Aaron M. Phelps Partner
Aaron's practice is focused on commercial and environmental litigation in state and federal courts and Michigan Agriculture Law. On the commercial side, Aaron regularly represents clients in contract disputes, breach of warranty claims, UCC issues, shareholder disputes, and telecommunications matters. Most recently Aaron has successfully prosecuted ten lawsuits against BlueCross Blue Shield of Michigan relating to ERISA violations.
Aaron’s environmental practice includes defense of civil enforcement proceedings prosecuted by the Michigan DEQ, conducting contested case hearings, prosecuting appeals of permit denials by MDEQ, and challenging MDEQ rules as unconstitutional. Aaron also represents several Michigan farms and agri-businesses in a variety of matters from FDA and MDEQ enforcement actions to trespass and Michigan Right to Farm issues. Aaron writes a bi-monthly Ag law newsletter and regularly speaks on issues of Michigan Agriculture law around the state.
Recent Representative Matters
- Representing a major metropolitan city in a federal court suit filed by it against a telecommunications company, challenging the constitutionality of a Michigan statute.
- Representing a leading beverage processor in federal court litigation brought by an investment fund asserting preemptive rights to increase its equity stake.
- Represented a furniture manufacturer in federal court litigation brought by it to recover damages arising from a national hockey team's breach of a construction contract for its sports arena.
- Represented former owner and a board member of a Tier 1 automotive supplier in an $80 million insider preference and fraudulent conveyance claim filed against them in New York.
- Represented a Michigan-based transportation company in a breach of supply contract case brought by a paper mill in federal court in Memphis, Tennessee.
- Representing a food processor in federal court on its claim to recover environmental remediation costs from the seller of property in Ohio.
- Represented a major energy company in declaratory judgment action challenging the constitutionality of a MDEQ rule, which would have interfered with its efforts to construct a $2 billion power plant.
- Represented an agricultural trade association and other agricultural plaintiffs in a challenge to a MDEQ rule requiring all concentrated animal feeding operations ("CAFOs") to obtain pollutant discharge permits.
- Represented a major Michigan dairy in federal court litigation brought against it by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Represented a large Newaygo CAFO in a township zoning dispute, which raised Michigan Right to Farm Act issues.
- Federal Bar Association, Western District of Michigan
- State Bar of Michigan (Litigation and Environmental Law Sections)
- Grand Rapids Bar Association
- Republican National Lawyers Association
- All Michigan state courts
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
- Has served on the Executive Committee for the Kent County Republican Party and the Board of Education for the Cedar Springs Public Schools
- Member of United Growth for Kent County
- Serving on the Board of Directors for the Kent County Farm Bureau
- Member of the Michigan Agri-business Association
- Attends Blythfield Hills Baptist Church in Rockford
Wake Forest University School of Law
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
J.D., magna cum laude, 2002
Order of the Coif
Wake Forest Law Review
Ferris State University
Big Rapids, Michigan
B.S., Business Administration, summa cum laude, 1999