National Trial Team

Overview

Taking an important case to trial requires a specialist—a true trial lawyer with big case experience. Fewer cases are going to trial, which means that many large firms are full of good litigators with little trial experience. Dykema, on the other hand, has a deep bench of trial-tested lawyers ready to take any case to trial—anywhere, anytime.

Distinguished, Experienced Trial Counsel

Our National Trial Team is a group of premier trial lawyers who’ve tried hundreds of cases to verdict. They are masters of the craft, having achieved outstanding trial results and the highest accolades among their peers. Three of our team members, in three different states, are Fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the highest honor in the trial bar. Our trial lawyers have been chosen for honors by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, SuperLawyers, and the Litigation Counsel of America, an honorary trial lawyer society. Three of our team members are among the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Michigan (selected by SuperLawyers). Five have been named “Litigator of the Year” in their respective jurisdictions.

The 28 lawyers on our National Trial Team have taken over 650 cases to verdict, including 89 in the past five years alone. The cases we’ve tried cover the full spectrum of practice areas, from product liability to intellectual property, antitrust, securities, employment, and every form of business litigation. We’ve tried cases in all major industries, from automotive to pharmaceutical, aviation, healthcare, financial services, computer technology, entertainment and telecommunications. We routinely handle cases involving sophisticated science and economics.

It’s not just the number of cases that distinguishes us—we’ve tried some of the biggest cases in the country. Members of our National Trial Team recently obtained a defense verdict in the retrial of a class action where the original trial (handled by another firm) had resulted in a $2.2 billion verdict. Our trial attorneys secured a defense verdict for an airframe manufacturer in the biggest case the State of Michigan has ever seen—an airplane disaster trial that lasted 18 months. We are one of the few firms that has tried over a dozen certified class actions and MDL cases to verdict. These and other cases we’ve tried are the kind that make headlines.

We’ve won tough, uphill cases involving sympathetic plaintiffs, like the man who lost his wife and two sons in a car accident caused by an intoxicated employee of our client (the employee was found guilty of second-degree murder). We’ve won against a plaintiff who was a sitting judge, against a pregnant woman who was rendered a quadriplegic and whose child was born with cerebral palsy after an accident, and against the estate of a deceased state trooper.

Geographic Reach

Our National Trial Team includes members from our Michigan, Illinois, California, Texas, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C. offices. We’ve tried cases in 37 different states. We’ve tried cases all over the country, including the infamous “hell hole” jurisdictions. One of our lawyers is even a member of the bar of Ontario, Canada and handles cases there. We know how to try cases in remote places, often on a moment’s notice.

In short, Dykema’s team of “tremendous,” “well prepared,” “very skilled” and “brilliant” litigators (Chambers USA, 2011, 2012 and 2013)—are the “go-to” trial lawyers for business. We have an experienced trial team ready to try your important matter.

Technology Platform and IT Support

Jurors and judges today expect trial lawyers to present their cases using the latest technology. The experienced lawyers on our National Trial Team know that technology is a tool, it is not the whole show. Assigning the presentation tools their proper place and using them to maximum effectiveness is part of the mastery our team has achieved.

The tools are at our fingertips. Dykema maintains a state-of-the-art, high-speed wide area network to support our attorneys and staff, regardless of their physical location—making our workforce fully mobile. As one of first firms employing an Enterprise Search Product for the firm’s intranet and document management systems, Dykema is on the leading edge in Extranet development and usage.

Our DykemaConnect extranet service is configured to support the client’s specific group of related matters. This highly-secure extranet website is available to Dykema and its clients worldwide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Among its many features, this service offers Dykema clients a secure online document repository (vital for our mobile trial teams), group calendaring, research, contact lists and other important information. Each client’s DykemaConnect website is unique and private. It is accessible only by the client and Dykema legal professionals with the proper user identification and password.

