Biography of David C. Sarnacki – Your Trusted Divorce & Family Law Attorney

David C. Sarnacki concentrates his practice in the areas of family law, mediation, and collaborative divorce. He is a past chairperson of the Grand Rapids Bar Association’s Family Law Section (2003) and of the State Bar of Michigan’s Family Law (2006-2007), Litigation (2000-2001), and Law Practice Management (1995-1996) sections. A frequent commentator on trial advocacy, family law, and mediation, Mr. Sarnacki has served on the faculties of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy/Hofstra University School of Law, U.S. Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, and Davenport University, and is a regular speaker for ICLE. He has been selected as one of “The Best Lawyers in America,” a “Michigan Super Lawyer,” and a Member of the “Nation’s Top One Percent” in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Since 1985, Mr. Sarnacki has concentrated his practice on courtroom advocacy and dispute resolution across a broad spectrum of matters, large and small, including discretely handling high-conflict custody matters and high-income, high-asset divorce matters.



  • United States Supreme Court, 1994
  • United States District Court, Northern District, California, 1993
  • Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1989
  • United States District Courts, Michigan, 1989-1990
  • State Courts of Michigan, 1989
  • Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1986
  • United States District Courts, Wisconsin, 1985
  • State Courts of Wisconsin, 1985


  • Marquette University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1985
  • Marquette University, B.A., 1982
  • U of D Jesuit, cum laude, 1978


  • State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section, 2006-2007 Chair
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association, 2005-2007 Secretary
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association, Family Law Section, 2003 Chair
  • State Bar of Michigan Litigation Section, 2000-2001 Chair
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association, 1997-2000 Trustee
  • State Bar of Michigan Law Practice Management Section, 1995-1996 Chair
  • Kent County Circuit Court Mediator/Case Evaluator
  • Trial and Mediation Skills Instructor, National Institute of Trial Advocacy/Hofstra University School of Law (New York, 2006)
  • Trial Skills Instructor, United States Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute (Washington, D.C., 1988-1989)
  • Trial Practice Instructor, Davenport University (Grand Rapids, 2001-2003)
  • Frequent Faculty Member, Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Ann Arbor, 1995-present)


  • Member, Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey, PLC, 1989-2001
  • Assistant United States Attorney, Western District, Wisconsin, 1985-1989


  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals


  • Selected as a Best Lawyers in America’s 2019 Lawyer of the Year for Collaborative Law: Family Law
  • Selected as a Member of the “Nation’s Top One Percent” in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Selected As One Of The Best Lawyers In America For Family Law (Top 2.4% in Country)
  • Designated Super Lawyer (top 5% in Michigan)
  • Awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Rating (top 11% in nation, very high ethics, very high to preeminent legal ability)
  • Master, American Inns of Court
  • Accepted as Fellow in Michigan State Bar Foundation (limited to 5% of Michigan attorneys)
  • Cited as an authority by United States Supreme Court (law review comment)
  • Awarded Inspector General’s Integrity Award by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • Commended by the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism for his writing on legal topics
  • Trained as Mediator and Collaborative Divorce Attorney
  • Judicial Intern, Hon. John L. Coffey, Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Marquette University Law School, Law Review, 1984-1985 Editor in Chief
  • U.S. Department of Justice Security Clearances (Secret)


  • Legal Aid of Western Michigan, Pro Bono Program
  • Legal Assistance Center
  • Parish of St. Stephen
  • Grand Rapids Catholic Central
  • Grand Rapids Foundation
  • Leadership Grand Rapids
  • Citizens League Task Force on Affordable Housing
  • Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism (GRACE)
  • Grand Rapids Parent Magazine
  • Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration
  • West Michigan Public Broadcasting

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