Todd R. Mendel | Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C. |
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Todd  R. Mendel


Professional Liability Defense
Employment Litigation and Counseling
Bet The Company Litigation


J.D. Ohio State University College of Law -1990

University of Detroit International Law Program, London, England - 1989

B.A. - Organizational and Industrial Psychology - University of Michigan - 1986


Martindale-Hubbell Rating: AV Preeminent 5
Best Lawyers in America, 2023 Lawyer of the Year, Mediation in Detroit
Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, Arbitration, Mediation
Michigan Super Lawyer

Martindale Hubbell Badge

Best Lawyers Badge 2017
Best Lawyers Badge 2015
Todd R. Mendel
Tel: 313-596-9323
Fax: 313-965-2493
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Todd is a highly-regarded legal advisor and courtroom advocate.  He is especially admired by clients and colleagues for his solid practical judgment. 

Todd covers a wide range of commercial and business litigation.  He has tried jury and bench trials in complex contract, attorney disqualification, misappropriation of trade secrets, federal tax, commodities brokerage, advertising discrimination, and civil rights cases. Todd also has experience in actions involving business torts, trust, foundation, and endowment-related disputes, state government, university-related disputes, non-competition agreements, telecommunications, antitrust, fraud, real estate, partnership, joint venture and shareholder disputes, legal malpractice, fiduciary duties, environmental, indemnification and successor liability.  He has litigated in federal, state, court of claims, appellate, bankruptcy and probate courts.  In addition, Todd has served as a sole and/or panel arbitrator on many cases of varied subject matters.

Todd joined Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker after first having practiced law in Chicago. He currently serves on the firm's Executive Committee and as its General Counsel.


  • Special Master, complex commercial litigation, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Case No. 16-cv-14024, Judge Terrence G. Berg (August 2, 2022)
  • Successful defense of University board members and President in case involving University governance. Busuito v. Barnhill, 337 Mich. App. 434 (2021)
  • Special Assistant Attorney General appointment in civil Flint Water cases. (2016-2023)
  • Represented interests of professional athlete in dispute with former agent. (ED Mich, 2019 WL 1057314, March 6, 2019)
  • Successful defense of large law firm in case involving Drug Enforcement Agency-related advice. (2017 Mich. App. Lexis 418, March 16, 2017)
  • Successful defense of trademark infringement case involving use of common greeting.  Kassa v Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, 150 F. Supp. 3d 831 (ED Mich 2015), aff'd 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 716 (6th Cir. 2017)
  • Successful defense of religious institution, its board and spiritual leader in highly contentious case concerning control of the congregation and real estate.  Chabad-Lubavitch of Michigan v. Schuchman, 2015 Mich Lexis 1185 (Mich 2015), cert. denied  2016 WL 500976, at *1 (U.S. May 23, 2016)
  • Successful defense of lawyer against whom sanctions had been sought. (2015 U.S. App. Lexis 2620, 6th Cir. 2015)
  • Successful defense of large law firm and its client in complex case alleging abuse of process and fraud.  Rodriguez v. FedEx Freight East, Inc., 2015 Mich Lexis 581 (Mich 2015)
  • Appointed Special Discovery Master, complex commercial litigation, Circuit Court of Oakland County, Michigan, Case No. 2014-142918-CZ, Judge Wendy Potts (April 16, 2015)
  • Successful affirmance of summary judgment in favor of client on contract formation and against adversary who attempted to renege on agreement settling copyright infringement claim. Remark, LLC v. Adell Broadcasting Corp., 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 25739 (6th Cir. 2012)
  • Successful affirmance of district court dismissal of case against clients. Complex case alleged fraud on the court against attorneys and witness. (2012 U.S. App. Lexis 4707, 6th Cir. 2012)
  • Qualified and testified as an expert witness in the Circuit Court of Oakland County, Michigan, on reasonableness of attorney fees in complex commercial litigation. Favorable result. (Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Vol. 27, No. 25, p. 6, April 22, 2013)
  • Trial in Circuit Court of Oakland County, Michigan, involving automotive supplier terminated by higher tier customer concerning supply of rubber seals. Favorable judgment for client. (2012)
  • Lengthy trial of complex legal malpractice and attorney conflict of interest case involving U.S. and Canadian law for one of Canada's largest law firms. Successful defense. Injunction denied. Centra, Inc., et al v. Estrin, et al, 639 F.Supp 2d 790 (ED Mich. 2009)
  • Federal tax trial and appeal against the United States concerning the depreciation of natural gas pipelines throughout the State of Michigan. Successful in obtaining tax refund for clients of approximately $9 million. Saginaw Bay Pipeline Co. v. United States, 338 F.3d 600 (6th Cir. 2003)
  • Real estate development, sale contract and fraud dispute concerning large condominium development. Successfully dismissed. Michigan Land Tech, Inc. v. Whispering Pines Golf Club, LLC, 2000 Mich. App. Lexis 312 (December 26, 2000)
  • Defense of wireless carrier in telecommunications reseller action. Successfully dismissed. City Wide Cellular, Inc. v. New Par, 2000 U.S. Dist. Lexis 5006 (WD Mich. 2000)
  • Appointed by federal court to represent prisoner in civil rights case through jury trial. Detroit Legal News, Article and letter, December 11, 2009 and November 11, 2009
  • Pro bono legal assistance for Holocaust Survivors. Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit, Insider, Fall 2008.
  • Defense of numerous, complex high-stakes legal malpractice cases
  • Numerous complicated contract and business tort cases involving diverse businesses, technologies and subject matters, including real estate, royalties, antitrust, automotive-related interests, trade secrets, non-compete agreements and other varied areas


Member of U.S. Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

State of Michigan, Attorney Discipline Board, Hearing Panel Member

State Bar of Michigan, Member of State Bar Character and Fitness Committee (2011-2016)

American Arbitration Association, Member of Commercial Panel of Neutral Arbitrators (since 2002)

Case Evaluator Wayne County Circuit Court and Oakland County Circuit Court

General Civil Case Mediator - 40-hour training by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education

Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation

Fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation

American Jewish Committee--Detroit Regional Office
  • President (2015 - 2016)
  • Vice President or Secretary (2002 - 2007, 2010-2015)
  • Member of Board of Directors (1999 - 2016)
  • Fellow, Sholom D. Comay Leadership for the Future Fellowship (2005 - 2006)
Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit
  • President (2007 - 2009)
  • President-Elect (2006 - 2007)
  • Vice President (2005 - 2006)
  • Member of Board of Directors (2003 - 2009)
  • Chair, Committee on Latino-Jewish Relations (2004 - 2005)
Race Relations & Diversity Task Force/Birmingham Bloomfield Area
  • 2006 Diversity Champion Honor Roll
University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit
  • Member of Board of Governors (2000 - 2004)
MELL Program, Team Leader, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, Substance Abuse Education Program in Detroit Public Schools (1997-2003)

Career Day Speaker--Detroit Public Schools (1998 - 2001)

Detroit Orientation Institute, Graduate

Leadership Detroit, Class XXV, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Graduate (2004)


  • Recovering Attorney Fees and Costs: What You Need to Know, Michigan Bar Journal, Vol. 93, No. 9, pp. 34-37, Sara MacWilliams and Todd R. Mendel, September 2014
  • Panelist on Arbitration, State Bar of Michigan, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section; The ABCs of ADR: Maximizing Results Through Effective Advocacy (June 5, 2014)
  • Panelist on Streamlined Arbitration; ICLE 13th Annual Advanced Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Institute (March 13, 2014) 
  • Speaker, Ethics for in-house counsel, Forum For In-House Counsel Committee, Oakland County Bar Association (October 1, 2013) 
  • Speaker, Beyond the Basics: Social Media 301 for Lawyers. Ethics, Etiquette & Practical Issues, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan (April 29, 2010)
  • Panelist, Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility in an In House setting, Original Equipment Suppliers Association, Council Meeting, Plymouth, Michigan (June 24, 2008)
  • Faculty, Intellectual Property Litigation in State Court, 2008 Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, Spring Seminar (March 2008)
  • Speaker, Protecting Trade Secrets When Former Employees Work for Competitors in Michigan, and Overview of the Federal Economic Espionage Act, Oakland County Bar Association, in-house counsel meeting, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (May 17, 2001)
  • Faculty, Using and Enforcing Intellectual Property Agreements, Non-Competition Agreements, and Other Restrictive Covenants to Secure Ownership of Corporate Assets, Lorman Education Services Seminar, Detroit, Michigan (October 11, 2000)
  • To Litigate Or Not To Litigate These Are The Questions, State Bar of Michigan, Litigation Newsletter, page 17, Summer 1999
  • State Bar of Michigan Intellectual Property Law Section, Litigation to Protect Trade Secrets When Former Employees Work for Competitors, prepared by Eugene Driker and Todd R. Mendel, March 23, 1998
  • Get It Right, Get It Written. Write Makes Might as a Defense Against Lawsuit Alleging Fraud, Crain's Detroit Business, E-5, January 12, 1998
  • 10 Ways to Protect Key Business Information, Crain's Small Business, Vol. 5, No. 8, August 1997


  • Michigan
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar of Northern District of Illinois