Julia Turner Baumhart


Attorney Julia Baumhart

For 25 years, Ms. Baumhart has represented employers of all sizes, including many Fortune 500 employers, in employment litigation and appeals as well as in preventive counseling. Ms. Baumhart’s client base has spanned the automotive, publishing, technology, hospitality, education, oil and pipeline, entertainment, media, finance, insurance, and other industry sectors, and has encompassed all areas of employment law. She has successfully defended employers at the trial and appellate levels in class actions and pattern-and-practice cases, as well as in single-plaintiff litigation. Ms. Baumhart also has served as both an arbitrator and an advocate in arbitrated disputes. She has been named by DBusiness magazine as a Top Lawyer in the labor and employment field.

A frequent speaker at employment law seminars and webinars on topics including affirmative action, disability law and the Family and Medical Leave Act, performance appraisal processes, and many other workplace issues, Ms. Baumhart also authored “The Employer’s Right to Read Employee Email: Protecting Property or Personal Prying?” The Labor Lawyer (American Bar Association); and is a contributing author of Employment Law in Michigan: an Employer’s Guide (Institute of Continuing Legal Education) and Employment Discrimination Law (ABA). Ms. Baumhart also served as the first female president of the Federalist Society/Michigan Lawyers Chapter, and the first female Chancellor to Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Ms. Baumhart joined the firm’s predecessor, Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, at its inception in 1997. Previously, she was an employment lawyer with the Detroit-based Dickinson Wright law firm; a judicial clerk to the Honorable James L. Ryan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; and Employment Litigation Coordinator, Employee Relations Manager, and Government Affairs Representative for EDS in Dallas, Texas and Washington, D.C. Ms. Baumhart earned her Bachelor of Journalism degree from the DeWitt C. Reddick School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She graduated magna cum laude from Wayne State University Law School, where she received numerous awards for writing and scholarship, including the Order of the Coif.

Some of Ms. Baumhart’s practice highlights include:

  • Defeating class certification in a race discrimination disparate impact and disparate treatment case against a Fortune 500 natural gas company.
  • Representing one of the “Big Three” automakers in disparate impact pattern-and-practice litigation with OFCCP, and giving advice and counsel to federal government contractors of all sizes on the full range of OFCCP issues.
  • Obtaining summary judgment for clients on complex and fact-intensive issues ranging from sexual harassment, disability discrimination, and reduction-in-force age discrimination to ERISA and FMLA claims.
  • Successfully briefing and arguing in the Michigan Supreme Court in McConnell v. Ford Motor Company the standard for when an employer can be held liable for harassment directed at a non-employee.
  • Multiple briefing in the Michigan Supreme Court and briefing and argument in the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits and the Michigan Court of Appeals in single-plaintiff cases, with recent Sixth Circuit victories in Ferrari v. Ford Motor Company (disability discrimination) and Hollingsworth v. Ford Motor Company and UAW Local 600 (hybrid Section 301/breach of duty of fair representation).

  • State of Michigan
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • American Bar Association
    * Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections
  • State Bar of Michigan
    * Labor and Employment and Master Lawyers Sections
  • Oakland County Bar Foundation
    * Charter Fellow
  • Federalist Society, Michigan Lawyers Chapter
    * Director, 1998-2013 | President, 2013-2014
  • Society for Human Resources Management
  • Detroit SHRM
    * Legal Affairs Committee