Carey A. DeWitt, based in Butzel's Troy office, is a Shareholder and is past Chair (and Practice Group Leader, 1995-2003) of the Firm's Labor and Employment Department.
Mr. DeWitt has thirty-nine years of experience representing employers and enterprises in all phases of litigation, including employment discrimination matters, employment contract and executive termination cases, both commercial and employment trade secret, anti-raiding, and unfair competition cases, as well as in labor arbitration, collective bargaining, and other matters. His clients include colleges and universities, technology based companies, manufacturers, hospitals and health care institutions, construction related enterprises, auto suppliers, law firms, and various service providers. Mr. DeWitt is listed in Chambers U.S.A. (Labor and Employment Law), Best Lawyers in America (Employment Law - Management; Litigation - Labor and Employment), Michigan Super Lawyers (Labor and Employment; Intellectual Property Litigation): Corporate Counsel, and DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit (Trade Secrets; Labor and Employment Law). He is a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.
Mr. DeWitt has successfully represented clients in the following decisions/matters typical of his practice: Superior Consultant Company v. Walling, 851 F. Supp. 839 (E.D. Mich. 1994, Cohn, J.), appeal dismissed, 48 F.3d 1219 (6th Cir. 1995) (Vice President's covenant not to compete; permanent injunction obtained after trial as to non-use of trade secrets/bar of employment/non-solicitation); Foster v. ANR Pipeline Co., Case No. 00-CV-73686-DT (E.D. Mich., Duggan, J., 2001) (alleged gender harassment, race discrimination, and retaliation; no cause obtained from jury), aff'd. 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 15752 (6th Cir. 2002); Caldera Medical v. Healthco, et.al., Case No. 4:20-cv-12563 (Dawkins Davis, S.) (E.D. Mich., Nov. 13, 2020) (permanent non-solicitation, non-disclosure, return of data injunction ordered); Incoe Corp. v. Greaves, et al., Oakland County, Mich. Business Court, Case No. 19-171059CB (M. Anderson, J.) (Uniform Trade Secrets Act; permanent injunction ordered barring both employment and disclosure of secrets) (May 29, 2020); Swirple, et al v. MGM Grand Detroit (Wayne County Circuit Ct. Case no. 17-010953-CZ), affirmed, Michigan Court of Appeals, Case No. 345284 (Feb. 4, 2020) (casino not liable to creditors of patron); [Plaintiff] v. University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), et al., Case No. 13-008428-CD (Wayne County Circuit Court, Smith, J., 2014) (alleged sexual harassment, race discrimination, retaliation); [Plaintiff] v. Michigan Technological University, Case No. 2:17-cv-00113-GJQ-TPG (W.D. Mich. 2018, Quist, J.) (alleged employment discrimination, retaliation); [Plaintiff] v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, et al., Case No. 2:09-CV-11464 (E.D. Mich. 2012, Lawson, J.) (alleged retaliation, gender discrimination, FMLA, race discrimination); MS Precision Components, LLC v. Emco-Maier, et al., Case No. 12-1267 CK (Oakland County Circuit Court, O'Brien, J., 2012) (trade secrets, permanent anti-employee raiding injunction ordered as to executive); Polytorx v. Regents of the University of Michigan, Michigan Court of Appeals, 2015 WL 2144800 (Court of Claims, May 7, 2015) (licensing, commercial trade secrets; claim dismissed; dismissal affirmed); Arbitration: American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and Board of Regents of Eastern Michigan University (Glendon, Arb., 2010) (Arbitrator rules, inter alia, that University Board may take into account "non-academic" behavior of professor upon application for tenure); Regents of the University of Michigan and AFSCME, 2001 MPER (LRP) LEXIS 71 (2001) (alleged Union activity retaliation; dismissed after trial); JM Polymers, LLC v. [Defendant], Case No. 13-3899-CK (Macomb County Business Court, Foster, J., 2014) (non-compete and trade secrets claim; Court ordered injunction against solicitation and imposed constructive trust regarding trade secrets); Sisson