Photo of Nicholas J. Wittner

Nicholas J. Wittner Of Counsel

Areas of Practice

Industries

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan
  • California

Education

Wayne State University Law School, J.D. Cum Laude, 1979

  • Senior Associate Editor, Wayne Law Review
  • Silver Scholarship Key Award

Michigan State University, B.S., with High Honor, 1975

Nicholas Wittner is Of Counsel in Dykema's Litigation Department, focusing on regulatory matters, product safety and liability prevention, in addition to general litigation.

Prior to joining Dykema, Mr. Wittner served for 20 years as an assistant general counsel for the Nissan North America Legal Department. He headed the Legal Department's Product Group, which is responsible for the management of product liability litigation, product-related class actions, safety and environmental regulatory compliance matters, and patent litigation. He also advised engineers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan on safety compliance, as well as product safety and liability prevention.

Before his work at Nissan, he was an executive attorney at General Motors for 11 years, where he managed complex multi-district product liability litigation.

He is also a Professor of Law in Residence at Michigan State University College of Law, where he teaches Product Liability Law and Practice, and in the LLM Program, Civil Litigation Procedure and Practice for Foreign-Educated Lawyers.

His professional activities include leadership positions with the ABA Section of Litigation, including Co-Chair of the ABA's Products Liability Committee. He is a member of the American Law Institute and served on the Members Consultative Group for and was deeply involved in ALI's Restatement Third on Products Liability. He also was the Chair of the Product Liability Advisory Council, and co-chaired numerous programs for the ALI, the Product Liability Advisory Council, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, and the American Conference Institute. He has been a frequent speaker at ABA and other professional association conferences and authored numerous professional publications. He is nationally recognized  for his work on preemption in product liability cases, as well as his extensive work with the legal issues involving autonomous vehicles and vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems.

Mr. Wittner is a member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, and a member of the Board of Advisers for the Bureau of National Affairs' Product and Safety Liability Reporter, the Class Action Reporter, and Leaders' Product Liability Law and Strategy.

Memberships & Involvement

  • American Bar Association
    • Section of Litigation
      • Products Liability Committee
    • Section of Tort Trial and Insurance Practice
    • Section of International Law
  • American Law Institute
  • Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC)
  • Product Liability Institute for Corporate Counsel
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel

Community/Civic Activities

  • St. Joseph Health System, Member, Board of Trustees, January 2014 – Present
  • Catholic Charities of Orange County
    • Member (Reappointment) of the Board of Directors, July 2012 – Present
    • Chair, Board of Directors, June 2003 – July 2006
    • Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, 2001 – 2002
    • Member of the Board of Directors, 1998 – June 2003

Selected by The Legal 500 United States in 2015 for Litigation - Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense - Automotive/Transport

Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent®

AVVO, Superb®

Recipient of Distinguished Faculty Member Recognition for 2011 – 2012, Michigan State University College of Law

Recipient of Distinguished Faculty Member Award for 2010 – 2011, Michigan State University College of Law