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About Us

The Liquor Industry: A Family Legacy

A Family Firm, Five Decades in the Making

Stariha & Brower, PLC, is a law firm five decades in the making. Our roots stretch back to 1961, when Jim Stariha was sworn into the Michigan Bar. Exactly 50 years later, Jim's grandson, Michael Brower, followed in his grandfather's footsteps and was sworn into the Michigan Bar. It was on that day that Jim Stariha formally announced the creation of our firm, Stariha & Brower, PLC.

By combining their forces, Jim and Michael have created an undeniably unique firm. In addition to fifty years of experience working as a West Michigan lawyer, Jim provides an unequaled expertise in Michigan liquor law. While Michael cannot boast fifty years of experience, he brings to Stariha & Brower an intimate knowledge of the recent changes in Michigan liquor law, a deep familiarity with the food & beverage industry, an ownership interest in a Michigan micro brewery, and a constant drive to succeed. As a result, Stariha & Brower is uniquely positioned to handle liquor licensing for both retailers and manufacturers, violations, business law matters, and all other issues our clients may encounter.

A Family Legacy, Five Generations in the Liquor Trade

The attorneys at Stariha & Brower, PLC, have a unique perspective on the "liquor trade." For five generations, members of our family have engaged in one facet or another of the liquor business. Shortly after coming to this country, our family opened a saloon in Ely, MN. The Agnich Bros. Saloon operated continuously through the late-1930s. Since that time, every generation of our family has had at least one member engaged in liquor sales, transportation, or licensing. In addition to Michael's legal practice, he is also a co-owner of Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, in Muskegon, MI. This legacy and experience gives Stariha & Brower a unique understanding of the struggles and needs of our clients. Our family history is also a great source of pride, as we continuously seek to uphold and further the family legacy.

A Statewide Liquor Licensing Firm

Although Stariha & Brower, PLC, is based out of West Michigan, our client base covers the entire state of Michigan. Through the use of email, cellphones, faxes, Skype, and a technology centric office, we are able to work with clients from New Buffalo to Traverse City to Marquette in the same day.

This method of operation and communication benefits our clients in multiple ways:

We bill for significantly less "windshield time," ensuring that our clients are only charged for travel time when the circumstances require our in-person attention. Our statewide presence provides us with relationships among state employees, local governments, and other helpful resources throughout the state of Michigan. Furthermore, constant monitoring of transactions throughout the state provides us with a holistic perspective of current developments, newly arising concerns, market conditions, and other factors that could affect our clients in any part of the state.

Not Your Typical Law Firm

A primary factor in Michael's decision to leave Chicago, return to Michigan, and start Stariha & Brower, PLC, was a strong distrust of the "BigLaw" firms that filled the large city. While Stariha & Brower utilizes many of the same methods employed by successful firms, we strive to do so in a way that is personal - the "small town approach." Every client receives our cellphone numbers; when feasible, we remain available to take calls at night and on weekends. Our work schedules do not run 9-5, but are dictated by client's needs. We do not utilize billable hourly quotas; instead, we focus on saving our clients money by handling matters as quickly and efficiently as possible. At Stariha & Brower, our practice revolves around one central ideal: Taking every step necessary to ensure our clients' success.

A Family Business