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Thomas A. Norton

EXPERIENCE.

Representing a variety of clients, both in the State of Michigan and nationally, Tom has practiced law for 16 years.  His practice has been varied and broad-based for Fortune 500 companies and individual entrepreneurs alike.

He began his career in Lansing, representing variety of commercial and small business clients.  He defended clients in commercial litigation matters, provided representation in environmental and regulatory issues and served clients in land use claims involving manufactured homes.  He also began a specialty drafting and advising on commercial contracts.  In addition, he prosecuted Michigan Consumer Protection Act claims and handled landlord/tenant summary proceedings.   He also worked in early Michigan Charter Schools legislation.  It was during this time that he presented an issue of first impression to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which scored a reversal for his client and established new law involving real property and title issues.  GKC Michigan Theaters, Inc. v. Grand Mall, 564 N.W.2d 117 (Mich. Ct.  App. 1997).

In the mid 90s, he moved home to Southeastern Michigan and his practice changed.  As associate of a multinational firm, and later as partner of the same firm, he defended product liability claims against Fortune 500 companies.  Interstate shipping interests became another area of expertise.  He also defended doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice claims at trial.  Continuing his land use and real property experience, he represented clients in easement and lake access issues and consulted real estate attorneys with land use issues.

Through this phase of his career, he represented OEMs, suppliers and dealers in the automotive industry.  He represented a Detroit 3 company in courts across the nation, defending various aspects of the discovery process in product liability claims and focusing on electronic discovery issues in multi-million dollar claims.  Leading teams of trained specialists, he assisted the company in high-level evidence sweeps, organization and production of these materials in lawsuits and in response to governmental inquiry.  He prepared and defended numerous company witnesses in deposition across the country.  In those cases not resolved during the discovery phase, he also engaged trial preparation with tier-1 trial counsel in several states.

During this time, he combined his fishing passion with volunteer advocacy to influence legislation in support of cold water conservation in Michigan through Trout Unlimited.  He continues to be involved in local and state-level efforts to conserve, protect and defend cold watersheds and fishing.

Tom participates in the State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Section's ICLE Probate and Estate Certification Program.  He is licensed in Michigan and is seeking licensure in Texas.  He has been admitted to the bar of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of Texas and District of Colorado.  He is also admitted to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.  In addition, Tom has been admitted pro hac vice to the bars of many of the United States.

Tom has spoken before the State Bar of Michigan Legal Assistant Section regarding discovery process and electronic document production technology.  He is a member of the Detroit Bar Association and the Oakland County Bar Association.

In the civic arena, Tom has been a long-time member of Paul Young Chapter Trout Unlimited, where he currently serves on the board as Chapter secretary.  He is a member of U.S.A. Amateur Hockey and is also a volunteer for the Capuchin Kitchens in Detroit.


"UNLAW"

Tom is an avid fisherman and enjoys many outdoor recreational activities, often using summers to camp, leisurely hike and further explore the Great State of Michigan, where his roots reach to the French Settlement of Detroit.  These experiences are forming his next great American novel.  In addition, he is a fledgling hockey player and is slightly better than that on his skis.  Much to his wife's chagrin, he thinks he can eventually become the next ace of cakes, though she believes his talents truly lie in all things barbecue.  He muses becoming the next Jim Koch [Michigan] Craft Beer Company success story and already has a label picked out, complete with his Scottish family tartan.