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B. Jay Yelton III

Partner | Email

  • Kalamazoo

    t. +

    f. 269.276.8300


Jay created and serves as co-chair of the firm's Data Solutions Practice Group as well as managed the firm's Discovery Center. He is a veteran attorney who has spent much of the past two decades designing and implementing plans and programs that help clients manage electronic documents, prepare for litigation and develop eDiscovery strategies. Jay frequently conducts training seminars on records management and eDiscovery, and has written for and been quoted extensively by state and national publications. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and other organizations. A graduate of Michigan State University and the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Jay has practiced extensively in the areas of litigation and dispute resolution, antitrust and trade regulation, product liability and torts. For the last 10 years, he has been named one of America’s Best Lawyers


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  • Loyola University Chicago J.D. 1986
  • Michigan State University B.A. 1983 with honors


  • 1990, Michigan


  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Business Law, Litigation and Science and Technology Law Sections
  • Federal Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Litigation and Information Technology Law Sections
  • Kalamazoo County Bar Association

Teaching and Lecturing

  • “eDiscovery and Data Analytics,” Michigan State University, College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan, February 27, 2018
  • “eDiscovery Best Practices,” MSU’s Fieger Trial Practice Institute, Michigan State University, College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan, October 23, 2017
  • “eDiscovery with Judge McKeague,” Michigan State University, College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan, April 26, 2016
  • “e-Discovery Trends and Technology-Assisted Review,” Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan, November 17, 2014
  • "Current and Future e-Discovery Trends and Opportunities," Michigan State University College of Law, November 18, 2013
  • "Electronic Discovery for Trial Attorneys," Michigan State University College of Law, October 7, 2013
  • “Electronic Discovery + Records Management,” Michigan State University Law School, October 8, 2012


Discovery Management
  • National discovery counsel for Fortune Global 500 manufacturer; develop and maintain systems for timely and accurate discovery compliance throughout the United States
  • National defense counsel for a global pharmaceutical company in price-fixing class actions in 15 U.S. states; develop a litigation and discovery management system for 6,900 plaintiffs, 100 complaints and over 1 million discovery documents
  • Special Assistant Attorney General in a federal court civil rights action; design, implement and defend a discovery plan that involved the collection of over 1 million pages from multiple locations
  • Local defense counsel for a Fortune Global 100 company in a federal court action involving antitrust and copyright infringement claims; collect, review and produce over 80 million pages of discovery documents
  • Discovery counsel for Fortune Global 500 company in response to a DOJ antitrust subpoena; implement preservation plan; conduct discovery interviews of employees to design discovery strategy; develop and maintain a discovery database for the review and management of more than 100,000 pages of discovery documents
  • Discovery counsel for a major professional services firm in response to DOJ grand jury subpoena involving an alleged illegal off-shore tax shelter; design and implement hard copy and e-data preservation and collection strategy and create 300 page privilege log involving complex, multi-client communications, correspondence and documents
  • Counsel for a group of furniture manufacturers participating at several landfill Superfund sites; develop and maintain a data management system for the review and analysis of documents and deposition testimony regarding manufacturers’ potential liability share; utilize data management system to successfully challenge U.S. EPA’s database and  reduce client manufacturers’ share of Superfund liability
  • Negotiate sneak peek and clawback arrangement for DOJ’s investigation of government officials as means to reduce time and cost for subpoena compliance
  • Brief and argue motion for protective order on behalf of state agency, resulting in a 90% reduction in discovery compliance costs
  • Draft and/or negotiate over 50 discovery plans involving the preservation, collection and review of electronically stored data
Litigation Readiness
  • Conduct audit and develop Litigation Readiness Plan for a multi-state financial institution, for an international materials company, and for one of the world’s leading biotech companies
  • Lead counsel for the Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan obtaining a settlement providing three years of court enforced injunctive relief, monetary damages and an award of $241,000.00 in attorneys’ fees
  • Co-counsel defending Section 1983 Civil Rights class action challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s child foster care system
  • Co-counsel for Pharmacia & Upjohn Company obtaining summary judgment in cases alleging discrimination and wrongful termination
  • Co-counsel for a prescription drug manufacturer defending price-fixing claims by a putative national class of drug retailers.
  • Lead counsel obtaining favorable judgment at trial in case involving neighbors seeking tear down of a multi-million dollar home on Lake Michigan for alleged violations of subdivision deed restrictions, local ordinances and MDEQ requirements

