Christopher Kessel


With over 7 years of practicing law, Chris Kessel has become one of the most well respected and trial tested attorneys in the Metro Detroit area.  Chris began his legal career as an Associate Defender at the Legal Aid & Defender Officer of Wayne County.  During this time Chris represented clients in over 700 cases, including successfully defending clients in dozens of felony trials.  This initial experience allowed Chris to build the foundation necessary to become one of the top criminal attorneys in Michigan.

During his time at Legal Aid in Wayne County Chris dealt primarily with criminal felony charges in the busiest district and circuit court in the country. These initial cases consisted of representing  clients charged with various drug charges, assault and battery charges, weapons and firearms charges, and drunk driving charges. However, within a year he was assigned cases involving armed robbery, carjacking, various sex offenses and attempted murder. Now Chris routinely represents defendants charged with high-level felonies, which have recently included charges such as kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, attempted murder and various levels of homicide.  In 2015 alone, Chris Kessel obtained verdicts of not guilty on charges of first degree – premeditated murder, felony murder, criminal sexual conduct – first degree, armed robbery, operating under the influence, domestic violence, and felonious assault, among others. 

Working in the criminal sphere has given Chris the chance to work daily with both prosecutors and judges earning their respect and trust. These relationships are important not only because they allow Chris to advise his clients on their best course or action, but also because they allow Chris to obtain results unachievable by many attorneys.  Moreover, the respect earned by Chris from judges and prosecutors across the metro area serve as proof of the quality of his legal representation.  These relationships are part of what has helped Chris become one of Michigan’s top criminal defense attorneys.

During his time in practice, Chris Kessel has also become one of a small number of top drunk driving (OWI) attorneys in Michigan.  With his knowledge of drunk driving laws, punishments and fines, Chris has been able to secure excellent resolutions of cases for his clients across the State of Michigan.  Chris also regularly represents clients who have lost their license as a result of an OWI.  By knowing the ins and outs of driver’s license restoration, Chris is able to successfully represent his clients who wish to have their licenses restored.

Through all of his criminal defense practice, Chris has been able to help to better the lives of his individual clients.  However, it was his work on the Deboer v Snyder case (the challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage) that gave Chris a chance to better the lives of millions of lives across the country.  Chris was one of a small group of attorneys who fought against those who wished to deny same-sex couples their constitutional rights, in a case that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

While Chris specializes in litigating cases and has amassed an impressive success rate in trial, he is also an extremely effective brief writer and motion practitioner. Chris spent time working with the Chief Judge of the Eastern District Federal Court in Detroit, where he gained the unique perspective on what judges look for in an effective argument. Whether in criminal, family law, or civil practice, Chris has written and argued motions that have successfully disposed of any number of cases.

In 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Chris was selected as one of Michigan’s Rising Stars by Super Lawyers. Each year, no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in Michigan are selected to receive this honor. 

2012 Super Lawyers Badge.

In 2013 Chris was again selected as one of Michigan’s Rising Stars by Super Lawyers. 

In 2014, Chris was again selected as one of Michigan’s Rising Stars by Super Lawyers.

2015 Super Lawyers badge.