Thomas Earl Patton

Practice Concentration

Thomas Earl Patton is Counsel to Butzel Long's Washington D.C. office. Mr. Patton has been nationally recognized as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" and in "Who's Who in the World." He engages in complex civil and criminal business litigation, corporate compliance and business counseling. He has handled significant, nationally publicized trials, including defense of the "Travelgate" prosecutions, defense of a major accounting firm, defense of two state governors and other public officials, and the pursuit of major antitrust price fixing class actions and securities fraud cases. He has over 30 years' experience in handling complex business and financial disputes in trials, appeals, arbitrations, mediations and SEC enforcement proceedings. He has tried cases and class actions in the fields of commercial law, securities, antitrust, business torts, employment practices and discrimination, and in regulatory areas such as procurement fraud and trade practices. Based on this experience, Mr. Patton has developed national corporate compliance programs and provides legal counsel to firms on corporate compliance, employment practices, and general corporate matters. The compliance advice has included areas such as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, antitrust, disclosure requirements, financial disclosures and insider trading. In recent years, Mr. Patton has been involved in numerous SEC enforcement cases and in FINRA arbitrations.

Currently, Mr. Patton engages extensively in employment litigation, employment dispute counseling and investigations, and preparation of employment law compliance manuals for corporate clients. This includes Title VII discrimination, ADA,ADEA, FMLA and FLSA matters. Mr Patton currently teaches Securities Trading under the 1934 Securities Exchange Act.

Career Highlights

Mr. Patton has served on the board of five companies, including a public telecom company and its committees, including its audit committee. He is the author of a treatise on Securities Fraud and for twelve years was the distinguished lecturer in federal civil procedure at Catholic University Law School. He currently serves as the distinguished lecturer in White Collar Crime at that institution. He is also teaching Securities Trading under the 1934 Securities Exchange Act. He has authored numerous articles and spoken at bar CLE programs. His many reported cases may be found in legal search services.

Prior Experience

Mr. Patton began his career in New York at Sullivan & Cromwell and later served as counsel to a Senate Committee before becoming a member of Williams & Connolly. Later, after service as head of regulatory litigation at the U.S. Department of Energy, he managed the Washington office of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. He was one of the founding partners of Butzel Long Tighe Patton, PLLC.

Educational Background and Civic Involvement

Mr. Patton graduated summa cum laude from Catholic University Law School where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. He is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, Virginia, and New York, and serves as an ABA Advisor for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. He is also a member of the Cosmos Club, a Member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity and active in ABA committees and in various charity and non-profit endeavors.


  • Catholic University Law School, J.D.


The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; Litigation-Securities, 1983-2021

Washington DC Super Lawyers, Antitrust Litigation/Business Litigation, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019 & 2020


  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Virginia


ABA Advisor for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws

Member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity


  • Represented a software developer with government contracts against former managers in action for injunctive relief for misappropriation of trade secrets and tortuous interference
  • Represented large India based IT company in defense of former executive’s claim for additional incentive compensation in the Western District of Virginia federal district court before a jury
  • Represented director of White House Travel Office in defense of criminal indictment in federal district court for the District of Columbia in a jury trial that was successful
  • Represented a class of large investors in an investment program against a large investment bank and advisor in a class action in federal court for the Southern District of New York under the securities laws and achieved a $50 million settlement
  • Regularly represents large India based IT company in employment disputes including discrimination, overtime claims, breach of contract and breach of confidentiality agreements
  • Serves as outside general counsel to two Northern Virginia high technology companies
  • Represented the largest car rental firm in defense of an antitrust case brought by smaller car rental firms alleging exclusionary practices in obtaining on-airport franchise locations
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