This is . . .
Cranbrook Law Group
Our personal message to you:
Cranbrook Law Group is founded and exists on the highest ideals of the learned profession of the law. It operates on the best methods to put those ideals into practice for your business, your life, and your families' lives.
No two lawyers practice law the same way. No two lawyers have the same qualities. And no two clients, no two cases are the same.
There must be a fit. It takes effort to find that fit. But once you find it, the value is unquantifiable, the opportunities limitless.
We at Cranbrook strive to practice law the way it is supposed to be practiced. Ideals, practicality, relationships; let us explore with you how your philosophies and ours complement each other.
We put our rhetorical and analytical skills, founded on our idealism, scholarship, and experience, into practice for every client need.
We show you how we will put your case to its highest benefit.
And then we do it.
This is . . .
Cranbrook Law Group.
A closing note on what we will see:
We will see things in your case no other lawyer can see. How? Extensive legal knowledge, experience, and skills honed over decades of meeting the most challenging of problems and converting them to opportunities, intensive investigation into both the law and the facts yielding the creativity to find a solution and opportunity, where others cannot or will not. This is what brings powerful grace and ingenuity out of the professional relationship for you. We have proved ourselves time and again at the highest levels of practice and legal competition. This is what brings us confidence. This is what that gives us the fearlessness -- and you the strength -- to abide risk and capitalize on opportunity.
You and Cranbrook together.
Together, we cannot lose.
Cranbrook Law Group
Barry R. Powers
Barry R. Powers, President and Founder, Cranbrook Law Group
Levy Maxim Burns, Senior Counsel, Cranbrook Law Group
(licensed to practice in New York but not yet in Michigan)
David L. Howard, C.P.A., P.F.S., Director of Finance and Elder Care Lay Services
Scott Powers, Director of Technical Support and Services
In Memoriam, Hawke Fracassa,
Founding Director of Strategic Planning
(May 7, 1959 - April 30, 2015),
whose daring use of the written word with economy and
courage made him peerless now, and will for all time
Barry R. Powers
Courtroom specialist Barry R. Powers has represented a variety of clients in his thirty years of continuous law practice.
Representing City Hall and citizens challenging City Hall, and even the state and federal governments, are but a few illustrations. He has represented municipalities such as the City of Dearborn and the City of Ypsilanti, as well as quasi-municipal corporations such as Michigan State University. In contrast, he has also architected and litigated challenges against such municipalities such as the City of Novi, the City of Pontiac, the Township of Dexter, a public community college and a public school boards. He has litigated fourteenth amendment and other constitutional and civil rights claims against former Michigan Governors William Milliken, James Blanchard, and Jennifer Granholm.
Yet he eludes categorization.
In the private sector, on the one hand, he has for several years counted among his clients public sports figures such as world renown Major League Baseball and National Hockey League players, NCAA coaches, and other celebrities, along with publicly-traded corporations including a "Fortune 20" company, along with several lawyers and law firms.
On the other hand, he also represents sole proprietors, small family businesses, juveniles, the obscure, the forgotten, and even the institutionalized. For his entire career he has litigated large and complex commercial cases and cases of public importance in federal and state courts and arbitral forums throughout the United States. He has tried cases in New York and Ohio, as well as in his home state of Michigan.
He has litigated still other cases in the federal courts of Florida, Maryland, Ohio, and Vermont, and in the state courts of Ohio. Mr. Powers is also a former newspaperman (sports writer and news editor), as well as law journal editor, college athlete, and baseball and softball umpire for the Michigan High School Athletic Association and other organizations and leagues.
Appellate advocacy is another cornerstone skill of his. He has successfully argued dozens of appeals in state and federal courts of appeals, such as the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court, where he won appellate relief on a question of first impression. In the Michigan Court of Appeals he has won relief on other questions of first impression, including a favorable decision establishing new Michigan law on the time a claims accrues under the Michigan civil rights statute.
Colleagues have recognized him with a peer review rating of AV "Preeminent" from the longest established and most widely respected lawyer rating service, Martindale-Hubbell, for his adherence to the highest ethical standards and for his professional ability. His colleagues in both Wayne and Oakland counties have repeatedly elected him to be their public professional voice in the State Bar of Michigan's policy-making body, the Representative Assembly, in contested elections. The Advocates Guild of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society, a select group of accomplished appellate law specialists, granting recognition for achievements orally arguing full calendar cases before the Michigan Supreme Court.
A leader of the State Bar and a former State Bar Legal Ethics Committee member appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court as Commissioner representing all Michigan attorneys in 2018 (three-year term) and by the President of the State Bar of Michigan as member of the ethics committee in 2003, Mr. Powers is respected by bench and bar for his professional leadership and acumen, as well as his mastery of legal and judicial ethics and the law of lawyering. Professional and general news media often quote him and solicit his commentary on matters of interest to the general public and members of the bench and bar, particularly on legal ethics. He is also a former member of the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly, representing the lawyers of both Oakland County and Wayne County.
An authoritative proceduralist, Mr. Powers is most widely published in the areas of Michigan and federal civil procedure and practice. His expertise in legal and judicial ethics is eclipsed only by his extensive scholarship in, and litigating matters of, state and federal practice and procedure.
From his legal scholarship and extensive experience litigating procedural matters and his frequent lectures in this area of law and advocacy, he enjoys recognition as an authority in the law of the courts.
