Mr. Barker’s clients are diverse in both size and industry, and include real estate developers, construction companies, automotive suppliers, hotels and restaurants, manufacturers, non-profit organizations and municipalities. In addition to providing routine support on a wide range of daily business and governance issues, he offers significant experience with complex commercial transactional and litigation matters including mergers and acquisitions, supply interruption issues, and bankruptcy.
Because he is also a licensed Michigan Real Estate Broker, his clients receive added value in the form of a unique industry perspective to both routine and complex real estate transactions and litigation matters, including sales, leases, financing, land contracts, real property purchases, construction liens, boundary disputes and property tax appeals.
In his labor and employment practice, Mr. Barker counsels private and non-profit employers on workforce management issues, labor relations matters and preventive measures to avoid litigation, which include employee handbooks, employment agreements, personnel policies and procedures, independent contractor issues, and intellectual property protection. He also represents management exclusively in employment litigation and arbitration, including discrimination claims (age, disability, race, gender, national origin and religion), wage-and-hour issues under both state and federal law, Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) issues, trade secret and non-competition matters, reductions in force, disputes under collective bargaining agreements and unfair labor practice claims.
On behalf of municipalities, Mr. Barker manages the firm’s law enforcement defense practice, representing police departments and officers against misconduct, excessive force and false arrest claims brought under state law and section 1983 of the United States Code.
Additionally, Mr. Barker is certified through the Michigan State Court Administrative Office as a civil mediator. In that role, Mr. Barker facilitates disputes among the parties to commercial, employment, and trust and estate litigation matters in pursuit of settlements out of court.
Mr. Barker regularly contributes to legal and real estate journals and also serves as program faculty at business and professional group events. Among multiple volunteer positions with non-profit organizations, Mr. Barker serves on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Association of Realtors, where he was recognized as “Realtor of the Year” for coordinating the “DAR University” professional education programs. He also coaches youth baseball and is a leader with the Boy Scouts of America.
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