Robert P. Hurlbert

Retired Member

Education & Credentials


University of Detroit

  • magna cum laude

University of Michigan


Bar Admission

  • Michigan


  • DBusiness Magazine
    • "Top Lawyers," White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2016, 2020 - 2021
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Criminal Defense-White-Collar, 2014-2021
  • Michigan Super Lawyers®
    • Business Crimes Defense, 2008-2021
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating

Prominent Assignments

Business Crimes Defense:

  • Successfully defended a large foreign automotive parts supplier against a Dept. of Justice Criminal Antitrust investigation resulting in no charges being brought.
  • Successfully defended a multinational food and beverage company against a U.S. Customs criminal investigation resulting in no charges being brought.
  • Successfully defended a major retailer against an FBI and Grand Jury investigation looking into insurance fraud for hurricane damage claims resulting in deferred prosecution.
  • Represented executives of large defense contractors, automobile manufacturers and suppliers in connection with Grand Jury investigations.
  • Successfully defended an entrepreneur and automobile collector against a U.S. Customs criminal investigation arising from import of numerous vehicles which were not U.S. EPA and DOT compliant resulting in no charges being brought.
  • Represented the former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury during the Watergate investigations charged with backdating the deed to President Nixon's White House papers.

Fraud Loss Recovery/Sensitive Internal Investigations:

  • Directed a major health care insurer's board of director's investigation into allegations of wrongdoing involving senior management.
  • Directed a major automobile manufacturer's investigation into kick- backs involving its facilities maintenance operations.
  • Directed a large trade association's board of director's investigation of international kick-back scheme.
  • Directed a large corporation's internal review respecting misuse of sensitive computer records by its own security department.
  • Directed a major retailer's internal investigation into kick-backs involving its credit department.
  • Directed a substantial metal casting corporation's internal review of alleged overstatements of financial performance in operating records by managers and financial executives in various facilities.
  • Directed an internal review for the executive committee of the board of directors of a large corporation respecting improprieties occurring during its CEO search process.
  • Successfully prosecuted Oakland County's civil RICO case for damages from inflated sludge hauling contracts which were part of the "Vista" criminal conspiracy; secured for the County the then largest civil settlement recovery in its history; additionally won a $1.7 million judgment against the United States Government to recover County funds forfeited from the criminal defendants. County of Oakland, et al. v. Vista Disposal, Inc., et al. 900 F.Supp. 879 (E.D. Mich.).
  • Won the first appellate case in the country enabling pay television operators to prosecute signal privacy. Chartwell Communications Group v. Westbrook 637 F2d 459 (6th Cir).

Complex Commercial and Business Litigation:  

  • Successfully defended Manufacturers National Bank against Michigan Attorney General's suit to hold that Bank responsible to fund a $30 million environmental clean-up. Kelley v. Manufacturers National Bank, et al. 810 F.Supp. 901 (W.D. Mich).
  • Represented the Board of Directors of a failed mid-Michigan national bank in their defense against multimillion dollar claims advanced by the FDIC. Secured dismissal of the FDIC's case in the trial court and thereafter negotiated very favorable settlement.
  • Represented an international trade association in successfully enjoining the payment of a $1.3 million irrevocable letter of credit supporting a foreign transaction and funding an international kick-back scheme.
  • Represented the bond issuing authorities of Oakland County, Commerce Township and the City of Pontiac in several suits challenging bonds for significant construction projects. Won dismissals of every challenge.

Professional Involvement

  • Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan [responsible for (a) U.S. Customs criminal prosecutions; (b) leadership of Task Force (FBI and IRS Agents working with U.S. Attorney's office) investigating and prosecuting housing fraud in Detroit Metropolitan area
  • Former President and Former Member of Board of Directors, Federal Bar Association, Detroit Chapter  
  • Chairperson Emeritus, Legal Ethics and Conflicts Committee, Dickinson Wright, PLLC


  • Seminars for Dickinson Wright clients and attorneys of Legal and Business Ethics
  • Michigan State Bar Association, International Section, "Customs Fraud Issues"
  • Department of Justice, "Fraud Prosecution Techniques"
  • ICLE; Professional Assistance Committee, U.S. Dist. Court for E.D. Michigan, "Trial Practice Techniques"
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