Benjamin M Sobczak

Benjamin M. Sobczak

Member
Ben Sobczak has an expanding commercial litigation practice representing large corporations, middle market companies and emerging businesses. Ben focuses his practice on middle market business cases, securities litigation, class actions and also oversees the debt collection efforts for one of Detroit's casinos.  In addition, Ben supervises the business formation, financing and application process for several of the firm’s Michigan focused cannabis clients, and assists with the planning and development of business and legal strategies related to the positioning and growth of these companies.  He tracks the latest trends, regulatory changes and market developments on a state, regional and national level.  Ben is also a frequent speaker at various business, industry and professional seminars and conferences related to cannabis.  He has provided regulatory and application preparation support to the firm’s cannabis clients in California, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, New Jersey and Missouri.

Education & Credentials

Education

Western Michigan University

B.S., Psychology and Sociology, 2005
  • summa cum laude
  • Dean's List: 2001-2005
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society: Inducted 2005

Wayne State University

J.D., 2009
  • magna cum laude
  • The Wayne Law Review, Assistant Editor 2007-2008
  • Dean's Scholar, Lombard Fellow, Silver Key Recipient

Bar Admission

  • Michigan

Acknowledgements

  • Selected for Benchmark Litigation "40 & Under Hotlist," 2019
  • 2017 Business Litigation of the Year by Crain’s Detroit Business
  • Listed in Michigan Super Lawyers "Rising Stars"

Representative Clients

  • AIG
  • AT&T
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • BDO Seidman, LLP
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Electric Company
  • Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership
  • HSBC Financial Services, Inc.
  • Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • William Beaumont Hospital
  • PNC Bank
  • UGM Recordings, Inc.

Prominent Assignments

LITIGATION

  • Drafted 100+ pages of briefing in support of, and took lead argument before the Eastern District of Michigan concerning, a motion to dismiss a $70 million securities fraud lawsuit stemming from a private equity firm’s purchase of a major tier-two auto supplier. 
  • Lead counsel in a bench trial requiring the direct examination of three adverse witnesses without the benefit of prior discovery which resulted in a favorable verdict including fees and costs based on a showing that the opposing party’s defense was frivolous.
  • Strategized and briefed the response in opposition to class certification in a national class action alleging product liability and breach of warranty claims regarding 54 million units purportedly causing damages estimated around $11 billion. 
  • Successfully drafted an application for leave to appeal causing the Michigan Supreme Court to peremptorily vacate the Court of Appeals affirmance of the lower court’s opinion concerning the interpretation of a personal guarantee. 
  • Planned, researched and drafted oppositions to class certification in multi-million dollar national class action predicated upon ERISA notice and appeal right violations.
  • Managed exhibits, drafted bench briefs, crafted lead counsel’s closing argument and reviewed daily transcripts as a defense team member for Michigan’s largest insurance company in multi-million dollar breach of contract and tortious interference litigation culminating in a 10-day jury trial.
  • Managed document production in national products liability class action against a Fortune 500 company which required application of the joint defense doctrine and analysis of the standards by which the court would evaluate the sufficiency of a privilege log.
  • Successfully argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a pro bono prisoner civil rights case turning on the defendants’ asserted entitlement to governmental immunity.

CANNABIS

  • Supported numerous applications for cultivation, processing, and provisioning center licenses successfully resulting in the issuance of local permits and State of Michigan Phase-I and Phase-II approvals.  
  • Developed corporate structures that comply with regulatory requirements and account for 280E tax implications while simultaneously allowing clients to undertake rapid expansion efforts in the fast-developing and highly competitive cannabis industry. 
  • Assisted with private placement offerings catered to nuanced regulatory environments resulting in the commitment of tens of millions of dollars to cannabis clients to fund the development of their licensed facilities.
  • Negotiated real estate purchase contracts and long-term commercial leases designed to accommodate the nuanced implications of applicable cannabis regulations.  
  • Represented clients in disputes involving complex corporate structuring and revenue allocation issues predicated upon state and local licensure limitations.

Professional Involvement

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • American Bar Association
  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Oakland County Bar Association

Publications/Presentations

  • The Sixth Circuit's Doctrine of Consent Once Removed: Contraband, Informants and Fourth Amendment Reasonableness, 54 WAYNE L. REV. 889 (2008)
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