Robert Avers is a senior associate in Dickinson Wright’s Litigation Division, representing clients in a variety of business matters in state and federal courts and in various domestic and international arbitral forums. In addition to his litigation practice, Robert also has substantial experience advising clients on political issues, as well as trade and customs issues arising from international business.
Prior to joining Dickinson Wright, Robert clerked for Justice Brian K. Zahra of the Michigan Supreme Court, and Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. A graduate of Wayne State University Law School, Robert served as Managing Editor of The Wayne Law Review and competed in the Law School’s moot court program.
Robert has significant understanding of trade and customs issues arising in international transactions, having previously served as an import agent in the trade/customs house of DHL Global Forwarding, a division of Deutsche Post DHL Group, the largest international courier service in the world. As a result, Robert is familiar with the process and procedures for importing goods into the United States, and he regularly advises clients regarding import regulations, tariff applicability, and related supply chain issues.
Robert also provides strategic political law counsel to candidates, committees, and political parties. Having successfully managed several statewide and legislative campaigns before joining Dickinson Wright, Robert draws from those experiences to help clients navigate legal issues at the intersection of politics and law.
Central Michigan UniversityB.S., 2006
- cum laude
Wayne State University Law SchoolJ.D., 2011
- The Wayne Law Review, Managing Editor
- Moot Court
- Michigan Super Lawyers - "Rising Star" (2018 - Present)
- Obtained dismissal of $12 million breach of contract and defamation lawsuit on behalf of Chinese transmission component manufacturer in federal court.
- Secured preliminary injunction against automotive supplier’s former employees who breached their confidentiality agreements and copied thousands of files containing trade secrets and proprietary information.
- Obtained dismissal of negligence and wrongful death suit on behalf of successor to injection molding machine manufacturer.
- Successfully represented Chinese robotics company by defeating motion for injunction, thereby allowing client to showcase their products at an international trade show.
- Convinced the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of real estate developer to peremptorily vacate a Court of Appeals decision regarding the interpretation of a personal guarantee.
- On behalf of Fortune 500 company, obtained dismissal of lawsuit filed by township seeking recovery of alleged bond repayment shortfall relating to construction of company’s headquarters.
- Successfully represented national lender in federal suit against automotive manufacturer-debtor, resulting in appointment of receiver and sale of debtor’s business as a going concern, with proceeds allocated to lender.
- Obtained multi-million-dollar settlement against distributor of defective automotive manufacturing equipment.
- Prevailed in arbitration against construction company on behalf of food manufacturer and in connection with failed construction project.
Political Law Experience
- Outside counsel to the Michigan Republican Party for the 2018 election cycle.
- Advises parties and candidates regarding independent expenditures and issue advocacy campaigns.
- Counsels candidates and state parties regarding election integrity operations.
- Represents 501(c)(4) organizations as amicus curiae in appellate courts regarding campaign finance issues.
- Counsel to candidates for judicial office.
Trade and Customs Experience
- Advised Chinese OEM on compliance with EPA and NHTSA regulations for the testing of foreign prototype automobiles on American roadways.
- Advised electric vehicle manufacturer regarding the importation of autonomous vehicles from China and subsequent compliance with regulations regarding the testing of autonomous technology in the U.S.
- Successfully applied for and obtained tariff exclusions under Section 301 of the Trade Act.
- On behalf of Chinese OEM, negotiated the allocation of unforeseen tariffs among the various entities in its supply chain.
- Counseled publicly-traded Chinese automobile component manufacturers regarding country of origin issues.
- Law Clerk to Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (2014-2015)
- Law Clerk to Justice Brian K. Zahra, Michigan Supreme Court (2013-2014)
- Judicial Intern to Justice Robert P. Young, Jr., Michigan Supreme Court (2010)
- Appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions
- The Federalist Society – Michigan Lawyers Chapter, Vice President
- Dickinson Wright Liaison to the Eastern District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
- Automation Alley’s Trade Mission to China and Thailand (September 2019)
- Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington D.C., and United States Court of International Trade.
- Washtenaw County Bar Association, Co-Chair of the Trial Practice Section (2015-2017)
- Dickinson Wright Tariff Alerts, China Group effort (June 2018 – current)
- Panelist, “Critical Issues Facing Chinese Companies Today,” hosted by Dickinson Wright, August 2018