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A Better Partnership

Thomas J. Manganello

Partner | Email

  • Detroit

    t. +1.313.546.6007

    f. +1.313.263.6855

    m. +1.313.300.2030


Tom Manganello represents clients in automotive supply chain contracting and the handling of legal matters between suppliers and automotive companies. Tom co-leads Warner Norcross + Judd’s Auto Industry Group and as well as leading Warner’s Autonomous and Connected Mobility subcommittee. Tom’s vast experience also includes automotive product liability and negligence trials as well as compliance with NHTSA regulations. In addition to handling numerous products cases, Tom focuses on commercial litigation in warranty, recall and contract disputes. Although Tom’s practice is heavily concentrated in the automotive industry, he also counsels manufacturing, industrial and pharmaceutical organizations in supply chain and commission sales disputes. He is also the founder and chairman of MICHauto, Michigan’s automotive industry cluster association.


  • Pepperdine University School of Law 2003 The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Certification
  • University of Detroit J.D. 1980
  • Michigan State University B.A. 1977


  • 1980, Michigan

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Business Law Section, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Litigation Section, Antitrust Law Section
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Oakland County Bar Association


  • Past legal counsel to the Original Equipment Supplier Association, O.E. Sales and Marketing and C.E.O. Councils
  • Lead counsel for Global Tiers 1, 2 & 3 supplier warranty/OEM supply chain and contracting disputes
  • Leads Warner’s auto industry sub-committee on automated and autonomous vehicle technology and regulation legislation
  • Represents clients in USA, Germany and Hong Kong/China
  • Co-founder and Chairman of MICHauto, Michigan’s only membership-based automotive industry cluster association
  • Legal advocacy and representation for auto manufacturers, trying over 30 cases to verdict in state, appellate and federal courts across the nation
  • Co-coordinator of major automotive seat litigation project and as national counsel for automotive transmission-inadvertent vehicle movement cases and heavy truck cab design allegations
  • Developed strategies for vigorous trial and case management for multi-state litigation involving OEM product liability matters , including retaining and managing outside counsel, coordinating expert witnesses (medical and technical) and advising client executives on case selection and motion filings for favorable interpretation of the law

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2013-Present
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2014-Present
  • Named to the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 for Michigan Lawyers Weekly
  • Named a Top Lawyer by DBusiness, 2015
  • Named a 2015 Leader in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan, 2014-Present



Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog


Professional Affiliations

  • MICHauto Founder and Chairman of the Steering Committee (2012-Present)
  • Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce - Board Member (2013-Present)
  • Detroit Economic Club - Sustaining Member (2004-Present)
  • Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC) (1989-Present)
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (1989-Present)
  • Society of Automotive Engineers
  • Wayne County Mediation Tribunal (1985-Present)
  • Leadership Detroit - Class 29
  • Automotive Hall of Fame - Board Member (2010-Present)

Community Affiliations

  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Governing Board Member (DSO)

Speaking Engagements

  • Numerous presentations in the U.S. and Asia on conducting business within the automotive industry in North America 
  • Various presentations on design, development and defense strategies for complex automotive products, including but not limited to, transmission systems, automotive seats and heavy truck ingress/egress access systems


  • 22nd Michigan Automotive Suppliers Symposium, March 11, 2021
  • "Legal Insights and Strategies for Automotive Suppliers," Warner Roundtable, October 13, 2020
  • Autonomous Vehicle Technology & Sharing-Economy: Creating Disruptive Cross Industry Shockwaves, Sterling Heights, Michigan, October 5, 2017
  • "Navigating the Intersection of Today's Automotive IP and IT," OESA seminar, Troy, Michigan, September 27, 2016
  • Legal Trends to Watch in 2016, OESA briefing, Troy, Michigan February 16, 2016
  • Automotive Suppliers Intellectual Property Symposium, Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 3, 2015
  • Warranty and Recall Issues – Minimizing Your Exposure,” OESA Sales and Marketing Council, December 4, 2014
  • "Paving the Way for Self-Driving Cars: Legislative and Legal Issues on the Horizon for Autonomous Vehicles," 2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, Detroit, Michigan, September 10, 2014
  • I-69 Automotive Suppliers Forum, Owosso, Michigan, July 15, 2014
  • "Autos and Manufacturing Industry Outlook," Canadian Council of Chief Executives and Business Leaders for Michigan, November 15, 2013
  • "The New GM Terms and Conditions: Congratulations on Becoming a Bank and an Insurance Company," OESA Sales and Marketing Council, MSU Management Center in Troy, Michigan, September 5, 2013
  • "Warranty Liability Exposure and Management in the Automotive Supply Chain," OESA Supplier Roundtable: Issues Impacting the North American Supply Chain, 2011, 2012 and 2013, Greenville, S.C.
  • South Carolina Automotive Summit 2013
  • OESA Conference: Atlanta 2009 and Alabama 2011
  • Japan Business Society of Detroit, Summer 2009
  • Chinese Automotive Transportation and Research Conference 2007

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