Partner and Co-founder, Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton in Birmingham. Kienbaum has more than 40 years’ experience representing employers in significant labor and employment disputes. His background includes traditional labor matters, employment class actions, as well as individual plaintiff litigation. During the 1980s, he defended several major Michigan employers against what were then the first massive employment discrimination class actions in the federal courts. During the 1990s, he helped shape the Michigan state courts’ approach to class action certification, resulting in denials of class certification and appellate affirmance in a number of cases. More recently, he has represented employers in retiree health care class actions, resulting in a modification of the liability standard previously set by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He defeated class action certification in large Fair Labor Standards Act actions in Ohio and Michigan, which were dismissed following appellate affirmance of the trial courts’ denial of class certification. Numerous federal and Michigan appellate decisions, in which Kienbaum represented the employer, have resulted in employer-favorable developments in the law. He has lectured on class action and other trial subjects for the National Employment Law Institute and Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Kienbaum served as president of the State Bar of Michigan, the Metropolitan Detroit Bar Association, and the Barrister’s Association. He is vice chair of the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board and of the board of visitors of Wayne State University Law School. He also serves on the advisory board and executive committee of the National Employment Law Institute. Named in “Best Lawyers” since its inception and Lawyer of the Year by Michigan Lawyers Weekly
in 2003, he is also a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Kienbaum graduated magna cum laude from Wayne State University Law School, served on its Law Review, and was awarded the “Order of the Coif.” He received his bachelor’s from the University of Michigan.