United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Honorable Gordon J. Quist
University of Michigan Law School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
J.D., magna cum laude, 2011
B.A. Business and Economics, cum laude, 2006
All Michigan state courts
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
Kyle’s practice is commercial and environmental litigation. He has represented clients in a wide array of litigation, including trials, administrative trials and on appeal.
In his environmental practice, Kyle has argued before the Michigan Supreme Court, first-chaired contested case hearings in the Michigan Administrative Hearing System (including on appeal), and has first-chaired numerous state-court environmental lawsuits. He has represented clients in relation to Part 31 NPDES discharge permits, Part 22 Groundwater Quality rules, Part 55 air permits, Part 201 remediation issues, Part 325 (Great Lakes Submerged Lands) sea wall permits, Part 353 sand dune permits, Part 17 (Michigan Environmental Protection Act) and various other regulatory issues. Kyle’s cases have involved federal environmental laws too, such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act – aka Superfund (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Kyle has also successfully litigated numerous cases involving Michigan’s Zoning Enabling Act.
Kyle has extensive experience representing many clients on matters relating to PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, including PFOA and PFOS, sometimes referred to as PFCs or more generally fluorochemicals). His cases involving PFAS have involved the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), the United States EPA, municipalities, private plaintiffs and numerous environmental consultants.
Kyle also has unique experience advising clients about the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Although he has represented numerous companies and plans in various issues related to ERISA, his most notable experience includes recovering millions of dollars for more than 200 clients throughout the state that were victims of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s ERISA violations.
Prior to Varnum, Kyle clerked for the Honorable Gordon J. Quist of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, which gave him invaluable experience regarding trial and appellate court matters.
Represents a variety of clients in multi-million dollar litigation involving the alleged discharge of PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances).
Represented several property developers on Lake Michigan in the face of challenges to their Sand Dune Protection & Management Part 353 permits from the Michigan EGLE (formerly DEQ), challenges under Michigan’s Environmental Protection Act (Part 17), and its special use permits. Argued one of the cases to the Michigan Supreme Court.
First-chaired and won an administrative trial for a development on Lake Michigan facing challenges to their waste discharge permits under Part 22 Groundwater Quality Rules and Part 31 NPDES permits.
Obtained summary dismissal of a challenge to a sea-wall permit under Part 325 and Part 353.
Successfully represented four municipalities (in regards to their water treatment plants) on an appeal from an administrative agency’s adverse decision, and obtained a complete reversal regarding their NPDES Part 31 permits.
Obtained summary disposition in favor of a wind energy developer seeking to develop a $120 million wind turbine farm. The ruling struck down ordinances with which the developer would have had to comply. He represented the wind-energy developer on appeal, and obtained a complete affirmance by the Michigan Court of Appeals, with the Supreme Court declining to review the case.
Represented over 150 companies in lawsuits against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for charging hidden fees in violation of ERISA.
In numerous cases, obtained summary judgment in favor of police officers being sued for alleged Constitutional violations (such as illegal search and seizure or unlawful use of excessive force). For each case appealed, obtained complete affirmance, once arguing before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In numerous cases, obtained judgment in favor of an international marketer and distributor of agricultural products and chemicals, arising out of allegations that the products distributed were faulty.
Successfully represented or worked on behalf of several different plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of personal injury disputes.
Assisted a nonprofit organization in preparing for a “bet the company” arbitration. The parties eventually settled in a very favorable outcome for the client allowing the organization to continue its operations.
Has participated in more than 50 mediations for different clients.
Has served as local counsel for actions pending in the Western District of Michigan.
Honors and Recognitions
Grand Rapids Magazine’s Top Lawyers, Environmental Law, 2021, Litigation – Commercial, since 2020
American Bar Association, Environmental Litigation Section
State Bar of Michigan, Environmental Law Section – Council Member
Federal Bar Association, Executive Committee
Grand Rapids Bar Association
Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Sponsor Liaison for Varnum
Habitat for Humanity Young Professionals of Kent County, past board member
Hillman Advocacy Clinic, Volunteer
Kalamazoo College, Alumni Advocate
Kids’ Food Basket, Ambassador Committee
ABA Environmental Litigation Section Panelist for Remote Trials and their Tribulations