William Kliffel, Butzel Long Photo

For more than three decades, William Kliffel has focused his practice on the defense of product liability cases. His clients have come to appreciate his practical approach to all aspects of case management and the depth of his knowledge and understanding of their business operations and their aspirations for success. Mr. Kliffel has prevailed for clients as a litigator and as co-coordinating national counsel for numerous Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive manufacturers and non-manufacturing sellers. He has deep experience representing clients at state and national levels in these matters as well as in a variety of civil matters, including experience at the appellate level in courts across Michigan.


William Kliffel is a Shareholder practicing in Butzel's Troy office. He is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School ( J.D., 1993), the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (B.A., 1987) and Detroit Catholic Central High School (1983). He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and has practiced in numerous other jurisdictions on a case specific basis.

Mr. Kliffel has extensive experience in the defense of products liability cases on both the state and national levels, having successfully defended such matters both as a litigator and in the role of co-coordinating national Counsel for tier-1 and tier-2 automotive manufacturers. He has also successfully defended non- manufacturing sellers in such cases. He has been instrumentally involved in all aspects of defending product liability cases, including coordinating with local counsel, insurance carriers, clients, and expert witnesses, managing and handling pleadings, motion practice, discovery practice, trial preparation, and settlement negotiation. Mr. Kliffel is well-versed in both the liability and the medical - legal aspects of such matters. He is known for bringing a common-sense approach to case management, factual development, liability evaluation, and case resolution. He is knowledgeable about, and sensitive to, the business practices and goals of his clients.

Additionally, Mr. Kliffel has experience in the defense of various types of civil matters including automotive negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice, and general commercial cases, and in negotiating and drafting contracts. He has experience in appellate practice in Michigan State Courts.

Mr. Kliffel and his wife of more than 30 years have four children. They reside in rural, northern Oakland County.

He enjoys fishing, boating, mountain biking and music. He has a good command of the French language.



Wayne State University Law School 1998, J.D.

University of Michigan 1987, B.A.



  • State Bar of Michigan

Awards & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

The Best Lawyers in America, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2020-2024

DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Product Liability, 2021-2023

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