Photo of Thomas W. Cranmer

Thomas W. Cranmer

Managing Director
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group Co-Leader




Ohio Northern University, J.D., 1975

University of Michigan, B.A., 1972

Bar Admissions

Thomas W. Cranmer is a trial lawyer who concentrates his practice in civil and criminal litigation. With more than 40 years of courtroom experience, his practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, complex commercial litigation and "bet-the-company" litigation.

Tom is recognized as one of Michigan's leading lawyers. He has been listed in the Top 10 out of more than 45,000 Michigan attorneys in every edition of Michigan Super Lawyers since its inception in 2006 and was ranked as the no. 1 Michigan attorney for 2021 and 2022. In 2020, he was also rated one of the Top 10 Michigan lawyers by Leading Lawyers. Since 2004, he has been ranked in Band 1 as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA, a referral guide to leading lawyers in the United States based upon the opinions of clients and peers. Chambers has noted that Tom is highlighted by commentators for his advocacy skills, courtroom presence, and "fantastic judgment." He is noted as "a first class litigator and a true trial lawyer," "the consummate trial litigator," "an outstanding lawyer," an attorney "of the highest caliber," and "a wonderful litigator who is very bright but practical in his advice." In 2014, he was recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as its Lawyer of the Year. In 2015, he received the Excellence in Defense Award from the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel. In 2018, he received the Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School Integrity in the Community Award, the Professionalism Award from the Oakland County Bar Association and the Julian Abele Cook, Jr.-Bernard A. Friedman Civility Award from the Eastern District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

Prior to joining the firm, Tom served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Oakland County, Michigan, and an Assistant Chief of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Tom has extensive experience as a leader and instructor of trial advocacy including teaching for one of the preeminent trial advocacy programs in the United States, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. In addition, he has lectured and written on a wide variety of civil litigation, criminal law and evidence topics. He is a co-author of a Michigan treatise, Civil Trials and Evidence, a contributing author to Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial/Sixth Circuit, and he has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law for The Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School teaching Evidence.

Representative Matters

Tom has represented a broad range of corporations, partnerships, financial institutions and individuals in criminal and civil antitrust matters; intellectual property disputes; shareholder and derivative lawsuits; breach of contract claims; class action defense matters; income tax evasion; Medicaid, Medicare and healthcare fraud; Food & Drug Administration investigations; criminal OSHA, MIOSHA and state/federal environmental matters; Customs and Border Protection violations; RICO claims; bankruptcy fraud; mail and wire fraud; insurance fraud; bank fraud and embezzlement; defense contractor fraud; national security matters, securities fraud and matters with the SEC; public corruption; controlled substance and conspiracy matters; immigration matters, labor and employment litigation, ERISA litigation and police corruption.

He has extensive experience conducting internal corporate audits, independent audit committee reviews and corporate compliance programs. 

He has also represented both attorneys and judges in proceedings alleging malpractice, professional or public misconduct.

Some of Tom's representative matters include:


Michigan Super Lawyers, Top 10 Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-present (#1 Michigan Super Lawyer, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2021, 2022; #2, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2018 and 2023; #3, 2007, 2015, 2017 and 2020)

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation in the highest category (Band 1), 2004-present, White Collar Crime & Government Investigations

Best Lawyers in America:
Listed since 1995. Currently listed in the following categories:
Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense (White-Collar and Non-White-Collar), Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law; Environmental Litigation; Securities Litigation; Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
2009 Detroit Bet-the-Company Lawyer of the Year
2013 Detroit Criminal Defense: General Practice Lawyer of the Year
2016 Troy Securities Litigation Lawyer of the Year
2021 Troy Criminal Defense: White-Collar Lawyer of the Year
2023 Troy Criminal Defense: General Practice Lawyer of the Year
2024 Troy Criminal Defense: White-Collar Lawyer of the Year

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent

State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Honor Roll, Tier 1, 2020-present

Recipient of the 2024 Penny R. Beardslee Excellence in Education Award from the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan

Recipient of the 2018 Julian Abele Cook, Jr.-Bernard A. Friedman FBA Civility Award, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association

Recipient of the 2018 Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School Integrity in the Community Award

Oakland County Bar Association, Professionalism Award, 2018

American Board of Trial Advocates, Detroit Chapter, Civility Award, 2017

Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, Excellence in Defense Award, 2015

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, recognized as one of the 2014 Leaders in the Law and selected as the Lawyer of the Year in 2014. In 2007, also named as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly's Lawyers of the Year.

