Robin Luce-Herrmann

Shareholder
Bloomfield Hills
luce-herrmann@butzel.com | P 248 593 3044 | F 248 258 1439

Robin Luce Herrmann is a Shareholder based in Butzel Long's Bloomfield Hills office and is a Practice Department Chair of Butzel Long's Litigation practice and the head of Butzel Long's Media group. She is a 1984 graduate of the University of Michigan and a 1993 graduate of the Detroit College of Law (J.D., cum laude), where she was a Managing Editor of The Law Review.

Representing a broad array of clients, both as plaintiffs and defendants, Ms. Herrmann concentrates her practice in the areas of media law, particularly defamation, privacy, and access issues; commercial litigation, including RICO; non-competes and trade secrets; and civil rights.

Ms. Herrmann serves as General Counsel to the Michigan Press Association, the official trade association for the newspapers of Michigan, with more than 350 members throughout the State.

Ms. Herrmann has extensive trial and appellate experience in both state and federal courts in a variety of areas.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE OF PARTICULAR NOTE

Complex Commercial Litigation

Representing a variety of entities in a range of industries on commercial matters involving an array of legal issues including: contract; business torts, including fraud; non-competition and trade secrets; labor and employment; civil rights; defamation and privacy; and RICO. Includes extensive experience with TROs and preliminary injunctions.

Responsible for leading internal and external (client) teams involved in multi-million dollar litigation to conduct discovery, develop strategy, and prepare for trial.

Media/First Amendment Law

Advising and litigating defamation, privacy, and access issues, including the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act. Conducting pre-publication review of stories/broadcasts. Responding to subpoenas seeking information from the press and newsgatherers. Successfully obtained summary judgment and/or voluntary dismissal of defamation and publication-related claims against dozens of newspaper and broadcast clients throughout the State of Michigan. Advising a broad array of clients, including digital media, emerging technology groups and digital businesses needing advice on First Amendment issues, data protection and cybercrimes.

Teaching and Publications

Professor, Law of the Press, Oakland University, Journalism Department

Guest Speaker on Law of the Press: Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, and Oakland University

Co-Editor, The Developing Labor Law, Chapter 30: RICO, 2004-Present

Contributing Editor, The Developing Labor Law, Chapter 30: RICO, 1999-2004

Member, Michigan Bar Journal:

  • Chair: Law and the Media Committee 2013 to Present
  • Publications and Website Advisory Committee, 2001-2009
  • Editor of the Michigan Bar Journal

Co-Author, Michigan Media Law - A News Room Guide

Co-Author, Media Law Resource Center Libel, Privacy and related surveys for Michigan and the 6th Circuit since 1993

Co-Author, Overview of Defamation Law, published by the Law and Media Committee of the ABA

Contributing author to the informant, a newsletter published by the Michigan Freedom of Information Committee

Contributing author to Supplements, Rights and Liabilities of Publishers, Broadcasters and Reporters (Shepard's/McGraw Hill)

Contributing writer to Michigan Bar Journal Sixth Circuit Opinion Notes

Presented at ICLE seminars on the topic of covenants not to compete and related issues, including at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education on The Plaintiff's Perspective on Litigation and Enforcing Non-Competition and Confidentiality Agreements

Presented at ABA annual meeting, mid-winter meetings and seminars on Media Law, RICO and Labor Law

Services

In addition to litigating a wide variety of commercial and media-related issues, Ms. Herrmann regularly:

  • Advises and counsels clients on the availability of injunctive relief and potential alternative dispute resolution procedures.
  • Advises on reputation management and the use of social media in branding for all types of businesses.
  • Advises on defamation, privacy, and access issues, including the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act.
  • Assists companies in developing processes and procedures to most effectively conduct e-business while protecting their assets.
  • Conducts pre-publication review of stories/broadcasts.
  • Responds to subpoenas seeking unpublished information.

Memberships

American Bar Association

  • ABA Forum on Communications Law
  • ABA First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee & Chair of Diversity Outreach Subcommittee
  • Women in Communications Law Co-Chair
  • Woman Advocate Committee of the ABA Litigation Section
  • Co-Chair of Woman Advocate Roundtables Subcommittee
  • Past Employer Co-chair of the Regional Programs Committee of the Labor and Employment Section
  • Past member and Vice-Chair of the ABA Law and Media Committee
  • Past Management Co-Chair of the Antitrust, RICO and Labor Law Committee

Federal Bar Association - Michigan

Metropolitan Detroit Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan - Publication and Website Advisory Committee, Law and the Media Committee (McCree Award Chair); current Chair of this Committee

Media Law Resource Center

  • Legislative Affairs Committee
  • State Legislative Committee; currently serving as Co-Chair

Michigan Freedom of Information Committee - Board Member

Michigan Community Resources (formerly Community Legal Resources)

