Deanna Swisher


Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Employment Litigation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Collections / Creditor - Debtor Rights
University Ball State University, B.S., summa cum laude, 1982
Law SchoolIndiana University School of Law, J.D., 1985
Admitted1985, Michigan; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Memberships & Affiliations

Legal Affiliations:
•American Bar Association
•State Bar of Michigan
•Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow
•Federal Bar Association

Community Involvement:
•Member, Davis Dunnings Bar Association
•Member, Friends of Reutter Park
•Member, Michigan Athletic Club


Deanna joined Foster Swift in 1988. Her practice focus is in the areas of commercial and employment litigation and her service as general counsel to fashion designers. Deanna leads Fosterfashion, the firm's fashion and design law team. Deanna also handles alternative dispute resolution, primarily through service as an arbitrator, and she represents clients in a variety of real estate, mortgage, collection and creditor rights matters. She is a member of the firm's Banking, Finance and Real Estate Practice Group and Agricultural Law Group.

The range of commercial litigation matters that Deanna handles for clients is broad and includes breach of contract litigation, defending contract and statutory claims arising from the mortgagee/mortgagor relationship, resolving real property and title disputes, enforcing the rights of parties to secured transactions, filing and defending actions for breach of fiduciary duty, interference with contract and other business torts. Deanna's work as a commercial litigator has earned the respect of her peers, as is demonstrated by her AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell rating and Best Lawyers in America recognition.

Deanna also drafts and negotiates licensing agreements, commission agreements, employment and independent contractor agreements, and advises clients regarding the misclassification of employees. When out-of-court efforts and administrative proceedings fail to resolve disputes, she defends employers in state and federal courts in breach of contract discrimination, retaliation actions, and she files suits to enjoin violations of, covenants not-to-compete provisions, and sales commission agreements.

Deanna is listed on the AAA Commercial Panel of Neutrals and serves as a mediator.

Prior to joining Foster, Swift, Deanna clerked for Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Carolyn Stell and worked for Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlet.

Admitted to practice in Michigan, she is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Ingham County Bar Association. Deanna is a member of the Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, and she is a former member of the State Bar of Michigan's Client Protection Fund Committee and the Indiana University Law Alumni Board.

Locally, Deanna volunteers her time to The Friends of Reutter Park and to Operation Santa, a program that provides Christmas gifts to children of low-income families. She has served as the President of the Board of Trustees of Michigan Montessori Internationale, Inc., and she is a founding member of the Lansing Chapter of Inforum and AthenaWIN.
Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, Deanna was a summa cum laude graduate of Ball State University, obtaining degrees in Political Science and the Honors College. She received her legal education and juris doctorate from Indiana University in 1985.

Runway's first sponsor renews: Foster Swift Continues Support of Lansing's Fashion Incubator, April 24, 2015
Fashion is alive in Michigan: Foster Swift Launches New Fosterfashion Blog, October 22, 2014
Lights, Camera, Fashion: Foster Swift Partners with Runway Lansing, October 14, 2014
45 Foster Swift attorneys named to 2015 Best Lawyers in America roster, August 19, 2014
Forty-five Foster Swift Attorneys included in Best Lawyers, August 15, 2013
47 Foster Swift attorneys named as 2013 Best Lawyers, September 4, 2012
Foster Swift selected as a Top Ranked Law Firm by Martindale-Hubbell, April 16, 2012

Fashion Law, The Fashion Association of Merchandising and Design at Central Michigan University, November 4, 2014
Proper Use of Email, Walsh College, March 10, 2011

Trade Dress - A Good Fit for Fashion?, Ipls Proceedings - State Bar of Michigan, January 2015
Financing the Creative, Foster Swift Finance, Real Estate & Bankruptcy News, August 26, 2014
Is Your Independent Contractor Really an Employee?, Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update, January 16, 2014
Mediation: A Viable Alternative to Litigation, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 2008


AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell

Best Lawyers in America 2015 (Commercial Litigation)

American Arbitration Association Roster of Neutrals, Commercial Panel


Fosterfashion Blog
•Make Your Mark - Defining and defending your brand with a trademark
•The Training Wage - Affordable help for you and resume worthy experience for the under 20 employee
•Made In Michigan - Coming soon, to your closet?
•High End Imitation - High Praise or Harmful Piracy?
•The Power of Choice and the Importance of Informed Choice
•Fashion 411 Speaker Series - Lansing Welcomes Jen Guarino!
•The Small World That Lives in New York City
•Join us at Fashion for the Fire
•House Bill 4198, what is it good for? Nothing, absolutely nothing.
•Trade Dress - A Good Fit for Fashion?

Reported CasesRepresentative Matters: Successfully defended a multi-million dollar action alleging breach of warranty, brought by a first tier supplier/manufacturer of injection molded automotive parts against a second tier supplier of thermoplastic. In addition to receiving a very favorable result, she protected proprietary client information from disclosure in federal district court by negotiating an agreement to arbitrate.; Obtained summary judgment for the employer/defendant in a same sex harassment and retaliation case, and successfully argued to affirm this favorable result before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Documents by this lawyer on

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Internships - A Teachable Moment
Brian J. Renaud,Deanna Swisher, March 20, 2015
Internships are a beautiful thing. They can provide a student with invaluable experience. If you are working with an intern or you were interested in offering an internship, please read on.

Financing the Creative
Deanna Swisher, September 1, 2014
It is time to turn around the phrase “creative financing” to consider financing the creative. Lansing Michigan’s newest incubator, The Runway, will open in August. At The Runway, ten fashion designers-in-residence will be learning how to get their creative ideas to market and move...

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Office Information

Deanna Swisher

313 South Washington Square
LansingMI 48933-2193


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