Monday Profile: James Fett

 By Jo Mathis

Legal News
Jim Fett specializes in employment discrimination and wrongful termination law, employment class actions and commercial litigation.
He graduated from the University of Michigan Dearborn in 1982 with a Bachelor’s Degree and Law and Masters of Business degrees from the University of Michigan in 1986. 
Fett began his career with a management employment law firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He later joined Andy Muth in Ypsilanti, which eventually became Muth & Fett, P.C.  In 1994, Fett joined with Mike Malley to form the law firm of Malley & Fett, P.C. in Ann Arbor.  Fett founded the firm of Fett & Fields, P.C. in 1999 and moved his practice to Pinckney.
During the run-up to the passage of Proposal 2, Fett successfully represented Proposal 2 sponsor, the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, in several court challenges.  He also represented Jennifer Gratz on remand from the Supreme Court.
His hobbies include fishing, boating, weightlifting, sports and reading.
Residence:  Portage Lake.
Currently reading … “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” by Jon Meacham.
My mother always told me … There is nothing worse than a liar.
What is your most treasured material possession?  It’s a tie between my Ranger bass boat and my dogs.
What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Work for a law firm for a summer or part-time during school to see what lawyers really do.
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be? A journalist.
Favorite local hangouts: Portage Yacht Club and Zukey Lake Tavern.
Your proudest moment(s) as a lawyer? Resolving, along with colleague Glen Lenhoff, a $10.6 million dollar class action which ended an age biased evaluation policy at a big 3 automaker.
What is your happiest childhood memory? Spending summers in Port Austin.
Which things do you not like to do? Hourly billing.
What would surprise people about your job? We only take 2-3% of the plaintiff cases that we review.
What’s your greatest achievement? Ending policy of racial and gender preferences in state employment through tenacious prosecution of individual reverse discrimination cases.
At Thanksgiving dinner, would you rather talk politics, religion or the weather?  Politics.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Slow down.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? People would take responsibility for their actions.
Must-see TV: Sopranos – the entire series.
What’s your favorite animal? Dog.
What’s your biggest regret? Not spending enough time with my kids when they were young.
First gig: Miller Johnson as a management labor lawyer.
What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Play guitar
What is something most people don't know about you? I tried the first sex harassment case on Court TV and won.  Nobody knows because it was during the OJ trial.
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King.
Who is your favorite character of fiction? Don Vito Corleone
 Favorite movie: Tie:  Godfather I & II.
 What do you drive? What would you drive if money were no object? Yukon. Yukon.
Favorite law-related movie: Tie:  “Anatomy of a Murder” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Favorite place to spend money: Cabela’s.
What is your motto? “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
You bring your two big dogs to work every day. How’s that working out?
Bunny is a Shar Pei/Mountain Cur mix (3 bites) and Maggie is a Chocolate Lab (no bites). Bunny gets locked in Maureen’s office. It works well as long as Bunny does not escape.
Where would you like to be when you're 90? Spring, summer and fall – Portage Lake.  Winter – Naples, Florida.


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