Records Management

  • Evaluate and update records management policy and procedures for a leading global healthcare supplier and for an international packaging company with over 20,000 employees
  • Analyze and provide defensibility memorandum for organization to recycle 75,000 backup dates, resulting in an annual cost savings of $2.5 million

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2007-Present; Litigation-Antitrust, 2007-Present and Litigation-Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), 2012-Present
  • Recognized as one of America's Leading Lawyers for Business and Commercial Litigation by Chambers USA, 2006
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Loyola Law Journal, Executive Editor


  • "What every lawyer should know about e-discovery, The best tip:  Know what you don't know," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, August 18, 2014
  • “Data Spoliation Sanctions,” Faces of Risk Management, Financier Worldwide Magazine, 2013
  • “Recovery of E-Discovery Costs Under 28 U.S.C. §1920(4),” Michigan Defense Quarterly, October 2012
  • “Data Security, E-Discovery and Corporate Boards,” The Corporate Board Magazine, July/August 2012
  • “Email Missteps to Avoid:  ‘Reply to All’ & ‘Auto-Complete,’” Michigan Defense Quarterly, July 2012
  • “Develop a Record Retention Policy for the Law Office,” Institute for Continuing Legal Education, July 2010
  • “Advise Your Client on Preservation of Electronic Evidence,” Institute for Continuing Legal Education, June 2010
  • “New Federal Rule of Evidence Seeks to Protect and Preserve the Attorney-Client Privilege in the Age of E-Discovery,” The Litigation Newsletter, State Bar of Michigan, Winter 2009
  • “Michigan’s New Discovery Rules:  Early Involvement Can Reduce Risks and Costs of E-Discovery,” The Litigation Newsletter, State Bar of Michigan, Spring 2009
  • “New Federal E-Discovery Rule: A Blessing or a Curse?,” The Litigation Newsletter, State Bar of Michigan, Winter 2007
  • “Education and Training:  The First Steps in Developing a Litigation Readiness Program,” The Litigation Newsletter, State Bar of Michigan, Winter 2007
  • “LEGAL: How to Establish an Effective Management Program for Your E-Data,” Detroit Regional Chamber, October 26, 2006
  • “New Federal E-discovery Rules:  A Blessing or a Curse?,” Midwest In-House, July 2006
  • “Education, Training Essential First Steps in Updating Your Company’s Discovery Management Program,” Midwest In-House, January 2005


Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)
    Educational Advisor
  • Association of Records Managers International (ARMA)
  • International Legal Technology Association

