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 at Hofstra University’s School of Law, the U.S. Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, and Davenport University. He is also a regular speaker for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Mr. Sarnacki 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” by 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 divorces.



  • 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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