William M. Saxton

saxton@butzel.com | P 313 225 7001 | F 313 225 7080

William M. Saxton is Counsel, a Director Emeritus and former Chairman and CEO of Butzel Long practicing in the firm's Detroit office. With more than sixty years experience as a litigator, negotiator and counselor, he enjoys national preeminence as an expert in the labor and employment law field. He is a graduate of The University of Michigan (B.A., 1949 J.D., 1952). 

Mr. Saxton has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow Emeritus of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Life Fellow of the Michigan Bar Foundation and a member of the American Law Institute. In September, 2003, the State Bar of Michigan presented him the Champion of Justice Award for integrity and adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and professional accomplishments. In 1998 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the State Bar of Michigan Labor and Employment Law Section in recognition of his “long established commitment to excellence, highest ethical principles and major contributions to the practice of labor and employment law.” In 1996, Saxton was awarded the Nathan B. Goodnow Award by the Detroit Bar Association in recognition of a career that exemplifies the highest standard of the legal profession and significantly impacted the law and life of the community. He is a Life Member of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference and he is also a member of the Bar of the Michigan Supreme Court, United States Supreme Court, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Mr. Saxton is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Detroit Bar Association, Oakland County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association and Association of Defense Trial Counsel. Other memberships include the Detroit Industrial Relations Research Association where he was President from 1984-1985. He was Chairman of the State Bar of Michigan, Junior Bar Section from 1955-1956 and was Director of the Detroit Bar Association from 1975-1979. He has been a Member of the Attorney Discipline Board Hearing Panel since 1972 and is a member of the Mediation Tribunal Hearing Panels for the Third Judicial Circuit and Sixth Judicial Circuit of Michigan.

Mr. Saxton is a past Trustee of the Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts and past President and Trustee of the Historical Society for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He has authored several legal articles and been a guest lecturer at The University of Michigan Law School, University of Detroit Law School, University of Indiana Law School, Wayne State University Law School, Michigan State University, National Academy of Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association, Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Federal Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, Industrial Relations Association of Detroit and The Michigan Municipal League. Mr. Saxton is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association. He is a Master of the Bench Emeritus of the American Inn of Court. Mr. Saxton was the recipient of Michigan Road Builders "Distinguished Award" in 1987. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers In America, in the business litigation and in the labor and employment discrimination law categories and is also listed in Who's Who In American Law and Who's Who In America.

  • University of Michigan Law School Law School 1952
  • University of Michigan Undergraduate 1949


American College of Trial Lawyers – Fellow 

College of Labor and Employment Lawyers - Fellow Emeritus 

Recipient of Michigan Road Builders 'Distinguished Award' in 1987 

Previously listed in The Best Lawyers in America - Business Litigation and Labor and Employment Discrimination Who's Who In American Law, and Who's Who In America  

  • Michigan

American Bar Foundation - Life Fellow 

Michigan Bar Foundation - Life Fellow 

American Law Institute 

State Bar of Michigan 

Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association 

Oakland County Bar Association 

American Bar Association 

Federal Bar Association 

American Trial Lawyers Association 

Association of Defense Trial Counsel 

Detroit Industrial Relations Research Association - President from 1984-1985 

State Bar of Michigan - Chairman, Junior Bar Section from 1955-1956

Detroit Bar Association - Director from 1975-1979