Andrew Pauwels is a litigation attorney who focuses on media law litigation, complex commercial litigation, and intellectual property litigation matters. He has experience litigating disputes in various state and federal courts, in Michigan and throughout the country. Andrew represents clients in various phases of litigation and has significant experience drafting motions, including dispositive motions, and managing discovery issues.

  • Represents local and national print and broadcast media companies in defamation, media access, and other litigation and counsels media clients regarding subpoena and search warrant disputes
  • Represents private equity firms and their portfolio companies in commercial litigation and internal investigations typically involving allegations of criminal or civil fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract
  • Represents companies and individuals in contract disputes, supply chain litigation, business torts, class action defense, and other high stakes litigation



Representative Matters

Media Litigation

  • Achieved dismissal, later affirmed on appeal, of a defamation suit brought against a local newspaper and its reporter by a controversial political figure
  • Achieved dismissal in federal court of a defamation suit brought against a local television station by a former Detroit public official
  • Obtained dissolution at Michigan Court of Appeals of probate court’s prior restraint on publication of news broadcast by local television station
  • Obtained records for national broadcaster from public university under Michigan Freedom of Information Act
  • Defeated a motion to compel the production of unpublished materials in response to subpoena served on local newspaper and its reporter in high profile criminal case

Other Experience

  • Won summary judgment in Illinois state court on breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted by client plaintiff marketing firm against its former president for illicit competition
  • Achieved dismissal in federal court of constitutional claims brought against client entertainment company related to municipality’s denial of vendor licenses to plaintiffs
  • Won summary judgment for client plaintiff lender in breach of promissory note litigation
  • Filed multiple amicus curiae briefs as counsel to various organizations, including the Legal Services Association of Michigan, in the Michigan Supreme Court and Michigan Court of Appeals




Court Admissions



Michigan Super Lawyers, Recognized as a Rising Star, 2017-2021

ABA Forum on Communications Law, Recognized as a Rising Star at the 2020 Annual Conference

Professional & Community Involvement

Detroit Bar Association

Federal Bar Association – Eastern District of Michigan Chapter

State Bar of Michigan

  • Litigation Section
  • Appellate Practice Section

American Bar Association

  • Forum on Communications Law
    • Co-Editor, Young Lawyers Committee Newsletter, 2019-Present
    • ABA Forum on Communications Law, Moot Court Mentorship Program, Volunteer Mentor, 2018-2019

Media Law Resource Center

  • Next Generation Committee
  • Pre-Publication/Pre-Broadcast Committee
  • Newsgathering Committee

Notre Dame Club of Detroit, Board of Directors, 2017-Present

  • Treasurer, 2019-2020
  • Secretary, 2020-Present

Notre Dame Law School Alumni Mentorship Program, Volunteer Mentor, 2017-Present

News & Insights


  • Expert Analysis: Courts’ Respect For Broad CDA Protections Is Here To Stay (September 25, 2019)
  • Michigan Court of Appeals Reverses Probate Court’s Admitted “Prior Restraint” Against Local News Reporter (December 2017)
    Media Law Resource Center (MLRC’s) MediaLawLetter
  • Michigan Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Defamation Suit Brought by White Supremacist: “A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps” (November 2017)
    Media Law Resource Center (MLRC’s) MediaLawLetter
  • Staying Classy in State and Federal Court: Understanding the Small But Significant Differences Between Michigan and Federal Class Action Rules (July 2016)
    Michigan Bar Journal
  • State Q&A, Right of Publicity: Michigan (Annual updates, 2018-2020)
    Thomson Reuters Practical Law
  • State Q&A, Trademark Laws: Michigan (Annual updates, 2018-2020)
    Thomson Reuters Practical Law
  • 50-State Survey: Media Libel Law, Survey of Sixth Circuit Libel Law (Annual updates 2017-2018 volume through 2020-2021 volume)
    Media Law Resource Center (MLRC)
  • 50-State Survey: Media Privacy & Related Law, Survey of Michigan Privacy and Related Claims Against the Media; Survey of Sixth Circuit Privacy and Related Claims Against the Media (Annual updates 2018-2019 volume through 2020-2021 volume)
    Media Law Resource Center (MLRC)

Seminars & Events

  • Hot Issues in Access & Newsgathering, ABA Forum on Communications Law Annual Conference 2021, Virtual, January 2021, Co-Facilitator
  • Hot Issues in Anti-SLAPP and Other Legislation, ABA Forum on Communications Law Annual Conference 2020, Austin, TX, February 2020, Co-Facilitator
  • IP & Digital Media Breakout Session, MLRC 2020 Annual Conference, Virtual, October 2020, Co-Facilitator
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