v. University of Michigan, 174 Mich. App. 742, 436 N.W.2d 747 (1989) (alleged race discrimination); Brogdon v. General Dynamics, Michigan Court of Appeals, Case No. 188127 (alleged race and age discrimination), lv. app. den., 451 Mich. 894, 589 N.W.2d 276 (1998); Allen v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Genesee County Circuit Court, Case No. 91-5253-CL, 5 Michigan Trial Reporter 424 (1992) (alleged retaliation, defamation, implied employment contract; no cause obtained from jury); Davis v. United American Healthcare, Michigan Court of Appeals, Case No. 204470 (1999) (court applied attorney-client privilege to bar claim for employer investigation notes under Bullard Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act); Wooten v. University of Michigan, Case No. 84-009634-CM (1987) (Michigan Court of Claims; alleged implied employment contract; case dismissed at trial); Telesource Services v. Grosse, Case No. 03-016478-CK (Oakland County Circuit Court, Warren, J., 2003) (non-solicitation injunction obtained versus former employees on preliminary and permanent basis after trial); Superior Consultant Company v. Bailey, 2000 U.S. Dist. Lexis 13051 (E.D. Mich. 2000, Steeh, J.) (permanent anti-employee raiding injunction granted); Gall v. RheTech, Inc., Case No. 07-764-CZ, (Washtenaw County Circuit Court, Brown, J., 2009) (age discrimination claim by former company president); Superior Consultant Company v. Ponte, Ithaca Center for Postgraduate Medical Education, Berlex Labs., Inc., Case No. 00-72326 (E.D. Mich., Roberts, J. 2000) (contempt sanctions awarded for violation of trade secret/noncompete permanent injunction); Comtech International v. Price and the Bartech Group, 2003-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) P74,047 (2003) (employee non-compete); Fresenius Medical Care Cardiovascular Resources, Inc. et al. v. Kenneth M. Nolan, et al., Case No. 03-72813 (E.D. Mich. 2004, O'Meara, J.) (defense of specialized health care professionals and hospital system in preliminary injunction sought in trade secret and noncompete claim); ASG, Inc. v. Pellmann, et al., Case No. 2:05-CV-73207 (E.D. Mich. 2005, Roberts, J.) (trade secret and noncompete injunction claim defeated on behalf of Los Angeles, California corporation and automotive marketing managers); ACS Consultant Company v. Williams, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15120 and Case No. 06-11301 (E.D. Mich. 2007, Zatkoff, J.) (Uniform Trade Secrets Act/Noncompete: California and Florida employees and corporation enjoined; personal jurisdiction established by employee server access/trade secret use/misappropriation; contempt sanctions awarded for non-return of employee laptop containing trade secrets); Wilcox Associates, Inc. v. Xspect Solutions, Wenzel Group, et al., Case No. 2:08-CV-12388 (E.D. Mich. 2009, Roberts, J.) (Uniform Trade Secrets Act; preliminary and permanent injunctions as to senior software engineer's employment, non-use of secrets, and competition obtained). Selected Labor Arbitrations: Michigan Technological University and Michigan AFSCME, Council 25, Local Union 1166 (Glendon, Arb. 2001) (discharge); Michigan Technological University and Michigan AFSCME, Council 25, Local Union 1166 (McDonald, Arb. 2004) (alleged misclassification of work); Michigan Technological University and AFSCME Council 25, Labor Arbitration, AAA Case No. 54-390-01037-02 (Glendon, Arb., 2005) (bargaining unit work dispute related to the University's Keweenaw Research Center); Eastern Michigan University and AFSCME Council 25, AAA Case No. 54-390-01037-02 (Glendon, Arb., 2004)(management rights; labor arbitration related to University parking facilities) (Glendon, Arb., 2004); Michigan Technological University and AFSCME Council 25 (Glazer, Arb. 2001) (non-promotion of bargaining unit employee); University of Detroit Mercy and UDMSSA, AAA Case No. 54 390 01449 07 (Dahn, Arb., 2008) (disability benefits under collective bargaining agreement); Michigan Technological University and AFSCME Council 25, Case No. 001209-03084-8 (Gravelle, Arb. 2000) (employee benefits/health insurance).
Mr. DeWitt has published many legal articles, including: "Giving a Reason for Termination, Jackson v. Genessee County Road Commission," Labor and Employment Law Notes, Fall 2021, Vol. 31, No. 3 (with Blake Padget); "The Advantages of a Well Prepared Termination Letter," Labor and Employment Lawnotes, Summer 2018, Vol. 28, No. 2, p. 3; "Presentation of the Decision-Making Witness," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, February 26, 2018, p. 4 (with Hannah Treppa); "Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: Accommodate or Eliminate?," Michigan Lawyers Weekly, December 4, 2017, p. 4 (with Josh Williams); "What Not to Do: What Constitutes 'Negative Information' Protectable Under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act?," Michigan Defense Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 4, April, 2014, p. 11; "Auto-Related Businesses Can Protect Trade Secrets," Detroit Auto Scene, January 9, 2012, p. 2; "The Role of Counsel in Executive Terminations," Wisconsin Law Journal, December 3, 2012; "20 Commandments to be a Decent Labor and Employment Lawyer," Labor and Employment Lawnotes, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Summer 2011); "Trade Secret Law for the Employment Lawyer," 84 Michigan Bar Journal 20 (2005); Book Chapter: "Employee Privacy," in text, Employment Law: The Workplace Rights of Employees and Employers (Blackwell Publishing, 2nd Ed., Wolkinson, 2008); "Case Study: HP v. Hurd," Employment Law 360, http://www.law360.com/articles/193219 (September 29, 2010); "Enforcing Non-Competes: Ten Lessons from the Litigator," 80 Michigan Bar Journal 48 (December, 2001); "How Can You Best Protect Your Investment in Customer Relationships? Trade Secret Protection and Non-Competes," Michigan Technology News, (January 16, 2006); "Recurring Issues with Written Employment Policies/Contracts," The Michigan Broadcaster, Vol. 21, Issue 2 (April, 2006); "Satisfaction Employment Contracts," Michigan State Law Review 3:287 (1992); "Action Accrual Date on Written Warranties to Repair: Date of Delivery or Date of Failure to Repair?," 17 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 713 (1984); "How to Protect Your Company's Trade Secrets," AllBusiness (Dun and Bradstreet, Jan. 2005), p. 32, http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/laws-government; "Business Owners: Is Your Non Compete Contract Valid?," Michigan Technology News/Mitechnews.com, January 8, 2006; "Is Your Customer List a Trade Secret You Could and Should Protect?," Michigan Technology News/Mitechnews.com, December 22, 2005; "HP v. Jones: Bad Blood Or Trade Secret Protection?," Competition Law 360, http://www.law360.com/articles/240441 (May 5, 2011); "Human Resources - New Trade Secret Responsibilities," Detroit Legal News, July 18, 2007, Vol. CXII, No. 143, p. 1; "Presenting the Decision-making Witness," All Rise, May 24, 2021 (with Hanna Treppa).
Mr. DeWitt has been a featured speaker at many conferences and forums, including presentations on “Regulating Noncompete Clauses in Employment Agreements: Potential FTC Rule Regarding Noncompetes,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly Webinar, February 28, 2023; “Recruiting and Retaining Talent,” Webinar, Troy, Michigan (October 27, 2022); "State of the Art Trade Secret Protection," Novi, Michigan, Integr8 Industry 4.0 Conference (May 10, 2022); “Protecting Your Trade Secrets in Our New Work Environment,” Troy, Michigan Webinar (November 17, 2021); “Medical Examinations and the Workplace,” Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), Plymouth, Michigan (August 25, 2020); "Case Studies: Americans with Disabilities Act," Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), Plymouth, Michigan (April 11, 2019); "Workplace Investigations (Misconduct, Harassment, Interrogation, Proper Documentation)", Detroit, MI (November 29, 2018); "Workplace Investigations," Detroit, MI (November 16, 2017); "Dealing with the Troubled Employee: A Thoughtful and Safe Approach," Detroit, MI (October 28, 2016); "Bilateral Agreements and Other Measures to Protect Clients, Employees, and Data," Michigan Association of CPAs, Commerce Township, MI (August 30, 2016); "Trade Secrets Protection Act and Defend Trade Secrets Act," February 11, 2016 (National Webinar); American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Labor and Employment Careers, University of Michigan Law School (April 16, 2015); "Sexual Harassment Prevention," May 22, 2014 (Houghton, Michigan); "Trade Secret Protection for the Modern Employer," November 15, 2013 (Dearborn, Michigan); "Technology in the Workplace," November 8, 2012 (Dearborn, Michigan); "Whistleblower and Retaliation Claims: How to Make Them Less Frequent and Less Damaging," November 7, 2014 (Dearborn, MI); "Reductions in Force and Furloughs - Effective Planning and Implementation," NACUA Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario (June 24-27, 2009); "The Unionized Professoriate: Handling Faculty Grievances Through Arbitration," NACUA Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (March 21-24, 2002); "Getting to Goodbye: Facilitating the Termination of the Problem Administrator," NACUA Annual Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota (June 22-25, 2003); "When the Rule of Reason Simply Isn't Enough: Best Employment Practices During Administrative