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Deanna Swisher

313 South Washington Square
Lansing, MI 48933-2114
T 517.371.8136
F 517.371.8200


Deanna serves as the Firm’s General Counsel, while continuing to serve Firm clients. Her practice focuses on contract formation, commercial litigation, real estate litigation and arbitration. She is a member of AAA’s Commercial Panel of arbitrators and also serves as a party advocate in arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Her work as a commercial litigator has earned the respect of her peers, as is demonstrated by her AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell rating and Best Lawyers® in America recognition in Commercial Litigation since 2009. In addition to breach of contract matters, she enforces the rights of parties to secured transactions, files and defends actions for conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference and other business torts. She has successfully enjoined violations of covenants not-to-compete and enforced sales commission agreements. 

Deanna handles a broad range of real estate litigation including easement disputes, adverse possession, boundary and title disputes. She works closely with members of her practice group, the firm’s Banking, Finance and Real Estate Practice Group, and also participates in the Firm’s Agricultural Law Group.

Deanna drafts and negotiates a wide variety of contracts including SaaS, electronic monitoring, terms of sale, open account applications, licensing agreements, commission agreements, non-compete covenants, employment agreements and independent contractor agreements.

Admitted to practice in Michigan and Texas, she is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the State Bar Associations of Michigan and Texas, and the Ingham County Bar Association. Deanna is a member of the Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, and she is a former member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Client Protection Fund Committee and the Indiana University Law Alumni Board.

Deanna is the Firm’s representative to LEAP’s Board of Directors and has served on LEAP’s Executive Committee. She has volunteered her time to a variety of Michigan endeavors that support start-up fashion and design businesses, fashion and design education, artists and a wide variety of "makers." She has also enjoyed volunteering her time to her local community, through her work with The Friends of Reutter Park and Operation Santa, a program that provides Christmas gifts to children of low-income families. She has served as the President of the Board of Trustees of Michigan Montessori Internationale, Inc., and she was a founding member of the Lansing Chapter of Inforum and AthenaWIN.

Prior to joining Foster, Swift, Deanna clerked for Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Carolyn Stell and was an associate at for Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett.

Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, Deanna was a summa cum laude graduate of Ball State University, obtaining degrees in Political Science and the Honors College. She received her juris doctorate from Indiana University in 1985. She continued her legal education at Fordham Law, in 2014, attending its fashion law intensive summer program.

Honors & Recognitions

AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell

Best Lawyers in America® 2009-2024 (Commercial Litigation)

American Arbitration Association Roster of Neutrals, Commercial Panel 


Memberships & Affiliations

Legal Affiliations:
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Federal Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
Community Involvement:
  • Member, LEAP Board of Directors and Steering Committee
  • Member, Friends of Reutter Park
  • Member, Michigan Athletic Club


Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended a multi-million dollar action alleging breach of warranty, brought by a first tier supplier/manufacturer of injection molded automotive parts against a second tier supplier of thermoplastic. In addition to receiving a very favorable result, she protected proprietary client information from disclosure in federal district court by negotiating an agreement to arbitrate.
  • Obtained summary judgment for the employer/defendant in a same sex harassment and retaliation case, and successfully argued to affirm this favorable result before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a variety of lawsuits involving creditor’s rights, breach of contract matters and real estate disputes.


Recent Blog Posts

BizTech Law Blog
Michigan Labor & Employment Law Blog


News & Events

Speaking Engagements

  • Why Selecting the Right Legal Counsel is Essential to Your Business, Foster Swift Collins & Smith - Legal Strategies for Women Leaders, August 30, 2023
  • Creative Collections, Foster Swift Morning Break, July 8, 2020
  • The Business of Fashion, September 28, 2017
  • Road to Retail Instructor, The Runway, Lansing's fashion incubator, June 17, 2016
  • Panel Member M-Power Your Art, Detroit Startup Week, May 24, 2016
  • A Pattern for Success, Industry Days: Design & Manufacturing, Detroit Design Festival, September 22, 2015

View More



2nd Wednesday Lunch Break

Creative Collections
Creative Collections


Covenants Not to Compete
Covenants Not to Compete
Get It in Writing: Contracts
Get It in Writing: Contracts

Employer Services

Employee Classification
Employee Classification
Employee vs Independent Contractor
Employee vs Independent Contractor

Legal Strategies for Women Leaders

Why Selecting the Right Legal Counsel is Essential to Your Business
Why Selecting the Right Legal Counsel is Essential to Your Business

Other Videos

Small Claims Court
Small Claims Court


Indiana University School of Law, J.D., 1985

Ball State University, B.S., 1982, summa cum laude

Fashion Law Institute, Fordham University Law School, Summer Intensive Program, 2014

Bar and Court Admissions



U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals