Thomas A. Cattel

Office Co-Managing Shareholder Detroit (Metro)

Since 1981, Mr. Cattel has focused his practice on the representation of corporate clients in litigation in state and federal courts and counseling of management on employment matters.  Mr. Cattel has served as lead defense trial counsel on numerous individual and multiple plaintiff employment cases on behalf of General Motors Corporation, Chrysler Corporation, DTE Energy Company and other corporate clients.

In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Cattel has represented private and public sector clients at main table labor negotiations involving the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Automobile Workers, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Mr. Cattel’s labor practice also includes representing management in labor arbitrations involving union represented employees. Additionally, Mr. Cattel’s practice involves handling the defense of professional errors and omissions, director and officer, and employment practices liability claims on behalf of various national insurers.

Mr. Cattel also regularly counsels employers regarding strategies to avoid liability and to employ sound management practices. Mr. Cattel has helped oversee large scale corporate reorganizations and rightsizing for his clients and counseled them through this potential litigation minefield.


Before joining Ogletree Deakins, Mr. Cattel was one of the founding principals of Cattel, Tuyn & Rudzewicz, a Michigan employment and labor law firm created in 1999 which joined Ogletree Deakins in September 2007. Throughout his legal career Mr. Cattel has focused his practice on employment litigation, E&O litigation involving professionals, commercial litigation, labor matters and counseling on behalf of employers. Mr. Cattel is a regular lecturer on employment related topics and serves as a court appointed Case Evaluator in Macomb County Circuit Court and facilitator for private parties.

Significant published legal precedent Mr. Cattel has established in Michigan involve an employer’s ability to require employees to file claims within a shortened period of limitations as set forth in an application for employment (Clark v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 268 Mich. App.138 ; 706 N.W.2d 471 (2005) ); that the statute of limitations on a hostile environment claim begins to run from when the facts giving rise to the claim occurred and not the termination of employment (Magee v. DaimlerChrysler Corp.,  472 Mich. 108; 693 N.W.2d 166 (2005) ); changes in personnel policies can constitute a subsequent remedial measure precluding admission at trial under MRE 407 (Jernigan v. General Motors Corp., 180 Mich. App. 575; 447 N.W.2d 822 (1989).

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • State Bar of Michigan (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • Macomb County Bar Association
  • Rochester Bar Association