Service to the Legal Profession
Roberts P. Hudson Award, from the State Bar of Michigan, 2017
· Awarded the State Bar of Michigan's highest honor, conferred to commend lawyers "for their unselfish rendering of outstanding and unique service to and on behalf of the State Bar of Michigan, the legal profession, and public.” Service included years of advocating for survivors of domestic violence, and instructing students about our legal system.
Champion of Justice Award, from the State Bar of Michigan, 2010
· Awarded for years of advocating for children with autism and obtaining successful rulings in cases that provided insurance coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which offers autistic children and their families the opportunity to live fuller lives and participate in mainstream society. See, e.g., Potter v. Blue Cross, Case No. 10-cv-14981 (USDC EDMI).
St. Louis University School of Law
J.D. summa cum laude 1982
- Graduated first in class.
- Awarded three-year academic merit scholarship.
University of Missouri
B.A. in Political Science, summa cum laude 1979
- GPA 4.0/4.0.
- Awarded Senator Symington Scholarship
- Appointed to University Senate (prepared and supported a Resolution requiring the University to divest itself of all investments in South Africa to protest that country’s racial discrimination and apartheid practices, 1979).
Gerard Mantese concentrates his practice on business law, including shareholder and member disputes, oppression, fiduciary duties, real estate, and business contracts. He argued the only two shareholder and member oppression cases ever accepted for review by the Michigan Supreme Court –Madugula v. Taub, 496 Mich. 685 (2014) and Frank v. Linkner, 500 Mich. 133 (2017).
Mr. Mantese is a member of the State Bars of Michigan, New York and Missouri, as well as a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Courts of Appeal for the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits, and the Federal District Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan.
CEO and Senior Principal, Mantese Honigman, PC, 1994-present
- Mr. Mantese and his firm focus on complex commercial and business litigation and arbitration for a wide range of business and commercial clients, including breach of contract cases, employment disputes, partnership and shareholder disputes, commercial fraud cases, trade secret and non-compete litigation, real estate litigation, Uniform Commercial Code disputes, business torts, and class actions, in state and federal courts and venues across the country.
- Each year from 2012-2018, the firm has recovered several million and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements in the State of Michigan, as reported in the January issue of Michigan Lawyers Weekly for the preceding year.
Adjunct Professor of Law, 1991-1997
- Trial Practice, 1991-1993, University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law
- Pretrial Practice, 1993-1997, Wayne State University Law School
(strategies of motion practice, discovery, negotiations, trial preparation and trial)
Associate, then Partner, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, 1982-1994
- Elected as one of the youngest senior partners in firm history (1990).
- Handled a wide array of complex business litigation.
Frank v. Linkner, 500 Mich. 133 (2017) .
The Court held that MCL 450.4515 is a statute of limitations, not of repose; oppressed LLC members may be able to sue even before incurring financial harm; members may toll the statute if there is fraudulent concealment of relevant facts.
Madugula v. Taub, 496 Mich. 685 (2014).
The Court held oppression action is equitable, empowering the trial court with wide latitude to resolve shareholder disputes.
Potter, et al. v. BCBSM, Case No. 10-cv-14981 (USDC EDMI) (2010).
Co-lead counsel in a nationwide ERISA class action against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan arising from denial of insurance coverage for ABA therapy on the grounds that the therapy is allegedly experimental. The court granted Plaintiffs’ Motion for Judgment and held that Defendant’s denial of coverage for ABA therapy was arbitrary and capricious under ERISA. (Order dated 3-30-13, Doc. #125).
Minter, et al. v. Dazzo, Case No. 10-cv-15018 (USDC EDMI) (2010).
Co-lead counsel; obtained a ground-breaking settlement causing the State of Michigan to provide Medicaid coverage for ABA therapy for children with autism.
Churchill v. CIGNA, Case No. 10-6911 (USDC EDPA) (2010).
Co-lead counsel in a nationwide ERISA class action against CIGNA arising from denial of insurance coverage for ABA therapy on the grounds that it was allegedly experimental. The Court confirmed a settlement under which class members received reimbursement for ABA therapy.
Billstein, et al. v. Goodman, et al., Case No. 08-cv-13415 (USDC EDMI) (2008).
Represented Plaintiffs in shareholder oppression matter where the Court denied Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment as to statutes of limitation and repose. Case settled for a confidential amount on the fifth day of trial. (6-14-11 Order Doc. #454).
Johns v. Blue Cross, Case No. 08-cv-12272 (USDC EDMI) (2008).
Co-lead counsel in a nationwide ERISA class action against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan arising from denial of insurance coverage for ABA therapy on the grounds that ABA therapy is allegedly experimental.
Service to the State Bar and Community
Member of ICLE's Business Law Advisor Board
- Invited to serve on ICLE's Business Law Advisory Board.
Member of the Access to Justice Committee
Extensive pro bono work for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Devoted hundreds of hours of uncompensated time, 2009-2015, assisting parents across the US with legal strategies for accessing Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for their children, from available insurance coverage. This therapy is a life-changing behavioral therapy that is critically important for young children with ASD.
Authored Food Waste Bill
- Co-authored food waste bill calling for food producers to donate 10% of their excess food to food pantries and related facilities. Published article advocating same, The Wave of the Future, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, May 28, 2018.
Mediator – Case Evaluator
- Appointed in Oakland County Circuit Court (1994-present); Wayne County Circuit Court, (1995-present); and Macomb County Circuit Court (2005-present).