Community Affiliations

  • Community in Schools of Kalamazoo Volunteer (2018)
  • United Way of the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek Region, Cabinet Member (2018)
  • Board Member and Finance Committee Chair Dillon Complex for Independent Living (2014-Present)
  • Knights of Columbus (2008-Present)
  • Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan, Cooperating Attorney and Sponsor (2004-Present)
  • Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo, Board Member (2003-07); President (2001-03)
  • Saint Monica Grade School, Local Advisory Council (1997-2003); President (2001-03)
  • Kalamazoo Central High School Mock Trial Team, Attorney coach (1990-95)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Michigan Supreme Court: New Members and New Rules, Attorney Client Privilege, Litigation and Discovery,” 2019 West Michigan Spring Symposium, Warner Norcross + Judd Seminar, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 22, 2019
  • “eDiscovery: Michigan’s New Discovery Rules,” Data Solutions Symposium Spring 2019, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Warner Norcross + Judd Seminar, April 17, 2019, and Novi, Michigan, April 23, 2019
  • “Understanding Your IG Risks,” Association of Corporate Counsel, West Michigan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 10, 2018
  • “General Data Protection Regulation Panel” and “Third Party Subpoenas: Are You Paying for Someone Else’s Discovery?,” Data Solutions Spring Symposium, Troy, Michigan, April 18, 2018 and Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 26, 2018
  • “ESI Protocol,” Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists (ACEDS) 2017 Fall eDiscovery Symposium, Detroit, Michigan, September 21, 2017
  • “2016:  Recap and Lessons Learned,” “eDiscovery Rules:  Case Law Trends and the Potential for New Michigan Rules,” and Social Media and the Workplace,” Data Solutions Symposium, Warner Norcross + Judd Seminar, Novi, Michigan, April 26, 2017 and Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 14, 2017
  • “Navigating the Intersection of Today’s Automotive IP and IT,” OESA seminar, Troy, Michigan, September 27, 2016
    “Generating a Competitive Advantage Through Information Governance:  Lessons from the Field,” South East eDiscovery & IG Retreat, Atlanta, Georgia, May 23, 2016
  • “What Role Should an Organization’s IT Department Play in the Discovery Process,?” and “Building a Business Case for Information Governance Improvements,” Data Solutions Symposium, Warner Norcross + Judd Seminar, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 11, 2016, and Novi, Michigan, April 22, 2016
  • “Legal Focus:  eDiscovery and Healthcare Record Retention,” Harmony Healthcare IT Webinar, February 24, 2016
    “Information Governance:  How to Assess Your Status,” Hungerford Nichols 20th Annual Update for Accounts, Grand Rapids, Michigan, December 3, 2015
  • “Information Governance - How do you Eat an Elephant,” 2015 East Coast eDiscovery & IG Retreat, Harwich, Massachusetts, November 9, 2015
  • “Case Study:  Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure” and “Off-the Record Discussion on How to Identify and Respond to Data Preservation Trigger Events,” Data Solutions Symposium, Warner Norcross + Judd Seminar, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 23, 2015
  • “How Information Governance Can Stop the Financial Bleeding in the Event of Litigation or Data Breach,” Financial Executives International – West Michigan Chapter, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 14, 2015
  • “Behind TAR’s Vale:  How to Strike the Balance Between Transparency, Disclosure and Cooperation” and “Challenging the Assumptions, Claims and Givens of TAR to Make it More Effective and Just,” ACEDS 6th Annual e-Discovery Conference, National Harbor, Maryland, September 29, 2015
  • “Cut Costs and Time Associated with Legal Holds and Data Review,” Data Solutions Symposium, Warner Norcross + Judd Seminar, Southfield, Michigan, June 24, 2015, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 20, 2015
  • “How an Understanding of Available Technology Tools and the Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Can and Should Reduce Litigation Costs and Risks,” Crain’s General and In-House Summit, Detroit, Michigan, June 10, 2015
  • “To Keep or Not to Keep, That is the Question: Document Retention and Destruction,” Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants CPE Mega Conference, Livonia, Michigan, May 14, 2015
  • “Document Retention, Policy Development and Other Legal Issues Related to eDiscovery,” Merit Network Conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 13, 2015
  • “TAR/Predictive Coding,” Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) Lunch & Learn, Detroit, Michigan, May 7, 2015
  • “Effective Legal Holds,” National Association of Legal Professional (NALS) meeting, Kalamazoo, Michigan, April 28, 2015
  • “Merger Investigations:  The Benefits of Technology-Assisted Document Review in 2014,” Knowledge Group webinar, November 25, 2014
  • “E-Discovery – Strategies and Ethical Considerations for Protecting Privileged and Patient Health Information,” 20th Annual Health Law Institute, March 7, 2014
  • “Minimizing Your Litigation Costs in 2013,” Knowledge Group webinar, August 1, 2013
  • “Predictive Coding,” Original Equipment Suppliers Association Legal Issues Counsel webinar, July 24, 2013
