  The debtor was petitioning the Bankruptcy Court to lift the stay on the appeal of the State Court case when he elected to pursue a different track.   Topous Response to Motion to Lift Stay 2289 case Exhibit 1 Signed Judgment Exhibit 2 Order Granting Motion for Sanctions Exhibit 3 Order Assessing Sanctions Exhibit 4 Judge Powers Ruling re Sanctions Exhibit 5 Email Exchange re Bond  

When is a Hug not a Hug?


A recent controversy in Whitehall, Mi has the town divided as to what to do about an overly-friendly store clerk!  An "Assault" is defined as  a "willful or offensive touching".  Are the actions of this clerk an assault? (click on the link to read more!)