Theodore R. Opperwall

Of Counsel

With over 40 years’ experience in the labor and employment field, Mr. Opperwall represents management in all facets of traditional labor law, including union organizing, labor arbitrations, collective bargaining and contract administration, and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. A former examiner in the Detroit Regional Office of the NLRB and a current member of the national and local NLRB practice committees, Mr.Opperwall has a keen understanding of unfair labor practice and union election issues.

Mr. Opperwall received his law degree magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1979, where he was Associate Editor of the Michigan Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He graduated with high honors from Calvin College in 1973.

The clients Mr. Opperwall represents range from start-up businesses and non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 companies. A number of clients are represented on a nationwide basis.

A Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Opperwall also has extensive experience in wrongful discharge, civil rights, plant closing, and employee benefits matters, including appeals at the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals levels. Preventive counseling and business strategizing are also a significant aspect of his practice.

  • Assisting one of the “Detroit Three” automobile manufacturers with specialized labor relations issues and proposals during collective bargaining with the UAW.
  • Representing one of the “Detroit Three” as part of a trial team that defeated a $400 million arbitration claim by the UAW on behalf of 40,000 union members.
  • Representing several car rental companies throughout the United States in NLRB, union organizing, decertification, unfair labor practice, and labor arbitration matters.
  • Counseling and representing major automobile and truck manufacturers in connection with work stoppages, wildcat strikes, and injunction proceedings.
  • Advising and defending a national strike security and plant protection firm during a multi-year strike, lockout, and corporate campaign involving a coalition of labor unions.
  • Counseling new businesses regarding start-up labor issues and established businesses regarding downsizing, facility closing, and plant relocation issues.

  • Michigan
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • American Bar Association
  • Member, Labor and Employment Law Section: Committee on the Development of the Law under the National Labor Relations Act; Committee on Practice and Procedure under the National Labor Relations Act; Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Labor and Employment Law; Committee on Antitrust, RICO and Labor Law
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Mr. Opperwall has lectured on various labor law topics and is a contributing author of Employment Law in Michigan: An Employer’s Guide, and Buying and Selling a Business in Michigan, both published by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education