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Joseph G. Vernon

Detroit Resident Director




University of Windsor School of Law, LL.B., 2005

University of Detroit Mercy Law School, J.D., 2005

Wilfrid Laurier University, BBA 2002

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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. 

Representative Matters


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
Honours Business
Golden Hawks Varsity Football

St. Michael's College School
Honours Society
Kerry Blues Football Team Captain

Footsteps Scholarship presented by Michael "Pinball" Clemons, 1998

Professional Activities

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