Karl P. Numinen

I believe who we are is shaped by where we come from and how we choose to spend our time.

I am the first person in my family to become a lawyer.  I put myself through law school working full time during the day as an aide to Governor Jim Blanchard and going to classes at night. I did well in law school, taking top honors in Family Law and Trial Skills classes.  I was also elected by my classmates to serve in the Student Senate.

As a young attorney I worked in two of the best (and biggest) law firms in Michigan where I was taught that our clients deserve only the highest standards of practice and professional ethics. I’ve genuinely tried to maintain those high standards throughout my law career.

I left big firm practice to form my own firm with partners who share my commitment to aggressive advocacy and my belief that justice is worth fighting for.  For the past ten years I’ve been teamed up with Steve Pence, a great friend, mentor, and law partner.

I’ve worked hard over the past 20 years to hone my trial skills and become the best and most effective courtroom advocate I can be.  I’ve attended countless seminars and continuing legal education classes to learn from the top criminal defense and family law lawyers in the country. And now twice a year I teach a Master Class on trial skills to the members of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan

I represent people going through the most difficult times of their lives — people accused of serious crimes, struggling with divorce, or suffering from traumatic personal injuries. Where I’ve come from and how I got here uniquely prepared me for my role as a successful courtroom advocate.

In addition to being a partner at Numinen, DeForge & Toutant, PC., Mr. Numinen is Of Counsel to the Barone Defense Firm, the premiere DUI defense firm in Michigan.

Leisure Time

Karl plays trumpet in the Westerly Winds Big Band, an 18-piece jazz band.


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Professional Recognition

  • Super lawyers of Michigan, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • The Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys, Martindale-Hubbell “AV Rating”. 2014, 2015
  • “The Best Lawyers in America,” 2012,2013, 2014, 2015
  • Avvo – Rated “Superb” 10/10 Rating, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, Board of Directors (https://www.Cdamonline.org), 2012 to present
  • Executive Committee, Federal Bar Association, Western District of Michigan, 2012 to present

Professional Member Of

  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Attroneys
  • Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association
  • Member, Family Law Council, State Bar of Michigan (1995-2000)

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Michigan, 1992
  • United States District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1992
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Tribal Court

Criminal Trial Victories

  • “Not Guilty” — In a case that made the front page of The Wall Street Journal, Karl obtained a full acquittal after a jury trial in federal court for his client charged in a multi-count indictment for illegal possession and transportation of explosive materials. Despite photos of Karl’s client handling the materials, snitch testimony with secret recordings, and over a dozen federal witnesses, Karl still got a two-word verdict for his client. The other co-defendant was convicted. (2012)
  • “Not Guilty” — Karl won a not guilty verdict representing a prisoner charged with felony possession of a weapon. Karl’s thorough investigation and his scorching cross examination of the corrections officers demonstrated to the jury that the allegations were untrue. Karl’s client was facing up to life in prison if convicted. (2012)
  • “Not Guilty” — Karl won a criminal sexual assault case after a hard-fought jury trial in state court for his client charged with assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. Karl’s cross examination of the accuser was critical to expose the many inconsistencies in her story thus destroying her credibility. Karl’s client was facing up to 10 years in prison and listing on the Sex Offender Registry, if convicted. (2012)
  • “Not Guilty” — Karl successfully defended a woman indicted for felony aggravated assault with a vehicle. Through the expert testimony of a vehicle test driver and an emergency room physician, Karl was able to show the jury the accuser’s allegations were unbelievable. After a week-long trial, the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict in less than 30 minutes.
  • “Not Guilty” — After being charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to distribute drugs, Karl’s client was the only one of the alleged co-conspirators to take their case to a jury trial and win a full acquittal. According to several jurors who were interviewed after the trial, Karl’s cross examination of the four “snitches” who made deals with the Government in exchange for their testimony was the key to winning his client’s freedom.
  • “Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity” — In a case where a wife stabbed her husband multiple times and was charged with attempted murder, Karl obtained this rare court verdict after he successfully argued the issue of temporary insanity before the trial court.

Civil Jury Trial Victories

  • Independent Contractors — In a case featured in an article on the front page of the Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly, Karl achieved a significant victory in the U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids when he won a jury trial on behalf of his client, an international entertainment agency who was sued by several former workers under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. This “bet the company” dispute was over whether the workers were considered “employees” or “independent contractors.” (2011)
  • Wrongful Termination — Karl won an employment wrongful termination trial and received a jury verdict on behalf of his clients for the total amount of the contract claim.

Appellate Victories

  • State Employee Disability Benefits Victory – in December, 2011, the Michigan Supreme Court affirmed Karl’s victory before the Michigan Court of Appeals, granting his client, a corrections officer, non-duty disability benefits. The published opinion is: Nason vs. State Employee Retirement Board, 290 Mich App 416 (2010).
  • Bank Mishandles Trust — Karl won an appellate reversal of the trial court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of defendant bank in this claim brought on behalf of the beneficiaries of an estate mishandled by the trust department of the defendant bank. The case settled after the appellate victory.
  • Zoning Ordinance Dispute — Karl won appellate reversal of a trial court’s granting summary disposition in favor of defendant township in this zoning ordinance dispute. The victory gave Karl’s clients’ the right to put on the ballot a petition rescinding the objectionable zoning ordinance.
  • Adoption — After a lengthy trial court battle, Karl won the appeal which granted his clients the right to adopt a child they raised as a foster child.
  • Adoption — In a published decision of a special “super panel” of the Michigan Court of Appeals, Karl won a case terminating the parental rights of an convicted felon who refused to consent to the step-parent adoption of his son. The published decision is: In Re: Caldwell, 225 Mich App 801; 571 NW2d 218 (1997), rev’d 228 Mich App 116 (1998), cert denied 457 Mich 865 (1998).