Hearing Panelist on State Bar of Michigan's Attorney Discipline Board
- Conducted hearings on a volunteer basis on attorney grievance and professional misconduct complaints (1997-2015).
Member of the Publications and Website Advisory Committee
- Member of committee charged with publishing the State-wide Michigan Bar Journal (1994-present), reviewing and editing articles.
- Initiator and Co-editor of the monthly Best Practices Column.
Legal Advocacy Project for First Step, Western Wayne County Project on Domestic Violence (Pro Bono)
- Director, First Step. Also founded and directed “Family Law Assistance Project” (1990’s), which coordinated approximately 50 volunteer attorneys who provided free legal advice to low-income women who have experienced domestic violence. The program became a model for shelters in other States.
- Obtained restraining orders, handled divorces, staffed legal question-and-answer clinics for victimized spouses, recruited volunteer attorneys, and drafting manuals for volunteer attorneys (1991-1994).
West Publishing Company, Author
- Contributed and authored a chapter on Health Care Law for inclusion in a national treatise (1996).
- Ongoing, for United Community Housing Coalition providing assistance to Detroit’s low-income residents facing evictions, serving food at community soup kitchens, and donor to Wayne State Free Legal Aid Clinic, Care House, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, and Gleaners.
AV Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating, 1996-2019
- Highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards over the last two decades.
Volunteer Attorney of the Year, 2017, United Community Housing Coalition
- Awarded for consistent support of the UCHC/MLS 36th District Court Housing Clinic to prevent evictions and allow tenants to retain their housing and avoid becoming homeless.
Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers
- Named in multiple years. Repeatedly recognized as one of Top 50 Business Lawyers in Michigan.
21st Century Innovator Award
- Recognized by Lawyer's Weekly (2009).
Leader in the Law Award
- Recognized by Lawyer’s Weekly (2009).
Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year
- Selected by The Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan (1993).
40 Under 40, Crain's Detroit Business
- Named for community service, including for hundreds of hours volunteering as an amateur builder and internal news reporter for Habitat for Humanity (1992).
Gleaners, Largest Donor in the “Under 100 Employees” category
- Hunger Free Summer program, 2015-2017.
- Presented to Michigan Business Law Judges on Shareholder and Member Disputes at the Michigan Judicial Institute Business Court Judicial Seminar, May 2018.
- Lectured before the new State of Michigan Business Court Judges appointed to the business court docket (2013).
- Lectured to Cranbrook High School Students on Starting Your Own Business, November 2015.
The Fiduciary Duty - Et tu, Brute?, Michigan Bar Journal, September 2020.
Commentary: 'I don't have time for pro bono', Michigan Lawyers Weekly, July 2020.
The Verdict on the Business Judgment Rule, Journal of the Missouri Bar, March-April 2020.
The Business Judgment Rule, Michigan Bar Journal, January 2020.
Business Litigation Theme Introduction, Michigan Bar Journal, January 2020.
Operating Agreements, Partnership Agreements, and Shareholder Agreements: Business Contracts and Their Consequences, Journal of the Missouri Bar, January-February 2019.
Shareholder Agreements, Operating Agreements, and Partnership Agreements, Michigan Bar Journal, September 2018
The Wave of the Future – Reducing Food Waste, Reducing Hunger, Protecting the Environment, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, May 2018.
Contractual Terms in Shareholder/Operating Agreements, Stout Risius Ross Journal, April 2018.
Recent Trends in New York Partnership Law, NY Business Law Journal, Winter 2017
Litigation Between Shareholders in Closely-Held Corporations; Protecting Minority Shareholders From Abuse at the Hands of Majority Owners, Wayne Law Journal of Business, August 2017
A Trip to Detroit’s 36th District Court, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, May 8, 2017
Michigan Business Courts and Oppression – A Review of How Michigan Business Courts Have Treated Oppression Issues Since Madugula v. Taub, Michigan Bar Journal, January 2017
Navigating the World of Fiduciary Duty Within The Corporate Context, Missouri Bar Journal, September-October 2016
Can’t We All Just Get Along? Fiduciary Duties in the Corporate and LLC Context, Michigan Business Law Journal, Spring 2016
Lights, Camera, Action! -- The Power of Video Depositions in Business Litigation, Michigan Bar Journal, February 2016
Michigan Supreme Court Speaks: Madugula v. Taub and Shareholder Oppression, Mantese, Toering, Quick, Michigan Bar Journal, November 2014
Shareholder Oppression, Fiduciary Duty, and Partnership Litigation in Closely Held Companies, Stout Risius Ross Journal, November 2014
Fiduciary Duty in Business Litigation, Michigan Bar Journal, August 2014
Trial Practice, Michigan Bar Journal, January 2013
Shareholder and Corporate Oppression Actions, Michigan Bar Journal, February 2012
OTHER PROJECTS OF INTEREST
Initiator and Mentor for Cranbrook Schools Book Project
- Mentored 22 eighth graders at Girls Middle School at Cranbrook, on a project about Women Who Change the World (2014-2015). Spent six months assisting students in selecting, interviewing and writing chapters on accomplished women, including Supreme Court Justices Maura Corrigan and Bridget McCormack and Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
- Law Day volunteer work, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Led 20 grade school and middle school-aged students in learning about the law and creating, acting and filming three separate films, each winning first place in the annual Michigan Law Day Contest, 2012 - 2014. The films dealt with three Legal Milestones, specifically the trials of Roosevelt v. Newett; Korematsu v. US; and US v. Sinclair (students interviewed US District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds, E.D. Mich., and US Attorney Barbara McQuade, among others, about Fourth Amendment issues).