Jason D. Killips

Areas of Practice

  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Supply-Chain Contracts and Counseling
  • Appellate Litigation
Jason Killips concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and related strategic consulting, with a special focus on the automotive supply chain. He also handles appeals on a wide variety of topics. He has represented clients in complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country and in all levels of the appellate courts, including the Michigan Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. Using his unique blend of both engineering and legal degrees, Jason was listed as a “Rising Star” in Michigan Super Lawyers from 2013 to 2017, and has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” in every year since 2018.

Some examples of his success include:

  • Represented 14 manufacturers in the automotive and aerospace supply chains in the Michigan Supreme Court in MSSC, Inc. v. AirBoss Flexible Products Co., 511 Mich. 176 (2023), by filing an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on their behalf. The Supreme Court’s July 11, 2023 opinion was consistent with the analysis in, and adopted some language from, the amicus brief. It also overturned troublesome precedent and clarified areas of law critical to the supply chain. The opinion also repeatedly cited Jason Killip’s article Section 2-201 Isn’t Optional: Option Provisions, Requirements Contracts, and Cadillac Rubber, Michigan Business Law Journal, Fall 2021. The Supreme Court’s opinion is available here, the amicus brief here, and the article here.
  • Preserved in the Sixth Circuit a manufacturer’s trial-court victory in an automotive supply-chain dispute; the appeal involved issues of contract formation, contract interpretation, and evidence.  Stackpole Int’l Engineered Prod., Ltd. v. Angstrom Auto, Grp., LLC, 52 F.4th 274, 280 (6th Cir. 2022) (published decision).
  • Successfully counseled a tier-1 automotive supplier through an 18-month dispute with an OEM customer, resulting in the settlement of a related lawsuit and commercial terms worth more than $10 million.
  • Obtained a reversal in the Michigan Court of Appeals for a waste-management company that argued it was entitled to indemnification from a logistics company; the logistics company originally prevailed in the trial court and obtained a six-figure attorney-fee award, but the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed both and sent the case back to the trial court with the waste-management company’s claims intact. Troy Taylor, et al. v. Waste Management of Michigan, Inc., et al., MCOA Case No. 361455 (2023 unpublished decision).
  • Preserved in the Michigan Court of Appeals a steel-supplier’s trial-court victory in an automotive supply-chain dispute; the appeal involved issues of contract termination, contract formation, novation, and performance under protest.  Kenwal Pickling, LLC v. PVS Technologies, Inc., MCOA No. 354506 (2022 unpublished decision).
  • Preserved in the Michigan Court of Appeals a trial-court ruling maintaining a biological father’s parental rights to his young son; the appeal involved novel questions under the Revocation of Paternity Act, contempt of court, and a motion for relief from judgment.  Burnett v. Ahola, MCOA Nos. 356502 & 356505 (2021 unpublished decision).
  • Prevailed on appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals after the trial court significantly sanctioned a manufacturer for sending a director to a settlement conference instead of the CEO (as the court had ordered); the Court of Appeals vacated the sanction order because the applicable court rule allowed the manufacturer to choose to send its director.  TI Group Automotive Systems, LLC v. Post Meridiem Plastics, Ltd., MCOA No. 347781 (2020 unpublished decision).
  • Preserved in the Michigan Court of Appeals a trial-court victory against a title insurer; the appeal involved issues of contract interpretation and negligent misrepresentation in the context of title to real property.  Shower Curtain Sols. Ltd., LLC v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., MCOA No. 346549 (2020 unpublished opinion).
  • Defeated request for injunction arising from production facility shutdown in China arising from COVID-19, Plastic Omnium Auto Inergy (USA) LLC v. Delphi Sistemas de Energia SA Technologies, E.D. Mich. No. 4:20-cv-10720 (2020 dispute).
  • Filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of the Michigan Municipal League; the appeal involved statutory remedies, equitable power, and unjust-enrichment claims related to municipal services.  Collins, et al. v. City of Flint, MSC No. 160543 (2019 application).
  • Successfully negotiated and litigated many manufacturing-supply-chain disputes, including between tier-1 suppliers and their OEM customers, and between tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers and their lower-tier suppliers.
  • Successfully litigated on behalf of clients on a wide variety of legal issues, including patent infringement, trade secrets, warranty, requirements contracts, tooling ownership and possession, commercial fraud, commercial contracts, real property rights, directors’ and officers’ liability, fiduciary duty, legal malpractice, accounting malpractice, art fraud, and defamation.
  • Represented clients in federal and state appellate courts in cases involving automotive supply-chain contracts, auto dealership agreements, municipal liability, liability for personal injury, the federal False Claims Act, Michigan’s Revocation of Paternity Act, the application of representations and warranties in asset-purchase agreements, the scope and application of Michigan Court Rules, and general contract interpretation and application.
  • Prevailed in federal court on behalf of a tier-1 supplier, establishing that a tier-2 supplier was liable for stopping shipments unless a higher price was paid.  Dayco Products, LLC v. Thistle Molded Group, LLC d/b/a Moxness, No. 18-10862, 2019 WL 423523 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 4, 2019).
  • Successfully argued on behalf of the plaintiff before the Michigan Court of Appeals in Coppola v. Manning, Case No. 323994, Nov. 17, 2015 (named a Most Important Opinion, July through December 2015, by Michigan Lawyers Weekly)
  • Successfully served as principal attorney in the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of prevailing party in In re Petition by Treasurer of Wayne County for Foreclosure, Case No. 129341 (May 23, 2007).
  • Successfully represented one of the world’s largest art galleries in a series of lawsuits in state and federal trial and appellate courts.
  • Obtained a $10 million verdict in favor of a tier-2 automotive supplier after its former customer violated a confidentiality agreement and stole the supplier’s design. Multimatic, Inc. v. Faurecia Interior Systems USA, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Case No. 05-60120.
  • Obtained partial summary judgment and ultimately negotiated successful resolution for tier-1 automotive supplier after a supplier threatened to stop shipments when its demands for a price increase were not met. Eberspaecher North America, Inc. v. Nelson Global Products, LLC, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Case No. 12-11045.
  • Successfully obtained temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions in federal and state courts on behalf of tier-1 automotive suppliers whose operations were threatened by the actions of their suppliers.
  • Drafted global and regional terms and conditions and other significant contract documents for tier-1 and tier-2 automotive suppliers.
  • Developed and implemented strategies used by tier-1 automotive suppliers to obtain price increases and other extra-contractual payments from OEMs after preproduction problems, volume shortfalls, and other changes in circumstances.

