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, Special Language Degree

Language

Dante Stella is a creative, logical, and efficient problem solver who focuses his practice on litigation and investigations that involve challenging legal, factual, and data management issues. He also provides non-litigation counseling to clients on information lifecycle management, information infrastructure, and electronic discovery readiness planning.

Mr. Stella heads Dykema's Discovery Management and E-Discovery Group, a team consisting of numerous attorneys, as well as legal specialists and legal technologists. 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:

  • United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division criminal subpoenas to suppliers and purchasers of various commodities, intermediate goods, and finished goods.
  • Regulatory requests made by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in conjunction with corporate transactions, such as civil investigative demands, subpoenas duces tecum, and Second Requests.
  • Criminal subpoenas issued by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in connection with health-care billing investigations.
  • Criminal subpoenas issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in criminal public corruption investigations.
  • State grand jury subpoenas.
  • Civil subpoenas directed to third parties in various litigation matters.

Mr. Stella’s E-Discovery work has also included extensive involvement in In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 12-MD-02311,which consists of dozens of antitrust class actions pending in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. This is one of the largest and most complex multidistrict litigation (MDL) matters in United States history. His involvement has included both the initial DOJ investigations and attendant civil litigation.

Commercial Litigation

Mr. Stella's commercial litigation work focuses on cases that involve complicated and challenging facts, novel issues of law, and high stakes. Some representative matters include:

  • A multi-defendant wage/hour class action in which employees alleged that hospital systems conspired to fix compensation.
  • A national class action in which consumers alleged that product advisories and packaging were misleading.
  • A national, multi-defendant class action in which industrial customers alleged that plastic product manufacturers fixed prices.
  • A multi-defendant banking class action in which mortgagors asserted that their mortgages were bifurcated and therefore invalid.
  • An environmental insurance coverage suit brought by a regional authority, including a related subrogation action against its members for CERCLA contribution.
  • A banking fraud action where mortgage assignees asserted that the bank owed third parties a duty to monitor the activities of customers.
  • An environmental contribution suit in which a foreclosure buyer asserted that by previously cleaning up an industrial site, the foreclosing bank had become an arranger/generator under state law.
  • Trial and appellate work in a trade secrets action involving two foreign suppliers to two United States competitors.

Specific E-Discovery Capabilities

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.

  • Helping clients create and implement effective litigation holds and defensible internal processes related to ESI.
  • Evaluating and, where appropriate, implementing Early Case Assessment (ECA) systems and Technology Assisted Review (TAR) systems for particular investigations and litigation matters.
  • Designing efficient, proportional, and defensible discovery processes that result in targeted collection, intelligent processing, and efficient review of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) in response to litigation or government investigations.
  • Negotiating, planning, and executing cooperative and confirmatory discovery in connection with the resolution of major matters such as class actions.
  • Serving in multi-defendant cases (including class actions) as lead negotiator on ESI protocols (collection, processing, production protocols, and keyword searches).
  • Designing outgoing discovery on ESI issues.
  • Preparing corporate witnesses on ESI and data retention issues.
  • Writing, arguing, and supporting motions related to the discoverability of ESI.
  • Training in-house legal personnel on management of internal E-Discovery projects.
  • Preparing presentations on information management and litigation for the use of in-house legal personnel.
  • Advising on data and record retention policies for companies, from small closely-held enterprises to Fortune 500 companies.

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

  • Leadership Detroit, Class XXXVIII
  • Detroit Artists Market, Board Member 2006-2012 (term limited); Board Chair 2010-2012; Exhibition Committee 2006 - Present
  • Detroit Historical Society, Capital Campaign Steering Committee; 313 Committee 2011-Present
  • International Institute Foundation, Board of Trustees 2002-2012