Jill M. Wheaton


High-stakes litigation becomes even more so when it arrives at a higher court, and few attorneys thrive and succeed in appellate courtrooms like Jill Wheaton. Jill has earned a national reputation for her skilled advocacy and serves as the co-leader of Dykema’s appellate team. She is the go-to counsel for clients who need to prepare for or are involved in complex and consequential cases and appeals.  

Jill immerses herself in the applicable facts and law to craft compelling arguments and approaches that put her clients in the best position to defend a positive outcome or reverse an adverse one. Recognizing that what is written, said, or ruled upon in a given case can have an impact that goes far beyond the matter at hand, she works closely with her clients to ensure that her strategies align with their broader interests and business priorities.

With a diverse practice that also includes product liability defense, commercial litigation, trademark, and First Amendment matters, Jill prepares artfully written submissions and deft oral arguments, parrying pointed questions from the bench with clear, persuasive answers.

She understands that focus, not flash, is what makes for successful appellate advocacy. Her ability to separate the issues and arguments that matter from those that distract brings clarity to clients and judges alike.

Clients and other attorneys frequently involve Jill in matters at the trial court level, knowing that her guidance will help them prepare a solid record and preserve arguments on appeal.

When called in to quarterback an appeal, Jill combs through the trial record and provides clients with candid evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of their position so they can make informed decisions about how to proceed. Her counsel has proven decisive in countless cases involving clients from a broad spectrum of industries.

A successful appellate argument is like a conversation. If you can engage with a judge or panel of judges, address what matters to them, and provide the information they seek and need, you are much more likely to obtain the desired outcome.
    • University of Michigan, J.D., cum laude
    • University of Michigan, B.G.S.
  • Bar Admissions

    • Michigan
  • Court Admissions

    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
    • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for Appellate Practice; Commercial Litigation; Litigation - First Amendment, 2013-2024

    • Named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly's Hall of Fame, 2023

    • Recognized by The Legal 500 United States as a Key Lawyer for Transport: Rail and Road – Litigation, 2018-2019; Automotive Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action, 2021-2023

    • Recognized in the Crain's Detroit Business special report, "Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan," 2017

    • Named to the "Leaders in the Law" List by Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2015

    • Recognized in Michigan Super Lawyers® for Appellate, Civil Litigation Defense, Personal Injury - Products: Defense, 2008-Present
    • Member, American Institute of Appellate Practice
    • Named one of the Top 25 Women Business Michigan Super Lawyers®, Top 50 Women Attorneys, and Top 100 Super Lawyers in Michigan, 2016-2021

    • Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, Member of Litigation Counsel of America
    • Named a Top Lawyer by dbusiness Magazine for Appellate Practice and Commercial Litigation, 2015 & 2018
    • Named a Michigan Leading Lawyer in the areas of Civil Appellate, Commercial Litigation and Products Liability Defense Law by the Leading Lawyers Network, 2014-2017. Law Bulletin Publishing Company
    • Recipient of Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
    • State Bar of Michigan, Appellate Practice Section, Past Chair
    • Member, ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers Executive Board
    • American Bar Association, including Committees on Appellate Practice and Tort Litigation
    • Defense Research Institute, including Appellate Practice Committee
    • Michigan Appellate Bench-Bar Conference Planning Committee
    • Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society, Board of Directors

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