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Business and Commercial

Class Actions

Critical Motions / Appeals

Internal Investigations

Product Liability / Advanced Technologies


Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2011

Northwestern University, B.A., Political Science, History, & Legal Studies, cum laude, 2008

Judicial Clerkship

Judge Eric L. Clay, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2012-2013

Judge Edward C. Prado, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2011-2012

Court Admissions

Supreme Court of the United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

United Sates District Court for the Western District of Michigan

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Michigan State Courts

Illinois State Courts

District of Columbia Courts

Derek J. Linkous focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, with particular emphasis on critical motions and appeals. Trial tested, he has represented corporate and individual clients in state and federal courts throughout the country, as well as before government regulators and arbitral tribunals. He has experience with a broad range of business litigation, including class actions, contract disputes, product liability, and professional liability.

Critical Motions / Appeals

  • Acted as critical-motions counsel at trial for multiple automotive manufacturers in product-liability matters, including with punitive-damages exposure
  • Won appeal on employer’s behalf in defense of a summary-judgment dismissal of discrimination claims
  • Defended jury verdict on appeal in personal-injury collision case
  • Secured key victories on pre-trial motions as critical-motions counsel on product-liability matters, which precipitated favorable settlements
  • Obtained vacatur on appeal of trial-court order purporting to re-open a putative RICO case against an automotive manufacturer after several years
  • Served as appellate counsel to trucking manufacturer in $80-million supply-contract dispute
  • Counseled automotive manufacturer in multiple appeals relating to consumer warranty claims

Business and Commercial Litigation

  • Defended closely-held corporation in bet-the-company alter ego action following bankruptcy of the corporation’s subsidiary
  • Represented medical professional in LLC member dispute, which led to minority member being able to buyout partners on favorable terms
  • Defended alternative energy company in contract dispute with LLC member
  • Represented LLC board members on fiduciary-duty counterclaims after securities-fraud suit was brought
  • Won pre-discovery dismissal of employment-benefits suit
  • Counseled automotive manufacturer in trademark and trade-dress litigation and parallel regulatory action
  • Defended officers and directors of homebuilding company in fraudulent-transfer action

Class Actions

  • Represented automotive manufacturer in multiple class actions alleging loss of a “benefit of the bargain” based on a claimed defect
  • Counseled specialty insurance company in securities class action related to executive compensation
  • Counseled national athletic association in class action related to concussions in college sports

Additional Matters

  • Secured pre-discovery dismissal for world’s largest metal options exchange in putative multi-billion-dollar antitrust class action
  • Litigated on behalf of nuclear power plant operator in international arbitration related to defective steam generators
  • Represented defendant accused of neighborhood-wide groundwater contamination from volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Defended worldwide religious organization in multi-plaintiff negligence, fraud, and conspiracy action, including multiple appeals to the state supreme court
  • Represented trucking manufacturer in product-liability case involving advanced driver-assistance features
  • Advised digital marketing company on investigations, including vendor disputes and employment-related matters
  • Defended individual investor in defamation action
  • Counseled accounting firm in SEC investigation
  • Represented pro bono a juvenile lifer on appeal of re-sentence

Prior to joining Bush Seyferth PLLC, Derek worked as an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP in Chicago and Washington, D.C., where his practice focused on advanced motions and appeals, class actions, and professional liability. He also previously worked at Sperling & Slater, P.C., a litigation boutique in Chicago, where his practice focused on business litigation.

Before entering private practice, Derek clerked for Judge Eric L. Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for Judge Edward C. Prado of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. During law school, he interned for Judge Amy J. St. Eve then of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Derek received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law. There, he served as Senior Articles Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review, President of the Julius H. Miner Moot Court Competition, and a member of the Northwestern Supreme Court Clinic. He received his B.A., cum laude, in Political Science, History, and Legal Studies from Northwestern University.

Honors & Awards

State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Honor Roll (2021), Tier 2 – 50-99 hours

Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© Ones to Watch: Appellate Practice (2021 – present), Commercial Litigation (2021 – present), Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action – Defendants (2021 – present)

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2019 – present)

Order of the Coif

Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Activities

Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan, Appellate Practice Co-Chair

Northwestern Law Alumni Club of Detroit, Ambassador

State Bar of Michigan, Appellate Section, Member

“Abundant Data: ADAS Features Enabling Early Understanding of Crash Dynamics” DRI Strictly Automotive Seminar (September 2021)

“SCOTUS Key Business Case Review & Preview” Association of Corporate Counsel-Michigan (August 2021)

“Better Know a Sixth Circuit Judge,” co-moderated to FBA’s Eastern District of MI Chapter (2021)

“Teaming Up: Appellate and Trial Counsel Partnering to Win” DRI For the Defense (March 2021)

“Federal Bar Association – Appellate Practice Panel,” co-moderated to FBA’s Eastern District of MI Chapter (2019)

“Internal Investigations – Key Considerations for Companies and Their Counsel,” co-presented to FBA’s Eastern District of MI Chapter (2019)

“Panel Effects, Whistleblowing Theory, and the Role of Legal Doctrine,” 158 U. Pa. L. Rev. PENNumbra 83 (2009) (with Emerson Tiller)

“Presidential Signing Statements in the Modern Era,” 2 Nw. Interdisc. L. Rev. 155 (2009)

Favorite Sport: Hockey (been playing since age 3)

Favorite Vacation: Cuba

Favorite TV Show: The Wire

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