John Birmingham Jr. is a lawyer and trusted adviser on high-level and day-to-day labor and employment issues, and develops problem prevention and resolution strategies for unionized and nonunionized companies. He also represents clients in litigation, especially trade secret and noncompetition, in which he is highly skilled; performs and counsels clients through sensitive investigations; and counsels boards and executives on crisis management and disaster mitigation.
Former chair of Foley & Lardner LLP’s national Labor & Employment Practice and a former member of the firm’s Management Committee, John concentrates on noncompetition, trade secret matters and business torts, class actions, employment-related litigation, appellate law, investigations, and labor law. He is a member of the Privacy, Security & Information Management and Immigration, Nationality & Consular Law Practices, the Automotive Industry Team and the Manufacturing Sector.
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 6th Circuit, and drafted a Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also represented clients on unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. 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).
John has negotiated several union contracts and arbitrated more than 50 union grievances including collective matters involving health care, vacations, holidays, retirement, and other high exposure subjects.
John also focuses on fair housing, counseling, and representing clients in the agency and court proceedings. He has acted as a neutral case evaluator, arbitrator, and mediator.
John is an adjunct professor at Michigan State University College of Law. His primary academic concentration is in trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and unfair competition.
约翰伯明翰先生是美国富理达律师事务所 (Foley & Lardner LLP) 管理委员会成员，本所劳动雇佣业务部的前主席，也是底特律办公室的合伙人。伯明翰先生主要从事集团诉讼，竞业禁止，商业机密，与雇佣有关的诉讼，以及劳动法事务。他定期为客户进行各类劳动雇佣事宜法律咨询，并提供问题防范和解决策略。另外，他也是隐私，安全与信息管理，移民，国籍和领事法律业务，以及汽车和制造公司部的成员。
- 代表供应商在11原告性骚扰事件; 和
- CVS Caremark 与SXC Thigpen和Pokuta案（伊利诺伊州联邦法庭）：公司收购案；经过大量走访调查，最终成功调解；
- Johnson Controls与Moon Neville案（纽约联邦法庭）：通过取证与庭审，获得了禁止原告在业内工作的初步禁制令；
- Johnson Controls与Kaniut案（密歇根州联邦法庭）：涉及公司收购索赔的非邀约案。取证后成功和解。
- “下一代的制造商必须保护的秘密” ,法律360,2013年9月24日
- “如果你想24-7都能找到你的员工，请准备付款”，密歇根州律师周刊, 2011年11月
- “社交媒体和工作场所:在推特上泄露商业机密和保密信息”，供应管理, 2011年3月
- “互动融通过程:合作或付出代价”，密歇根律师协会日报, 1998年10月
- “”后获得的证据”之后:当前的状态和问题,“劳动就业法笔记报, 1997年春
Trade Secret/Non-Compete Cases
- Represents mortgage brokers in several cases involving the enforceability of restrictive covenants.
- Served as lead lawyer in defending trade secret, breach of contract, fiduciary duty, and business tort case involving international conglomerate’s business process tool, securing opinion dismissing majority of claims, leading to voluntary dismissal.
- Led corporate employee raiding case against competitor of Tier 1 auto supplier, and after securing reversal at the Michigan Supreme Court, negotiated very favorable settlement.
- Represented Fortune 50 pharmacy benefits management company in large tortious interference/corporate raiding/trade-secret/noncompete case, which was resolved favorably in 2012 after extensive litigation.
- Defeated injunctive relief request in representing propane engine manufacturer in trade secret and noncompete case involving engine control units.
- Secured injunction for automotive manufacturer in noncompete/trade secret matter involving solicitation.
- Represented information technology firm in noncompete/trade secret matter, securing court order prohibiting certain competition for one year.
- Represented medical care provider in defense of employee corporate raiding matter involving more than 25 medical professionals, negotiating a favorable outcome.
- Designed noncompete and trade secret process and audits for multiple Fortune 500 companies.
- Obtained preliminary injunction for auto supplier, precluding work for a competitor after hearing. Represented HVAC company in noncompete matter, resulting in a preliminary injunction precluding plaintiffs from working in industry.
