Thomas H. Trapnell

Thomas H. Trapnell

Auburn Hills, Michigan

Mr. Trapnell currently focuses his practice on construction law and commercial litigation. Mr. Trapnell also has extensive experience representing automotive manufacturers in commercial litigation and dealer disputes, as well as representing national banks, closely-held companies, and national store chains in a variety of commercial and real estate matters. This representation has included numerous favorable decisions on dispositive motions, as well as mutually­ advantageous settlements.

From November 2015 to December 2017, Mr. Trapnell was seconded on-site to General Motors Legal Staff, where he served on GM's Ignition Switch team. In this role, Mr. Trapnell assisted the company in managing a nationwide docket of cases claiming injuries or economic loss arising from allegedly defective ignition switches, including selection and preparation of bellwether trial candidates in state and federal multidistrict litigation proceedings. Mr. Trapnell also assisted GM in defense of premises liability claims and requests for indemnification by dealers.

Mr. Trapnell is experienced in managing e-discovery in complex commercial litigation and investigations. This includes representation of an automotive parts supplier in a Department of Justice investigation; due diligence review of employee document retention practices related to the spinoff of an e-cigarette manufacturer; and an investigation regarding disputed terms of a major international automotive transaction.

Mr. Trapnell has also advised an e-commerce vehicle dealer regarding state regulatory and licensing requirements for online used vehicle sales.

Areas of Practice

  • Construction law
  • Commercial litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 2010
  • Michigan, 2010
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 2010
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, 2015
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2012


  • The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • J.D. cum laude - 2009
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Law Journal: Michigan Journal of International Law, Contributing Editor
  • Princeton University
    • A.B. cum laude - 2005
    • Honors: With Honors