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About me

I am a health-literacy lawyer, plain-language consultant, and law professor.  I create clear, user-friendly legal documents that people can understand. It is very rewarding to take a hard-to-read document and turn it into something that is usable. Over the years, I've drafted all sorts of documents: from employment and labor agreements to healthcare consent forms, life-science agreements, user agreements, and all sorts of corporate contracts. 


I am an expert on informed consent and often speak on how to create effective organizational processes that both engage the patient and better protect the healthcare organization. I have spoken for the Institute of Medicine and the FDA on informed consent, risk communication, and best practices for communicating clear messages to the public. Additionally, I have presented seminars and webinars for many health organizations, such as United Health Group, Maximus, and the Institute for Healthcare Advancement. 


As a law professor, I have taught many subjects over my twelve years in academia. I teach Property, Torts, and each one of my school's legal writing courses.  


Simply put, I am a strategic communicator. I know how to use words to help people accomplish their goals. I'm an expert healthcare drafter, plain-language writer, and editor. I also am an effective public speaker, who knows how to engage audiences and convey technical information in clear, practical ways. So if you're looking to infuse clear communication into all facets of your organization, please contact me. Together, we can help your organization succeed. 

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Photos and videos

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Practice areas

Licensed

  1. Contracts: 40%
    12 years
  2. Health Care: 40%
    5 years
  3. Employment: 15%
    3 years
  4. Appeals: 5%

Payment

Fees:

Hourly ($200-350/hour), Fixed (always), Pro bono (10%)

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

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  • Aaron S. Coltrane

    I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to endorse Christopher Trudeau. As a professor, he is the best of the best, bar none, and as an attorney, his continuous work perfecting the idea of plain-language, user-friendly legal documentation is something to be admired and regularly implemented. He is a consummate professional who possesses a brilliant legal mind along with the ability to effortlessly communicate complex issues in a clear, unambiguous and understandable fashion. The positive impact that he has had on my legal career is incalculable, and I strongly urge anyone in need of his legal services to look no further. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

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    Aaron Coltrane Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Western Michigan University - Thomas M. Cooley Law School

111 Commerce Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
MIActive And In Good Standing200305/14/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Awards
Award nameGrantorDate granted
2016 Scholarship Grant RecipientLexisNexis2016
2010 Scholarship Grant RecipientLexisNexis/ALWD/LWI2010
Adult Volunteer of the Year AwardCapital Area United Way2007
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Tenured ProfessorWestern Michigan University - Thomas M Cooley Law School2004 - Present
Associate AttorneyPlunkett & Cooney2001 - 2004
Associations
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Bar FoundationFellow2016 - Present
Michigan Bar FoundationFellow2014 - Present
State Bar of Michigan, Publications and Website Advisory CommitteeCommittee Members2009 - Present
Publications
Publication nameTitleDate
National Academies PressEstablishing Harmony Between The Law & Health Literacy2015
The Scribes Journal of Legal WritingThe Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication2012
Michigan Bar JournalAchieving Clarity: Eight Data-Driven Tips for Legal Communication2012
Education
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Thomas M. Cooley Law SchoolN/AJD - Juris Doctor2002
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Health Literacy Conference 2016Effectively Communicating Risk2016
Health Law InstitueHealth Literacy: What It Is & Why It Matters to Your Health Law Practice2016
FDA Risk Communication Advisory CommitteeRisky Business: Prioritizing Risk Information in FDA-Mandated Documents2016
Business Law InstituteThe Clear Drafter's Toolbox: Ten Tips for Creating Clear Legal Documents2016
Business Law InstituteMaking the Case for Plain Language: How Clear Legal Communication Will Help Your Practice2016
Bioethics ConferenceEthical Communication in Human-Subjects Research2016
Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health LiteracyEstablishing Harmony Between the Law & Health Literacy2014
FDA Training SessionPersuasive Evidence for Using Plain Language in the FDA2014
Plain Talk 2012Swimming with the Sharks: Strategies for Convincing Lawyers (and Other Guilty Parties) to Adopt Plain Language2012