Bet The Company Litigation
EDUCATIONL.L.M., The George Washington University Law School, 1962
J.D., Wayne State University Law School, 1961, Doctor of Laws (Hon.), 2001
B.S. (Mathematics), Wayne State University, 1959
HONORS & AWARDS
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Member, American Law Institute
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America
- Described in Chambers USA Guide as "Michigan's preeminent business litigator"
- Described as Michigan's top litigator in Super Lawyers magazine 2006
- Chair, National Advisory Committee, The Levin Center, Wayne State University Law School, 2015
- Recipient, Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, Arts Advocacy Award, 2015
- Recipient, Association of Fundraising Professionals’ George W. Romney Award for Volunteerism, 2014
- Recipient, Federal Bar Association Eastern District of Michigan, Julian Abele Cook, Jr. Bernard A. Friedman FBA Civility Award, 2014
- Recipient, State Bar of Michigan Champion of Justice Award, 2013
- Recipient, State Bar of Michigan ADR Section Distinguished Service Award, 2012
- Recipient, Metropolitan Detroit Bar Association Dennis M. Archer Public Service Award, 2008
- Recipient, Federal Bar Association Eastern District of Michigan, Wayne Hampton McCree, Jr. Award for the Advancement of Social Justice, 2005
- Recipient, American Jewish Committee Learned Hand Award, 1993
- Recipient, Wayne State University Law School Distinguished Alumni Award, 1978
- Chairman, Wayne State University Law School Campaign for the 21st Century, 1998 to 2001
- President, Wayne State University Law Alumni Association, 1968-1969
- Chairman, Wayne State University Law School Fund, 1970-1973
- Chairman, Anthony Wayne Society, Wayne State University, 1979-1981
- Member, Board of Visitors, Wayne State University Law School, 1969 to 2002, Chairman, 1969-1970, 1995-1997
- Chairman, Anthony Wayne Society, Wayne State University, 1979-1981
- Member, American Arbitration Association Large Complex Case Tribunal
- Member, State Bar of Michigan Special Committee on Expansion of Under-Represented Groups in the Law, 1991 to 1994
- Supreme Court Appointee, State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly, 1980-1983
- Chairman, Antitrust Law Section, State Bar of Michigan, 1971-1972
- Chairman, Bar Journal Committee, State Bar of Michigan, 1970-1973
- Member, Michigan Supreme Court Special Committee on Class Actions, 1980-1983
- Member, State Bar of Michigan Committee on United States Courts and Special Committee to Revise Local Rules of the United States District Court, 1974-1982
- Commercial Disputes Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association
- Lecturer on antitrust law, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, State Bar of Michigan and other continuing education groups
REPRESENTATIVE CASES IN WHICH EUGENE DRIKER WAS LEAD OR CO-LEAD COUNSEL
- Our client, a public utility, was sued by a major industrial company for $500 million in damages due to the alleged inability of our client to complete construction of a nuclear power plant on a timely basis. Discovery involved 6 million documents and more than 100 multi-day depositions. Because an extensive record adverse to our client had been developed before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, it was widely assumed that the plaintiff would easily prevail in the suit. Trial commenced only 15 months after suit was filed and lasted 23 months before a successful ADR effort (stimulated by our aggressive defense of the utility, which included piercing plaintiff's attorney-client privilege well into the trial) resulted in the litigants joining in a partnership to complete the project. Our client's adversary in this hotly contested suit has itself become a client of our firm.
- We represented a husband and wife in a family dispute involving a challenge to a corporate reorganization accomplished by our clients, as trustees of a trust for their three sons, their wives and children. Claims approaching $1 billion were brought against our clients for effectuating this reorganization. The plaintiffs sought to litigate the case both in the probate court in Ingham County, Michigan and the federal and state courts in Florida. We were successful in enjoining prosecution of any claims other than in the Michigan probate court, successfully tried a major portion of the case in which the plaintiffs sought to remove our clients as trustees, and eventually effectuated a settlement very favorable to our clients. Numerous interlocutory appeals were taken in the case, including attempted review in the Supreme Court of the United States. Every ruling obtained by our firm in the trial court was sustained on appeal.
- A local school district obtained a jury verdict in the Oakland County, Michigan Circuit Court in excess of $26 million against a prominent Michigan law firm. The claim was that the firm, because of an alleged conflict had, given the school district improper legal advice on how to structure a bond issue. We did not try the case and entered it only after the jury verdict. We briefed and argued the matter in the Michigan Court of Appeals, which unanimously reversed the jury verdict, dismissed the main count against our client and remanded two lesser counts for a new trial. The case was thereafter settled on terms very favorable to our client.
- In a criminal anti-trust case tried in the U. S. District Court in Detroit, we represented a corporate executive who, along with the corporation for whom he worked, another individual and that individual's employer were all charged with felony violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. After a two week jury trial, our client was acquitted, although his corporate employer was convicted. A major factor in our success was that our legal assistant had tracked down several canceled checks in the possession of a Canadian corporation that showed that government's key witness was an embezzler, thereby destroying his credibility. It's that kind of diligence that we bring to every case we handle.
- In a widely publicized case in the U.S. District Court in Detroit, we represented an American automaker against a German competitor, its American subsidiary and a former high-ranking executive of our client for claims surrounding the executive's sudden departure from our client to the competitor. Our client alleged that the executive had induced eight other employees to follow him and that they left with tens of thousands of pages of highly confidential documents, photographs, plans and similar materials, in a massive RICO conspiracy. Our client was represented by a Los Angeles firm, a number of lawyers from its in-house legal staff and our firm. We argued the initial motion to keep the case in Michigan, against the German company's motion that it should be transferred to Germany, where other litigation between the parties was already pending. After losing that motion, the German manufacturer engaged in serious settlement negotiations and the case was ultimately settled by it paying our client $100 million and agreeing to buy $1 billion of parts from it.
- We represented the parent of a large Michigan utility in a securities fraud suit in the U.S. District Court in Detroit against a large industrial company. The defendant had sold a computer service center to our client. It became clear after the sale that the seller had not divulged material information about the business. Because the seller itself had changed hands after the transaction, we were convinced that the case was a good candidate for settlement. However, since the new owner did not have anyone around familiar with the case, we were also convinced that it was going to take concentrated discovery to expose to the new owner the risks it faced in trying the case. Accordingly, we persuaded defense counsel to approach the trial judge with a joint request to allow the parties to have a year to conduct discovery, without any artificial motion cut-off dates, and with the representation that such discovery would likely facilitate a settlement. Well before the year ended, and after we had exposed to the new owner the risk it faced in the case, it was settled on terms very favorable to our client.
- In a case tried in the Bankruptcy Court in Detroit, the creditor's committee of a local retail chain sued our client alleging that, within a year of its bankruptcy, the retailer had committed a fraudulent transfer by redeeming the stock interest of our client. The creditor's committee sought restoration of millions of dollars of consideration paid to him. After a lengthy trial, the Judge determined that our client had received a fraudulent conveyance of $1 million. We were convinced that the Judge had made a fundamental error in assessing the complex accounting evidence. Accordingly, we moved for reconsideration and, after the matter was fully briefed and re-argued, the Judge agreed with us and entered a judgment for our client on all counts.
- We represented a Fortune 50 manufacturer in a suit against another Fortune 50 company for pirating away a number of valuable employees, all of whom worked in our client's automotive supply division and who immediately went to work in the competing division of the defendant. Given the nature of the case, we had to marshal the facts and prepare pleadings in a very short period of time. We filed suit in the Oakland County Circuit Court and that day obtained a temporary restraining order, preventing the defendant from using our client's trade secrets or soliciting other employees from our client. One week later the defendant settled the case on terms entirely satisfactory to our client.
- Plaintiffs, the heirs of ten individuals who died in fuel-fed fires involving trucks made by our client, sued it, four of its attorneys, and three of its engineers, claiming that defendants had conspired to prevent plaintiffs' decedents from discovering that they had product liability claims arising out of alleged defective fuel tanks. The engineers and attorneys were joined on the theory that they had participated in a giant "cover-up" of evidence helpful to the plaintiffs and others similarly situated. Our firm, together with major firms in Chicago, New York and Washington, represented the defendants. Our firm successfully argued both the summary disposition motion and the later appeal in the Court of Appeals.
- We were retained by a local municipality after a $6 million judgment had been rendered against it in a police brutality suit in the U.S. District Court. On the eve of jury deliberation, the City's excess insurance carrier denied coverage, thus leaving the City with only $500,000 in available insurance. The City retained our firm to handle the appeal and pursue the insurance coverage issues. We appealed the underlying case and simultaneously sued the City's excess insurer and the broker which had placed the coverage. Working on multiple fronts, we resolved the matter with no cost to the City.
- We represented several labor unions in challenging the proposed joint operating agreement between the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. We obtained a successful decision at the trial level (the first such favorable decision under the Newspaper Preservation Act) allowing our clients to procure a very favorable settlement as this novel case moved through the appeal process.
- We represented a major electric utility and its parent in a federal court antitrust case involving claims of approximately $300 million. The plaintiffs were independent power production companies, which claimed that our clients had monopolized and attempted to monopolize a market consisting of large industrial/commercial customers by offering allegedly illegal discounts and entering into exclusive dealing arrangements. We successfully obtained dismissal of both defendants on motion and prevailed in the United States Court of Appeals, and successfully argued against Supreme Court review.
- We successfully represented the City of Detroit in the defense of three federal and one state court lawsuit seeking to block the City's implementation of the Michigan Casino Gaming Revenue Act, which allows for the creation of three casinos within the City. All four suits were dismissed on motion of the City.
- We were retained by the State of Michigan to represent it in a constitutional challenge to compacts between the State and four different Indian tribes that provide for casino gaming on tribal land. We obtained reversal by the Court of Appeals of the trial court's grant of summary judgment for plaintiff, a decision later affirmed by the Michigan Supreme Court.
- We represented two securities industry executives in an NASD arbitration against the brokerage firm that employed them. Our clients claimed that, despite promises made to them when they joined the firm, they were denied access to products essential for servicing their clients. The arbitrators awarded our clients $12.4 million in damages. The award was upheld in federal court.