Joseph VanHorn

Joseph Van Horn


David Long (Assistant) – 517-324-1032 or

Joseph Van Horn is a member of the Board of Directors and is a shareholder.  He has practiced law for over 20 years. He is also the Chair of the Marketing Committee of the firm. Mr. Van Horn is a member of the firm’s Medical Malpractice and Insurance Groups. He specializes in defending physicians against medical malpractice claims and defending alleged at-fault drivers in third party auto insurance litigation. He has many years of experience in handling matters in court in which he has drafted and answered discovery requests, drafted motions, attended court hearings, has taken various depositions of both lay witnesses and expert witnesses, and he has handled all steps of the litigation process including lead counsel for trials.

Joe Van Horn focuses on complex civil litigation involving the defense of medical malpractice clients, as well as advising clients on numerous health care issues and topics. He also handles auto insurance defense for both first and third party.  Mr. Van Horn’s extensive medical knowledge makes him very valuable to his client’s in court.  His legal experience involves practice in both federal and state courts, as well as administrative hearings. He has also successfully defended verdicts and motions on appeal.

Trial/Litigation Success

For over twenty years, Joe has worked tirelessly to represent his clients. From discovery and motion practice, to depositions and hearings, to jury trial and appeals, he provides thorough and meticulous representation at all stages of the legal process.

Since 2004, Joe has focused much of his practice on medical malpractice defense and insurance issues. Representative physician and healthcare specialties have included orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, infectious disease, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, anesthesia, podiatry, emergency medicine, jail medicine, pathology, physical medicine and rehabilitation/pain medicine, family medicine, and dentistry.

Joe also has extensive experience with health care law, having advised a number of health care organizations as general counsel on complex health care topics, including medical practice formation and registration, health care contracting, licensing and disciplinary investigations, physician supervision rules, advance practice provider regulations, telemedicine, and health care reimbursement and compliance.. He has also been the Chief Compliance Officer for several healthcare entities.

Prior to joining Willingham & Cote, Joe also spent a number of years primarily engaged in the defense of police officers in Denver, Colorado.

Since October of 2019, Joe has managed the Traverse City office of Willingham & Cote, which is located in the North Peak building on historic Front Street in downtown Traverse City.

Community Involvement

In his spare time, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He enjoys many different sports as well as travel and hiking with his family. He is currently on the Board of Governors of the Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association and is a member of that bar as well as the Ingham County Bar.

  • Allbee v McClure, et al., unpublished per curiam opinion of Court of Appeals, Docket No. 350128 (January 7, 2021)
  • Kava v. Peters, 450 Fed Appx 470 (6th Circuit, Dec. 7, 2011)
  • Morden v. Baase, unpublished per curiam opinion of Court of Appeals, Docket No. 285024 ( Aug. 6, 2009)
  • Cripps v. Mecosta County General Hosp., unpublished per curiam opinion of Court of Appeals, Docket Nos. 262951, 262962 (Feb. 23, 2006)


  • Michigan (all state courts)
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Western District of Michigan – federal
  • Eastern District of Michigan – federal
  • South Dakota state courts (all state courts)
  • Iowa – inactive
  • Colorado – inactive


  • Super Lawyers Rising Star 2012
  • ICLE Probate and Estate Planning Certificate


  • Michigan State University (B.A. 1995)
  • Drake University Law School (J.D. Cum Laude 1998)

Joseph Van Horn in the News