Mitchell Zajac, Butzel Long Photo

Mitchell Zajac is a Shareholder and practices in Butzel’s Detroit office. Mr. Zajac concentrates his work in the areas of automotive, intellectual property, regulatory and emissions compliance, and sports and entertainment law. Mr. Zajac is also a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


Mitchell Zajac is a Shareholder and practices in Butzel’s Detroit office. Mr. Zajac concentrates his work on automotive, intellectual property, regulatory and emissions compliance, and international trade law. Mr. Zajac is also a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Mr. Zajac has significant commercial litigation, negotiation, counseling, and transactional experience in the following areas:

  • IP litigation (including complex trade secret, copyright, and patent litigation);
  • IP administrative proceedings (including patent IPR proceedings);
  • Patent prosecution (in the USPTO and advising on patent portfolio development and management);
  • Commercial automotive advising, including commercial vehicle, after-market, and remanufacturing;
  • Non-disclosure, joint-development and public-private-partnership agreements in a variety of industries, including automotive, defense, and construction;
  • Product warranty and cost-recovery;
  • Product safety and compliance;
  • Emissions certification and compliance;
  • International trade and customs, including USMCA, and Section 301 China tariffs and Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs; and
  • E-discovery

Before joining Butzel, Mr. Zajac was an engineer at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). While at FCA, he was an advocate for progress and change in a variety of functions, including powertrain and engine systems design and development; design and development engineering (including customer sourcing, quality, and design); International program, supply chain, and manufacturing management (including responsibility for vehicle chief engineering, product planning and branding; two global manufacturing facilities, supply chain management and customs, vehicle safety certification, fuel economy and greenhouse gas certification, and emissions compliance); Purchasing and supplier quality (including re-writing PPAP processes, and also experience with customer tooling quality and payment), and; Vehicle safety and regulatory compliance (both safety, working directly with NHTSA, and emissions, working directly with EPA/CARB/DOJ with a focus on emissions).

Mr. Zajac is a graduate of the WMU-Cooley Law School (J.D., 2017) and Western Michigan University where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Bachelors of Arts in German from the WMU Lee Honors College (2012) and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (2013), publishing two theses on automotive thermal systems. He was a Rhodes Scholar finalist in 2012; interned for Congressman Fred Upton; he was a four year starter on the Division 1 football team at Western Michigan; an American Football Wuerful Award Nominee in 2011; a member of Tau Beta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi; 3x member and TILA semi-finalist on the WMU-Cooley National Mock Trial Team; and 2017 Association of Corporate Counsel of Michigan Scholarship Recipient.

Mr. Zajac also enjoyed many honors as an undergraduate, graduate, and law student including the following: Undergraduate, graduate, and law school Dean’s List; National Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning award winner; Who’s Who Among American College Students; WMU CEAS Robert E. Boughner Outstanding Engineering Athlete Award Winner; National Engineers Week Award Winner (X2); Mid American Conference Scholar Athlete; WMU Top 10 Scholar Athlete; Academic All-Mid American Conference Selection (X2); Rothfuss German Award Winner; and WMU Outstanding Mathematics Award winner.

Mr. Zajac is a strong advocate for continued education and public service. He is currently the President of the Association for Child Development, a non-profit facilitating millions of dollars in federal funds annually through the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program, and also serves as the vice-chair of the WMU-Cooley Law School board of directors. He is also a high school football coach, a member of the WMU Alumni Association board of directors, and a member of the Western Michigan University Lee Honors College Dean’s Advisory Board. Mr. Zajac is also a member of the Michigan Chapter of the American Inns of Court and the Detroit Bar Association.



Western Michigan University 2013, M.S.

Western Michigan University 2012, B.S. Mechanical Engineering

Thomas Cooley Law School 2017, J.D.



  • Association for Child Development, President
  • WMU-Cooley Board of Directors, Vice Chair
  • Western Michigan University Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • Western Michigan University Lee Honors College Dean's Advisory Board
  • American Inns of Court, Michigan Chapter
  • Detroit Bar Association

Awards & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

DBusiness: 30-in-their-Thirties, 2022

The Best Lawyers in America - Ones to Watch, Commercial Litigation, 2023, 2024

DBusiness Top Lawyers of Metro Detroit, Intellectual Property and Patent Law, 2021 & 2023, Patent Litigation, 2023

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