University of Windsor School of Law, LL.B., 2005
University of Detroit Mercy Law School, J.D., 2005
Wilfrid Laurier University, BBA 2002
- Canada/Province of Ontario
U.S. District Court
- Eastern District of Michigan
Court of Appeal for Ontario
Joseph G. Vernon is an experienced business lawyer and commercial litigator, who has represented clients in a variety of industries in arbitration proceedings and state and federal courts across the country. He specializes in complex commercial and intellectual property litigation, and he has represented both large and small clients in breach of contract, business tort, shareholder oppression, class action, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and automotive supplier disputes.
Joe has also conducted a number of internal investigations, and he is a skilled appellate lawyer who has briefed and argued before several courts of appeal. He serves as general litigation counsel for several of his clients and is frequently consulted on key strategic initiatives, which is a testament to his commitment to understanding his clients’ needs, objectives, and the industries in which they operate.
Joe’s background as a varsity athlete in college and law school provides a natural foundation for the work he’s done in the sports and entertainment field, which includes representing and advising during contract negotiations, advising athletes and entertainers about their intellectual property rights, drafting and negotiating management, venue, licensing and other industry specific agreements, and litigating matters relating to the above.
Joe is heavily involved in the community as well. He serves as an adjunct professor at Detroit Mercy Law School, where he has taught an advanced legal writing and oral advocacy course for several years. He also serves as a mentor in the Detroit Economic Club’s Career Readiness Academy, he is a proud member of Leadership Detroit Class XXXVII, and he is a co-chair of the Federal Bar Association’s Rules and Civil Practice Committee.
Joe is best known for his tireless work ethic, his attention to detail, his excellent oral and written advocacy skills, and his ability to connect in the court room.
Successfully represented a multinational manufacturer in a trademark dispute against a former employee who was misappropriating trademarks as part of a bait and switch scheme, obtaining judgment against the former employee and a permanent injunction enjoining the wrongful activities.
Successfully represented a high-end food distributor in a trademark dispute with a competitor relating to the competitor’s trademark infringement and false designation of origin of goods.
Successfully defended a software manufacturer in class action litigation filed by restaurant franchisees.
Successfully defended a software manufacturer against breach of contract claims while prosecuting, to a favorable resolution, counterclaims for misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and tortious interference with business relationships.
Successfully represented a multinational automotive supplier in a $50 million warranty dispute.
Successfully represented a digital media company in a copyright dispute with a television network and a multinational alcohol distributor relating to the use of copyrighted materials in an advertising campaign.
Successfully defended a Canadian manufacturer in a dispute with a steel supplier in U.S. federal court.
Reached a favorable conclusion on behalf of a Canadian manufacturer in a dispute in U.S. federal court over millions of dollars in allegedly unpaid sales commissions.
Reached a favorable resolution on behalf of a medical services provider in a breach of contract dispute with former medical billing company.
Successfully represented a security company in a contract dispute with multiple commercial entities.
Successfully represented a Canadian clothing designer in a contract dispute in an Ontario court with a former consultant, obtaining judgment against the consultant.
Represented multiple U.S. based manufacturers in sales commissions disputes filed in Michigan.
Handled a portfolio of premises liability cases on behalf of a national retailer, resulting primarily in summary dismissals.
Represents professional athletes, in securing employment and negotiating contract terms.
Negotiates the terms of performance and venue contracts on behalf of singers, musicians, and performance venues.
Advises artists, singers, musicians, and athletes on various intellectual property issues.
Represents musicians in copyright disputes with record companies and other musicians.
After obtaining summary dismissal of contract claims brought by campaign volunteers against former political candidate, successfully represented client before the Michigan Court of Appeals, who affirmed the trial court’s decision.
After obtaining summary dismissal of claims brought by an automotive supplier against another automotive supplier, briefed appellate response leading opposing party to dismiss the appeal.
After the trial court granted summary disposition and issued an injunction in favor of a homeowners’ association against a purchaser, successfully represented purchaser before the Michigan Court of Appeals, who reversed and remanded.
Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star Business Litigation 2009-present
University of Windsor Faculty of Law/University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law, Recent Alumnus Award of Excellence 2008
University of Windsor Faculty of Law
Golden Lancer Award
Lancers Varsity Football
Wilfrid Laurier University
Golden Hawks Varsity Football
St. Michael's College School
Kerry Blues Football Team Captain
Footsteps Scholarship presented by Michael "Pinball" Clemons, 1998
National Football League Players Association, Certified Contract Advisor
Canadian Football League Players Association, Certified Contract Advisor
American Bar Association, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries
Federal Bar Association, Rules and Civil Practice Committee
State Bar of Michigan, Arts Communications Entertainment and Sports (ACES) Section
Sports Lawyers Association
Law Society of Upper Canada
Ontario Bar Association
Detroit Regional Chamber's Leadership Detroit, Class XXXVII
Civic, Cultural & Social Activities
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan Transition Team, Ethics Committee Co-Chair 2013-2014
Big Brothers of Windsor & Essex County, Board of Directors 2007-2008
Lancers Touchdown Club, President 2006-2010
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Visiting Professor, Advanced Legal Theory and Analysis
“Enforcing Foreign Judgments in Ontario and Michigan,” Bridging the Detroit River: Emerging Issues in Defending Civil Litigation, Canadian Defence Lawyers and Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, March 2015, Windsor, Ontario
“Valuing Your Commercial Contract Case,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education Webinar, July 2014, Ann Arbor, Michigan
“Player Representation and Team Management”, Windsor Law Sports & Entertainment Conference, March 2013, Windsor, Ontario
“The Art of Negotiation”, Windsor Law Sports & Entertainment Conference, February 2015, Windsor, Ontario
"Doing Business in Canada," Automation Alley, April 2009, Troy, Michigan
"Contract Law: Ensuring That You Get What You Want From Your Relationships With Key Stakeholders," International Black Expo, May 2007, Detroit, Michigan