- Represented battery manufacturer in non-solicitation case involving corporate raiding claim with favorable resolution negotiated after discovery.
- Selected and served as a case evaluator and mediator in multiple trade secret/non-solicitation cases.
Class Actions and Other Cases
- Defending real estate broker in a class action involving whether real estate agents are employees or independent contractors.
- Defending HVAC manufacturer and distributor in ERISA pension calculation class action. Represented Tier I automotive supplier in age discrimination and promotion class action, resulting in a denial of class certification.
- Represented Tier I automotive supplier in age discrimination and reduction in force collective action. Represented a large packaging company in wage and hour “off the clock” collective action.
- Defending automotive supplier in a class action involving ERISA pension accrual claim.
- Represented automotive supplier in 11-plaintiff harassment case.
- Represented auto supplier in WARN class action.
- Represented homebuilder in FLSA wage and hour action, resulting in a denial of class certification and dismissal.
- Represented homebuilder in union corporate campaign involving sabotage through appeal, establishing new law with respect to the violation of Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. Defending OEM in nationwide consumer fraud class action involving OnStar technology.
- Kennedy v Weichert: Representing real estate broker in New Jersey Courts, including the New Jersey Supreme Court, in class action involving whether real estate agents are employees or independent contractors Pulte Homes, Inc. v. Laborers’ Int’l Union, 648 F.3d 295 (6th Cir. 2011) (establishing a cause of action for email barrage under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act).
- Walton v. Ford Motor Company, 424 F. 3d 481 (6th Cir. 2006) (validating call-in procedure for FMLA).
- Nexteer v. Mando Corporation, et al., 314 Mich. App. 391 (2017) (secured reversal of order mandating arbitration in trade secret matter, which was sustained, after oral argument, by Michigan Supreme Court).
- Santomauro v. Pultegroup, Inc., 2016 Mich. App. Lexis 2323 (2016) (court of appeals confirmed arbitrator’s award dismissing matter based on spoliation of evidence).
Awards and Recognition
- Rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system
- The Best Lawyers in America®
- Employment Law – Management (2011-present)
- Labor Law – Management (2011-present)
- Litigation – Labor and Employment (2011-present)
- Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in Detroit
- Litigation – Labor and Employment (2023)
- Labor Law – Management (2016)
- Michigan Super Lawyers® (2006, 2010-2021)
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “Leaders in the Law” (2014)
- DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers (2022)
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Detroit Bar Association
- Member, Oakland County Bar Association
- Member, State Bar of Michigan
- Member, Federal Bar Association
- Member, Rochester Chamber of Commerce
- Member. USDC Local Rules Advisory Committee
- Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association
- Advisory board member, New Day Foundation
Presentations and Publications
- Co-author, “The Tools Used in Modern Business – Such As Videoconferencing – and the Social Media Culture Create Real Challenges to Protecting Trade Secrets,” Foley Insights: Labor & Employment Law Perspectives (February 16, 2021)
- Interviewed, “Retail Workers Without Masks May Be Breaking the Law,” WDET, NPR Detroit Station, MichMash Podcast (May 29, 2020)
- Featured, “John Birmingham – Managing Labor Law With Great Confidence,” Leading Lawyers Magazine, Michigan Edition (June 2017)
- “The Dirty Little Secret about Trade Secrets,” Industry Week (March 4, 2014)
- “Next-Generation Manufacturers Must Protect Secrets,” Law360 (September 24, 2013)
- “Social Media and the Workplace: Twittering Away Trade Secret and Confidential Information,” Supply Management (March 2011)
- “Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege in the Employment Environment,” Michigan Bar Journal (January 2009)
- Frequent presenter at seminars for clients, chambers of commerce, industry groups, and other organizations
- Frequent guest labor and employment “expert” on National Public Radio (NPR)
- Author of the chapter “A Strategic Approach to Achieving the Best Results in Resolving Employment Disputes” in the book Resolving Employee Disputes & Litigation