Peterson Paletta Balice

Attorney Cara L. Cortes

Grand Rapids & Ionia Lawyers

Ionia Attorney Cara L CortesCara earned her Juris Doctorate degree, cum laude, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in January of 2008. During her legal studies, she completed an externship with Peterson Paletta Balice, PLC. Before attending law school she worked as a paralegal for two large West Michigan law firms.

Cara focuses her practice on the following areas:

  • Business organization and planning. Cara assists small, medium, and large businesses with issues closely-held companies typically encounter, from the early stages of entity selection, startup, and succession planning to complex construction, franchise, loan, and real estate transactions.
  • Business transactions. While working with clients in the manufacturing, transportation, and service industries, Cara assists with ongoing business matters relating to asset purchases, supply agreements, contract formation, non-compete negotiation and enforcement, secured transactions, franchise acquisitions, and loan and lease workouts.
  • Real estate services. Cara represents individuals and businesses in both residential and commercial real estate transactions, providing assistance with purchases, leases, land contracts, and tax appeals.
  • Business and real estate litigation. Cara’s practice includes the litigation of breaches of contract and non-competition agreements, tortious interference and misrepresentation matters, lien and land contract forfeitures and foreclosures, and property interest determinations.
  • Estate planning and administration. Cara assists individuals and couples alike with both simple and complex estate planning issues, including will, power of attorney, and trust preparation, probate avoidance techniques, funding concerns, and special needs considerations.


  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School, JD, cum laude, January 2008
  • Davenport University, BS, Paralegal Studies, with highest honors, May 2004

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Michigan, 2008

Representative Matters

  • Cara’s business client sought her assistance after construction liens exceeding $200,000 were placed on its property due to its contractor’s misappropriation of construction funds. Cara assisted in reducing the client’s liability by over $200,000, successfully clearing all liens from the property.
  • Cara was approached by a business client after a judgment exceeding $450,000 was entered against it. Cara assisted the client in negotiating a workout with plaintiff’s counsel, obtaining a complete satisfaction of judgment with no money out of pocket for the client.
  • Upon the State of Michigan appealing a client’s property classification, it claimed the client owed in excess of $40,000 in back property taxes. Cara assisted the client in defending the appeal, obtaining a dismissal and resulting in no liability to the client.
  • Assisted a business client in a threatened preferential transfer action, helping to absolve the client of liability in excess of $50,000.
  • Assisted in the negotiation, documentation, and closing of the membership buyout of a large Michigan-based real estate company.
  • Represented client in purchasing the real estate and assets of a Michigan race track.

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