Noel D. Massie
In nearly 40 years of practice, Mr. Massie has litigated cases across the spectrum of employment disputes, including claims for breach of contract, discrimination of various kinds, sexual harassment, and denials of benefits or breaches of fiduciary duty that violate ERISA. Mr. Massie also has extensive experience in trial level and appellate litigation concerning the enforceability of “mandatory” arbitration agreements, the dimensions of the judiciary’s inherent power to compel “reasonable and necessary” funding of the courts and the obligation of the state and local school districts to provide special assistance to students who have subpar reading skills, based on statewide assessments. His practice currently focuses primarily on appellate work. He served on the Council of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar in 2010-2013.
After graduating cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1978, Mr. Massie spent one year as a research attorney at the Michigan Court of Appeals before clerking for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Charles Levin from 1979 to 1981. He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 1970.
- Author or co-author of numerous federal appellate briefs, including: Sixth Circuit brief in retiree health insurance litigation brought (in the pre-Tackett era) by a class of 3000 hourly employees to challenge their employer’s attempt to “cap” the level of collectively bargained health benefits; Sixth Circuit brief in case that enforced arbitration clause in a major Detroit law firm’s partnership agreement, thereby precluding a disgruntled partner’s attempt to sue under discrimination statutes; District of Columbia Circuit brief in case that reversed a National Labor Relations Board decision that would have undone employer’s implementation of a modified healthcare plan-- because the Board erroneously concluded that no impasse existed at the time the new plan was implemented.
- Author or co-author of numerous Michigan appellate briefs, including: Michigan Supreme Court brief for employer in case that established gatekeeper rules for expert testimony and overturned a $21 million jury verdict for a single sexual harassment plaintiff; Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court (opposing application for leave to appeal) briefs in case that rejected employee’s post-arbitration claims that sex and race discrimination motivated her employer’s decision to discharge her; Michigan Supreme Court brief successfully arguing that the arbitration clause in a law firm’s operating agreement must be read to encompass tort claims against individual principals who were acting as agents carrying out the business of the firm; Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court briefs on behalf of a multi-county circuit court addressing critical public policy issues concerning the funding of Michigan trial courts.
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- State Bar of Michigan
- American Bar Association