Our Litigation Support Team, which is a highly specialized and trained subset of our IT group, works closely with our attorneys throughout all phases of litigation—including at trial. This in-house group deftly uses industry leading tools such as TrialDirector for trial presentation, providing value and security to our clients, often saving significant sums versus the use of outside technology experts.

Experience Matters

  • Obtained a defense verdict for Ford Motor Company in the 2013 retrial of a class action brought by 3,200 Ford dealers. The litigation had 20 years of history with more than 100 depositions, several appellate decisions and over a million documents. The Dykema team was brought in eight months before the retrial in Cleveland, Ohio. The case was originally tried by other counsel and resulted in a class-wide verdict of nearly $2.2 billion with interest.
  • Tried the biggest jury case in the history of Michigan in an 18-month trial arising from the crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 255. Over 160 cases were consolidated into a single MDL trial, resulting in a complete defense verdict for the airplane manufacturer. The case made headlines in newspapers and was featured in nationwide TV broadcasts.
  • Obtained two jury verdicts valued at over $500 million after a total of 18 weeks of trial in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The firm represented two coal mining joint ventures in a series of major contractual disputes with a large Midwestern utility.
  • Represented a group of 85 orthodontists in multi-state litigation involving 35 lawsuits spanning federal and state courts in 13 states. The cases involved claims for breach of contract, violations of various state dental practices acts, fraud and deceptive trade practices. We obtained favorable jury verdicts for breach of contract after a four week trial in Miami, Florida and a three week trial in Atlanta, Georgia (and several favorable summary judgment rulings on an issue of first impression).
  • Obtained a defense verdict of non-infringement by a mobile phone manufacturer in a patent infringement action involving mobile device management. Selected as one of the top 25 defense verdicts in California in 2012.
  • Won a jury trial in St. Clair County, Illinois, one of the top ten “judicial hell holes” in the U.S. This was a statewide class action on behalf of 4,000 governmental agencies that had purchased Crown Victoria vehicles alleged to be unsafe. The class was seeking $785 million in damages.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for Ford in a case involving a post-collision fire in Jackson County, Missouri. The plaintiff was the estate of a state trooper who died in the fire, and the case received significant press. After a 6-week trial, Plaintiffs asked the jury for more than $47 million in damages. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Ford following two days of deliberations.  
  • Obtained a defense verdict following a three week trial in Mobile, Alabama on plaintiffs’ claim that a defective seat belt system caused her to be ejected from her 2003 minivan during a rollover accident. The plaintiff was 6 weeks pregnant. She sustained injuries that rendered her a quadriplegic and caused her son to be born with cerebral palsy.
  • Obtained defense verdicts of zero allocation for two clients in an environmental lawsuit involving the clean-up of a river. There was $400 million at stake.
  • Successfully defended two Iowa hospitals against antitrust charges filed by the Department of Justice. The victory was credited to development of economic and industry evidence proving a broad relevant geographic market.
  • Won a defense verdict in a highly-publicized case involving a criminal act by a company employee. A car driven by the employee struck the plaintiff’s wife’s car, killing her and her two small children. The employee was intoxicated and was on his way to a doctor’s appointment to address his alcohol abuse problem; he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The jury found the employer not liable after a lengthy trial.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a doctor and its physicians in a two-week trial involving extraordinary burns to a psychiatric patient who poured gasoline on his body and lit himself on fire.
  • Successfully defended a cardio-thoracic surgeon in an alleged malpractice wrongful death action. In addition to fine lawyering, the cause was given a boost when the plaintiff’s expert passed out on the witness stand and our client, the doctor, rushed to her aid in front of the jury.
  • Won a product liability jury trial in which the plaintiff was a sitting Superior Court Judge. The defense was that the Judge was misusing the product.
  • In a trademark infringement case in which a finding of liability against our client was made before trial, we defended the case on damages alone and obtained a $0 verdict.
  • Obtained at trial and preserved on appeal, in a published opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, an injunction and one million dollar damage award for trademark infringement and unfair competition in favor of a machine tool manufacturer client against an importer of "knock-off" merchandise.