John F. Birmingham, Jr. is a labor and employment lawyer, a former member of Foley’s Management Committee, former chair of the firm’s national Labor & Employment Practice and a partner in the Detroit office. John concentrates on class actions, noncompetition and trade secret matters, employment-related litigation, appellate law, investigations and labor law. He regularly counsels clients on a vast array of labor and employment issues and develops problem prevention and resolution strategies. He performs high-level investigations and counsels boards and executives on crisis management and disaster mitigation. In addition, he is a member of the Privacy, Security & Information Management and Immigration, Nationality & Consular Law Practices and the Automotive and Manufacturing Industry Teams.
John has successfully represented clients in several class actions, trials and arbitrations. He has argued many appellate cases including those before the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and drafted a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. He has also represented clients on unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board and the United States Court of Appeals. John represents clients at trial, administrative tribunals, arbitration or other ADR format involving a wide variety of cases (EEO, ADA, ERISA, FMLA, common law contract and torts and several other areas). He has acted as a neutral case evaluator, arbitrator and mediator. John also is a fair housing expert, counseling and representing clients in the agency and court proceedings.
Representative Class Actions and Other Cases
Representative Trade Secret/Non-Compete Cases
Representative Appellate Cases
John frequently presents seminars for clients, chambers of commerce, industry groups and other organizations. He authored a chapter in the book Resolving Employee Disputes & Litigation titled, "A Strategic Approach to Achieving the Best Results in Resolving Employment Disputes."
John has been Peer Review Rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2011, recognizing his labor and employment work. He has been named Detroit Labor Law–Management “Lawyer of the Year” (2016) by Best Lawyers®. In addition, he was selected for inclusion in the list of Michigan Super Lawyers® (2006, 2010 - 2019).
John was named one of the “Leaders in the Law” for 2014 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
Admissions and Professional Memberships
John is a member of the American Bar Association, Detroit Bar Association, Oakland County Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, as well as the Federal Bar Association and the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. He also is admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western District of Michigan.
John is an arbitrator in the American Arbitration Association.
John obtained his J.D., magna cum laude, and Order of the Coif, from the University of Michigan Law School, and received his B.A., with honors, at Michigan State University.
John serves on the advisory board at New Day Foundation.
Selected presentations and Publications