Joel E. Bair
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Joel Bair


If you were given the opportunity to sail a 40-foot boat through the North Channel, would you take it?

Most of us would.

How about the 40-foot boat, the North Channel, and a dozen high school students as your crew?


Many among us might try it once, but Joel Bair has skippered that boat and a fresh batch of kids for 17 consecutive years, armed with little more than his iron backbone, an informed perspective on life’s gifts, and his characteristic lopsided and knowing smile. Imagine a few well placed aphorisms under the stars, parables culled from the lives of historic figures as the waves lap against the hull, harmonies rising from chaos as a dozen young people learn, quite literally, to make room for other people in their world.

On a McGarry Bair team, Joel is not the one doing most of the talking. He listens, he digests, he assures that each kind of strength is brought to bear on the solution. He brings years of diverse experience to the table. He develops and sharpens the team’s perspective. And then, with a few choice words softened and strengthened by that knowing smile, he frames the problem clearly and posits the solution succinctly. Chaos comes to order. Harmony springs from cacophony. There is smooth sailing.



Indiana Institute of Technology (B.S.A.E., high honors, 1971); University of Notre Dame (M.S., 1975; J.D., 1974).


Related Experience

Adjunct Professor, Patent Law Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 1991. Lt., JAGC, U.S. Navy, 1975-1978.


Bar Admissions

1975, Michigan; 1978, Texas; Registered to Practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth and Federal Circuits; U.S. Court of Military Appeals; U.S. Court of Claims.



State Bar of Michigan (Chair, Intellectual Property Law Section, 1996-1997); State Bar of Texas (Member, Intellectual Property Law Section); American Bar Association (Member, Intellectual Property Law Section); International Trademark Association (Member, Information Services Committee); Christian Legal Society.



Author: “Protecting Trademarks,” Businesship, Vol. III, No. 2, March-April 1992. “Crossing the Line of Protected Trade Dress,” Grand Rapids Business Journal, July 18, 1993. Speaker: Speaker “Copyright Law” Education Media Specialist Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan. April 2000; Flint, Michigan; May 2001. Co-Author “A Practical Guide to E Business Law” Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2001. Co-Author “Buying and Selling a Business in Michigan,” Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2002.