  • “Practical Approaches to Creating and Implementing Rule 26 Discovery Plans,” eDiscovery Retreats, San Diego, CA, July 1, 2013
  • “Predictive Coding: Workflow and Relevant Case Law,” United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, May 22, 2013
  • "International eDiscovery: Have Data, Will Travel. Not from THIS Country,” Knowledge Group webinar, December 11, 2012
  • “What a Responsible Professional (CPA or Attorney) Should Know About E-Discovery and Records Management,” Illinois CPA Society Fraud Conference, Chicago, Illinois, September 20, 2012
  • “E-Discovery Update – ESI and the Government,” Law Review CLE Webinar, Las Vegas, NV, June 24, 2012
  • “E-Discovery Update and Compliance 2012,” Mid-Michigan ARMA, Lansing, Michigan, April 17, 2012
  • “E-Discovery 2012 – Case Updates and Best Practices,” Kalamazoo County Bar Association, March 14, 2012
  • “E-Discovery Update 2012 – ESI & the Government,” Webinar, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, February 29, 2012
  • “Litigation Readiness,” Association of Legal Support Professionals, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 6, 2011
  • “E-Discovery Update 2011,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education Webcast, February 15, 2011
  • “Early Case Assessment:  Assessing Your Client’s Risk,” The Association of Litigation Support Professionals, Detroit, Michigan, November 16, 2010
  • “E-Discovery Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Antitrust Lawyers,” ExecSense Webinar, July 20, 2010
  • “Update on E-Discovery and Michigan’s Digital Expert Qualifications,” Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, Livonia, Michigan, May 18, 2010
  • “Is Your Organization Litigation Ready?,” Mid-Michigan Chapter of ARMA, Lansing, Michigan, February 18, 2010
  • “What Attorneys Must Know about Duty to Preserve Triggers,” In-House Counsel Webinar, January 21, 2010
  • “Preservation of Electronic Evidence, e-Discovery – No Longer an Option – It’s a Rule, So Now What?” Oakland County Bar Association, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, September 22, 2009
  • “A Self-Assessment of Whether Your Organization’s Document Retention Program is Current and Litigation-Ready,” Lorman’s Document Retention and Destruction Seminar, Southfield, Michigan, May 8, 2009
  • “The Essentials of Preparing your Clients for the Burdens of E-Discovery,” 34th Annual Labor & Employment Law Institute, Plymouth, Michigan, April 2, 2009
  • “Michigan’s New E-Discovery Rules,” Oakland County Bar Association, Employment Law Section, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, March 10, 2009
  • “Implementation of Michigan’s New E-Discovery Court Rules,” Kalamazoo County Bar Association Lawyers Lunchtime Roundtable, Kalamazoo, Michigan, February 3, 2009
  • “E-Discovery and Litigation Readiness,” Michigan Community College Business Officers Association, Traverse City, Michigan, July 25, 2008
  • “Understanding and Comparing Federal E-Discovery Rules with Michigan’s Proposed E-Discovery Rules,” Ingham County Bar Association Bench and Bar Conference, Lansing, Michigan, February 2, 2008
  • “Overview of Legal Issues Related to E-Discovery Under Federal and Michigan Law,” Kalamazoo County Bar Association Lawyers Lunchtime Roundtable, Kalamazoo, Michigan, January 24, 2008
  • “Primary Stages and Land Mines of E-Discovery,” Automation Alley Emerging Technology and Solutions Breakfast Series, Troy, Michigan, June 26, 2007
  • “Electronic Communications:  An Asset or A Liability?,” Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners, Acme, Michigan, February 15, 2007
  • “The New Federal E-Discovery Rules: Why, What and How?,” Joint Meeting of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association and the Southeast Michigan Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Southfield, Michigan, January 11, 2007
  • “E-Mail and the New Federal E-Discovery Rules,” The Risk Management Association, Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 28, 2006
  • “Corporate Records Management,” South Haven Chamber of Commerce, November 15, 2005
  • “Investigation & Litigation Readiness,” Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Troy, Michigan, February 16, 2005
  • “Educational Records: Complying with Students’ Privacy Rights,” School Administrators of the Greater Kalamazoo Catholic Schools, October 6, 2004
  • “Information Management in the Electronic Age: Reducing Risks and Costs,” The West Michigan Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel Americas, Grand Rapids, Michigan, December 7, 2004
  • “Information Management in the Electronic Age: Reducing Risks and Costs,” The East Michigan Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel Americas, Troy, Michigan, June 2, 2004
  • “Discovery of Corporate Information – Risks & Strategies,” the Detroit Chapter of Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Southfield, Michigan, February 18, 2004
  • “Corporate Discovery Management in the Electronic Information Age,” Employment Law Alliance Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 24, 2003
  • “Retention, Organization and Production of Electronic and Hard Copy Business Records,” Grand Rapids Bar Association, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 13, 2003
  • “Freedom of Information Act in the Electronic Age,” United County Officers Association, Lansing, Michigan, January 28, 2002


