News & Events

Smith Haughey Welcomes Three Attorneys

February 03, 2020

Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge is pleased to announce that attorneys Laura A. Johnson, Jonathan Koch, and Jonathan Paasch have joined the firm’s Grand Rapids office. All three attorneys are litigators, adding to Smith Haughey’s deep-rooted and growing litigation practices. Laura Johnson specializes in medical malpractice defense, Jonathan Koch in civil appeals and commercial litigation, and Jonathan Paasch in a wide array of civil litigation matters.

“We’re very excited to welcome these attorneys to the firm,” said Smith Haughey CEO Matt Wikander. “Smith Haughey is the go-to trial and litigation firm in the State of Michigan and these three will certainly enhance our existing teams and provide further depth to our capabilities.”

Laura Johnson is an associate attorney whose practice focuses on medical malpractice defense litigation. Laura represents hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers throughout the state in all stages of litigation.

Prior to joining Smith Haughey, Laura gained considerable experience working as a medical malpractice plaintiff’s attorney in both Detroit and Grand Rapids. Laura’s experience as a plaintiff’s attorney allows her a unique and advantageous perspective in litigating for the defense. Laura is well versed in all aspects of litigation and has been involved in multiple trials of high value malpractice cases.

Laura earned her J.D. from Wayne State University Law School. She made the most of her time in law school by participating in multiple extracurricular and academic activities. Laura participated in the Disability Law Clinic, interned for a Wayne County Circuit Court judge, worked as a research assistant for the Dean of Students, and interned with the City of Livonia law department. In addition, Laura was involved with Moot Court and achieved honors as a semi-finalist at the Cardozo Moot Court Competition in New York City. Prior to graduating from Wayne State University Law School in 2012, Laura received the Silver Key Award for academic accomplishments and received the Book Award in Environmental Law. Laura earned her B.S. in Health Sciences from Grand Valley State University where she graduated with honors from the Honors College. She also holds an M.S. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.  

Jonathan Koch is an associate in Smith Haughey’s litigation practice group. He focuses his practice on civil appeals, professional liability defense, and high-stakes commercial litigation. In addition to extensive experience briefing complex issues in Michigan’s trial courts, he has litigated dozens of appeals in the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Before joining Smith Haughey, Jonathan was a member of a nationally recognized appellate practice group at a leading Detroit-area litigation firm. And, before that, he served as a judicial law clerk for Michigan Supreme Court Justice David F. Viviano.

Jonathan graduated from Andrews University with a B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science and English Literature. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. While in law school, Jonathan interned with the Solicitor General of Michigan and Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He also worked to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals as a student attorney with the Michigan Innocence Clinic.

Jonathan Paasch is an associate attorney and native of Grand Rapids who has worked in the West Michigan community for his entire professional career. He started his career in law enforcement, serving more than 15 years for various police departments including the City of Wyoming and City of Walker, as well as an assignment to the Kent County Sheriff’s department as a narcotics detective. Jonathan also served as a patrol officer, school liaison officer, hostage negotiator, special response team member, detective, and patrol supervisor.

Jonathan left law enforcement in December of 2016 and was admitted to the Michigan Bar in May of 2017. His previous investigative experience lends well to his primary practice areas which include insurance defense litigation, premise liability, construction law, governmental law, employment law, Michigan no-fault litigation, and personal injury. Jonathan prides himself on customer service and meeting the client’s needs and expectations at every step of the process.

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