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Thomas P. Branigan

Thomas P. Branigan

Executive Managing Partner

Tom Branigan is a trial lawyer who understands the auto industry. He has worked in or for the industry for over 43 years. Born, raised and educated in the “Motor City,” automotive is in his DNA. Tom is recognized as one of the leading Trial Lawyers in America today for motor vehicle product liability litigation and one of Michigan's leading lawyers. Through his national trial practice, he has tried major cases to prominent defense verdicts for numerous OEMs and suppliers from coast to coast. He has appeared as Trial or Lead Counsel in over 30 states and in Canada. 

Tom’s clients have described him as “a top choice nationally for our cases due to his technical mastery of emerging technology and approachability with both juries and corporate executives.” A Lawyer who “has tirelessly worked to not just understand the technology but also represent car companies to defend against these claims and present the extraordinary benefits of ADAS to juries.”

His record is proof that he and his teams work aggressively and tirelessly to cost-effectively manage all facets of complex and high-exposure litigation including “bet the company,” class action, multidistrict, appeals, arbitrations and mediations throughout North America to resolution in line with his client’s objectives. He is routinely retained as Lead Counsel in “bet the company” cases, and he has been Counsel in many of the largest automotive related class action and MDL matters in history. Tom is currently an elected member of Bowman and Brooke’s Executive Committee, Co-Chair of the Automotive Practice Group and he has also served as the Managing Partner of the Detroit office and Chair of its Policy Committee.

Tom has been listed in the Top 100 out of more than 45,000 Michigan attorneys in multiple editions of Michigan Super Lawyers since its inception in 2006. In 2012, Michigan Lawyers Weekly featured Tom as a Leader in the Law. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America for Product Liability and Commercial Litigation. 


Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1988
  • Illinois, 2000
  • Ohio, 1999

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Utah


  • Michigan State University College of Law, J.D., 1988
    cum laude
    William P. Finch Evidence Award, 1988 
    Louis J. Colombo Award, Detroit College of Law Class of 1988 
    Editor-in-Chief, Detroit College of Law Review, 1987 - 1988
  • Wayne State University, B.A., 1985

Professional Associations

    • Product Liability Advisory Counsel
    • Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine
    • Defense Research Institute
    • Society of Automotive Engineers
    • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
    • American Bar Association
    • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Oakland County Bar Association


    A list of trials is available upon request.


    • The Legal 500 
      —Named in Litigation: Product Liability Defense, Automotive/Transport, 2008 – 2011, 2018, 2020 – 2024
    • Chambers USA
      —Named in 2008 – 2013
    • The Best Lawyers in America
      —Listed in Product Liability and Commercial Litigation, 2015 – 2024
    • DBusiness Magazine
      —Top Lawyer, 2024
    • Who’s Who Legal, Product Liability Defense
      —Global Leader, 2020 – 2023
    • The National Law Journal
      —"40 Under 40," 2002
    • Michigan Lawyers Weekly
      —Michigan Leader in the Law, 2012
    • Leading Lawyers Magazine, Michigan Edition
      —Top 100 Attorneys, 2015 – 2018
    • Irish Legal 100
      —Named in 2009 – 2013
    • Super Lawyers Magazine
      —Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006 – 2022
      —Top 100, 2007 – 2009, 2012 – 2014
    • Super Lawyers Business Edition
      —Top Lawyer, Product Liability and Commercial Litigation, 2009 – 2017
    • Martindale-Hubbell
      —Rated AV Preeminent

Recent Verdicts & Case Studies


Recent News, Events and Blogs

Speaking Engagements

  • "Innovation and the Duty to Improve," Co-Presenter, PLAC Fall Conference, October 2023
  • "Autonomous Vehicles Hot Topics & The Future of AV Litigation," Co-Presenter, Webinar, March 2020
  • "Examining the Next Generation of Emerging Autonomous Technologies," Co-Presenter, ACI Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference, July 2019
  • "Product Liability Issues Related to ADAS on the Road Today," Presenter, ADAS and AV Legal Issues and Liabilities Conference, October 2019
  • "Proceed with Caution: Examining Legal Scrutiny of Autonomous Vehicles," Co-Presenter, Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, October 2018
  • "Legal, Liability, and Insurance: Key Remaining Barriers for CV’s and CAV’s," Panelist, ITS Michigan Annual Meeting, September 2019
  • "Managing Product Liability Litigation in the Automotive and Manufacturing Sectors: Legalities and Economic Realities," Moderator, ACI Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference, July 2018
  • "And Now the Law: Product Liability, Cybersecurity, Privacy, Ethics, Insurance, And Regulatory Compliance of Autonomous Vehicles and Highly Automated Vehicle Technology," Panelist,  Autonomous Vehicle Safety Regulation World Congress, October 2017
  • "Self Driving/Autonomous Vehicles: Advancements in Technology, Complex Insurance Issues, Shared Vehicles, Engineering Design, Regulatory Concerns, Ethical Considerations, and Litigation Risk", ACI National Forum on Automotive Product Liability Litigation, June 2017
  • "Cyber Security/Hacking Issues with Vehicles: Safety Concerns, Liability Issues," ABA TIPS Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation, April 2017
  • "Legal Liability Issues Associated with Connected Vehicles," SAE Government Industry Program, January 2015
  • "VSA and Autonomous Cars: Overcoming the Product Liability Defense Challenges Associated with Vehicle Driver Assist Technologies, Sensor Technologies and Active Safety Systems; and Anticipating the Future of Claims Involving Autonomous Cars," ACI Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference, June 2014
  • "Putting Plaintiffs to the Test When They Advance Theories to See What Sticks: Side Curtain Air Bags," ACI Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference, June 2012
  • "The Impact of Product Liability Pattern Litigation in the 21st Century on the Automobile Industry," Client Seminar, September 2010 
  • Young Lawyers Trial Techniques Seminar, The Defense Research Institute, 1993 and 1994
  • Andrews Automotive Litigation Reporter - Courses, Lecturer
  • "Defending the Product During and After the Manufacturer's Mea Culpa," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, 2001