Transitions," NACUA Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida (June 27-30, 2005); "Reducing Staff Without Increasing Litigation," Michigan State University College of Law/School of Labor and Industrial Relations (June 8, 2005); "Sexual Harassment Prevention," Rochester College, Rochester, Michigan (May 2002); Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) Presentation, "Representing Michigan Employers; Workplace Investigations, Surveillance, and 'Sting' Operations, a Management Perspective," Troy, Michigan (October, 1993); Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) Presentation, "Understanding the Obligations of Employers Upon Hiring; Hiring and Firing Employees," Troy, Michigan (March, 1995); "Employment Trade Secret Protection and Litigation: Aggressive Early Strategies for Protecting Your IP and Disposing of the Case," ACI Expert Forum, Chicago, Illinois (May 27-28, 2009); "Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets in the Information Age: Confidential Information, Customer Relationships, and Trade Secrets," Automation Alley, Troy, Michigan (March 9, 2006); "Non-Competes and Trade Secrets," Michigan State Bar, Labor Relations Law Section, Winter Meeting, Ann Arbor, Michigan (January, 2004); Testimony before Michigan House of Representatives, Intergovernmental & Regional Affairs Committee (on Regional Transit Authority), Lansing, Michigan (February 23, 2010); American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment, "An Exploration of Careers in Labor and Employment Law," Wayne Sate University Law School (March 21, 2017); "Attorney-Client Privilege/Work-Product Doctrine," Schoolcraft College, Livonia, MI (February 23, 2018).
Mr. DeWitt's memberships include: National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA); Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); State Bar of Michigan (Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections); American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections); Federal Bar Association, the Oakland County Bar Association, and the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association.
Mr. DeWitt's charitable activities have included serving as a member of the Boards of Birmingham, Michigan Little League Baseball (1999-2005), the Birmingham, Michigan Hockey Association (2005-2009), the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, a Regional public-private partnership of Labor, Business and Government (2008-present), the Education Reform Task Force (2016-2017), and the Local Government Finance Task Force (2017-Present).
Owens Corning Corporation; Dialight Corporation; Brkthru Digital; Eastern Michigan University; University of Michigan; University of Detroit Mercy; Ave Maria University.
Primary Practice Areas
University of Michigan Law School Law School 1984, J.D.
Michigan State University Undergraduate 1981, B.A.
- National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
- State Bar of Michigan - Labor and Employment Law Section
- American Bar Association - Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections
- Federal Bar Association
- Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
- Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (2008-present)
- Birmingham, Michigan Little League Baseball (1999-2005)- Board Member
- Birmingham, Michigan Hockey Association (2005-present)- Board Member
Awards & Recognitions
Awards & Recognitions
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor and Employment Law
The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management; Litigation - Labor & Employment, 2007-2023
Michigan Super Lawyers, Labor and Employment, 2006-2022
Michigan State Bar Foundation - Fellow, 2008-present
DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Labor and Employment Law, 2011-2022, 2023 Trade Secrets, 2014, 2017-2019 Litigation - Labor Employment Benefits, 2016, 2020-2023
- Hybrid 301 action
- Represented large retail chain in alleged defamation, retaliation, implied employment contract
- Represented a technology and management consultant company that primarily provided services to health care providers
- Represented University in alleged employment discrimination
- Represented telecommunications equipment company regarding Uniform Trade Secret Act
- Represented University regents in alleged retaliation
- Represented University in alleged employment discrimination
- Secured a judgment, automotive client
- Represented hospital in alleged employment discrimination
- Represented technology consulting company
- Represented University in education law, contract, and injunction
- Secured permanent and preliminary injunctive relief in trade secret and non-compete matters for national CPA and business advisory firm
- Represented technology and management consulting company in covenant not to compete
- Represented filtration management company in trade secrets lawsuit.
- Represented pipeline company in alleged sex harassment, race discrimination, and retaliation
- A summary disposition was affirmed in an age discrimination and retaliation case
- Defended EEOC charges across the country for one of the world's largest business outsourcing companies.
- Represented defense industry company in alleged employment discrimination
- Represented healthcare company in issues regarding Bullard Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act
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