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Jonathan E. "Jon"
Lauderbach

  • Executive Partner

My experience as a circuit judge gives me tremendous insight into courtroom dynamics, the litigation process and the way factfinders and decisionmakers think. Being able to explain to clients how various strategies will likely play out helps us set realistic expectations and create a road map to get them to their goals.

Jon Lauderbach’s judicial experience is a rarity for a practicing commercial litigator. Jon served as a circuit judge for Midland County, Michigan, before stepping aside to help found Warner’s Midland office. While on the bench he presided over more than 150 jury and non-jury trials. He now brings that courtroom experience and perspective to bear in representing public and privately held companies in contract, supply chain, corporate governance, real estate and restructuring matters in courts throughout the United States. And because of his extensive contacts in state and local government, Jon is often called upon to offer strategic counsel to government officials and to conduct investigations related to elections and campaign finance matters.

Jon works to get business disputes resolved as efficiently as possible. He makes it a priority to get to know not only his clients’ businesses and how they operate, but also their overriding objectives. With a keen understanding that litigation often has negative impacts such as reputational, operational and regulatory risk, Jon first conducts in-depth discussions with clients to inform them of potential consequences of pursuing litigation options. In his view, ensuring that litigation fits into the client's business objectives is every bit as important as crafting a “winning” lawsuit gameplan.

Jon also brings this thoughtful, analytical mindset into his work as a mediator and arbitrator in commercial cases, to his service as a hearing panelist for Michigan’s Attorney Discipline Board, and as a member of the firm's Management Committee.

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

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.
  • Panelist, “The Stevens Center for Family Business: What Is Your Family Business Worth? A Panel Presentation on Family Business Valuation,” November 30, 2022
  • “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 a
  • Panelist, “The Stevens Center for Family Business: What Is Your Family Business Worth? A Panel Presentation on Family Business Valuation,” November 30, 2022
  • “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
Image for Jonathan E. “Jon” Lauderbach

Jonathan E. "Jon"
Lauderbach

  • Executive Partner
Midland

My admin

My experience as a circuit judge gives me tremendous insight into courtroom dynamics, the litigation process and the way factfinders and decisionmakers think. Being able to explain to clients how various strategies will likely play out helps us set realistic expectations and create a road map to get them to their goals.

Jon Lauderbach’s judicial experience is a rarity for a practicing commercial litigator. Jon served as a circuit judge for Midland County, Michigan, before stepping aside to help found Warner’s Midland office. While on the bench he presided over more than 150 jury and non-jury trials. He now brings that courtroom experience and perspective to bear in representing public and privately held companies in contract, supply chain, corporate governance, real estate and restructuring matters in courts throughout the United States. And because of his extensive contacts in state and local government, Jon is often called upon to offer strategic counsel to government officials and to conduct investigations related to elections and campaign finance matters.

Jon works to get business disputes resolved as efficiently as possible. He makes it a priority to get to know not only his clients’ businesses and how they operate, but also their overriding objectives. With a keen understanding that litigation often has negative impacts such as reputational, operational and regulatory risk, Jon first conducts in-depth discussions with clients to inform them of potential consequences of pursuing litigation options. In his view, ensuring that litigation fits into the client's business objectives is every bit as important as crafting a “winning” lawsuit gameplan.

Jon also brings this thoughtful, analytical mindset into his work as a mediator and arbitrator in commercial cases, to his service as a hearing panelist for Michigan’s Attorney Discipline Board, and as a member of the firm's Management Committee.

  • Panelist, “The Stevens Center for Family Business: What Is Your Family Business Worth? A Panel Presentation on Family Business Valuation,” November 30, 2022
  • “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 a
  • Panelist, “The Stevens Center for Family Business: What Is Your Family Business Worth? A Panel Presentation on Family Business Valuation,” November 30, 2022
  • “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