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John K. Burnett III is the founding partner of Burnett Law, PLLC. Prior to establishing this firm, John was a partner at The Mike Cox Law Firm, P.L.L.C. in Livonia (MI) and Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis, LLC in Chicago (IL). John started his career as an associate at Schiff Hardin, LLP, which bases its international offices out of Chicago. John has a broad range of experience that focuses on business counseling, litigation and arbitration in a variety of areas, including healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and creditor rights. John continually has closed transactions and deals for his clients, and he has represented his clients before numerous state and federal courts around the country. Moreover, John has protected his clients’ interests in various arbitration forums, including the American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution.

As a trusted advisor, John works with his clients to develop successful strategies to prosecute and defend against claims to ensure that his clients can continue to focus their efforts on their businesses. John analyzes disputes and potential issues and liabilities so that he and his clients can implement actions and strategies that fit the particular client’s immediate and future needs. John has experience in a wide range of litigation issues, including fraudulent transfers, shareholder disputes, officer and director liability, injunctions, temporary restraining orders, fiduciary duties, contract disputes, tort defense, successor liability, and post-judgment proceedings.

Recently, John has assisted some of his food and beverage clients with bringing in new investors and business partners, while also selling off portions of their businesses and affiliates to raise capital necessary to mature their ventures. In addition, John has advised his clients and helped them acquire new ownership interests in start-up and emerging ventures as the businesses grow and evolve into market leaders.

In Chapter 11 bankruptcies, John has experience representing Retiree Committees (formed under Section 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code), which focuses on protecting retirees whose healthcare and life insurance benefits are threatened due to a company filing for bankruptcy protection.

John defended an in-home medical monitoring solutions provider in a trade secrets and contract dispute with a company that had entered into a long-term contract with his client. His team was able to defeat an emergency motion for temporary restraining order, and obtain an order requiring the plaintiff pay his client $300,000 for a “standstill agreement” to facilitate a resolution. Ultimately, John helped his client quickly obtain the entire $1,800,000 due and owing to it and avoid protracted and costly litigation.

In another recent matter, John represented plaintiffs in a contractual dispute wherein the court entered a judgment in his clients’ favor for nearly $900,000 on a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The court awarded John’s clients 100% of their requested damages, which included all of the attorneys’ fees and costs they incurred in connection with the action.

John was a key part of a defense team that successfully defended a real estate development company and its officers and directors in a contentious shareholder dispute that was filed with the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. The arbitration panel ultimately determined that neither John’s client nor its officers and directors had committed any wrong-doing. The panel then awarded John’s clients hundreds of thousands of dollars on their counterclaim.

John also has experience, negotiating, analyzing and drafting a broad range of agreements and contracts in connection with corporate business practices, security interests, licensing, acquisitions, and the settlement of disputes.

Outside of the office, John and his wife have three daughters with whom they enjoy traveling. John is also a practicing artist exhibiting and selling his works around the county.


Acquisitions, Administrative Law, Business and Commercial Transactions, Contracts, Complex Commercial Litigation, Employment Law, Competition and Trade Secrets, Regulatory Counseling, Shareholder Disputes, Arbitration and Mediation Matters, Health Care Litigation, Bankruptcy and Creditor Matters, Estate Planning, Real Estate, Tort and Auto Negligence Defense, Lemon Law Defense, Warranty Litigation, Copyright and Trademark Issues, Licensing and Technology Matters.


Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., High Honors, Order of the Coif, 2005

University of Cincinnati, M.F.A., 2001

Western Michigan University, B.A., cum laude, 1998


Illinois Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan


American Bar Association
Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Founding / Executive Member, Associate Board
Resketch, LLC, Advisory Board