University of MichiganB.A., 1990
- With Honors
University of MichiganJ.D., 1992
- The Legal 500 United States
- "Recommended Lawyer"
- American Arbitration Association
- Commercial Panel Member
- Litigation Counsel of America
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
- Commercial Litigation
- Best Lawyers in America®
- Commercial Litigation, Litigation- Banking & Finance and Intellectual Property, 2012-2021
- "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Banking and Finance, 2017, 2019, 2021
- Michigan Super Lawyers®
- Business Litigation, 2008-2020
- "Top 100 Lawyers," 2020
- DBusiness Magazine
- "Top Lawyers," Commercial Litigation
- Managing Intellectual Property
- "IP Star," 2015-2021
- U.S. District Court, E.D. Michigan
- Honoree for Pro Bono Work
- Oakland County Bar Association
- Distinguished Service Award, 2009
- Frances R. Avadenka Community Service Award, 2014
- JPMorgan Chase, N.A.
- Universal Music Group, Inc. (and related companies and artists)
- HCP, Inc.
Commercial and Automotive Industry Litigation
Fully prevailed in a six week "bet the company" AAA arbitration in Chicago defending FTD Florists' Association against corporate partner, including an award of attorney and expert fees to our client.
Defended FANUC Robotics North America, Inc. in a $30 million complex commercial arbitration after which the panel awarded only de minimis damages (less than 0.5% of the amounts claimed).
Obtained full damages for breach of contract, fraud and tortious interference in two week Oakland County jury trial.
Obtained full damages in Wayne County Circuit Court bench trial for breach of contract and veil piercing.
Represented numerous clients in UCC supplier disputes, including defeating buyer’s claim that its "pricing matrix" constituted a long-term steel supply contract amidst sky-rocketing global steel prices.
In federal court jury trial, obtained no-cause of action verdict on multi-million dollar counter-claim in a commercial dispute involving resale of telecommunications services.
Prevailed in two week federal court bench trial for road construction company against structural steel vendor, receiving damages and defeating counter-claim.
Nationwide prosecution of enforcement actions on behalf of various banks, lenders and financial institution clients, including three year litigation in federal court involving
$20 million loan in which we obtained receiver and preliminary injunction after evidentiary hearing demonstrating fraudulent handling of assets.
Represented former officers and directors of largest Michigan HMO in three year fraud litigation; after prevailing on venue contest, affirmed on appeal, litigated claim to resolution with zero payment by Dickinson Wright clients.
Represented both claimants and respondents in AAA and ICC arbitrations and post-award federal court motions, including claims involving Korean automotive supplier dispute, Argentinean automotive supplier and Iraqi financial services company.
Shareholder Disputes, Trade Secrets and Non-Competes
Represented numerous clients in "business divorce" and shareholder/partner disputes, including securing summary judgment dismissing a $100 million minority shareholder oppression claim.
Obtained a judgment for full damages for JPMorgan Chase against former top executive under clawback agreements for violation of non-competition agreement.
Prevailed for full damages in AAA arbitration against former employee who breached a non-competition agreement with accounting firm.
After bench trial, obtained 5 year injunction and more than $2 million in damages for celebrity chef's violation of non-compete and conversion.
Successfully litigated numerous trade secret matters, including prosecution against former employees in two week federal court trial and the defense of company and its top executive against claims by former employer in the landmark case that established the "inevitable disclosure" doctrine in Michigan.
Numerous actions on behalf of doctors, medical practices and physician groups involving control contests, office breakups and non-competes. Author of leading article on physician and attorney non-competes in Michigan.
Copyright, IP & Entertainment Litigation
As lead counsel for Universal Music Group and related entities and associated artists (including Lady Gaga, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige and Dr. Dre), prevailed in copyright claims, commercial disputes and defamation actions in Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Victories include dismissal of copyright infringement action and award of over $500,000 in sanctions for “campaign of fraud” committed by plaintiffs and their counsel.
Successfully prevailed on motion for Motown-era songwriters against major label in dispute regarding copyright recapture and assignment of songwriter agreements, resulting in multi-million dollar settlement.
Counsel for Apple and Universal Music in Michigan trial involving claims by Eminem copyright holders over royalties from iTunes downloads.
For Harley-Davidson, defeated plaintiff's claim for violation of right of publicity based upon alleged use of his likeness on a product.
Lead counsel in Chicago federal court involving claims of jewelry copyright infringement.
Obtained summary judgment of claims of copyright infringement in California federal court regarding on-line message board software.
Fully prevailed at trial for a distributor of Aveda products against the purveyor of grey market goods based upon a novel theory of unfair competition under Michigan law.
Prevailed after jury trial for producer against Detroit rock bank for unpaid royalties.
