Vanessa L. Miller

Partner

Overview

Vanessa Miller is a litigation partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, chair of the Detroit office’s Litigation Department and a lead of Foley’s Supply Chain Solutions Initiative. She is a member of the Automotive Industry Team and Manufacturing Industry Team. Vanessa’s practice focuses on a wide array of supply chain disputes, including breach of contract and warranty claims, automotive supply chain issues and maintaining continuity of supply, defending manufacturers against class actions, trade secret misappropriation claims and business torts.

Vanessa has successfully managed, litigated and tried cases in state and federal courts, as well as handled appellate proceedings. She has significant experience handling complex international arbitrations in various venues, including the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), American Arbitration Association (AAA), Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services Inc. (JAMS) and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). Vanessa also has represented clients in commercial mediations, which have resulted in the early resolution of legal disputes and creative business solutions for parties continuing to do business together.

In addition to her litigation, international arbitration and mediation experience, Vanessa regularly counsels clients on various commercial contracts, supply chain agreements and related negotiations. Vanessa is the author of the forthcoming executive handbook (to be published in 2020) Law of the Automotive and Manufacturing Supply Chain: A Handbook for Success.

Prior to joining Foley, Vanessa was a law clerk to the Honorable Patrick J. Duggan, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Representative Experience

  • Served as the Interim General Counsel for approximately one year for Tier 1 supplier with annual sales of $1 billion, handling all aspects of in-house legal duties and commercial counseling
  • Obtained dismissal of high-profile Jeep cyber-hacking class action lawsuit after five years of discovery and motion practice where class plaintiffs were claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in damages against vehicle and infotainment system manufacturers
  • Obtained favorable resolution of Department of Justice (DOJ) False Claims Act investigation for automotive supplier
  • Daily supply chain and commercial transactional counseling to U.S. motorcycle manufacturer
  • Regularly litigates and arbitrates global supply chain warranty/recall disputes spanning complex discovery and technical issues across Asia, Europe and North America
  • Routinely involved in obtaining or defending against temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions for manufacturers (over 40 cases)
  • Arbitrating complex breach of contract claim and misappropriation of trade secrets claim against Korean supplier before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), resulting in award of millions of dollars in damages and future royalties
  • Arbitrating massive warranty claim against Japanese supplier and leading international discovery that involved over 150 employees across three continents
  • Prevailing on motion for summary judgment and obtaining dismissal of tens of millions of dollars in breach of warranty claims brought by original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for allegedly defective parts supplied by Tier 1 supplier
  • Prevailing on motion for summary judgment and winning appeal on novel issues of law in six million dollar consignee liability and breach of contract claim brought against supplier by shipping company
  • Obtaining summary judgment and award of costs for engine manufacturer in breach of warranty dispute; handling appeal before the Sixth Circuit, which affirmed the dismissal and award of costs
  • Managing international electronic discovery and translation efforts in large-scale complex litigations and arbitrations involving over one million documents

Education

Vanessa earned her law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Denver College of Law (J.D., 2004), where she was elected to the Order of St. Ives and served as general editor for the University of Denver Law Review and training editor for the Journal of International Law. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with distinction (B.A., 2001).

Admissions and Professional Memberships

Vanessa is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Michigan and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She is also an active member of the Federal Bar Association. She serves on the board of directors for the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation as the vice president, industry outreach, which provides scholarships to advance and empower women in the automotive industry.

Recognition

  • Named “Top Women Attorneys” in Michigan by Super Lawyers® in 2019
  • Awarded the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Barristers “One to Watch” Award 2011-2012
  • Selected for inclusion in the Michigan Super Lawyers® – Rising Stars lists in 2013 and 2014
  • Received the 2014 Michigan Lawyers Weekly Woman in the Law Award