Leading Lawyers, Listed in the Top 10 Michigan Lawyers for Criminal Defense and Business Litigation, 2017-present

Lawdragon 500, 2014-2015

DBusiness Magazine, Top Lawyers, Commercial Litigation, Non-White-Collar and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2011-present

Benchmark Litigation, Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, 2008-present

Oakland County Republican Party, Practitioner of the Year, 2008

Crain's Detroit Business, selected as one of Detroit's Power Lawyers, 2008

Litigation Counsel of America, Senior Fellow, 2007-present

Who's Who in American Law

Who's Who in America

Who's Who in the World

Who's Who Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018

Who's Who in Detroit Business - Law, Crain's Detroit Business, November 2005

Oakland County Bar Association's Distinguished Service Award, 1996

Federal Bar Association's Leonard R. Gilman Award, Presented to an Outstanding Practitioner of Criminal Law, 1995

Drug Enforcement Administration Award, 1981

United States Department of Justice Special Achievement Award, 1980

Professional Activities

American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2000-present; State Chairperson, 2010

International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2000-present

International Society of Barristers, Fellow, 2003-present; Board of Governors and State Chairperson, 2012-2015; Secretary/Treasurer, 2016-2017; Second Vice-President, 2017-2018; First Vice-President, 2018-2019; President, 2019-2020

American Board of Trial Advocates, 2000-present; Michigan Membership Chairperson, 2010; Michigan Secretary, 2011; Michigan Treasurer, 2012; Michigan President-elect, 2013; President of Michigan Chapter, 2014

National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, 2024

State Bar of Michigan, President, 2005-2006; Statewide Access to Justice Campaign, Chairperson; Board of Commissioners, 1997-2006; Representative Assembly, 1986-1992; Chairperson, Standing Committee on Grievance, 1993-1997; Co-Chairperson, Awards Committee, 2007-2013; Law and the Media Committee, 2006-2012; Judicial Crossroads Task Force, 2010; Task Force on the Role of the State Bar of Michigan, 2014; Access and Affordability Committee of the 21st Century Practice Task Force, 2015; Judicial Tenure Commission Amendments Advisory Committee, 2016

Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Board of Directors, 2010-present

Appellate Defender Commission for the State of Michigan, appointed member and Vice-chairperson, 2011-2014; Chairperson, 2015-2023

Michigan State Bar Foundation, Board of Trustees, 2006-present

Michigan Judicial Council, 2021-present

National Center for State Courts, Lawyers Committee, 2023-present

Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan; Chapter President, 1995-1996

Oakland County Bar Foundation, Board of Trustees, 1992-2012; President, 2002-2003; Trustee Emeritus, 2012-present

Oakland County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 1994-2003

Oakland County Criminal Assignment Committee, Co-Chairperson and Founding Member, 1996-1999

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Trustee, Historical Society, 2007-present; Local Rules Advisory Committee, 1989-1992; Special Committee on Review of the Local Rules, 1990-1991

Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, Life Member, 1999-present

American Bar Foundation, Sustaining Life Fellow, 2005-present

Michigan State Bar Foundation, Life Patron Fellow, 1995-present

Oakland County Bar Foundation, Charter Fellow, 1992-present

American Arbitration Association, Hearing Panel Member, 1990-present

Prosecutors' Foundation for Kids, Board Member, 2010-present; Chair, 2019-present

Oakland County Circuit and District Courts, Mediator, 1986-present

Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, 1994-present

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1986-present

United States Sentencing Commission, Practitioner's Advisory Group, 2009-2011

Litigation Counsel of America

● Member, Trial Law Institute

● Member, Diversity Law Institute

● Barrister, Order of Centurions


Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Law, (teaching Evidence), 2005-2013

University of Detroit Mercy Inn of Court, 1996-present

Oakland County Bar Association Inn of Court, Founding Member and currently Emeritus Member, 2004-present


"Evidence Boot Camp," Advanced Criminal Defense Practice Conference for the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, December 2023, April 2021, February 2019, October 2016, May 2015 and November 2014