- American Arbitration Association, Commercial Panel Member
- Local Rules Advisory Committee, U.S. District Court, E.D. Mich. (Chair 2015-2016)
- American Bar Association
- Council for Section of Litigation (2019-present)
- Intellectual Property Litigation Committee (Chair, 2012-2015)
- Trial Practice Committee (Chair, 2016-2019)
- State Bar of Michigan
- Officer and Executive Committee member (2019-present)
- Board of Commissioners (2013-2016, 2017-present)
- Fellow, State Bar Foundation
- Committee on Civil Procedure and Courts (Chair, 2011-2014)
- Representative Assembly (Chair, 2015-2016)
- Committee on Civil Discovery Court Rule Review (Chair)
- Oakland County Bar Association, Sustaining Member
- Board of Directors (2011-2020), President (2019-2020)
- Oakland County Inns of Court, Executive Committee Member & Master
- Oakland County Bar Foundation, Fellow (President, 2013-2014)
- Federal Bar Association, U.S. District Court, E.D. Michigan
- Board of Directors & Executive Committee (2013-2015)
- The Community House (Birmingham, MI), Board Member (2010-2020)
- Author, Restoring Balance to the MBCA: Shareholder Oppression and Derivative Actions, State Bar of Michigan Business Law Journal, Fall 2020
- Presenter, Wayne State University Symposium on Corporate Oppression (2020)
- Author, Getting What You Need (& Sometimes What You Want) Under the New Discovery Rules, State Bar of Michigan Litigation Journal (Winter 2020)
- Presenter, Shareholder Derivative Actions, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Annual Conference (2019)
- Co-Author, The Risk of Silence: Allocating the Risks of Buyers and Sellers Through the Use of Pro- and Anti-Sandbagging Provisions, Business Law Journal (State Bar of Michigan), Spring 2019
- Co-Author, Michigan Court Rules Practice (Thompson Reuters 2018)
- Co-Author, With Non-Competes under Attack, What Role for the Courts?, Litigation Journal (State Bar of Michigan), Winter 2018
- Co-Author, Effective Strategies in Drafting and Enforcing Non-Competes, Litigation (ABA, Winter 2018)
- Co-Author, Merger and Integration Clauses and Fraud: What Dies With the Deal?, SBM The Litigation Journal (Winter 2017)
- Co-Author, Compelling and Staying Arbitration in Michigan, Practical Law, September 2017
- Presenter, Upper Michigan Legal Institute, Strategies for Discovery, 2017
- Co-Author, Enforcing Arbitration Awards in Michigan, Practical Law, August 2016
- Regional Chair, "Rules Amendments Roadshow," ABA Section of Litigation, May 2016
- Author, “What Happens When You Cannot Tell Apples from Oranges? The Impact of Murky Definitions on Trade Secrets and Noncompetition Agreements,” The Michigan Business Law Journal, Spring 2016
- Presenter, Navigating the World of Non-competes (ICLE, 2015)
- Unmoored: How Minority Shareholder Oppression Litigation has Gone Too Far, Stout Risius Ross Journal (Spring 2015)
- The Defend Trade Secrets Act/Trade Secret Protection Act – Finally, Federal Protection for Trade Secrets, Bloomberg BNA’s Corporate Counsel Weekly. (October 2014)
- The Tyranny of the Minority, The Litigation Newsletter (Winter 2014) (republished by ABA Commercial and Business Litigation Committee, Vol.15, No.2)
- Presenter, State Bar of Michigan Business Law Institute, Minority Shareholder Litigation (June 2014)
- Contributing Author, Business Torts (ABA 2014)
- Barring the Door: The International Trade Commission As a Means to Prevent Importation of Goods Utilizing Misappropriated Trade Secrets, 32 Mich. B. Law J. 1 (2012).
- Moderator, ABA Annual Meeting, International Litigation Committee CLE Presentation (2012)
- Moderator, ABA Regional CLE, New Issues in Copyright Litigation (Chicago, 2012)
- Presenter, When Attorney's Attack: Analyzing Strategies for Defeating Expert Testimony, MACPA Annual Meeting (2012)
- Stolen Moments: Copyright Law Shifting Tremendously as Internet Becomes Wilder Wild West, 26 Mich.L.W. 833 (June 25, 2012)
- Through a Glass, Darkly; Back to Basics to Eliminate Speculative Damages Claims in Commercial Litigation, 91 Mich.B. J. 2 (2012)
- Stopping Trade Secret Misappropriation At The Border, co-author (IP Frontline 2011)
- Rantings of a Partner ... and Pushback from the Associate, contributing author (ABA 2011)
- Electronic Fraud in Copyright Litigation, 22 Intellectual Property Litigation 3 (ABA 2011)
- Presenter, "New Developments in Trade Secrets Law," IP Spring Seminar (ICLE 2010)
- Presenter, "The Sins of Arbitration," 8th Annual Advanced Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Institute (ICLE, 2009)
- The Death of Boilerplate: New Wrinkles in Arbitration Demand More Thought and Better Drafting, The Litigation Newsletter (State Bar of Michigan, Spring 2009)
- Trade Secrets: Protection and Remedies, 43-2nd C.P.S. (BNA 2007, updated 2009), co-author
- Michigan Business Torts (2d ed. ICLE 2003, updated 2007 and 2009), co-author
- Settling Trade Secret Litigation -- Trying to Rebottle the Genie, 20 Intellectual Property Litigation 3 (ABA 2009)
- Noncompete Agreements for Attorneys, 87 Mich.B.J 12 (2008)
- Arbitration Issues Raised by "Hall Street" ruling cause big ripples, 22 Mich.L.W. 880 (2008)
- Physician, Meet Thy Covenant, Noncompete Agreements in the Medical Profession, 86 Mich.B.J. 5 (2007)
- Michigan Bar Journal, co-author, "Drafting Air-Tight Shareholder Agreements", January 2005
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly, co-author, "The Murky Pit of Minority Shareholder Standing: A Moot Point?," Nov. 22, 2004
- Michigan Lawyer's Weekly, co-author, "Special Litigation Committees and Independent Directors," September 29, 2003
- Presenter, "Litigating Non-Competition Agreements" (August, 2003), ICLE's Masters of Litigation Series
- Michigan Causes of Action Formbook (ICLE), co-author, Business Torts section, 1996
- Author of several articles on business torts and shareholder issues
- Annual Michigan State Bar, ICLE, and Michigan Chamber of Commerce Seminars, regarding prevention of trade secrets misappropriation, business divorce litigation, defense strategies for securities litigation, and skills for young lawyers