Select Publications and Presentations

  • “Practices and Precautions for Commercial Landlords for Reopening After COVID-19,” Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center, May 2020
  • Webinar: “Impacts of COVID-19 on the Renewable Energy Industry,” April 2020
  • Webinar: “Mastering Coronavirus & COVID-19 Legal Issues,” Rossdale Group, April 2020
  • Webinar: “Managing the Commercial Impact of the Coronavirus,” March 2020
  • “Managing the Impact of the Coronavirus – What Claims In-House Counsel Should Expect,” Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center, March 2020
  • “Managing the Impact of the Coronavirus – Implications for the Energy Industry,” Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center, March 2020
  • “Managing the Impact of the Coronavirus – Update Regarding Corporate Travel Restrictions,” Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center, March 2020
  • “Managing the Impact of the Coronavirus – An Effective Supply Chain Response Plan,” Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center, February 2020
  • “Managing the Impact of the Coronavirus – Force Majeure Declarations,” Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center, January  2020
  • “2020 Automotive Update: State of the Market, Cost Recovery, and Market Disruption Opportunities,” Panel Discussion, February 2020
  • “Top Legal Issues Facing the Automotive Industry in 2020: Impact of Emerging Technologies on Global Automotive Supply Chains,” Foley Automotive Industry Team, January 2020
  • “Risk Mitigation in the Global Supply Chain,” The Future of World Transportation Conference 2019, Vienna, December 2019
  • “The International Trade War: An Overview of the Current and Ever-Changing Tariff Regime & Related Commercial Strategies,” Association of Corporate Counsel-Michigan, November 2019
  • “The International Trade War: Coping Strategies for Automotive Companies Dealing with Section 232 and 301 Tariffs, International Trade Litigation and Heightened Customs Enforcement,” October 2019
  • “Managing Supply Chain Risk: Best Practices to Avoid Liability for Your Supplier’s Freight Costs,” Michigan Bar Journal, October 2019
  • “Optimizing Supply Chains for Climate Change,” Industry Today, September 2019
  • Distribution & Franchise Seminars: “When Your International Distribution Contract Goes South,” May, September and October 2019 
  • “State of Automotive Recall and Warranty Summit: Automotive Recall Regulatory Update and Technology Considerations,” Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA)- Recall Summit, March 2019
  • “Supply Chain Agreements: Selected Provisions,” Association of Corporate Counsel-Milwaukee, September 2018
  • “Force Majeure Best Practices – Hurricane Florence,” Foley Dashboard Insights, September 2018
  • “Contractual Strategies for Navigating Volatile Commodities Markets and Government Regulations,” Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA)—Commodities Program, August 2018
  • “Supply Chain Agreements: Red Flag Provisions,” Strafford Continuing Legal Education, June 2018
  • “State of Automotive Recall and Warranty Summit: Legal Trends and Risk Management Strategies,” Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA)- Recall Summit, March 2018
  • “International Arbitration: Contracting and Strategies,” Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA)- Legal Issues Council, January 2018
  • “Key Legal Issues in the Manufacturing Supply Chain: Managing Risk and Enhancing Value,” December 2017
  • “Recall and Warranty Claims: Strategies for Mitigating Risk in Commercial Contracting,” Michigan Association of Corporate Counsel, November 2016
  • “The Pros and Cons of Arbitration,” Michigan Association of Corporate Counsel, November 2015
  • “Best Practices in Drafting U.S. Government Subcontract Terms and Conditions,” June 2015 and October 2014
  • “Force Majeure Clauses: An ‘Out’ for Suppliers Facing Shortages and Supply Chain Disruptions from West Coast Labor Dispute,” Foley Dashboard Insights, February 2015
  • “Disputes in the Manufacturing Supply Chain,” Michigan Bar Journal, October 2014
  • “Tug-of-War: Attorney Client Privilege vs. Deposition,” Law360, October 2014
  • “10 Tips to Effectively Manage E-Discovery Projects,” Michigan Association of Corporate Counsel, September 2014
  • “How Auto Suppliers Can Prepare For Recalls,” Law360, May 2014
  • “Auto Suppliers Prepare for Barrage of Recalls,” Foley Dashboard Insights, April 2014
  • “Litigating a Contract Dispute” Chapter, Michigan Contract Law, Second Edition, ICLE ©2013
  • “State of the Law Update: Contract and Commercial Transactions Law,” Michigan Association of Corporate Counsel, April 2012 and April 2013
  • “Distribution and Franchise Successor Liability Examined,” Detroit Legal News, June 2012