Elizabeth Hardy


Named one of “Detroit’s Most Influential Women” by Crain’s Detroit Business, Ms. Hardy specializes in employment litigation, preventive counseling, and appellate work. She is considered one of Michigan’s most skilled and respected litigators and appellate lawyers.

Ms. Hardy is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. She was named Lawyer of the Year by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in 2004, a “2008 Power Lawyer” by Crain’s Detroit Business, and was featured in Michigan Lawyers Weekly 2010 “Women in the Law” edition. She received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1984, where she served as Editor-In-Chief of the Law Review. She earned her undergraduate degree from George Washington University in 1978.

Ms. Hardy has extensive trial and appellate experience in the employment arena, and has been named by the Michigan Supreme Court, the Governor of the State of Michigan, and the State Bar of Michigan to numerous professional and public boards. She was also twice elected on a state-wide ballot to the Wayne State University Board of Governors, where she served for 16 years.

Ms. Hardy has tried as lead counsel a number of lengthy and complex jury trials in state and federal courts. Among them:

  • Ten jury trials for Ford Motor Company dealing with breach of contract, race and gender discrimination (failure to promote), retaliation, sexual harassment (involving both hourly and management-level employees), national origin discrimination (termination) and various tort claims. Verdicts were rendered for Ford in each case.
  • One jury trial for Auto Club Insurance Association involving race discrimination and retaliation. The Court dismissed the retaliation claim on a directed verdict motion and the jury returned a verdict for the Auto Club on the race discrimination claim.
  • One jury trial for the College for Creative Studies involving breach of contract and defamation claims. The jury returned a verdict for the College.
  • Two jury trials for Club Corporation of America. One trial involved sexual harassment allegations and the other was a weight discrimination case. The jury returned a verdict for Club Corporation in the first trial. The second jury returned an adverse verdict which was reversed on appeal and judgment was entered in Club Corporation’s favor.
  • One jury trial for an Oakland County law firm involving breach of contract, promissory estoppel, quantum meruit, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, gender discrimination and retaliation claims. The jury returned a nominal verdict for Plaintiff in an amount less than the low number in the parties’ high/low agreement.

Ms. Hardy’s state appellate practice has led to a number of significant Michigan Supreme Court opinions which helped re-shape key legal doctrines in a favorable way for employers. In the recent past, Ms. Hardy has successfully briefed and argued McConnell v. Rollins Burdick Hunter (age discrimination/termination case), Elezovic v. Ford Motor (sexually hostile work environment case), and Maldonado v. Ford Motor (case dismissed due to efforts of the plaintiff and her counsel to taint the jury pool), all in the Michigan Supreme Court. She also has handled numerous appeals on the federal level.

  • Michigan
  • Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
  • Eastern District of Michigan, U.S. District Court
  • Western District of Michigan, U.S. District Court
  • Fellow, Member of the State Committee, American College of Trial Lawyers (2012-present)
  • Member, Judicial Qualifications Committee, State Bar of Michigan (1991-1994; 1996-2004; 2011-2017)
  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers (2005 – present)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates (2011 – present)