Michael D. Hanchett is an associate attorney in the firm's Governmental Law and Labor & Employment Law practice groups.

A member of the Bloomfield Hills office, Mr. Hanchett represents municipalities in both state and federal courts in government liability matters. He has particular expertise in police liability issues, such as search and seizure, use of force, pursuits and corrections law. Mr. Hanchett also has experience representing municipalities in the area of employment law, including discrimination, retaliation and civil rights claims brought under state and federal law. He also has extensive experience providing general counsel services to municipalities.

Mr. Hanchett is involved with the Federal Bar Association – Eastern District of Michigan, where he serves as co-chair of its Civil Rights Section. He is also a member of the Construction Law, Insurance Law and Young Lawyers committees of DRI, formerly the Defense Research Institute. Along with the Government Law and Labor and Employment sections of the State Bar of Michigan, Mr. Hanchett is a member of the Detroit Metropolitan, Oakland County and American bar associations. Designated as a Best Lawyers One to Watch in municipal law since 2021, Mr. Hanchett routinely speaks to members of these organizations and police departments about his areas of expertise, including qualified immunity, search and seizures, and police body cameras.  

In addition to his governmental law and employment litigation practice, Mr. Hanchett has handled insurance coverage matters involving environmental contamination, property damage, arson, construction defect and automobile liability. He also has experience in alleged design defect and personal injury litigation in the construction industry.

Representative Client Work

  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court for officer involved in excessive force case based on qualified immunity
  • Successfully defended municipality in federal court in a police pursuant cases where individual was struck and killed by fleeing suspect
  • Successfully defended municipality in federal court in jail liability case involving the death of an inmate
  • Successfully defended municipality and jail officer in federal court in jail liability cases involving claims of improper strip searches at the jail
  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court for officers on alleged excessive force and illegal search and seizure claims based on qualified immunity where the plaintiff sought over $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages
  • Successfully represented county jail officers in federal court regarding excessive force claims brought by inmate with the court granting summary judgment on all charges
  • Substantial experience working with municipal boards and commissions, defending their actions and designing rules of procedure to guide their activities 
  • Successfully represented insurer in additional insured coverage action arising out of a slip and fall at shopping complex that allegedly resulted in a significant injury to plaintiff
  • Successfully represented insurer on a property insurance claim involving suspected arson
  • Successfully represented insurer in litigation involving environmental contamination claims

Professional Affiliations

  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Detroit Young Professionals
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan (Government Law and Labor and Employment sections)
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association - Eastern District of Michigan (Civil Rights Section, Co-chair)
  • DRI (Construction Law, Insurance Law and Young Lawyers committees)

Publications and Lectures

  • "Nuts & Bolts" of Section 1983 and Qualified Immunity: (Nearly) Everything There is to Know, Panelist, Federal Bar Association Chapter for the Eastern District of Michigan and the FBA Civil Rights Section, Theodore Levin Courthouse, Oct. 20, 2023
  • "Legal Update - Search & Seizure 2023" Seminar, Presenter, LEAF and Michigan Municipal League Presentation, Romulus Senior Center, May 18, 2023
  • Macomb Community College Police and Fire Leadership Program, Speaker, March 2020
  • "Practical Law" television show discussing issues facing police departments with body cameras, Featured Speaker, April 2018
  • "The Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Privacy Act: the Implications for Police Departments and How They Can Stay Ahead of the Curve," Author, Oakland County Bar Association Laches magazine, January 2018


  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity



  • University of Toledo College of Law, J.D., 2016
  • Ferris State University, B.S., 2013


  • Michigan, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2021
  • Admitted pro hac vice in Minnesota


Honors & Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognition, 2021-2022