David J Houston

David J. Houston


Education & Credentials


University of Michigan

B.G.S., 1975
  • magna cum laude

University of Wisconsin

J.D., 1979
  • Order of the Coif

Bar Admission

  • Michigan
  • Utah


Representative Clients

  • Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P.
  • Silbond Corporation
  • Metro Health Hospital Grand Rapids
  • Michigan Milk Producers Association
  • Emergency Medical Associates, PLLC
  • Peckham Vocational Industries, Inc.
  • Truscott Rossman
  • Mercantile Bank
  • Nitrex Metal Inc.
  • United Process Controls Inc.

Prominent Assignments

Represent employers in counseling and planning through litigation defense in all subject matter areas. Tried bench and jury cases defending wrongful termination, race, sex, age and disability; harassment and retaliation claims, before all agencies and state and federal courts.

Handle employment aspects of mergers from $1.5 million to $2.3 billion.

Negotiated dozens of "exceeded expectations" labor agreements for employers against UAW, IAM, USW, CWA, SEIU, UFCW, Teamsters, and other labor organizations. Won elections or obtained election petition withdrawals in the automotive (Tier I and Tier II), forging, telephone, retail, manufacturing, and health care industries, and charter schools.

In 2005 focused national and international attention on issue of “smoke-free workplace” by successfully establishing and defending “zero-tolerance” testing and discharge policies – interviewed and reported by all major TV Networks, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Court TV, BBC, NPR, NY Times, Paris Match, BBC, others.  

Represented Capital Area United Way in high-profile embezzlement case reported by national media including the New York Times.

Consistent success in both enforcement and defense of non-compete/confidentiality claims.

Professional Involvement

  • General Counsel, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, 1999-2005
  • Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, 1999-2005 
  • Member, Michigan Manufacturers Association Committee on Government Affairs
  • Founding Member and Past Chairperson, Ingham County Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Michigan Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections

Community Involvement

  • Board of Directors, Carefree Medical & Dental Clinic
  • Board of Directors, Capital Area United Way 2007- 2015
  • Member, United Way Governance, Strategic Planning Committees; Audit Committee Chair, 2011- 2015

Pro-Bono Clients

  • Capital Area United Way
  • Carefree Medical & Dental Clinic
  • Elder Law Association of Michigan
  • Historical Society of Greater Lansing


  • Contributor, “ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law – Employment Discrimination Law,” 2016-2018
  • Co-Author, "Gaming & Hospitality Legal News: Volume 11, Number 2", Dickinson Wright Client Alert, February 2018 
  • Author, “Is It Time to Give Your Employee Handbook a Check-Up?” Healthcare Michigan, March 2017 
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce Webinar, "Pre-Employment Screening: What You Might, and 'Had Better' Know and Do," May 2015
  • "Care Recipients' Limited Right to Discriminate Based On Protected Characteristics of Care Provider," Dickinson Wright's Healthcare Legal News, February 2015
  • "New NLRB G.C. Plots Activist Course," Dickinson Wright Client Alert, December 2013
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce Webinar Series, Employment Screening; Workplace Violence Avoidance, Spring-Summer, 2013
  • "NLRB Focus on 'Concerted Activity' Increases Litigation," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, April 2013
  • “Surviving Active Intruder/Shooter Incidents” – Workplace violence prevention and management, sponsored in part by Michigan OSHA and Michigan Homeland Security, presented in Lansing, Troy, and Grand Rapids With Incident Management Team – September 2012
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce, contributing author, "A Michigan Employer's Guide to Drafting Your Employee Handbook"
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce, contributing author, "Michigan Wage and Hour: A Practical Guide for Small Businesses"
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce, contributing author, "The Michigan Personnel File Survival Kit"
  • "Maintaining a Union-Free Enterprise and NLRA Update" - Private Presentation to Mid-Michigan CEO Group - June 2012
  • "Federal Judge Invalidates NLRB Hurry-Up Election" - Dickinson Wright PLLC Client Alert, May 2012
  •  "Arbitrator Scoring Undermines Traditional Labor Arbitration" - Published in Michigan Lawyers Weekly, February 2012
  • "Social Media Policies, Litigation, and Trends" - Publication and Presentation to Michigan HR Day (June 2011) and Michigan Credit Union League (October 2011)
  • "Have You Updated Your Twitter/Facebook Status Today? The Pitfalls and Benefits of Social Networking for Employers," April 2010, Dickinson Wright Sunrise Seminar
  •  "The Recent FMLA Amendments and Regulations: Navigating the Bermuda Triangle of Remedial Employment Law," November 2009, Sterling Education Services, Inc.
  • "Filling the Vacuum with Positive Information: A Proactive Approach to Union-Proofing," November 2009, Sterling Education Services, Inc.
  • "Proactive Avoidance of Liability for Cell Phone Use," August 2009, AGC of Michigan
  •  "The Family Feud: Exploring the Ins/Outs of the FMLA," 2009 and 2005, Accident Fund (presented with Accident Fund)
  • "Michigan Employer Ignites Smoking Ban Controversy," February 2005, Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • Presenter to various organizations, including Michigan Chamber of Commerce, on topics such as "Hiring and Firing," "Employer's Guide to Maintaining Union-Free Status," "Recordkeeping: What Employers Can, Should, and Must Keep," and "Just Cause Employment and Peer Review"
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