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A Better Partnership

Jonathan E. Lauderbach

Executive Partner | Email

  • Midland

    t. +1.989.698.3701

    f. +1.989.486.6101

Biography

Jon Lauderbach served as a Circuit Judge for Midland County, Michigan before stepping aside to found Warner’s Midland Office. During his tenure on the bench, he presided over more than 150 jury and non-jury trials and now brings that experience and perspective to bear representing public and privately-held companies in commercial and bankruptcy litigation matters in courts throughout the Midwest. He has extensive experience in litigation matters involving corporate governance, contract, restructuring, fiduciary duty, fraudulent transfer, land use and intellectual property. He also often serves as a mediator and arbitrator in commercial cases. Jon is also a member of the firm's Management Committee.

Education

  • University of Detroit Mercy J.D. 1994
  • Albion College B.A. 1991

Admitted

  • 1994, Michigan

Courts

  • U.S. Supreme Court in 2005
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit in 2006
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan in 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan in 2000

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Litigation Section
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Michigan Bar Foundation
    Fellow (2007)

Teaching and Lecturing

  • Adjunct faculty member, Michigan State University College of Law
  • Lectured on mortgage-related legal issues for the Michigan Judicial Institute

Experience

Litigation 

  • Lead counsel for the world’s largest operator of renewable energy projects in multi-jurisdictional litigation involving $120 million, 150MW wind farm in Michigan’s Thumb region.  Representation included defense of multiple lawsuits filed by activist groups and municipal authorities seeking to prevent completion of the project, as well as prosecution of lawsuits to reverse township’s revocation of special land use permit and to reverse airport zoning authority’s denial of variance for 33 wind turbines.  Representation at trial and appellate levels resulted in successful construction and commissioning of project and the delivery of sufficient electricity to power 70,000 homes. 

  • Lead counsel for industrial services provider in lawsuit against steel company for final payment on contract to provide chemical cleaning services in connection with construction of steel mill.  Representation involved successful disposition, on summary judgment, of owner’s counterclaims and resulted in judgment for full amount of plaintiff’s claim, as well as interest and attorneys’ fees pursuant to the contract.

  • Lead counsel for bank in lawsuit against corporation and guarantors of the bank’s secured debt. Representation resulted in summary judgment on guarantor’s counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and negligence, followed by judgment in full value of bank’s claims, including interest and attorneys’ fees.

  • Lead counsel for health system in litigation involving covenant not to compete, resulting in dismissal of competitor’s lawsuit for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and request for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief after evidentiary hearing.

  • Lead counsel for chemical manufacturer in litigation with raw material supplier involving supplier’s attempt to terminate $80 million, 25-year supply agreement through invocation of force majeure. 

  • Lead counsel for chemical manufacturer in litigation with logistics supplier involving contamination of tanks at customer’s terminal.  Representation resulted in successful resolution of case at mediation.  

Bankruptcy / Workouts 

  • Counsel for IndyCar driver (and Indianapolis 500 winner) in enforcement of contract with – and resulting judgment against – former team owner.  Representation resulted in successful restructuring of judgment-debtor’s obligations to secure payment in full of arbitration award and ensuing federal court judgment, including accrued interest and actual attorneys’ fees. 

  • Bankruptcy counsel for condemning authority in Chapter 11 proceeding of Boyce Hydro, LLC, following breaches of the Edenville Dam and Sanford Dam near Midland, Michigan.  Representation included successful acquisition by condemnation of dam property to begin process of reconstruction and restoration of four reservoirs.  

  • Lead counsel for construction equipment supplier in preference and fraudulent conveyance litigation filed by liquidating agent of multiple related Chapter 11 debtors alleging that years’ worth of intercompany transfers were fraudulent conveyances.  Representation involved extensive discovery into debtors’ accounting and cash management practices, and ultimately resulted in summary judgment in client’s favor all but a nominal amount in controversy.  

  • Lead counsel for committee of unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 case involving large-scale boring mill and tool builder. Successfully negotiated a reorganization plan providing for sale of property, refinancing of secured notes and leases and payment to unsecured creditors in full over term of reorganization plan.

Honors & Awards

  • Named as one of the 2018 Leaders in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2021, 2017-19

Publications

Leadership

Professional Affiliations

  • Michigan Attorney Discipline Board (2015-Present)
    Chair (Oct. 2019-Present), Vice Chair (2018-Oct. 2019)
  • Michigan Judges Association
    Corrections Committee (2007-13)
    Executive Committee (2012-13)
  • Michigan Supreme Court Electronic Filing Advisory Committee (2009-11)
  • Michigan Supreme Court Technology Implementation Committee (2012-13)
  • Michigan Supreme Court Judicial Needs Assessment Delta Committee (2011)

Community Affiliations

  • Midland Area Chamber of Commerce
    Director (2005-08; 2014-Present)
    Chair (2016-Present)
  • Leadership Midland Alumni Association
    2015 Leader of the Year
  • Midland Business Alliance
    Director (2005-Present)
  • Eagle Village, Inc.
    Member, Board of Directors (2000-10)
    Chair, Board of Directors (2002-04)
  • Midland Area Chamber of Commerce
    Director (2005-08)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midland County
    Member, Board of Directors (1995-2001)
    President (1998-99)

Speaking Engagements

  • "Strategies to Employ in Workouts, Litigation and Bankruptcy With Distressed Suppliers," Lorman® Presentation, February 25, 2021
  • "A Discussion on Bankruptcy in Michigan: What We're Seeing, Doing, and Expecting," Thomson Reuters Webinar, July 16, 2020
  • "Strategies to Address Financially Distressed Suppliers Resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic," Warner Webinar, May 27, 2020
  • "What Role Should an Organization's IT Department Play in the Discovery Process?," Data Solutions Spring Symposium, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 11, 2016, Novi, Michigan, April 22, 2016
  • Keynote speaker, Leadership Midland graduation banquet, October 2, 2010
  • Presenter, Standing of Nominee to Bring Summary Proceedings Following Mortgage Foreclosure, Michigan District Judges' Association Annual Conference, August 27, 2009

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