Authored Works

  • Jason D. Killips, Section 2-201 Isn’t Optional: Option Provisions, Requirements Contracts, and Cadillac Rubber, Michigan Business Law Journal, Fall 2021
  • Jason D. Killips, Better Digital Briefs:  Help your readers – and be more persuasive – by adding useful digital features to appellate documents, Michigan Bar Journal, September 2019
  • Jason D. Killips, The iPad-Only Appeal:  My Favorite Apps and Techniques, Michigan Appellate Practice Journal, Spring 2019
  • Sara MacWilliams and Jason D. Killips, Michigan Court-Appointed Receivers: Clarification of Powers, Michigan Business Law Journal, Fall 2016
  • Keefe A. Brooks and Jason D. Killips, Minority Members of a Michigan Limited Liability Company: Fiduciaries or Not?, Michigan Bar Journal, January 2017
  • Jason D. Killips and Sara K. MacWilliams, Changing Law Firms – Ethically (ICLE 2017 Top Tips in Ten Minutes), available at:  http://www.icle.org/modules/toptips/tip.aspx?tip=2017TT2102&lib=law-practice&from=AWOP

Education, Professional Associations and Awards

  • University of Michigan Law School (Juris Doctor, 2004)
  • University of Michigan College of Engineering (B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, cum laude, 2000)
  • “Super Lawyer,” Michigan Super Lawyers (2018-2020)
  • “Rising Star,” Michigan Super Lawyers (2013–2017)
  • Admitted: all Michigan state courts, the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, the United States District Court for the District of Maine, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court
  • Member: State Bar of Michigan, Federal Bar Association, Oakland County Bar Association
  • Council of the Appellate Practice Section of the Michigan State Bar, Technology Committee Chair (2020–present), Member (2017-present)
  • Michigan State Bar Appellate Practice Section, Readability Subcommittee member (2017-present)
  • Scribes – The American Society of Legal Writers, Member (2017–present)

Personal

  • Wife Sarah and sons Maverick, Jackson, and Augustus
  • Santa Society of Oakland County, Director (2017–present)
  • Cub Scout Pack 1029, Cubmaster (2018-2020) and Den Leader (2016-2020)
  • Knights of Columbus, Counsel 15352 (Our Lady Queen of Martyrs) and Assembly 482 (Bishop Gallagher), 4th Degree member, counsel Advocate (2013–present)
  • Shipman Scholar, University of Michigan (1996-2000)
  • Shipman Society, University of Michigan, founding member
  • Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity

Areas of Practice

  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Supply-Chain Contracts and Counseling
  • Appellate Litigation
Specialists in High-Stakes Litigation, Bankruptcy and Supply Chain Counseling.
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