The Institute of Continuing Legal Education has published his scholarly works over the past decade as Chapters 6 and 7 ("Initial Motions and Responsive Pleadings") in five consecutive editions of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education's authoritative treatise, Michigan Civil Procedure, a treatise regarded as the quintessential work on Michigan law of civil practice and procedure, possessed by each judge of the state of Michigan, and whose editors include former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. Beyond that, the Wayne Law Review has published two of his treatments of Michigan civil procedure and one of Michigan family law.
Mr. Powers is also widely published in areas of substantive law, such as contract and business law, unfair competition, shareholder rights, partnership disputes, and sales of goods. That respect as an authority in legal ethics and scholarship combined with his courtroom presence and rhetorical skill enhance his abilities as a formidable advocate.
At the invitations of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Mr. Powers has frequently lectured before members of the bench and bar, as well as law students, in business law, pre-trial litigation, appeals, professional responsibility and legal ethics, and he has for many years been a long-time instructor of law students in appellate advocacy and American constitutional history.
Best known for representing a class of 100 plaintiffs in the celebrated Thomson v Granholm case, he championed constitutional rights of the disabled. In an emergency class action suit against high-ranking state officials and others, including Governor Granholm, he staved off the ouster of his clients from their facility. In Fair Housing Act litigation against a group of hundreds of real estate brokers and agents, he won judgment gaining him further notoriety as a leading civil rights litigation. Another illustration of his adept handling of high profile cases is his court victory in a lender liability case in which plaintiffs sought over $500,000,000 in damages against his client, a Fortune 20 company.
A family man, Mr. Powers is the proud father of four sons, two of whom attend the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and another of whom recently graduated from Michigan State University. Mr. Powers is a former NCAA Division II college baseball player, a community leader, an advocate for adults and children with special needs, and a tireless volunteer for high school and junior baseball programs. And, for over a decade, he has served as a Minister of the Word at Holy Name Church in Birmingham, Michigan.
Admissions to Practice
State Bar of Michigan (continuously since November, 1987)
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
United States District Court for the District of Maryland
United States District Court for the District of Vermont
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, A.B., with honors in English, 1984
Wayne State University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1987
Honors and Awards
William D. Traitel Law Research and Study Scholarship Note & Comment Editor, Wayne Law Review Assistant Editor, Wayne Law Review Writing competition award winner, Wayne Law Review
American Jurisprudence Award, Constitutional Law
Detroit Metropolitan Bar Distinguished Service Award
Oakland County Bar Foundation, Fellow
Martindale-Hubbell's highest AV "Preeminent" rating
Chapter Seven, "Responsive Pleadings and Initial Motions," Michigan Civil Procedure, April 2014 Update (ICLE, 2014)
Chapter Seven, "Responsive Pleadings and Initial Motions," Michigan Civil Procedure (ICLE, 2011)
Chapter Six, "Responsive Pleadings and Initial Motions," Michigan Civil Procedure (ICLE, 1999)
"Family Law, Annual Survey of Michigan Law," 43 Wayne L. Rev. 981 (1997)(co-author)
"Civil Procedure, Annual Survey of Michigan Law," 41 Wayne L. Rev. 379 (1995)
"Preliminarily Enjoining the Threatened Breach of Non-competition and Confidentiality Agreements," 16 Mich. Bus. L. J. 17 (1994)
"Civil Procedure, Annual Survey of Michigan Law," 38 Wayne L. Rev. 639 (1992)
"Checklist of Remedies Under Article Two of the Uniform Commercial Code," 15 Mich. Bus. L. J. 10 (1992)
"Remedies of Buyers and Sellers Under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code," 70 Mich. B. J. 290 (1991)(co-author)
Lecturer of Law, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, "Law practice management, attorney charging and possessory liens," October, 1992, at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan
"Commercial Litigation Workshop: Litigating the Employee Unfair Competition Case," May, 1994; State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section Sixth Annual Mid-Year Meeting, at Grand Traverse Resort, Grand Traverse Village, Acme, Michigan
"Corporate Crack-Ups, Business Break-Ups, Partnership Partings: Business Divorce and Litigation: Seeking and Obtaining Temporary Restraining Orders, Injunctions and Other Preliminary Relief," July, 1995; Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Business Law Section of State Bar of Michigan, co-sponsor), at Michigan State University Management Education Center, Troy, Michigan
State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners
Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society Advocates Guild
Oakland County Bar Association
Macomb County Bar Association
Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
Polish American Lawyers Society Board of Directors
Catholic Lawyers Society Bar Association
Former member, State Bar of Michigan Committee on Judicial and Professional Ethics
Former member, State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly representing Wayne County, Michigan
Former member, State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly representing Oakland County, Michigan
Former member, Commercial Litigation Committee of State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section
Former member, Board of Directors of Wayne State University Law Alumni Association
Former member, Board of Directors of Barristers of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
Birmingham-Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce
Knights of Columbus, Birmingham, Michigan, Council No. 14018 (Holy Name Catholic Church)
Lector and Minister of the Word, Holy Name Catholic Church
University of Michigan Alumni Association
Wayne State University Alumni Association
Wayne State University Law Alumni Association
Wayne State University Baseball Alumni Association
Birmingham Little League Baseball Director
Seaholm Baseball Boosters Vice-President and Director