John Sheets | Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. |
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John  T. Sheets


Professional Liability Defense
Real Estate


Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Honors: cum laude
  • The Order of Barristers

Michigan State University


  • Rising Star, Michigan Super Lawyers
John T. Sheets
Tel: 313-596-9316
Fax: 313-965-2493
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Recognized as a rising star in business litigation, John is well regarded by clients for his high-quality work product, his practical and measured approach and advice, and his courtroom advocacy skills.  On the transactional side, John helps his real estate developer clients get their deals done in a practical and efficient manner.  

John’s practice focuses on business and commercial litigation and attorney malpractice defense, as well as the representation of developers regarding their real estate transactions.  

John’s business litigation practice covers a wide-variety of complex contractual disputes involving businesses and their key representatives across a number of industries.  John’s commercial cases have also involved issues related to real property, fraudulent transfer and conveyance, shareholder disputes, non-competition agreements, fraud, fiduciary duties and other business torts.   John also defends large law firms against claims of legal malpractice and has, on multiple occasions, successfully defended those claims in favor of the law firm.  

John regularly practices in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the state circuit courts for Oakland and Wayne County.  John has also represented clients in the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States. 

In addition to his litigation practice, John also helps developers with their real estate projects.  This includes assisting them in obtaining financing from banks or private investors, forming and structuring entities tailored to the purpose and goals of each project, and drafting the necessary documents and agreements related to the project.     

John has also helped pro bono clients get access to justice.  He has successfully obtained expungements on behalf of his pro bono clients so that those individuals will no longer be prevented from obtaining gainful employment.  He also represented an individual in an action against a police officer involving the alleged illegal seizure of personal property and, after contentious litigation, achieved a settlement in which his client received the value of the property at issue.  

Prior to joining the firm, John attended Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.  While at Case Western, he served as a judicial extern and clerk for the Honorable Eileen A. Gallagher of the Ohio Court of Appeals.  

  • Represented a high-profile NASCAR driver in a dispute against his former sports agent and lawyer in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  The case involved complex issues of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, and legal malpractice.  Obtained successful dismissal of the sports agent/lawyer’s complaint on summary judgment.  See Case No. 17-10413, 2019 WL 1057314 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 6, 2019).
  • Represented a large international insurance company regarding the recent major amendments to Michigan’s no-fault automobile insurance statutes. 
  • Represented the bankruptcy trustee as special counsel in an adversary proceeding involving complex fraudulent transfer claims against a cruise-ship art company, its owners, and related art-dealing businesses.  After uncovering evidence of fraudulent transfers throughout discovery and filing a summary judgment motion, John achieved a court-approved settlement on behalf of the trustee.
  • Represented a management company of a multi-specialty healthcare clinic in a contractual dispute against the clinic’s owner – a national healthcare conglomerate.  Achieved a favorable case-evaluation award and settlement during the case-evaluation process.
  • Represented a large Michigan-based law firm in the defense of a complex legal malpractice action brought by a doctor regarding Drug Enforcement Agency-related advice.  Obtained the dismissal of the doctor’s complaint on summary disposition, and successfully upheld that ruling on appeal.  See 2017 Mich. App. Lexis 418, March 16, 2017.
  • Represented a religious institution, its board, and spiritual leader in a highly contentious case concerning control of the congregation and real estate.  Obtained the reversal of the decision of the Michigan Court of Appeals in the Michigan Supreme Court.  See Chabad-Lubavitch of Michigan v. Schuchman, 2015 Mich Lexis 1185 (Mich 2015), cert. denied 2016 WL 500976 (U.S. May 23, 2016).
  • Represented a large Michigan-based law firm in a case involving complex underlying contractual, real property, and commercial bankruptcy issues. Obtained successful dismissal of claims of legal malpractice on the pleadings, with remaining business tort claims later resolving and the case being fully dismissed.  See Wayne County Circuit Court, Docket No. 15-000236-CB.


•    Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter
•    Urban Land Institute, Michigan
•    The Detroit Athletic Club, Intermediate Member


•    State of Michigan
•    United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
•    United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit