Joseph E. Richotte
Mr. Richotte dedicates his practice to vigorously defending against criminal and civil enforcement actions that threaten business interests and personal liberty.
White-Collar Criminal Defense and Civil Enforcement
Mr. Richotte regularly counsels corporations, executives, and other professionals who are under investigation or charged with white-collar crimes. His experience includes defending clients against accusations of complex domestic and international frauds, conspiracies, and regulatory offenses in the securities, banking, healthcare, automotive, and defense industries.
Mr. Richotte also regularly represents clients facing increasingly common parallel civil proceedings, such as SEC enforcement actions, NHTSA recalls, asset forfeitures, debarment actions, and private civil suits capitalizing on the government’s investigation.
Mr. Richotte has been honored four times by Michigan SuperLawyers as a “rising star” within the white-collar defense bar.
- In re Transamerica Search Warrant, No. 14-714135-FY (Mich. 18th Dist. Ct.), successfully quashed an out-of-state search warrant directed toward a financial institution.
- United States v. $149,572.63, No. 13-cv-12375 (E.D. Mich.), successfully resolved a civil asset forfeiture action tied to the Black Market Peso Exchange.
- People v. Richardson, No. 09-S-0691 (Mich. 19th Dist. Ct.), secured the dismissal of a felony embezzlement charge at the preliminary examination for lack of probable cause.
- Grievance Adm’r v. Capello, 08-111-GA (Mich. Atty. Discipline Bd.), secured acquittal on attorney ethics charges.
- United States v. Panyard, No. 07-cr-200307 (E.D. Mich.), secured a sentence 45% below the guideline range in an environmental fraud case.
Mr. Richotte is also a member of the Firm’s appellate practice. He focuses on criminal appeals, appeals from government enforcement actions, media appeals, and appeals in complex business litigation. He has been honored by DBusiness as a top appellate lawyer in Detroit.
- Kurns v. Railroad Friction Prods. Corp., No. 10-879 (U.S. Supreme Ct.), principal author of amicus brief favoring federal preemption of all state common-law claims for injuries caused by locomotive equipment.
- Bitterman v. Bolf, No. 151520 (Mich. Supreme Ct.), principal author of amicus brief favoring broad application of Michigan’s Open Meetings Act to delegates performing statutory functions on behalf of public bodies.
- Polytorx, LLC v. University of Michigan, Nos. 318151 and 320989 (Mich. Ct. App.), secured an interlocutory reversal of an adverse summary judgment ruling in a trade-secrets case that resulted in a pre-discovery judgment in favor of the University.
- Gary v. E! Networks Productions, LLC, No. 304720 (Mich. Ct. App.), successfully defended dismissal of a defamation action.
Mr. Richotte is also a member of the Firm’s media practice. He is Assistant General Counsel to the Michigan Press Association, and he represents national and local media organizations and journalists. He handles a broad array of media matters, including First Amendment cases, defamation actions, and open-government issues.
- Gary v. E! Networks Productions, LLC, No. 11-118563-CZ (Mich. Cir. Ct.), obtained pre-discovery dismissal of a defamation action.
- People v. Leist, No. 14-049-FY (Mich. Dist. Ct.), secured dismissal of a criminal action against a photographer filed in connection with photographs of an airplane crash site.
Mr. Richotte attended Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan, where he graduated cum laude. He is a member of the Order of the Coif and Phi Beta Kappa.
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- Securities Litigation
- Environmental Criminal Investigations
- White Collar Criminal Defense
- Freedom of Information Act & Open Meetings Act
- Professional Liability/Disciplinary Proceedings
- Pre-Publication Review
- White Collar Crime & Investigation
- Internal Investigations
- Media Law
- Media Litigation
- Antitrust Investigations
- Government & Internal Investigations
- Grand Jury Investigations
- Public Corruption
- Trade Secrets Theft
- Securities Fraud
- Business & Commercial Litigation
- Appellate Law
- Social Media, Privacy & Technology Specialty Team
- Wayne State University Law School Law School 2007, J.D.
- Wayne State University Undergraduate 2004, B.S., Criminal Justice Honors
Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star - White Collar Criminal Defense, 2013-2017
DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Appellate Law, 2013 & 2018 White Collar Criminal Defense, 2016-2018
Michigan Defense Trial Counsel: 2013 Golden Gavel Recipient for Professionalism and Pro Bono Service
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
State Bar of Michigan
Federal Bar Association
American Bar Association
- Represented a sales executive accused of helping a Fortune 500 company's employee steal tens of thousands of dollars from the customer-company.
- Submitted multiple amicus briefs in various courts on media issues for multiple clients, including media associations, newspapers and broadcasters
- Represented a major automotive supplier under investigation for allegedly participating in a several hundred million dollar international antitrust price-fixing conspiracy.
- Represented multiple Japanese Auto Supplier companies in criminal antitrust investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (Washington, DC)
- Represented a former high-ranking government official in a public-corruption investigation.
- Represented a defense contractor accused of fraudulently supplying non-conforming materials to the Department of Defense.
- Represented a major international cement and concrete corporation accused by private litigants of participating in a several hundred million dollar antitrust price-fixing conspiracy.
- Obtained a declination of prosecution for an accounting officer of an international automotive supplier after investigation by the DOJ and the SEC
- Represented a regional news publishing company in connection with a defamation against one of its newspapers
- Represented a physician accused of illegally prescribing pain medication to individuals without a medical need.
- Represented a national cable entertainment news show in connection with a defamation action
- Represented a former Chief Financial Officer and Controller of several corporations accused in state court of embezzling almost $200,000.
- Represented a company in connection with a bribery investigation.
- Successfully defended and defeated class certification motions in a multi-million dollar Florida concrete antitrust action
- Represented a lawyer accused by ethics authorities of having a conflict of interest with a client.
- Represented lawyers accused by ethics authorities of conduct unbecoming a lawyer, including criminal conduct.
- Represented a former employee accused of stealing more than $100 million worth of trade secrets from his employers in violation of the federal economic espionage act.
- Represented executive of an environmental company charged with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and related environmental statutes
- Represented a lawyer seeking reinstatement of his license to practice law.
- Butzel Long attorneys named to DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers in metro Detroit 2018
- Butzel Long attorneys named to 2017 Super Lawyers list
- Butzel Long attorney Joseph A. Richotte appointed to State Bar of Michigan’s Appellate Practice Section Council
- Butzel Long attorneys named to DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers in metro Detroit 2017
- Butzel Long attorneys named to 2016 Super Lawyers list
- Butzel Long attorneys named to DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers in metro Detroit 2016
- Fifty-seven Butzel Long Attorneys Named to the 2015 Michigan Super Lawyers List
- Fifty-Five Butzel Long Attorneys Named to the 2014 Michigan Super Lawyers List
- Butzel Long elects shareholders
- Butzel Long attorneys named to DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit 2014
- Butzel Long attorney Joseph E. Richotte quoted in Livingston Daily article titled "Defendant reluctantly puts pen down"
- Butzel Long attorney to receive Michigan Defense Trial Counsel’s Golden Gavel Award
- Butzel Long attorney Joseph E. Richotte quoted in MLive article titled "Prosecutor: Buena Vista official who recorded conversation that included racial slur did not break law"
- Butzel Long attorneys named to DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit 2013
- Butzel Long attorneys Beth S. Gotthelf and Joseph E. Richotte will be featured speakers during the NASF’s 3rd Annual Mid Winter Surface Finishing Conference & Exposition January 23, 2013 in Orlando
- Butzel Long attorney Joseph E. Richotte featured during Criminal Justice Act Panel program hosted by Federal Defender Office – Eastern District of Michigan on September 25
- Butzel Long attorney Joseph Richotte discusses confidential settlement agreements between local government and online travel companies
- Butzel Long attorneys featured during Walsh Business Leadership Institute’s fifth annual BusinessLIVE small business conference October 20 in Troy
- Butzel Long receives Pro Bono Service Award from Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
- CMS Moratorium Ices Home Health Agencies and Ambulance Companies in HEAT Locations
- Social Media, Privacy, and Technology - Protecting Your Digital Investment & Brand is Critical to your Business
- Environmental - More Environmental Cases are Going Criminal: How to Protect and Prepare - The Value of Audits and Compliance Programs
- Media Law - Period Of Time For Challenging FOIA Denial Begins The Date The Denial Is Mailed
- Client Alert - Media - 7th Circuit Finds That A High School Athletic Association Can Enter Into Exclusive Contracts For Live Streaming
- Media Law - The Open Meetings Act Requires Public Bodies to Specify their Decisions
- Media Law - Sunshine Laws Include Access to Voting Information
- Media Law - Recent Rulings
- Automation Alley Newsletter
- Client Alert: Business - New Federal Sentencing Guidelines Amendments Reward Strong Corporate Compliance Programs
- Enews: Corporate Defense Update - August 30, 2008
- Media Law Update: This is not a Drill!
- Michigan Court of Appeals Clarifies and Narrows Defamation Per Se
- Media Law - Recording the Police in Michigan: Protecting Yourself from Arrest in a Post-Occupy World
- Article: Is Capitol Hill a Warrant-Free Zone Post-Rayburn?
- Healthcare and White Collar Defense - Regulatory Update - December 2007