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Gerard V. Mantese

Partner
Gerard V. Mantese

Professional Experience

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
  • 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.

  • Every year since 2012, 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. 

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.
  • Service to the Legal Profession

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). 

Service to the State Bar and Community

  • Invited to serve on ICLE’s Business Law Advisory Board.
  • Appointed to Access of Justice Committee, Metro Detroit, to support providing all people with legal access to our courts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Appointed in Oakland County Circuit Court (1994-present); Wayne County Circuit Court, (1995-present); and Macomb County Circuit Court (2005-present).
  • Conducted hearings on a volunteer basis on attorney grievance and professional misconduct complaints (1997-2015).
  • 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).
  • 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, Michigan Bar Journal.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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). 

Publications and Presentations

Mantese Case Results

Mantese and his team also obtained the following recoveries, as reported in Lawyers Weekly:

2020

  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $2.4 Million in shareholder dispute case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $1.3 Million in a breach of contract and fiduciary duty claim case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $6 Million in a breach of contract case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $11.25 Million in a shareholder oppression and breach of fiduciary duty case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $11.1 Million in shareholder oppression suit.

2019

  • In Re Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation – As Liaison Class Counsel, Mantese and team recover $28.54 Million for auto dealers harmed by defendants’ price fixing of auto parts. This multi-year case prosecution was one of the largest price-fixing class actions in history and included claims under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $1 Million in breach of contract case.

2018

  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $97 Million in breach of fiduciary duty and shareholder oppression case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $23 Million in a shareholder oppression and fiduciary duty case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $12.35 Million in shareholder oppression case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $2 Million in oppression, breach of contract case.
  • In Re Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation – In Re Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation – As Liaison Class Counsel, Mantese and team recover $79.2 Million for auto dealers harmed by defendants’ price fixing of auto parts.

2017

  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $1.25 Million in a shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $900,000 in shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract case.
  • Orlowski v. Bates, U.S.W.D. Tenn. – Mantese appointed co-lead counsel and obtains summary judgment for $25 Million in class action against a seller of precious metals, alleging fraud and breach of contract. Mantese’s initiation of suit led to prosecution and conviction of defendant.

2016

  • Madugula v. Taub, Washtenaw County Circuit Court Case. Mantese recovers $1.55 Million in shareholder oppression case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $2.2 Million in breach of contract case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $2.1 Million in shareholder oppression case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $1 Million in breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and shareholder oppression case.
  • In Re Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation – In Re Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation – As Liaison Class Counsel, Mantese and team recover $125 Million for auto dealers harmed by defendants’ price fixing of auto parts.

2015

  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $15.2 Million in member oppression under MCL 450.4515, breach of fiduciary duty case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $1.32 Million in breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $1.2 Million in shareholder oppression and breach of fiduciary duty case.
  • Confidential Arbitration – Mantese recovers $3.125 Million for member oppression
  • In Re Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation – In Re Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation – In Re Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation – As Liaison Class Counsel, Mantese and team recover $58 Million for auto dealers harmed by defendants’ price fixing of auto parts.

2013

  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $7.45 Million in breach of contract case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $2.1 Million in shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $2 Million in breach of contract, fraud, fraud in inducement case.
  • Estes v Clark, Foy v. Bandemer, Wayne County Circuit. As co-lead counsel, Mantese recovers $7.999 Million in breach of fiduciary duty class action case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $2.455 in a claim under ERISA alleging that plan administrator acted arbitrarily and capriciously.
  • Potter, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan – Mantese recovered $2.1 Million in a claim under ERISA alleging that plan administrator acted arbitrarily and capriciously.
  • Minter, et al. v. Dazzo, et al., US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan – As co-lead counsel, Mantese obtains settlement resulting in excess of $52 Million in Medicaid benefits for parents of children with ASD; case filed under 42 USC Section 1983 case.

2012

  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $13 Million in shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporate opportunities case.
  • Schwannecke, et al. v Schwannecke, et al., Saginaw County Circuit Court. Mantese recovers $4.59 Million in shareholder and member oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract discharge case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $1.2 Million in shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract case.

2011

  • Abass, et al. v. Shalushi, et al., United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan. Mantese obtains $172.2 Million judgment in RICO, fraud, breach of contract case.
  • Sweeney v. Mucci Food Products, Ltd, et al. Wayne County Circuit Court. Mantese recovers $2.3 Million in shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract case.
  • Confidential Settlement – Mantese recovers $1.435 Million in shareholder dispute over value of law firm.
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • The Inner Circle of Advocates
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
  • The National Law Journal Elite Trial Lawyers
  • NTL: Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel

Education

  • J.D. (summa cum laude) St. Louis University School of Law, 1982
    • Graduated first in class.
    • Awarded three-year academic merit scholarship.
  • B.A. (summa cum laude) political science, 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).

Representative Cases

  • 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). Over $2 Million recovered.

  • 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 fifth day of trial. (6-14-11 Order Doc. #454).

  • Johns v. Blue Cross, Case No. 08-cv-12272 (USDC EDMI) (2008). 

Awards and Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating, AV® Preeminent™ (highest rating for legal ability and ethics) (1996 – present)
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • “Super Lawyer,” Michigan Super Lawyers, 2007 – present
  • Repeatedly recognized as one of Top 50 Business Lawyers in Michigan
  • 21st Century Innovator Award
  • Leader in the Law Award, Lawyer’s Weekly (2009)
  • Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year, Lawyer’s Weekly (2009)