Evan A. Burkholder

Of Counsel


Direct: 248-896-1801

Fax: 248-896-1810



Direct: 312-741-4597

Fax: 312-422-6110

  • Professional Overview

    Mr. Burkholder divides his time between the Chicago office and the Detroit office. He has over 30 years of trial experience in in business and employment litigation, catastrophic injury cases and product liability matters.

    He has defended employers in connection with FMLA and ERISA claims. He has represented corporate CEO’s in hostile workplace litigation and has defended non-profits against multi-plaintiff civil rights act and whistleblower protection act claims.

    He has represented architects, engineers and accountants in professional liability actions and has defended insurers in first party policy (fire, all risk property or business interruption) cases, as well as bad faith and excess liability claims. He has worked on complicated construction projects, representing design-build firms.

    Evan's business and commercial litigation experience includes unfair competition, defamation and trade secret misappropriation disputes. He has tried complicated UCC cases involving requirements contracts and just-in-time inventory systems. He represents insurers on a variety of coverage matters, including copyright infringement, trademark infringement, false advertising and trade secret misappropriation.

    In addition to direct trial representation, Mr. Burkholder has coordinated the defense of multi-state product liability actions, supervising local counsel, coordinating discovery and managing the operations of large document depositories.

    Before joining the firm, Mr. Burkholder practiced as a partner with LeClair Ryan in Detroit, McGuire Woods in Richmond, Virginia and Lord, Bissell & Brook in Chicago, Illinois.


    Intellectual Property Litigation. Successfully represented agribusiness in trade secrets and misappropriation dispute. Resolution resulted in the recovery of soft white and soft red breeding program as well as lost profits.

    Trade Secrets Litigation. Representation of multi-national engineering firm in connection with employee raiding and trade secrets litigation involving multi-million dollar project in Middle East.

    Employment Litigation. Represented national chain of mattress distributors in employee non-compete litigation. Defended corporate executive on hostile workplace claims. Represented tier one automotive supplier on FMLA cases. Defended children’s center against multi-plaintiff claims involving civil rights act violations and whistleblower protection act claims.

    Insurance Bad Faith. Successfully prosecuted bad faith claim on behalf of excess insurer against primary carrier in 2 week jury trial in Detroit Federal Court, recovering ad damnum plus interest.

    Environmental Litigation. Representation of environmental insurance carriers in declaratory judgment actions involving multi-site groundwater contamination claims.

    Architects & Engineers. Represented design professionals in connection with two-ply built up roof litigation and design claims at Newport News Naval facility.

    Pharmaceutical Litigation. Acted as coordinating counsel in pharmaceutical device litigation, coordinating discovery and expert witnesses.

    Construction Litigation. Represented international design-build firm on construction claims involving renovation of largest wastewater treatment plant in North America.

    Product Liability Litigation. Defended automotive & truck manufacturers in design defect cases in Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Pennsylvania (twice), Illinois (multiple), Michigan, Missouri (three cases), and Georgia state courts (twice), West Virginia, Virginia and in New York and Louisiana federal courts. Each case involved 3-6 weeks trial and six to eight figure damage claims.

    Food Product Equipment. Represented German manufacturer of food processing equipment in failure to warn and failure to guard litigation.

    Firearms Litigation. Coordinating counsel for a firearm manufacturer in connection with product liability claims and suits. Review and revision of instruction manuals, product warnings and storage container designs.

    Toxic Tort Litigation. Representation of manufacturers and distributors in lung cancer, liver cancer (nickel products), asbestosis and silicosis cases.

    Electrical Utility Litigation. Representation of utility companies in personal injury actions involving overhead and underground cable contacts. Successfully defended utility company in electrical generating plant injury litigation.

    General Tort Litigation. Defense of trucking companies in catastrophic burn injury cases.

    Pharmaceutical Litigation. Successfully defended pharmaceutical manufacturer in Vistaril IV injection trial in Virginia State Court. Plaintiff’s verdict at trial reversed and judgment for Pfizer as a matter of law on appeal.

  • Practice Areas
  • Education and Admissions


    • B.A., Hanover College, 1968 with Honors
    • J.D. George Washington University National Law Center, 1971, Order of the Coif.
    • Naval Justice School, 1972


    • U.S. District Courts in Virginia, Illinois & Michigan, Louisiana and Missouri
    • 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
    • U.S. Court of Military Appeals

    States Licensed

    • Illinois
    • Michigan
  • Professional Organization Memberships
    • American Bar Association
    • Defense Research Institute
  • News, Honors, Publications & Speeches
    • Defended medical device manufacturer in $50 million punitive damages case
    • Represented dresser manufacturer in wrongful death/recall litigation
    • Represented multi-national firm in employee raiding and trade secret litigation
    • Represented agribusiness in trade secret and misappropriation dispute
    • Represented design-build firm in connection with wastewater treatment plant claims
    • Represented foreign agribusiness in litigation with multi-national U.S. company
    • Defended automotive manufacturers in design defect cases in multiple jurisdictions