Eric J. Pelton

Member | epelton@kohp.com | V-Card
T 248.645.0000 | F 248.645.1385

Mr. Pelton is a founding member of the firm, and serves as its managing partner.  He has represented employers in litigation and traditional labor matters for 28 years.  He has tried, arbitrated, and mediated cases throughout the country.  He has also enjoyed representing clients on election law issues and previously served on the Michigan Board of State Canvassers.  Mr. Pelton is currently a second-term member of the Michigan Board of Law Examiners, having been appointed by the Governor on nomination by the Michigan Supreme Court.  Mr. Pelton also served on the State Bar of Michigan’s 21st Century Practice Task Force.

Mr. Pelton is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and has been identified by Chambers USA as a leader in the employment field in Michigan.  In 2015 he was recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a “Leader In The Law” for being an attorney who is changing the law, improving the profession, and setting an example for other lawyers.  He is also listed in Best Lawyers in America in the employment and labor field, and was its Employment Litigation Attorney of the year in Metropolitan Detroit for 2014.  Super Lawyers has named Mr. Pelton one of the Top 50 litigation attorneys in Michigan.

Mr. Pelton has conducted many workshops and client seminars on employment and labor law topics, has lectured on wage and hour issues for the National Employment Law Institute, has served as an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University Law School, and has guest lectured in labor and industrial relations and industrial psychology classes at Wayne State’s graduate school.  He is a contributing author of Employment Law in Michigan:  An Employer’s Guide and State of the Law in Michigan:  Employment and Labor Law, both published by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.  Mr. Pelton served as a Commissioner of the State Bar of Michigan, appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court, and serves on the Federalist Society’s Labor and Employment Practice Group National Executive Committee.

At Syracuse University College of Law, where he obtained his law degree in 1987, Mr. Pelton served as an Executive Editor of the Law Review. He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 1984.  He also earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School.

Practice Highlights

  • Jury Trials.  Mr. Pelton has successfully tried cases to juries on behalf of numerous clients in the automotive, beverage, restaurant and food service, garment, medical, radio and television, and retail industries in the federal and state courts in Michigan, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.
  • Class Actions.  He has an active class action practice.  Among other recent successful defenses of FLSA collective actions, he was lead counsel representing a major retailer in defeating certification of a putative class of 75,000 employees and former employees alleging off-the-clock work and denial of breaks.
  • Arbitration and Mediation.  He has arbitrated numerous labor relations cases as well as non-union discrimination, FMLA, and executive contract claims.  He has successfully enforced pre-dispute arbitration agreements for employers in a half dozen states and mediated scores of cases throughout the country.
  • Appellate.  He has argued in the Michigan Supreme Court and represented employers in the intermediate appellate courts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois.  He has also handled appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Sixth, Seventh, and D.C. Circuits.
  • Administrative.  He has represented employers on federal and state law administrative matters in over a dozen States and in the District of Columbia.
  • Restrictive Covenants.  He has represented the interests of employers in non-compete and trade secret litigation in the federal and state courts in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  These cases have involved such industries as insurance, real estate, automotive, computers, medical, chemical, and sports equipment.
  • Election Law.  He has represented a major political party and judicial, mayoral, and other candidates in the federal and state courts in Michigan.

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Michigan
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia

Memberships and Activities

  • Michigan Board of Law Examiners (appointed by Michigan Governor Snyder): March 2011-Present
  • Michigan Board of State Canvassers: 2002-2005
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • 21st Century Practice Task Force (appointed by State Bar President): 2015-2016
    • Commissioner: 2006-2009
    • Member, Section of Labor and Employment Law
  • Oakland County Bar Foundation
    • Trustee: 2009-Present
    • Executive Committee: 2011-2016
    • President: 2014-2015
  • Methodist Children’s Home Society
    • Board member: 2017-Present
    • Governance Committee: 2017-Present
  • Federalist Society
    • Labor and Employment Section, National Executive Committee: 2009-2014
    • Michigan Chapter of Federalist Society
    • Director: 1993-1999
    • President: 1998
    • Board of Advisors: 1999-Present
  • Michigan State University
    • National Alumni Board Committee Member: 2007-2009
    • College of Social Science Alumni Association
      •       Board Member: 1995-2007
      •       President: 1999-2001

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