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Thomas G. Plunkett



Thomas G. Plunkett is a respected and accomplished trial and appellate attorney with extensive experience in complex litigation matters, and appeals in both State and Federal Court. Over the course of a career spanning more than four decades, Tom has represented clients in complex business litigation, trusts and estates litigation, and in family law matters. When elected in 1968 as Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney, Tom was the youngest elected prosecuting attorney in the United States in a major metropolitan area.

Tom has successfully represented parties in a wide range of cases, including contract litigation, partnership dissolution, trusts and estates, employment, and complicated family law matters. In municipal law, he has represented developers as well as communities such as Sanilac, Clare and Lapeer Counties, and Groveland, Huron, Mundy, Deerfield and Charleston Townships.

Tom was appointed by former Michigan Governors William G. Milliken and James J. Blanchard to five special commissions involving law-related issues on legislation and executive branch management. Earlier in his career, he served as Special Counsel to the Michigan Supreme Court for the Attorney Grievance Commission.

Due to his long-term leadership of the State Bar of Michigan, having served as a board member for 18 years, Tom is known to his colleagues as the “Dean” of the Bar. He writes articles and has lectured on trial practice for state bar sections and the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

Frequently honored for achievement by clients, peers, and ranking organizations, Tom consistently appears in The Best Lawyers in America, and Thomson Reuters’ “Michigan SuperLawyers.” In 2006, he was presented with the Roberts P. Hudson Award, the highest award of the State Bar of Michigan, for his extraordinary service to the bench and bar.

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Board Member, 1985-2003
    • Member
      • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
      • Environmental Section
      • Family Law Section
      • Municipal Law Section
      • Probate Law Section
  • Oakland County Bar Association
    • President, 1989-1990
    • Director, 1981-1990

Community/Civic Activities

  • Cranbrook Educational Community
    • Former member, Board of Trustees
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Oakland County
    • Former member, Board of Directors
  • Oakland County Chamber of Commerce
        • Former Vice Chair

Honors & Awards

  • “The Best Lawyers in America” 2009 to present
    • Selected by other attorneys
    • Published by Woodward/White, Inc.
  • Michigan “SuperLawyers” 2007 to present
    • Selected by other attorneys
    • Published by Thompson Reuters Corporation
  • 2016 Leaders in the Law
    • Selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly
  • Five Outstanding Young Men in Michigan (1970)
    • Selected by the Michigan Junior Chamber of Commerce

  • Recipient, The Roberts P. Hudson Award, (2006)

    • State Bar of Michigan
    • Highest award presented by the State Bar, in recognition of extraordinary service to the bench and bar.


  • State Bar of Michigan and all state courts, 1964
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Tax Court


  • Law Clerk to Chief Justice T.M. Kavanagh of the Michigan Supreme Court


Representative Matters

Matrimonial and Family Law / Complex Divorce Matters

    • Over 95% of matrimonial and family law matters are settled without the need for a family court judge to make a decision after a trial. Our goal in matrimonial and family law matters is to be ready for trial in the event it is required, but to work with our clients and the opposing parties to resolve all matters outside the courtroom.  If negotiations fail, our clients can rely upon our decades of experience in successfully litigating cases in the Family Court.
  • Business and Commercial Litigation
    • For decades we have been counsel to closely held businesses when faced with litigation in all forms arising from breach of contracts, employment disputes and environmental liability.
  • Real Estate Litigation
    • Represented retail, commercial and single family developers in multiple litigation matters arising from municipal zoning and land use decisions and construction disputes.
  • Will and Trust Litigation and Administration
    • Represented many family members in difficult disputes over inheritance issues. Our goal is to achieve a fair result, reduce the tensions and allow families to heal after resolution.

News & Insights

Articles & Publications

  • "Cross-Examination for the Defense," Institute of Continuing Legal Education

Practices ›

Education ›


  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, MI, D.
    • Senior Editor, University of Detroit Law Journal
  • Thomas More College, Crestview Hills, KY, B.A.