Get to Know John Gaviglio


John Gaviglio is a member of Frost Brown Todd’s mobility and transportation automotive industry team assisting with the pressing needs of the firm’s major automotive clients.

He has nearly 10 years of experience working in the legal department of a major automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM); and currently serves as the primary onsite attorney at the OEM’s multiple Michigan research and development facilities.

He advises business executives, scientists, researchers, and engineers on legal matters ranging from technology and research and development commercial agreements to intellectual property, supply chain and regulatory matters.

Gaviglio earned his undergrad degree in Economics and German from the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the East Quad Music Co-Op and a writer for the Michigan Independent.

He received his J.D. from Wayne State University Law School, where he was a Moot Court Champion, Jessup Moot Court Regional quarter-finalist; and a Student Board of Governors ABA Representative; and interned with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence Unit. 

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Assisting with the opening of the Frost Brown Todd office in Ann Arbor. It is the first Michigan location for our firm that already serves eight other mid-American states including Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas and Virginia.

What inspired you to enter the field? I had a liberal arts degree, so what else could I do? A friend of mine from undergraduate school inspired me. He is one of the smartest guys I have ever met and understood my inherent desire for continuous improvement. He successfully convinced me that law school would teach me how to read, interpret, process and research beyond anything I would have been able to do on my own.

What would surprise people about your job? My job is a mix of in-house and outside counsel. Not only do I serve as counsel in an automotive original equipment manufacturer’s legal team, I also work with other clients in my capacity as an attorney with Frost Brown Todd.

What question do you most often ask yourself?
Are you taking the time to learn your client’s business and think deeply about your current task? Sometimes, it’s easy to think you know everything because of your experience and preconceived notions of what is required by a certain task. I find that asking myself this question, along with being generally conscious of this trap, helps me avoid it and provide better service to my clients.

What are you looking forward to? Professionally, I’m looking forward to growing Frost Brown Todd’s Ann Arbor office and continuing our goal of creating a modern and inclusive firm that’s reflective of the local community, with a focus on technology and automotive clients.

If you could have witnessed any event in history, what would it be? The 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech. What an inspirational and monumental moment in our history as a nation. While we still face many deep-rooted issues in our society, the March on Washington was instrumental in moving the needle immensely towards the goal of true equality for all, which I hope one day we will achieve.


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