"Fundamentals of an Effective Cross-Examination," Lakeshore Legal Aid, June 2020

"Significant Legal Developments in the Midwest Region," American Bar Association White Collar Crime Conference, March 2019

"Evidentiary Issues in Cross-Examination," CDAM Fall Conference, November 2018

"An Overview of Fraud: Detection and Recovery," Institute of Management Accountants, Detroit Chapter, 2018

Evidence Bootcamp II, CDAM Fall Conference, September 2017

"Corporate Fraud Insights," Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, 2017

"Advising Corporate Clients on Government Investigations," Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2017  

"New Federal Rules For a New Frontier," The Rutter Group, June 2016

"Corporate Counsel as Gatekeepers," Wayne Law Review Symposium, October 2015

"Negotiating Plea Agreements in the Era of Advisory Sentence Guidelines," Wayne County Criminal Advocacy Program, August 2015

"Ten New 'Magic Tricks' for Federal Practice 2015 Making Cases Disappear (or Not) in Federal Court", The Rutter Group, June 2015

"Anatomy of a Trial," Consumer Bankruptcy Association Trial Skills Workshop, April 2015

"Governmental and Internal Investigations: What In-House Counsel and Outside Counsel Need to Know," State Bar of Michigan, Business Law Section, November 2014

"Brave New World of Federal Practice," The Rutter Group, June 2014

"What Other ADR Tools Are in the Litigator's Toolbox?" 13th Annual ICLE Advanced Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Institute, March 13, 2014

"Opening With Your Best Shot," Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, June 21, 2013

"Getting In and Out of Federal Court: New Rules, New Solutions," The Rutter Group, 2013

"How to Prepare Your Client to Testify at Trial," Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan Masters Class, 2012

"Age-Old Ground Rules Have Changed!," The Rutter Group, 2012

"E-Discovery Update 2012 - ESI & the Government," Webinar, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, February 29, 2012

"Game Changers," New Federal Rule Amendments and Cases, The Rutter Group, 2011

"Major Changes in Federal Practice," The Rutter Group, 2010

"Crime and Punishment: Legal Essentials for Physicians," Oakland County Bar Association-Oakland County Medical Society, 2009

"The Latest in Aggressive Healthcare Fraud Investigation and Law Enforcement," Miller Canfield, 2009

"Prosecution of White Collar Crime," Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, 2009

"Revisiting Irving Younger's Ten Commandments of Cross Examination," State Bar of Michigan, Young Lawyers Seminar, 2009

"Home Run Motions in Federal Court," The Rutter Group, 2009

"Criminal Law & Opening Statements," State Bar of Michigan, Young Lawyers Seminar, 2008

"Recent Changes in Federal Rules of Civil Procedures and Local Court Rules," The Rutter Group, 2008

"Federal Trial Practice," The Rutter Group, 2004-2007

"Survival Skills in U.S. District Court," The Rutter Group, 1995; 2003

"Conducting an Effective Cross-Examination," Lorman Education Services, 2003

"Federal Civil Trials," The Rutter Group, 2002

"A Day of Criminal Law in Genesee County: Issues in Sentencing and Criminal Practice and Procedure Update," Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2002

"Criminal Practice and Procedure Update," Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2002

"Federal Litigation a Cyberworld," The Rutter Group, 2001

"What Makes Juries Listen? - Connecting With the Jury," Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2001

"Federal Rules of Evidence Complex Issues - Practical Solutions," The Rutter Group, 1999

"How to Win Your First Jury Trial," Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1999

"Representing Criminal Defendants," Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1997

"Destination Federal Court," The Rutter Group, 1996

"Evidence: Sharpening Your Direct and Cross-Examination Skills," Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1995


"Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial/Sixth Circuit," Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, contributing author, 1996

"Federal Criminal Practice Rules," James Publishing, Editorial Advisory Board, 1996

"Civil Trials and Evidence," West Publishing, co-author with the Honorable Gerald E. Rosen, Honorable Kurtis T. Wilder and Rodger D. Young, Esq., 2001

"Safeguarding Your Company: Key Factors Influencing Sentencing of Business Organizations," Midwest In-House, April 2005

"How to Handle the Media in a High-Profile Case," Ann Arbor Area Business Monthly, May 2005

"The Art of Cross-Examination," Michigan Bar Journal, August 2013