Paul Mersino, Butzel Long Photo

Paul M. Mersino is the President and CEO of Butzel and serves on the firm's Board of Directors. Mr. Mersino’s primary focus is continuing Butzel’s storied tradition of excellence for the firm’s clients. When not running the firm, Mr. Mersino is a commercial litigator by trade, focusing on complex commercial litigation and bet-the-company litigation.


For nearly two decades, Paul Mersino has represented clients that include public and private companies in a variety of sectors. He has developed expertise both bringing and defending matters in Michigan and throughout the US in areas including complex commercial litigation, contract disputes, non-competition and trade secret disputes, automotive supplier disputes, construction litigation, and First Amendment litigation. He has consistently achieved successful results for his clients, prevailing in numerous high-stakes litigation matters and on appeal. Mr. Mersino also represents and advises startup companies. His startup clients depend on his expertise and assistance with a broad range of legal needs, including matching them with potential venture capital funding. Mr. Mersino has served as a mentor, consultant, and on the board of several startup companies.

Paul Mersino is skilled in the handling of appellate matters in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, and in federal courts across the country. He is admitted to the state of Michigan, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of the United States, and has been admitted on a temporary basis in several state and federal courts throughout the nation.

Prior to joining the firm's Board, Mr. Mersino served as Chair of Butzel’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Department. Widely acknowledged for his leadership skills and exceptional business and legal acumen, he has been sought for a variety of positions to lend guidance and direction to several organizations. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Bar Association, as an advisor to the Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education Litigation Advisory Board, and is a Trustee of the Butzel Long Charitable Trust.

Mr. Mersino has been recognized during his career by numerous respected legal industry publications for his expertise in the areas of Construction Law, Commercial Litigation, and Trade Secrets Law. He frequently gives of his time to share his knowledge to educate clients, fellow lawyers, and others regarding updates in the law and other subjects pertinent to the industries he serves. He has presented nationally on topics such as the Defend Trade Secrets Act in Washington, D.C., Orlando, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois, and internationally in Milan, Italy. He has also served as a speaker and moderator on numerous expert panels discussing startup enterprises.



Northwood University 2005, B.A.

Ave Maria School of Law 2008, J.D.



  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Detroit Bar Association, Board of Directors
  • Detroit Lawyer Magazine, Editorial Board
  • Leadership Oakland XXV
  • Leadership Detroit XXXIX
  • State Bar of Michigan 
  • American Bar Association 
  • Delta Mu Delta (Honorary Business Fraternity)
  • American Inns of Court (Past Member)
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Litigation Advisory Board

Awards & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

Michigan Lawyers Weekly – Leaders in the Law, Class of 2023

Best Lawyers in America® - Commercial Litigation, 2024

Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars – Business Litigation (2022)

DBusiness – Detroit 500 – Most Powerful Business Leaders in Metro Detroit (2023)

DBusiness - Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit – Construction Law, Litigation-Commercial, Trade Secrets

DBusiness - 30 in Their Thirties (2020)

Crain's Detroit Business “40 Under 40” - Class of 2021

Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 - Class of 2015

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, “Up and Coming Lawyers” – Class of 2016


  • Won Summary Disposition for real estate development fund plaintiff on claims worth $5.5 million dollars
  • Won a $1.35 million verdict for a client after a week-long trial on a breach of contract dispute
  • Obtained a $3.5 million Case Evaluation Award for a client on a breach of employment contract and shareholder dispute matter
  • Obtained a $1.9 million Case Evaluation Award for client in a Trade Secrets dispute
  • Successfully defended client in Federal Court on a $1 million commercial litigation/breach of contract matter and obtained a jury verdict of no liability and no damages on the claims against client and recovered on a counter-claim for all amounts due
  • Successfully defended against a Motion for Summary Judgment in a multi-million dollar Trade Secrets claim in the Federal Court for the Southern District of California; ESI v. Wave Six, 2021 WL 5206136 (S.D. Cal. Nov. 9, 2021)
  • Negotiated a $9 million settlement agreement resolving an automotive supply-chain dispute
  • Obtained nearly a million dollar settlement for Subcontractor on a construction dispute
  • Successfully defended against and defeated the first ex parte seizure application in the nation under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016
  • Successfully dissolved TRO against media company where Court held injunction was impermissible prior restraint on speech under 1st Amendment; obtained order clarifying parameters of Michigan Eavesdropping Act upholding state’s one-party consent precedent
  • Successfully appealed matters to the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Received a favorable ruling in a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals published opinion, upholding Summary Judgment granted by the Eastern District of Michigan, dismissing a Federal RICO claim, Brown v. Ajax, et al, 752 F .3d 656 (6th Cir. 2014)
  • Received a favorable ruling from Mich. Court of Appeals affirming lower court’s opinion and upholding client’s Construction Lien Act claim and affirming grant of all attorneys’ fees, Dubuc v Copeland Paving, Inc., 2016 WL 1230860 (Mich. App. Mar 29 2016)
  • Received a favorable opinion on appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals, upholding a high profile property tax appeal, Detroit Lions, Inc. v. City of Dearborn, 302 Mich. App. 676 (2013)
  • Filed an amicus brief in the 8th Cir. in the “American Sniper” case, supporting the estate of Chris Kyle in successfully reversing the entire $1.85 million judgment obtained by Jesse Ventura, Ventura v. Kyle, 825 F.3d 876 (8th Cir. 2016)
  • Mentor, consult, and represent startup companies with their general business and legal matters and assist them in obtaining venture capital funding
  • Served on the Board of Directors for a Detroit startup company
  • Serve on the Board of Advisors to numerous startup companies
  • Serve as an advisor to a Detroit-based Venture Capital group

News & Events


Alerts & Publications


  • Publication, Spring 2018
     Lesson from Autonomous Vehicle and Tech Companies: Protect Your Trade Secrets, In-House Defense Quarterly, Summer 2018
  • Publication, 2016
    Understanding the New Defend Trade Secrets Act, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2016
  • Publication, 10.2016
    The New Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: Some Things Old, Some Things New, and How Courts Have Already Begun to Apply It, The Detroit Lawyer, October 2016
  • Publication, 5.23.2016
    New Law’s Message to Business: Protect Trade Secrets, Crain’s Detroit Business, May 23, 2016
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