Photo of Dante A. Stella

Dante A. Stella Member

Areas of Practice

Industries

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1999

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2011

Education

University of Michigan, J.D.

University of Michigan, B.A., magna cum laude

L'Università Italiana per Stranieri, Perugia, Diploma di Quinto Grado

Language

Dante Stella is a senior litigator trusted by clients and colleagues to plan and execute responses to complicated and high-risk matters, including class actions, major commercial litigation, and government investigations. He also knows how to efficiently handle smaller matters that may not have overwhelming exposures but whose outcomes are just as important to clients.

Outside of specific legal matters, Mr. Stella helps clients with information lifecycle management; information technology policies; and vendor contract structuring related to compliance and indemnification related to privacy statutes.

Mr. Stella heads Dykema's Discovery Management and E-Discovery Group, a cross-disciplinary team of attorneys, legal specialists, and legal technologists. He spearheads the design and organizes the execution of discovery and compliance projects that involve massive amounts of data.In this connection, he deploys  tools like analytics and predictive coding to cut down as much as reasonably possible the amount of human review labor, which is the single most expensive part of most matters.

Mr. Stella is also a member of Dykema's Pro Bono Committee, representing the Detroit office.

Government Investigations

Mr. Stella's investigative work (for internal and external investigations) includes planning, coordinating, and executing compliant and cost-effective responses to criminal and regulatory investigations by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission; the Office of the Inspector General; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and state authorities. His skills in this area include:

  • Data preservation procedures
  • Initial assessments of information sought
  • Negotiation over scope of information and document productions
  • Witness interviews and surveys of data sources
  • Compliant analytics, review, and production of data

Commercial Litigation

Having been a litigator for nearly two decades, Mr. Stella has handled a wide variety of cases for clients who are manufacturers (both general and automotive), retailers, banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, and owners of closely held businesses. These matters have spanned almost every area of litigation, both named plaintiff and class-actions, including:

  • Major commercial litigation
  • Antitrust litigation
  • Manufacturing-related litigation (products liability, warranty cost recovery)
  • Business torts (fraud, trade secrets, consumer protection)
  • Financial-services litigation (such as higher-exposure TILA, FDCPA, FCRA and TCPA matters)
  • General litigation (such as products liability, real estate, and environmental matters)

Mr. Stella does not shy away from difficult cases and difficult situations, but he also has the long-term perspective and mature judgment to know when a matter should be resolved outside the courtroom.

E-Discovery Design, Compliance, and Defense

In his role with Dykema's E-Discovery and Discovery Management Group, Mr. Stella's specialized projects have covered all aspects of the field in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, banking, insurance, health care, energy, construction, and services. Active for nearly two decades in the field, he has assisted numerous clients by:

  • Selecting appropriate data preservation measures in the face of legal events (litigation, investigations, and regulatory compliance exercises)
  • Designing efficient defensible E-discovery collection, processing, and production workflows tailored to the needs of legal matters, client budgets, and corporate culture. This includes incorporating as appropriate advanced analytic technologies and Technology Assisted Review (TAR).
  • Negotiating with adversaries the scope of electronic discovery in both major and small-scale matters,
  • Serving as lead negotiator on discovery protocols in complex litigation.
  • Developing responses to inbound discovery related to E-discovery issues, as well as developing appropriate outbound discovery.
  • Briefing and arguing E-Discovery issues before federal courts, state courts, special masters, and arbitrators.
  • Training client personnel on data handling and litigation readiness.
  • Advising clients on everyday information lifecycle management and acceptable use policies, as well as the retention and disposition of records when systems change or a merger or acquisition changes data retention needs.

Mr. Stella is also available as a mediator or special master for E-Discovery disputes. His extensive knowledge of E-Discovery processes and attendant cost issues makes him well-suited to fashion reasoned, realistic solutions to the sharp disagreements that can arise in this field.

Prior to joining Dykema, Mr. Stella interned for the Honorable Avern Cohn, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Memberships & Involvement

  • American Bar Association
  • Sedona Conference Working Group 1 (Electronic Discovery)
  • Michigan State Bar Association (and Information Technology Law Section)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association

Community/Civic Activities

  • Detroit Historical Society Board of Trustees
  • Leadership Detroit, Class XXXVIII