James C. Bruno

Butzel Long

Los Angeles, California 90001



Automotive Disputes, Business, Commercial, Contract, Employment, Immigration, International, Legal Malpractice, Partnership Disputes



Thank you for considering me as a mediator.  My 40 years of experience in resolving complex cases in commercial law as an advocate, mediator and arbitrator have taught me important lessons in reaching a settlement.  They include the need for preparation, the use of advocacy when appropriate, patience while pushing forward, and availability.  However, a critical element is establishing the trust, respect, and confidence of the parties and counsel.  My demeanor and recognition within the industry and legal community help me achieve those goals.  My role in the actual mediation is determined in part in discussion with counsel, particularly as to how active I am to be in assessing the position of the parties.  However, the dynamics of mediation often require adjustments to those plans.  I am a diplomatic counselor initially, but able to take a leadership role when necessary to keep discussions on track to conclusion.  The wide range of my domestic and international corporate and commercial practice enables me to be a quick study on the most complex of issues and the cultural characteristics that the parties bring with them.  I am patient and determined in reaching a solution.  Timeliness is also often a critical component.  My continuing active practice keeps me up to date on substantive issues.  My broad experience in many commercial areas including the worldwide automotive industry enables me to assist anywhere in North America.  My time is flexible and evening and weekend sessions are always available.  Please review the biographical information that follows.  I look forward to discussing your matter with you.  Please listen to my audio by clicking the play button above.

Current Position


I am a shareholder practicing in Butzel Long’s Detroit office and have served on the firm’s Board of Directors.  My education includes degrees from Georgetown University (BSBA), The University of Michigan Law School (JD), and The University of Michigan Graduate School of Business (MBA in Finance).

My primary substantive practice areas include corporations and limited liability companies; the Uniform Commercial Code; sales representatives and distributorships; automotive and other industry supplier relations; international business law and foreign employment; closely held business; mergers and acquisitions; and joint ventures.  This includes counseling, negotiations, drafting, and dispute resolution.  My clients include large and small entities, including foreign-owned start-ups.  I have been active in the firm’s foreign practice, including oversight of the firm’s Mexican alliance office.

I serve as an advocate, arbitrator and mediator and have been certified as a mediator by the Florida Supreme Court.

I am a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Bar Association.  I have served as Chair of the State Bar of Michigan’s Business Law Section, Co-Chair of the Corporate Laws Committee, Council Member of the International Law Section, Co-Chair of the International Business Law Committee, and Member of the Advisory Committee for the Michigan Bar Journal.

I was an initial recipient of the Michigan State Bar’s prestigious Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award.  My awards include being named Lawyer of the Year in International Trade in Detroit.  I have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America, The Best Lawyers in America Consumer Guide for my work with closely held business entities, DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, and Michigan Super Lawyers.  I have an “AV” rating, the highest available, from Martindale Hubbell.

I have written numerous articles and been a speaker and moderator at a variety of programs on international, corporate, immigration and business topics affecting automotive and other industries.  I was the editor of the Business Problems and Planning column of The Michigan Bar Journal for many years.  My articles have been cited in legal briefs and court decisions and I am asked to serve as an expert witness on business law matters.

My legislative work has included assisting in the drafting of the Michigan Business Corporation Act, Michigan Professional Corporation Act, and Michigan Limited Liability Company Act.

I served as the firm’s initial representative to the automotive trade association, the Original Equipment Manufacturers Association, and as Counsel General in Detroit for El Salvador.

Butzel Long is a leading law firm with offices located in Michigan, New York City, Washington D.C., and alliance offices in Mexico and China. Founded in 1854, Butzel Long is one of the oldest firms in the Midwest, having played a prominent role in the development and growth of several major industries. Business leaders have turned to us for innovative, highly-effective legal counsel for over 155 years.

Our firm has over 3,000 geographically diverse clients that are active in national and international markets. These clients come from many sectors, including advertising, automotive, banking and financial services, construction, energy, health care, insurance, manufacturing, media, pharmaceuticals, professional services, publishing, real estate, retail and wholesale distribution, technology, transportation, and utilities.

We have a long and successful history of developing new capabilities and deepening our expertise for our clients’ benefit. We strive to be on the cutting edge of technology, manufacturing, e-commerce, biotechnology, intellectual property, and cross-border operations and transactions.

Our firm is a founding member of Lex Mundi, one of the first and largest networks of leading independent law firms located in 160 separate jurisdictions around the world. Lex Mundi allows us to provide clients with global and seamless first-rate counsel whenever the need arises.

We place great value on each client relationship, and we dedicate ourselves to providing clear, understandable, and practical advice. Our attorney-client relationships satisfy each client’s unique situation, concerns, and requirements. Our attorneys understand our clients through industry-focused research, knowledge management, and one-on-one conversations. Every client relationship is a privilege, and we work tirelessly to earn our clients’ trust and confidence in every engagement.

150 West Jefferson, #900

Detroit, MI. 48226

Phone:  313-225-7024

Fax:      313-225-7080

Email;   [email protected]        

Articles by J.C. Bruno
10/22/2013 2:46:14 PM
Description: “Checklist for Formation of Foreign Subsidiary,” 24 Business Lawyer, 493. “Controlling the Controllers in Parent-Subsidiary Relations,” 3 Prospectus 333. “The German Law of Affiliated Enterprises,” American