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Eric W. Phelps

Eric W. Phelps

Practice areas:

Adoption, Child Custody, Divorce & Separation, Litigation

About Me

I  was born and raised in Flat Rock, Michigan.  My small town upbringing shaped my conservative values and strong work ethic.  Always patriotic and ever thankful for the benefits of living in America, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during college and earned a commission as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation in 1985.  I served as an officer of Marines from 1985 until 1999, in both active and reserve roles in the United States and overseas.  Durng my years in the Marine Corps, I served as a member of various units cited for superior performance, participated in contingency operations in the eastern Mediterranean in 1989 and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for leadership in 1992.
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1985, a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Mary Washington College in 1995, a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1998, and a Master of Arts in Bioethics from Trinity International University in 2007.


I am admitted to practice law in State of Michigan and the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan in 1998, in the United States Court of Appealsfor the Sixth Circuit in 1999 and in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in 2002.  I regularly litigate cases in all Michigan trial and appellate courts.


Prior to forming the Phelps Legal Group, I served as an associate attorney with the Traverse City law firms of Smith & Johnson, P.C. (1997-1999) and Smith, Haughey, Rice & Roegge, P.C. (1999 to 2004).  I also served as a partner at the Traverse City law firm of Zimmerman, Kuhn, Darling, Boyd, Quandt & Phelps (2004 to 2011).
I am a member of New Hope Community Church, the Christian Legal Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the State Bar of Michigan.  I currently serve on the Michigan Board of Directors for Bethany Christian Services and am the former Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Traverse City Christian Schools.
In my time outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with my family and exploring our state and national outdoor areas.


Practice Areas

Licensed since 1998

  1. Adoption: 30%
    17 years, 200 cases
  2. Divorce & Separation: 25%
    17 years, 400 cases
  3. Child Custody: 25%
    17 years, 350 cases
  4. Litigation: 20%
    17 years, 200 cases



Hourly ($200-250/hour)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

1 total 

  • Robert S. Whims

    I have known Attorney Phelps for approximately 7 years and in that time have litigated a number of cases against him/his clients, and a few where we were on the same side of the relevant issues. He is a dedicated, honorable and fearless attorney. Combined with his level of competence, he is an excellent advocate who I highly recommend.


    Robert Whims Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

Contact Info

Phelps Legal Group, PLC

10850 E. Traverse Highway
Suite 5550
Traverse City, MI, 49684



MIActive And In Good Standing199808/06/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Avvo Contributions

Legal Answers


Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Bar Register of Preeminent LawyersMartindale-Hubbell2015
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2015
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2014
Bar Register of Preeminent LawyersMartindale-Hubbell2014
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2013
Bar Register of Preeminent LawyersMartindale-Hubbell2013
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2012
Bar Register of Preeminent LawyersMartindale-Hubbell2011
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2011
BV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2010
BV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2009
BV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2008
Magna Cum LaudeTrinity International University2007
BV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2006
BV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2005
BV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2004
Final Honors in HistoryMary Washington College1995
Navy Commendation MedalUnited States Marine Corps1992

Work Experience

TitleCompany NameDuration
OwnerPhelps Legal Group, PLC2011 - 2012
PartnerZimmerman, Kuhn, Darling, Boyd, Quandt & Phelps, PLC2004 - 2011
Associate AttorneySmith, Haughey, Rice & Roegge, P.C.1999 - 2004
Associate AttorneySmith & Johnson, P.C.1997 - 1999
OfficerUnited States Marine Corps1985 - 1999


Association NamePosition NameDuration
National Fertility Support CenterBoard Member2011 - Present
Traverse City Christian SchoolsVice-Chairman, Board of Trustees2010 - 2012
American Society for Reproductive MedicineMember2007 - Present
Bethany Christian ServicesBoard Member, Michigan Board2005 - Present
United States District Court for the Eastern District of MichiganMember2002 - Present
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitMember1999 - Present
United States District Court for the Western District of MichiganMember1998 - Present
State Bar of MichiganMember1998 - Present
Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar AssociationMember1998 - Present
Christian Legal SocietyMember1995 - Present

Legal Cases

Case NameOutcome
Patricia Schumacher v Carl Steen, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 294593Michigan Court of Appeals decision in favor of clients, the paternal grandparents
Bethany Lutheran Church v Albert and Marie Porter, et al., Michigan Court of Appeals Docket Nos. 291742 and 291762Michigan Court of Appeals decision in favor of clients and subsequent Trial Court victory in 9 day jury trial
Spectrum Health Hospital v Stephanie Jean Lehr, Michigan Court of Appeals Dicket No. 298688N/A

See all Legal Cases 


Publication NameTitleDate
Traverse City Record EagleNewborn Baby's Mother Arraigned2011
Traverse City Record EagleMom's Have Options2011
Toledo BladeInsurance Claim Denied for Surrogate Carrier2011


School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Trinity International UniversityBioethicsMA - Masters2007
Thomas M. Cooley Law SchoolLawJuris Doctor1998
University of Mary WashingtonHistoryB.L.S.1995
Eastern Michigan UniversityEducation StudiesBS - Bachelor of Science1985

Speaking Engagements

Conference NameTitleDate
Michigan Reproductive Nurses Association Annual ConferenceReproductive Law2012
Monthly WebcastEmbryo Adoption & Donation2011