William R. Bates

William R. Bates, a partner since 2011, at LENNON, MILLER, O’CONNOR & BARTOSIEWICZ, PLC, was born and raised in Central Africa to missionary parents.  He received a B.A. from Spring Arbor University with Majors in Chemistry (Honors) and History, and a Minor in Business Administration.  He obtained his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.

Mr. Bates clerked for the Honorable Richard Ryan Lamb and Honorable William G. Schma in the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court after law school.  He joined the Kalamazoo insurance defense firm, YORK & MILLER, PC, in 1991, which became YORK & TIDERINGTON, PC, in 1997 – where he practiced for 20+ years.

Mr. Bates has a broad range of experience in civil litigation and general civil practice, including insurance defense, insurance agents and brokers’ defense, negligence and No-Fault law, workers’ compensation defense, utility law, probate and estate planning, business and property law and appellate practice.

Licensed to practice in all Federal and State Courts in the State of Michigan and State of Indiana, Mr. Bates is also admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Mr. Bates has taught business courses as adjunct professor for Spring Arbor University, and has been a seminar presenter for Lorman Educational Services in the area of Workers’ Compensation law.

How Much Is Enough:  A Problem for Insurance Agents, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, Newsbriefs, September 1993 (Co-Author).

Defending Cardiovascular and Mental Disability Claims Post Farrington and Gardner, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, Newsbriefs, Spring 1995 (Co-Author).

Mr. Bates is involved in the Kalamazoo County, State of Michigan and the American Bar Association, most recently serving as President of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association (2016-2017).  He has been an Associate Member of the Greater Kalamazoo Independent Insurance Agents Association.  In the past he served as Regional Counsel for the Legal Advisory Network for the Free Methodist Church of North America, and he served a number of years on the Board of Youth For Christ, Kalamazoo.  He is an active member of the Portage Free Methodist Church, including having served on its Board of Elders and Leadership Committees.


Mr. Bates enjoys rugby and soccer – he has served as an AYSO Referee for 15+ years; traveling is one of his passions.

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