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William E. McDonald, III


(248) 822-7807

Related Services

Advanced Technologies

Business and Commercial

E-Discovery Management

Financial Services Litigation

Insurance Litigation

Intellectual Property Litigation

Product Liability

Securities / Finance


The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law J.D., 2012

Grand Valley State University, B.A., 2009

Court Admissions

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Michigan State Courts

William (“Bill”) McDonald, III focuses his practice on commercial, insurance, and product liability litigation. Bill has counseled clients in matters involving the Federal Trade Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Department of Justice. Bill has extensive experience handling large-scale e-discovery projects.

  • As lead counsel obtained a full defense verdict in South Bend, Indiana on multiple automotive product liability claims including defective and unreasonably dangerous design, failure to warn, and failure to instruct and a punitive damage claim against a major automotive OEM.
  • Secured complete dismissal without payment in automotive product liability suit against major automotive OEM involving three fatalities in Michigan State Court.
  • Currently serving as lead national air bag coordinating counsel for a major OEM.
  • Lead responsibility for coordination of discovery and depositions, including company witnesses, experts and 30(b)(6) depositions, in the Takata MDL for a major OEM.
  • Prepared discovery and dispositive motions in the Takata MDL for a major OEM.
  • Coordinated depositions of plaintiff’s putative class representatives in the Takata MDL for a major OEM.
  • Prepared and conducted dozens of 30(b)(6) depositions and expert depositions for major companies, including major OEM clients.
  • Secured summary disposition for a bus manufacturer in a product liability action stemming from a bus accident.
  • Secured summary judgment for a vehicle manufacturer in action in United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan in which Plaintiff alleged product defects caused a fire in the subject vehicle.
  • Secured summary disposition for U-Haul Co. of Michigan in an asserting claims of owner’s liability and vicarious liability stemming from a vehicular accident.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an automotive manufacturer in complex product liability case involving building fire in federal court.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a bus manufacturer in complex product liability case.
  • Secured summary judgment on behalf of property storage company in long-fought battle on bailment and conversion in state court.
  • Secured international arbitration award exceeding $3M on behalf of automotive company in breach of contract dispute.
  • Managed and resolved multi-year, large-scale federal investigation response for Fortune 500 company involving cybersecurity practices.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of vehicle rental company in personal injury action.
  • Obtained favorable settlement in high-exposure automotive negligence case involving claims of traumatic brain injury.
  • Secured favorable settlement for automotive manufacturer in catastrophic injury claim in product liability action in California.
  • Secured favorable settlement for vehicle rental company in high-exposure personal injury claim.
  • Managed and resolved a multi-year federal inquiry for client in an automotive product recall investigation.

Bill received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in May 2012. Before his legal studies, Bill attended Grand Valley State University, double-majoring in Economics and Finance, and earned a 3-year merit scholarship from The Ohio State University for law school.

Honors & Awards

DBusiness Top Lawyers (2023 – Present)

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Leaders in the Law (2022)

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2016 – Present)

Professional Activities

American Board of Trial Advocates, National Trial College Fellow

DRI, Young Lawyers, Member

Federal Bar Association, E.D. Michigan Chapter, Member

Oakland County Bar Association, Young Lawyers, Member

Law and Capital Markets @ Ohio State, Program Associate

Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal of the Moritz College of Law, Staff Associate

The Sedona Conference Working Group Series, Member


“Defending Optional Equipment Decisions in Heavy Duty Trucks” DRI Strictly Automotive Seminar, Moderator (August 2023)

“Reflecting on 2+ Years of Remote Work” The Trial Network Corporate Litigation: Never Face the Music Alone Conference, Moderator (November 2022)

“Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities for the Self Driving Car: Vehicle to Vehicle Interconnectivity and Associated Risks” presented to ACI Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference (July 2018)

“Securing Vehicles of the Future: Privacy, Cyber Security, and Product Liability” presented to IQPC Automotive Cyber Security Summit Detroit (March 2018)

“Steering Clear of Cybersecurity Issues with Emerging Trends in Automotive Technology” presented to DRI Strictly Automotive Seminar (September 2017)

“Investigative Techniques Using Advanced Technology and Social Media Law Update,” presented to Kentucky Defense Counsel, Inc.’s 2017 Spring Seminar (March 2017)

“Updates and Trends in Warnings and Failure to Warn Claims,” presented to nationwide counsel for an OEM (January 2017)

Attorney-Client Privilege, Investigative Techniques, & Michigan No-Fault, CLE presentation for in-house counsel and insurance adjusters (January 2017)

“Updates and Trends in Investigative Techniques…,” presented to nationwide counsel for an OEM (June 2016)

“Michigan No Fault: Personal Injury Protection,” CLE presentation for in-house counsel and insurance adjusters (January 2016)

“Advanced Automotive Technologies,” presented to Defense Research Institute Strictly Automotive Seminar (November 2015)

“Product Liability for Engineers,” presented for University of Michigan UMTRI Program December 2014 (2015)

“Unusual Suspects: Criminalization of Corporate Conduct in Product Liability,” presented to the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (2015 Annual Meeting)

“Confidential Information Handling,” presented to nationwide counsel for an OEM

“Recall Part II: The Evolving Landscape for Suppliers and Their In-House Counsel,” presented to OESA’s Legal Issues Council Meeting


“To Install or To Not Install Optional Equipment – Liability Defense Considerations” DRI Strictly Automotive Manuscript (August 2023)

“Investigative Techniques Using Advanced Technology” DRI For the Defense (December 2016)

“Protecting the Corporation’s Interests,” DRI In-House Defense Quarterly (Winter 2016)

“The Rise and Fall of the Reasonable Expectations Doctrine in Michigan,” The Journal of Insurance and Indemnity Law

“Evidentiary Issues Facing Insurers Seeking Interpleader,” DRI For The Defense

For Fun

Fun Fact: Bill is left handed

Member of the Hot Dog Hall of Fame

Favorite Sport: Golf & Golf

Favorite Hobby: Cooking

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