Kurtis T. Wilder

Former Justice Kurtis T. Wilder is a Shareholder and practices in Butzel Long’s Detroit Office.  He rejoined Butzel after nearly 27 years as a Trial Judge, Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals, and Michigan Supreme Court Justice, one of only 5 jurists in Michigan history to have served on all three levels of Michigan’s Court System. 

Justice Wilder concentrates his practice in appeals, litigation, and mediation and facilitation.  As a former trial and appellate jurist, Justice Wilder has unique perspectives on oral advocacy at the trial and appellate level, trial and appeals preparation, and alternative dispute resolution.  Since returning to private practice, he has successfully argued cases in the Michigan Supreme Court, US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Michigan Court of Appeals, and federal and state trial courts.  He serves as a Neutral Mediator/Arbitrator with New Era ADR, a digital advanced dispute resolution platform, and as Senior Lecturing Fellow at Regent University School of Law.

Justice Wilder plays an active role in a number of nonprofit organizations, including as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Interlochen Center for the Arts, Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Executive Committee member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Rhetoricos of Gamma Rho Boule, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and a member of the Boards of Directors of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, The Children’s Foundation, and Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars.  Justice Wilder also serves as an Elder and Chancel Choir member at First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth.

Justice Wilder graduated from the University of Michigan with an A.B. degree in Political Science in 1981, and from the University of Michigan Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in 1984.


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1984
  • University of Michigan, A.B., 1981


Honorable Harold Hood Award Recipient, presented by the Association of Black Judges of Michigan

2018 Jurist of the Year, Police Officers Association

Significant Sig, Sigma Chi Fraternity International

The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice, 2021-2022

DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Appellate Law, 2020-2022; Arbitration, 2020-2022


  • Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan


Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation

Association of Black Judges of Michigan

Federalist Society, Board of Advisors, Lawyers Division-Michigan Chapter

Wolverine Bar Association

Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Board of Directors

Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, Board of Directors

Interlochen Center for the Arts, Board of Directors

State of Michigan Community Corrections Advisory Board, Former Vice Chair

National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and Nonprofit Enterprise at Work, Former Board Chair

The Sphinx Organization, Former Board Member

Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, Former Board Member

Ann Arbor Symphony, Former Board Member

American Red Cross, Washtenaw County Chapter, Former Board Member

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