Michael J. Barton
- Licensed: 1982
- Joined Firm: 1982
- Partner Since: 1991
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Directors & Officers Liability
- e-Business & Internet Law
- Financial Services Liability
- Intellectual Property
Honors & Awards
- Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating-AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
- University of Michigan Law School, 1982, J.D.
- University of Michigan, 1979, B.A., with honors and distinction
Bar & Court Admissions
- Michigan, 1982
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1982
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1982
Michael J. Barton is a partner in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office who concentrates his practice primarily in the area of commercial litigation. An accomplished trial attorney, he has successfully represented clients for over 30 years in a variety of high exposure commercial and other litigation matters in both the state and federal courts in Michigan.
Mr. Barton’s practice includes particular expertise with respect to UCC sales contracts (including blanket PO price increase and termination rights), software licensing, computer system development agreements, sales commission contracts, non-compete agreements and a variety of other contractual relationships.
In addition, Mr. Barton represents clients involved in director and officer liability disputes, employee discrimination cases, wrongful termination matters, ERISA claims, fraud-related matters and other business torts, including those involving intellectual property. This aspect of his practice includes the defense of trademark and unfair competition claims under the Lanhan Act. He has obtained injunctions on behalf of plaintiffs seeking to bar the use of infringing marks, and he has represented defendants against counterfeiting claims, as well as traditional trademark infringement claims.
Mr. Barton also litigates a variety of breach of fiduciary duty claims, including ERISA class action claims, derivative and direct claims against corporate directors and officers, minority shareholder oppression claims, trust-related claims under EPIC, as well as claims arising out of many different kinds of agency relationships.
Representative Litigation Work
- Successfully defended computer software developer in two-month federal court trial in which plaintiff sought recovery of over $10,000,000 in development and management fees.
- Represented public employee retirement systems as special counsel in prosecution of breach of fiduciary duty claims against promoters
- Successfully defended automobile parts manufacturer against multi-million dollar claim for sales commissions in lengthy federal court and arbitration action
- In trademark ownership and infringement litigation, obtained injunction enforcing client’s rights in the mark and requiring competitor to remove the mark from its website and other marketing materials
- Successfully represented Tier 1 auto parts manufacturer in dispute with OEM regarding right of supplier to terminate PO if price increases not granted
- Obtained a $2,400,000 arbitration award on behalf of an insurer against managing general agent for breach of risk sharing contracts.
- In bankruptcy fraud trial, obtained verdict in favor of financial institution preventing debtor from discharging $3,500,000 debt
- Successfully defended multi-million dollar legal malpractice action arising out of sale of patents, obtaining summary judgment at the close of discovery
- Obtained no cause in court of claims trial on behalf of a university against a claim that a defect in stadium design caused a football player's serious injuries
- Obtained a jury verdict in probate court, preventing son of deceased parents from inheriting an estate worth more than $2,000,000 after the son had caused the death of his parents but had been found not guilty by reason of insanity in a criminal trial
- Successfully defended a municipality against whistleblower and due process claims brought by fired city attorney, obtaining summary disposition in state court on whistleblower claims and summary judgment in federal court on due process claims
- Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
- State Bar of Michigan
- American Bar Association