Civil Litigation

Litigation can be expensive, time consuming, and stressful. Good attorneys need to understand what matters most to their clients before they can best advise them. At Cooper & Riesterer, we do that first. We always strive to get a successful result for our clients, but we understand that success means something different to each client. Returning to business-as-usual as quickly as possible is what many clients want, and we have the experience and know-how to gain leverage in the negotiation process so that this is possible. Others, however, may not be interested in settlement, and as litigators, we stand ever ready to try cases in front of judges and juries. And we are good at it. Our litigators know how to tell your story in a way that juries and judges can understand and relate to. We know how to present the facts, and we know how important it is to call the right witnesses and when it is necessary to hire experts. As top litigators we always have a plan A, B, and C ready to implement in order to achieve your objectives. At the end of the day, we know what it takes to get the job done and we never lose sight of this, even in those cases where trial is not anticipated.

We handle all types of real estate and business disputes through civil litigation and appeals including:

  • Contract Disputes
  • Boundary disputes
  • Shareholder or Member disputes
  • Franchise litigation
  • Misappropriation of trade secrets
  • Non-compete defense or enforcement
  • Uniform Commercial Code disputes and breach of warranties
  • Quiet Title Actions
  • Riparian rights (water law)
  • Easements
  • Seller’s disclosure
  • Fraud and Misrepresentation
  • HOA Deed Restriction Enforcement
  • Construction Liens & Defects
  • Tax and ZBA Appeals
  • Mortgage disputes and foreclosures
  • Municipal and zoning issues
  • Probate litigation
  • Evictions

Contact us today to help you with any potential or existing litigation matter. Our litigators stand ready to assist you or your company with any of their needs.

Mediation | ADR

Sometimes civil disputes are unavoidable. Unfortunately, seeking redress in the court system can be so costly and take so long, that even the winners lose. There are alternatives, including civil mediation and arbitration. Mediation is an interactive, non-binding process where a neutral third party works with the disputing parties to find resolutions to their disputes. It allows the parties to reach an agreement that they are willing to accept. Arbitration involves hiring a neutral third party to act as the decider of the dispute. It is a binding process and involves an informal court hearing where each party is allowed to present its side. Arbitration typically allows the parties to get to a decision more quickly than the traditional court process.

Catherine A. Riesterer is a certified arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and is trusted within the Michigan legal community as an experienced and neutral mediator. Attorneys and judges often appoint Ms. Riesterer to arbitrate or mediate matters ranging from real estate to business disputes.


Even the best judges make mistakes. Nothing is more frustrating than spending time and money in court and not prevailing. That court ruling does not have to be the final answer. Cooper & Riesterer has experienced appellate attorneys who can review your case and determine whether there are good and sufficient grounds to proceed with an appeal. We are often hired by other law firms to handle their appeals. Appeals, by their nature, entail many procedural and legal nuances that are not present at the trial court level. Our attorneys have the knowledge to navigate these nuances in order to reach the result that is most favorable for our clients. Attorney Abby Cooper previously clerked at the Michigan Court of Appeals and interned for the Michigan Supreme Court. Her experience at the two highest levels of state appellate courts gives her valuable insight into the issues and arguments that are well-received by appellate judges. And, of course, before proceeding, we will have the honest conversation with you about the cost of the appeal and the odds of prevailing.

Whether you want to appeal a ruling in an administrative or local hearing or a circuit court, our team has the experience and skill to give you the best chances for success.

Areas of Practice

  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Commercial & Residential Real Estate
  • Business & Real Estate Litigation
  • Franchise Law
  • Estate Planning