• Ann Arbor
    Ann Arbor
    201 S. Division Street
    Suite 400
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104
    T 734-761-3780
  • Cheboygan
    229 Court Street
    P.O. Box 405
    Cheboygan, MI 49721
    T 231-627-8000
  • Detroit
    1901 St. Antoine Street
    6th Floor at Ford Field
    Detroit, MI 48226
    T 313-259-7777
  • Grand Rapids
    Grand Rapids
    99 Monroe Avenue NW
    Suite 506
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    T 616-205-4330
  • Troy
    201 W. Big Beaver Road
    Suite 500
    Troy, MI 48084
    T 248-743-6000
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competitive drive

Thomas P. Bruetsch


T 313-393-7541F 313-393-7579313-393-7541

competitive drive
  • Wayne State University Law School, J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
  • University of Michigan, B.A.
  • Michigan
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Ct. of Appeals, 6th Cir.
  • U.S. District Ct., E.D. Mich.
  • U.S. District Ct., W.D. Mich.
Professional Affiliations
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • State Bar of Michigan

Mr. Bruetsch gets results. His commercial and governmental litigation clients rely on him for insightful counsel, top flight analysis, and a litigation approach that is both aggressive and pragmatic.

From Detroit’s mayor to its professional football team, clients have come to Mr. Bruetsch to help them favorably resolve disputes. He represents banks, prominent political leaders, governments, automobile manufacturers and suppliers, large corporations, and family businesses. Mr. Bruetsch is well versed in most areas of commercial law, with a particular focus on finance, fraud, and fiduciary issues; public authorities and utilities; municipal law and policy; election law; franchise, supplier, and distribution issues; appeals; and contract and related commercial disputes. 

Mr. Bruetsch aggressively pursues his clients’ interests to achieve favorable outcomes. He has significant trial experience, and has taken matters to trial or arbitration in Michigan, Arizona, Texas, and the United Kingdom. He has also argued before the Michigan Supreme Court and maintains a strong appellate practice. But Mr. Bruetsch is also pragmatic and believes in partnering with his clients to define and achieve their goals. He has resolved many large matters in the early stages of litigation though active case development and the utilization of alternative dispute resolution tools, saving his clients’ money and time. 

Leading attorney rating publications acknowledge Mr. Bruetsch among the very best litigators. These publications include Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation, both of which incorporate client feedback into their rating processes, and DBusiness Magazine, which rated Mr. Bruetsch a “Top Lawyer.” 

Mr. Bruetsch is a member of Bodman’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate, and Municipal Law and Finance practice groups. He also serves on the firm’s executive committee, as well as its Lawyer Recruiting and Personnel Committee and Associate Development Committee. He is a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and secretary to the Detroit Progress Fund. 

Mr. Bruetsch graduated first in his class from law school and received numerous academic honors. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he worked in radio and television, and was nominated for three local Emmy awards. He is politically active, and has served on several municipal advisory boards and committees. 

Honors, Awards, and Recognition
  • DBusiness Magazine "Top Lawyers" 2018, Appellate Law, Litigation - Banking & Finance
  • Chambers USA 2016, Commercial Litigation
  • Benchmark Litigation
  • Order of the Coif, Wayne State University Law School
Professional Activities
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Commercial Litigation Committee, Business Law Section
    • Arts, Communication, Entertainment and Sports Section
    • International Law Section
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • University of Michigan Alumni Association
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Advisory Council
Civic, Cultural and Community Activities
  • Grosse Pointe Redbirds Baseball Club, Coach
  • Detroit Progress Fund, Secretary
  • Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • City of Detroit Law Department Advisory Council
  • Wayne County Jail Overpopulation Task Force



Representative Matters

Governmental & Election Law Practice:  Specializing in public utility issues, contract matters, and election & campaign finance law.

Representative Matters:

  • Represented Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan in challenge to his candidacy.
  • Defended the Detroit Lions against claims by the City of Pontiac after the Lions announced that the club would leave the Pontiac Silverdome for Ford Field.
  • Currently represent Turnaround Detroit SuperPAC on election and campaign finance law issues.
  • Lead litigation counsel for the City of Ann Arbor in its efforts to require more rigorous remediation of a toxic chemical plume that contaminates ten square miles of groundwater aquifers beneath Ann Arbor and surrounding communities
  • Successfully defended multiple class action lawsuits against public utilities alleging liability for basement flooding.
  • Achieved dismissal of claims against governmental entity concerning the construction of a new wastewater pipeline, and successfully defended the dismissal on appeal.
  • Won two separate actions after extensive evidentiary hearings concerning claims by the Wayne County Sheriff that the Wayne County budget was insufficient to allow the Sheriff to perform mandatory duties at the Wayne County Jail and comply with a consent decree.


Finance, Fraud and Fiduciary Practice:  expert in banking and finance claims, fraud, fiduciary and investment claims, lender liability actions.

Representative Cases:

  • Sued auditor on behalf of banking client after the discovery of $20 million+ accounts receivable fraud, defeated auditor’s summary judgment motion, and achieved favorable settlement.
  • Successfully tried to a no-cause verdict claim that our client conspired with corporate officer to breach fiduciary duties and gain control of a corporation.
  • Defended pension trustees from class action lawsuit asserting that trustees mismanaged pension fund and its investments and caused it to lose in excess of $300 million.
  • Favorably resolved claims in a class action lawsuit concerning fiduciary’s investment in securities of a major firm that failed during the financial crisis. Defense included bringing third-party claim against financial advisor.
  • Successfully tried case asserting that our client benefitted from a Ponzi scheme, in which a court-appointed receiver attempted to get our client to disgorge funds received from the Ponzi scheme perpetrator.
  • Won on summary judgment claims by a Brazilian bank against our client, asserting that our client had agreed to purchase it, then backed out, destroying the Brazilian company.


Franchise, Distribution, and Supplier Practice:

  • Obtained dismissal of fraud and related claims, including claims brought under Greek law, against automobile manufacturer by its distributor for the County of Greece, and successfully defended the dismissals on appeal.
  • Successfully arbitrated claim asserting $9 million in damages and alleging that our client violated its distribution agreement and Lebanese distribution laws. The case was heard in London, England, by the London Court of International Arbitration.  Not only did the arbitrator dismiss all of the distributor’s claims, but it entered an award of $6 million in favor of our client on its counterclaims.
  • Investigated and obtained $750,000 jury verdict against vendor in a highly publicized case that involved assertions that the defendant contractor had unlawfully diverted contract funds.



Practices & Industries Education
  • Wayne State University Law School, J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
  • University of Michigan, B.A.
  • Michigan
Professional Affiliations
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • State Bar of Michigan