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.
- Antitrust Investigations
- Appellate Law
- Business & Commercial Litigation
- Environmental Criminal Investigations
- Freedom of Information Act & Open Meetings Act
- Government & Internal Investigations
- Grand Jury Investigations
- Internal Investigations
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- Media Law
- Media Litigation
- Pre-Publication Review
- Professional Liability/Disciplinary Proceedings
- Public Corruption
- Securities Fraud
- Securities Litigation
- Social Media, Privacy & Technology Specialty Team
- Trade Secrets Theft
- White Collar Crime & Investigation
- White Collar Criminal Defense
- Wayne State University Undergraduate 2004, B.S. Criminal Justice Honors
- Wayne State University Law School Law School 2007, J.D.
Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star - White Collar Criminal Defense, 2013-2018
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
State Bar of Michigan
Federal Bar Association
American Bar Association
- Represented a lawyer accused by ethics authorities of having a conflict of interest with a client.
- Successfully defended and defeated class certification motions in a multi-million dollar Florida concrete antitrust action
- Represented a sales executive accused of helping a Fortune 500 company's employee steal tens of thousands of dollars from the customer-company.
- Represented a former Chief Financial Officer and Controller of several corporations accused in state court of embezzling almost $200,000.
- Represented multiple Japanese Auto Supplier companies in criminal antitrust investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (Washington, DC)
- Represented a lawyer seeking reinstatement of his license to practice law.
- Obtained a declination of prosecution for an accounting officer of an international automotive supplier after investigation by the DOJ and the SEC
- 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 a defense contractor accused of fraudulently supplying non-conforming materials to the Department of Defense.
- Represented executive of an environmental company charged with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and related environmental statutes
- Represented a major automotive supplier under investigation for allegedly participating in a several hundred million dollar international antitrust price-fixing conspiracy.
- Represented a major international cement and concrete corporation accused by private litigants of participating in a several hundred million dollar antitrust price-fixing conspiracy.
- Submitted multiple amicus briefs in various courts on media issues for multiple clients, including media associations, newspapers and broadcasters
- Represented a regional news publishing company in connection with a defamation against one of its newspapers
- Represented a national cable entertainment news show in connection with a defamation action
- Represented a company in connection with a bribery investigation.
- Represented lawyers accused by ethics authorities of conduct unbecoming a lawyer, including criminal conduct.
- Represented a former high-ranking government official in a public-corruption investigation.
- Represented a physician accused of illegally prescribing pain medication to individuals without a medical need.
- Butzel Long attorney Joseph A. Richotte appointed to State Bar of Michigan’s Appellate Practice Section Council
- Butzel Long attorney Joseph E. Richotte quoted in Livingston Daily article titled "Defendant reluctantly puts pen down"
- 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 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
- February 1, 2018
- December 15, 2016
- January 31, 2014
- Social Media, Privacy, and Technology - Protecting Your Digital Investment & Brand is Critical to your BusinessOctober 3, 2012
- Environmental - More Environmental Cases are Going Criminal: How to Protect and Prepare - The Value of Audits and Compliance ProgramsMay 14, 2012
- Media Law - Recording the Police in Michigan: Protecting Yourself from Arrest in a Post-Occupy WorldMarch 8, 2012
- February 2, 2012
- Client Alert - Media - 7th Circuit Finds That A High School Athletic Association Can Enter Into Exclusive Contracts For Live StreamingAugust 26, 2011
- June 3, 2011
- April 26, 2011
- April 25, 2011
- February 1, 2011
- Client Alert: Business - New Federal Sentencing Guidelines Amendments Reward Strong Corporate Compliance ProgramsJanuary 20, 2011
- August 30, 2008
- March 1, 2008
- December 4, 2007