Michael serves as Chair of McDonald Hopkins' Litigation Department and on the firm's Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
Michael has extensive experience as lead counsel in the litigation of significant commercial, business, automotive, construction, trade secret/non-compete, product liability and toxic tort, real property, OSHA/MIOSHA, and professional liability disputes. He has tried several jury and non-jury trials in state and federal courts. In addition, he has represented clients in many arbitration disputes.
His business litigation experience includes handling the defense of both public companies and privately held corporations. Specifically he has expertise in representing clients in derivative actions, shareholder and oppression disputes, as well as the defense of Director and Officer claims against individual board members or officers.
Further litigation experience includes recall liability, toxic tort and environmental litigation. Michael has handled the defense of product liability matters relating to personal, property damage and recall claims for a varied group of manufacturing operations in the automotive (plastic injection molding, presses, and rigging), aerospace, and medical device industries. He has also defended Fortune 500 companies relating to toxic tort claims, including lawsuits asserting cancer caused by exposure to Benzene and Ethylene Oxide.
Additionally, Michael has represented the largest construction and road builder industry association in Michigan for over 15 years and has a national OSHA practice. He has assisted clients with counseling and handling appeals of Willful and Serious OSHA citations, typically involving serious injuries or deaths. He has tried several of these matters in the Administrative tribunals with great success. His expertise also includes national representation and defense of construction, manufacturing and health care clients who have been cited for multiple penalties and large fines by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He is a frequent author and presenter on the legal issues related to workplace safety practices.
Michael earned a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1994. He received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan in 1991.
Representative Cases & Matters
- Logistics/Supply Chain: Assisted Global supply chain client in defending claims asserted by customer relating to a failed MRO program. The issues involved on-time delivery, proofs of delivery, electronic ordering, receipt of goods, sequencing, and assembly. Separately, successfully assisted provider of MRO goods in pursuing claims against vendor for failure to pay for logistics services and defended counter-claims relating to product delivery.
- Successfully defended and resolved a recall claim by a Tier 1 supplier against a Tier 2 manufacturer in the aerospace industry relating to safety critical parts in a commercial airline seat assembly application.
- Successfully defended a national bank against claims that it had improperly sold a large commercial building in downtown Detroit while acting as a Qualified Professional Asset Manager for the Pension Fund. U.S. Eastern District of Michigan.
- Coordinated the resolution of multiple Willful violations involving multiple projects and work sites resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings and the avoidance of any Willful violations for a large Michigan based construction client.
- Obtained a reversal and dismissal of all claims from the Indiana Court of Appeals on behalf of a manufacturing client from claims that it has failed to pay for insurance coverage and audits.
- Obtained Summary Disposition of all claims asserted against a retail client where in Landlord was alleging $7M as a result of a breach of a lease and guarantee agreement on a theory of successor liability. U.S. Eastern District of Michigan.
- Obtained Summary Judgment, Default Judgment and Sanctions against Defendant for fraud and electronic discovery abuses in one of the first decisions by any Federal Court after the enactment of the new Court Rules dealing with electronic discovery. U.S. Eastern District of Michigan.
- Shareholder Dispute/Derivative Claims: Successfully defended claims against corporate client by minority shareholder relating to assertions of mismanagement, over compensation and breaches of fiduciary duty.
- Successfully represented a publicly traded national media company in restrictive covenant and trade secret claims against key personnel and media personalities for prohibited activity and for the enforcement of contractual and statutory obligations.
- Representation of numerous companies in varied industries to protect trade secrets and proprietary information.
Honors & Recognition
Michigan Super Lawyers, Business Litigation (2010-2023)
Named one of the Best Lawyers in America (2013-2024)
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
University of Michigan
Admissions – Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Admissions – State
Professional & Civic
State Bar of Michigan
Macomb County Bar Association
Detroit Bar Association
News & Insights
- Blog Post
- Blog Post
- Blog Post
External News & Publications
“The Evolving Multi-Employer Work Site Doctrine: General Contractors Beware,” Cross Section, Fall 2006
“Obtaining Unredacted Witness Statements in Contested Cases Prepared by the MIOSHA Investigator,” Spreadsheet, Spring 2003
- McDonald Hopkins Event12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
- Speaking Engagement3:30 AM - 5:00 AM
- McDonald Hopkins Event6:45 PM - 7:45 PM
“Learning How to Maintain Effective Communication with OSHA,” CFA Concrete Foundations Convention, July 27, 2019
"Handling Regulators at Your Facility from a Legal Perspective," MPG EHS Conference, March 8, 2016
"Product Safety, Liability and Recall Seminar," The Toledo Club, October 14, 2014
"Product Safety, Liability and Recall Seminar," The Union League Club of Chicago, October 13, 2014
"Understanding OSHA–Preparing For and Dealing With Inspections," Federation of Women Contractors Luncheon, February 27, 2014
2009 Michigan Infrastructure Transportation Association (“MITA”) Superconference: Reasonable Suspicion of Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace