Derek is a partner in Taft’s Commercial Litigation and Aviation and Aerospace practices. He has successfully resolved a wide array of complex business, franchise, and employment litigation matters in Michigan and beyond. 

Among Derek’s areas of expertise are contract claims, business torts, member and shareholder conflicts, non-compete agreements, and a myriad other dispute resolution matters. He regularly practices before state and federal trial courts and appellate courts, as well as in private arbitration and mediation proceedings. In addition to his active litigation practice, Derek frequently advises clients and in-house counsel on a variety of pre-suit litigation and strategy issues.


    • “Rising Star” Honoree, Michigan Super Lawyers, Business Litigation (2008, 2010, 2012-2017)
    • “Up and Coming” Lawyer, Michigan Lawyers Weekly (2008)

All Service Areas


  • Northeastern University School of Law
  • The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina

    cum laude
    Phi Kappa Phi


  • State - Michigan
  • State - Ohio
  • State - Florida
  • Federal - 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - Western District of Michigan
  • Federal - Eastern District of Michigan
  • Federal - Northern District of Ohio

Speeches and Publications

  • “Uncertainty Abounds: The Joint Employer Doctrine and the Franchise Business Model,” Michigan Bar Journal, Vol. 96, No. 5 (May 2017) 
  • “Preemption and the Michigan Franchise Investment Law,” Michigan Bar Journal, Vol. 93, No. 12 (December 2014) 
  • “Who Can Sue and Be Sued Under the Michigan Franchise Investment Law?,” Attorney at Law Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 6 (2013) 
  • “A Call For Clarity: Forum-Selection Provisions and Michigan’s Summary Disposition Rule,” The Litigation Newsletter (Fall 2010) 
  • Campbell v DHS: The Michigan Court of Appeals Resolves Garg‘s Open Question And The Result Is ‘Mmm Mmm Good’ For Plaintiffs,” Labor and Employment Law Notes, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Winter 2010) 

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan

    Former Chair, Antitrust, Franchising & Trade Regulation Section

  • Florida Bar Association


  • American Bar Association

    Member, Forum on Franchising

  • Franchise Practitioners Group


  • Oakland County Bar Association


  • Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan


Community Involvement

  • Oakland County Bar Foundation


  • The Citadel Alumni Association