  • Chair, Board of Directors - 2009 to 2012
  • Vice-Chair Board of Directors - 2006 to 2009
  • Chair, Finance Committee - 2003 to 2006
  • Board Member - 2003 to present

Butzel Long's Attorney Evaluation and Training Committee - Co-Chair

Butzel Long's Pro-Bono Committee - past Co-Chair

Butzel Long's Women's Initiative Committee - past Co-Chair

Butzel Long's Recruiting Committee - former member

Education

Bachelor of Arts, University of Michigan (1984)

Juris Doctor, Detroit College of Law (1993)

  • Notes and Comments Editor (1992) Detroit College of Law Review
  • Managing Editor, Comments (1992-93) Detroit College of Law Review
  • Detroit College of Law Law School 1993, J.D.
  • University of Michigan None 1984

DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Appellate Law, 2012 Copyright Law, 2018

Michigan Super Lawyers, Media and Advertising, Business Litigation, 2014-2017

  • Michigan

Michigan Press Association - General Counsel

State Bar of Michigan - Chair of the Law and the Media Committee

American Bar Association - ABA Forum on Communications Law Women in Communications Law; Woman Advocate Committee of the Litigation Section; Employer Co-chair of the Regional Programs Committee of the Labor and Employment Section; Past member and Vice-Chair of the ABA Law and Media Committee; Past Management Co-Chair of the Antitrust, RICO and Labor Law Committee

Federal Bar Association - Michigan

Metropolitan Detroit Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan - Publication and Website Advisory Committee

Media Law Resource Center - State Legislative Affairs Committee Co-Chair

Michigan Freedom of Information Committee - Board Member

Community Legal Resources - Chair, Board of Directors - 2009 to 2012; Vice-Chair Board of Directors - 2006 to 2009; Chair, Finance Committee - 2003 to 2006; Board Member - 2003 to present

Butzel Long's Attorney Evaluation and Training Committee - Co-Chair

Butzel Long's Pro-Bono Committee - past Co-Chair

Butzel Long's Recruiting Committee - former member

  • Represented American subsidiary of China's third largest privately held company in an automotive supplier dispute in the U.S. District Court, E.D. Mich.
  • Johnson v. Herald-Palladium. Obtained dismissal of defamation lawsuit prior to start of discovery
  • Teamsters Local 372 v. Detroit Newspaper Agency. Defended employer in § 1983 suit brought by unions and bringing RICO counterclaim. Successful survived multiple motions to dismiss RICO counterclaim. 956 F. Supp. 753 (1997); 993 F. Supp. 1052 (1998)
  • Successfully obtained summary disposition in defamation action.
  • Biewer v. Coe. Represented defendant/counter-plaintiff in multi-million dollar commercial case.
  • Submitted multiple amicus briefs in various courts on media issues for multiple clients, including media associations, newspapers and broadcasters
  • International Sports Marketing v. Saatchi & Saatchi North America, Inc. Obtained reversal of trial court’s imposition of default judgment in excess of $20M against client. 2002 Mich. App. LEXIS 1877, December 3, 2002.
  • Represented a regional news publishing company in connection with a defamation against one of its newspapers
  • Represented employer in successfully negotiating settlement of covenant not to compete and unfair competition suit against former employ.
  • Detroit News, Inc. v. Recorder's Court Judge, 202 Mich. App. 595 (1993) (access to court records)
  • Represented automotive supplier plaintiff in action for multiple breaches of contract in the U.S. District Court, E.D. Mich.
  • Sherwin Williams v. Biggers. Represented employer in successfully obtaining injunction enforcing covenant not to compete against former employee. 851 F. Supp. 839 (1994).
  • Superior Consultant Co., Inc. v. Walling. Represented employer in successfully obtaining injunction enforcing covenant not to compete against former employee. 851 F. Supp. 839 (1994).
  • Olympia Entertainment Inc. v. Brass Ring Productions. Represented plaintiff in series of commercial disputes, successfully obtaining partial summary disposition and injunctive relief. 467 Mich. 855 (2002); 2002 Mich. App. LEXIS 621.
  • Successfully obtained summary disposition in defamation action.
  • Whitesell Corp. v. Whirlpool Corp. Represented plaintiff in action for multiple breaches of a supply contract. After a 4 week jury trial, obtained a $25.7 million dollar jury verdict in client’s favor and no-cause on Defendant’s counterclaim.
  • Detroit News v. City of Detroit. Represented newspaper in lawsuit under Michigan Freedom of Information Act for release of text messages involving Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick and his Chief of Staff. Michigan Supreme Court Docket No. 135841
  • Lins v Evening News Association, 129 Mich. App.419, 426 (1983). Represented newspaper in defending defamation suit. Successfully obtained summary judgment
  • Represented defendant / counter-plaintiff in multi-million-dollar commercial case.
  • Pesta v. CBS, Inc. (60 Minutes), 653 F. Supp. 350 (E.D. Mich. 1986); 686 F. Supp. 166 (E.D. Mich. 1988); 837 F.2d 1091 (6th Cir. 1988). Represented defendants and ultimately obtained jury verdict of no-cause after multi-week trial.
  • Represented employer in successfully obtaining injunction against picket line violence.
  • Teamsters Local 372 v. Detroit Newspaper Agency. Defended employer in § 1983 suit brought by unions and bringing RICO counterclaim. Successful survived multiple motions to dismiss RICO counterclaim. 956 F. Supp. 753 (1997); 993 F. Supp. 1052 (1998).
  • Red Group v. Gattari. Successfully defended former employee in two lawsuits initiated by former employer alleging violations of a covenant not to compete and related claims.
  • Successfully obtained summary disposition in defamation action.
  • Represented plaintiff in multi-million supply contract dispute
  • S & R Equipment Co., v. Stanley. Represented employer in successfully negotiating settlement of covenant not to compete suit against former employee.
  • Represented employer in defending § 1983 suit brought by unions and media bringing RICO counterclaim.  Successfully survived multiple motions to dismiss RICO counterclaim.
  • Omega Productive Services v. Mack. Represented employer in successfully obtaining injunction and then negotiating settlement of covenant not to compete suit against former employees and new employer.
  • Detroit News v. City of Detroit, 480 Mich. 1079 (2008). Represented newspaper in lawsuit under Michigan Freedom of Information Act for release of text messages involving Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick and his Chief of Staff.
  • Detroit Newspaper Agency v. Local 372. Represented employer in successfully obtaining injunction against picket line violence.
  • Sherwin Williams v. Nevada Color. Represented employer in successfully negotiating settlement of covenant not to compete and unfair competition suit against former employees.
  • Defending newspaper against defamation and related tort action.
  • Unfair competition and trade secret litigation
  • Represented a national cable entertainment news show in connection with a defamation action
  • Superior Consultant Co., Inc. v. DeSimone. Represented employer in successfully obtaining injunction and then negotiating settlement of covenant not to compete suit against former employee and new employer.
  • Represented employer in successfully negotiating settlement of covenant not to compete, copyright infringement, and unfair competition suit against former employees
  • Johnson Controls, Inc. v. Jay Industries. Represented Plaintiff in commercial litigation (jury trial, appeal and related arbitration). Obtained verdict in client’s favor in excess of $4M. 459 F.3d 717 (6th Cir. 2006).
  • International Sports Marketing v. Saatchi & Saatchi North America, Inc. Obtained reversal of trial court’s imposition of default judgment in excess of $20M against client. 2002 Mich. App. LEXIS 1877, December 3, 2002
  • CMACO Automotive Systems, Inc. v. Wanxiang America Corp. Represented defendant in commercial supply dispute. Summary judgment in client’s favor upheld on appeal. 589 F.3d 235 (6th Cir. 2009).
  • The Detroit News v. Wayne County. Successfully represented newspaper in lawsuit under Michigan Freedom of Information Act for release of salary information. Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 235831.
  • Booth Newspapers v. 12th District Court Judge, 172 Mich. App. 688 (1988). Successful challenge to statute barring access to preliminary examination in rape case.
  • Sherwin Williams v. Kuperschmidt. Represented employer in successfully negotiating settlement of covenant not to compete and unfair competition suit against former employee.
  • Curtis v Evening News Association, 135 Mich. App.101, 103 (1984). Represented newspaper in defending defamation suit. Successfully obtained summary judgment
  • Rahn v. The Detroit News. Represented newspaper in defending defamation suit. Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of defendants.
  • Koczenasz v. The Flint Journal. Represented newspaper in defending defamation/privacy/intentional infliction of emotional distress suit. Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of defendants
  • Represented fastener supplier plaintiff in action for multiple breaches of a supply contract.
  • Duran v The Detroit News, 200 Mich. App.622 (1993). Represented newspaper in defending defamation/privacy/intentional infliction of emotional distress suit. Successfully obtained summary judgment.
  • Shumake v. WJBK. Successfully obtained dismissal of defamation/privacy claims against defendant broadcasters
  • Successfly represented newspaper in Freedom of Information lawsuit involving (now former) Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick
  • Obtained injunction enforcing covenant not to compete against former employee.
  • Epoch Tristar v. Bixby. Defended former employee in lawsuit initiated by former employer alleging violations of a covenant not to compete and related claims. Successfully pursued counterclaim and negotiated settlement.
  • Successfully obtained summary disposition in defamation action.
  • Represented defendants in multi-million dollar commercial cases over the course of 10 years.  Succeeded in obtaining dismissal of multi-million dollar judgment on appeal.