Senior Counsel

Dewane, John E.

Profile & Practice Areas

The Honorable John E. Dewane, recently retired Berrien County Circuit Court Judge, leads Kotz Sangster’s office in St. Joseph, Michigan. He has an extensive background in public sector work, commercial litigation, and labor and employment law. Prior to taking the Bench in 2008, he had a successful private practice in St. Joseph spanning nearly 40 years.

John has a sterling reputation both in the legal community and the community at large, due in part to his depth of experience and dedication to client services. He is an active member of numerous professional, civic and community organizations. John’s specialized legal skills complement the expanding range of services offered to clients throughout Southwest and West Michigan.

One of the most exceptional jurists to ever serve Southwest Michigan, John was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Berrien County Bar Association in 2017.

Practice Areas

Honors & Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell, Rated AV-Preeminent
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation - 2022
  • ​Berrien County Bar Association, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017
  • Leading Lawyers, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR Law), 2019-2021
  • State Bar of Michigan, 50-Year Honoree, 2020

Professional Associations

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Berrien County Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • ​Cornerstone Alliance, Board of Directors
  • Berrien-Cass-Van Buren Workforce Development Board & Private Industry Council, Board of Directors
  • Berrien County Mental Health Board, Chairman
  • Link Crisis Intervention Center, Board of Directors
  • YMCA of St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, Board of Directors
  • Western Amateur Golf Committee, Chairperson
  • Big Michigan Doings, Board of Directors, President