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A Better Partnership

R. Michael Azzi

Partner | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.752.2784

    f. +1.616.752.2500

Biography

Mike Azzi focuses his legal practice on complex commercial litigation, representing a wide range of clients in a diverse array of industries in state and federal courts throughout the country, with a particular focus on intellectual property, bankruptcy, and creditor rights litigation.  While subject matter can vary his practice remains the same—distilling down complex legal and factual issues to develop a cohesive litigation strategy that best serves his clients’ goals.

Industries

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Education

  • University of Illinois J.D. 2010 summa cum laude; Order of the Coif
  • University of Illinois B.S. 2007 Mechanical Engineering cum laude

Admitted

  • 2010, Michigan
  • 2010, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas

Clerk Experience

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, Honorable Robert J. Jonker 2011-12

Bar Associations

  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association

Experience

Mass Tort/Environmental
  • In re Nylaan Litigation (Kent County Circuit Court, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2017). Counsel in consolidated litigation involving over 250 families alleging PFAS exposure from potential groundwater contamination. Defeated dispositive motion on public nuisance liability, as well as multiple motions related to far-reaching discovery, including back-up tapes. Managed and implemented discovery and motion practice for the four bellwether cases as well as the full inventory of over 260 cases.
  • Debski v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. and 3M Company (Kent County Circuit Court, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2018). Counsel in bellwether case involving potential groundwater contamination. Obtained summary disposition of all claims.
  • McNaughton v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. and 3M Company (Kent County Circuit Court, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2017). Lead pretrial counsel and trial team member in bellwether case involving potential groundwater contamination. Obtained summary disposition on multiple claims prior to trial, including personal injury (elevated high cholesterol and miscarriage), medical monitoring, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and ultra-hazardous activity.
  • Zimmerman, et al. v. The 3M Company and Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (Western District of Michigan 2017). Member of defense team for Wolverine World Wide, Inc. in putative class action related to potential groundwater contamination from historical tannery operations.
  • Boulder Creek Development v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (Kent County Circuit Court, Grand Rapids, 2018).  Counsel involving potential groundwater contamination based on legacy landfill disposal.

Intellectual Property
  • Warrior Lacrosse: Represents leading sporting goods manufacturer in protecting and prosecuting patent rights against several industry competitors in the lacrosse and hockey market segments.
  • Wolverine World Wide, Inc.: Represents leading footwear manufacturer in patent litigation, including successful defense against patent infringement claims and invalidating asserted patents related to light-up shoe designs.
  • Skytron LLC: Represents medical device manufacturer in patent litigation, including defense against infringement claims related to UV disinfectant systems.
  • Tactile Feedback Technologies LLC: Represented inventor-owned entity in patent infringement litigation asserting claims of infringement against multiple phone manufacturers related to haptic feedback technology.
  • Represents numerous clients in enforcing and defending against non-competition and non-disclosure agreements to protect trade secrets in highly competitive industries.
 
Bankruptcy and Creditor Right’s
  • Debtor’s counsel in In re Michigan Sporting Goods Distributors, Inc. (MC Sports) a $170 million retail sporting goods chain operating 68 stores located throughout the Midwest.
  • Michigan counsel for UBS AG and Merrill Lynch Capital Services in In re the City of Detroit, counterparties to certain swap and credit agreements with the City of Detroit.
  • Represents secured creditors, including banks and other financial institutions, in state, federal, and bankruptcy court proceedings throughout the country.

Honors & Awards

  • Named as a Michigan Super Lawyer Rising Star, 2016-Present
  • Order of the Coif
  • Managing Editor, University of Illinois Law Review, 2009-10
  • Moot Court Board of Editors, 2009-10

Publications

One Court of Justice Blog

Leadership

Community Affiliations

  • Artists Creating Together
    Member, Board of Directors (2016-Present)
  • Grand Rapids City High School Mock Trial Course Instructor (2010-11)

Speaking Engagements

  • "Coronavirus Litigation Trends: What We're Seeing and What to Expect," Warner Webinar, April 21, 2020
  • "Trade Secrets and the Automobile," Emerging Intellectual Property Legal Trends for 2017 and Beyond, OESA seminar, November 7, 2017, Troy, Michigan
  • "Protecting Your Business with Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation and Confidentiality Agreements," Warner Norcross Human Resources Seminar, April 20, 2015, Grand Rapids, Michigan

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