Christopher Yates ’87

Christopher Yates was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Court of Appeals – District 3, effective April 18, 2022. 

Yates is currently a judge with the 17th Circuit Court of Kent County. He has been with the circuit court since 2008 where he presides over a specialized business docket and has previously handled civil, criminal, and family dockets. Prior to his time with the courts, Judge Yates was a partner with Yates, LaGrand & Denenfeld, PLLC and Willey, Chamberlain & Yates, LLP. He has also served as the chief defender for the Federal Public Defender’s Office, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and as an attorney and advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice.  Judge Yates began his law career as a law clerk to Chief U.S. District Judge James Churchill and to U.S. Appellate Judge Ralph Guy.