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John Mackenzie

John A.


"To be the best, you need to surround yourself with the very best. That's why I'm here."


Complex Litigation and Risk Advisory, Employment and Workforce Management, Real Estate

JOHN MACKENZIE is a shareholder and member of our Complex Litigation and Risk Advisory group. He enforces and defends clients’ interests in business and real estate litigation involving breaches of contracts, business torts, shareholder oppression claims, supplier issues, construction agreements, real estate commission disputes, land use and zoning issues, and related matters. In the employment arena, John represents clients in litigation regarding employment agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation provisions, trade secret misappropriation, and other workplace disputes.

An experienced trial attorney, John regularly practices in state and federal courts. He also counsels businesses through inspections conducted by the Department of Homeland Security and frequently lectures on the topic as well.

John graduated cum laude from the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School where he served as associate editor of the Cooley Law Review. John clerked for the Honorable Richard Caretti of Macomb County Circuit Court. He is admitted to practice law in Michigan and in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and he is a member of the Macomb County and Oakland County Bar associations.

Since 2022, John has been included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for his work in Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, and Real Estate Law. He was selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for inclusion in their 2022 class of Up & Coming Lawyers. The publication’s annual award recognizes lawyers in their first ten years in practice who have established themselves by displaying the ambition, drive, and accomplishments that distinguish them from their peers. John is also recognized as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in Business Litigation.


Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan, Juris Doctor, cum laude, 2012

Oakland University, Auburn Hills, Michigan, Bachelor of Arts, 2009


Professional Memberships and Bar Admissions

State Bar of Michigan

Macomb County Bar Association

Oakland County Bar Association

United States District Court Eastern District


Risk Management: What to do When You See an Employment Claim Turning Into Litigation,” Maddin Hauser Breakfast Bites (2022)

Form I-9 Compliance and Updates,” Maddin Hauser Breakfast Bites and Employment Law Symposium (2019)

Surviving an I-9 Inspection Conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ,” Maddin Hauser Breakfast Bites and Employment Law Symposium (2018)

  • In one case nearing its conclusion, John represents 25 homeowners whose properties abut a state-owned canal connected to Lake St. Clair. In a previous unrelated lawsuit, a court determined that the homeowners across the canal were responsible for maintaining the seawalls on both sides. Because of the other homeowners’ lack of care and attention, the wall on his clients’ side partially failed, causing extensive damage, including erosion of a nearby road that has prevented waste disposal trucks, emergency vehicles, and other services from reaching his clients’ properties. A trial court judge ruled against the plaintiffs in their suit against the negligent homeowners on the other side of the canal, but the Michigan Court of Appeals recently reversed. The defendants filed leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, delaying the final resolution of the dispute.
  • In another case, John successfully defended a Scottish manufacturer of dental imaging devices accused of violating the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The company had been considering launching its products in the U.S. and hired a Michigan market research firm to help evaluate the market. Instead of obtaining feedback from an approved panel sourced by the Scottish manufacturer, the research firm distributed more than 7,000 informational pieces to unconfirmed recipients without their approval. The recipients then brought a TCPA class action against both the manufacturer and the research firm seeking $10 million in statutory damages. After discovery closed, John negotiated a $10,000 settlement for the manufacturer, allowing his client to exit the lawsuit and avoid substantial exposure.
  • Another of John’s clients—a plastics company—entered into a reduced-rate agreement with an electrical utility to suspend operations whenever the utility declared an interruption. After the utility claimed to issue a declaration during one particular storm, it assessed a $75,000 fine against John’s client for violating the agreement. John challenged the fine in state court but stayed that action pending a trial before the state’s public service commission. Although John attempted to negotiate a settlement, the in-house lawyer handling the suit for the utility refused to make any concessions on policy grounds. At trial, John demonstrated that the utility was not clear in deciding or announcing the interruption, nor did the utility adhere to the notice procedure in place with the plastics company (the utility was supposed to activate a visual alarm that could be seen above the noise of the manufacturing equipment). The commission ruled in favor of John’s client, finding the penalty unsubstantiated and invalid.
  • In a member oppression case, John represented a commercial investor from New York who invested in a 54-unit apartment complex in Detroit. The manager and majority member mishandled the LLC and its funds. John successfully removed the manager from the LLC and had a receiver appointed, which is extraordinary relief.
  • In another member oppression case, John represented four LLC members who were being treated unfairly in a marijuana business. Company documents were altered without the consent of the members, and capital contributions were misused.  John negotiated a pre-trial settlement with all members receiving a full return of their capital contributions.