  • “New Federal Rules of Civil Procedure aimed at efficiency,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, December 14, 2015
  • “Mega Data – Firms Step up to Maintain, Advise on Clients’ Info,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, April 27, 2015
  • “What every lawyer should know about e-discovery.  The best tip:  Know what you don’t know,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, August 18, 2014
  • “Magistrate Judge Limits Scope of the Duty to Preserve in Denying Spoliation Sanctions,” InsideCounsel, October 2013
  • “Federal Court Orders Losing Party to Pay the Costs of Computer Assisted Review,” InsideCounsel, May 22, 2013
  • “Rule Changes Would Deal with Discovery,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, May 20, 2013
  • “Following the Text Message Trail,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, May 6, 2013
  • “Federal Court Denies Class Certification in Silicon Valley Antitrust Case,” InsideCounsel, May 2013
  • “Apple, Samsung Narrowly Escape Adverse Inference Instruction,” InsideCounsel, November 2012
  • “Court Reduces e-Discovery Costs Awarded by More Than 90 Percent:  3rd District has a Conservative View on What e-Discovery Costs are Recoverable,” InsideCounsel, June 2012
  • “Shrinking the Universe of Information,” Detroit Legal News, April 17, 2012
  • “Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of Case for E-Discovery Compliance,” InsideCounsel, July 2011
  • “By the Hour and in Between,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, June 27, 2011
  • “Proportionality Principles,” InsideCounsel, March 2011
  • “Seven Factors to Consider in Triggering a Litigation Hold,” InsideCounsel, May 2010
  • “Discovery Discipline:  Courts Impose Sanctions for Failure to Disclose Discoverable Data,” InsideCounsel, December 2009
  • “Handling Electronic Records: Risk Management and Investigation,” Financier Worldwide, October 2009
  • “Protecting Privilege – New Rule 502 Mitigates the Risk of Inadvertent E-Discovery Disclosures,” InsideCounsel, February 2009
  • “No Safe Harbor in Discovery Storm,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, September 29, 2008
  • “Rules Change Affects Electronic Archives,” Business Review Ann Arbor, November 3, 2006
  • “E-Data Moves Up in Lawsuit Priority,” Business Review Western Michigan, November 30, 2006
  • “Paradigm Shift: E-discovery Rules on Verge of Catching Up With Technology,” New England In-House, July 2006
  • “Threat of Morgan Stanley Fine Highlights Perils of Email,” Compliance Week, September 20, 2005
  • $1.45B Fraud Verdict Against Morgan Stanley is ‘Wake Up Call’,” Lawyers Weekly USA, June 20, 2005

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