The Appellate Practice Specialty Team at Butzel has earned a reputation as an elite and powerful group of practitioners, making great contributions to the success of our clients and supporting the many practice groups within Butzel. The Appellate Team consists of seasoned shareholder attorneys with clerking experience at both the state and federal courts, ambitious young lawyers, and former Supreme Court Justices. This gives Butzel an unparalleled depth and reputation that no other Michigan firm can match. Butzel’s Appellate Team works collaboratively to provide the highest level of legal expertise and detailed precision to give both clients and trial counsel the best odds of success at both the trial and appellate level.

Butzel’s appellate practice has a lengthy and distinguished record of success including representation in landmark cases that include Groesbeck v. Michigan State Telephone Company, 172 N.W. 799 206 Mich. 372 (1919), where the Michigan Supreme Court acknowledged that the President can exert control over local telephone and telegraph lines under federal war time powers; Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974), where the United States Supreme Court overturned the City of Detroit’s metropolitan cross-district school busing plan; and Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003) and Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), where the United States Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of the University of Michigan undergraduate and law schools’ affirmative action policies.

Most recently, Butzel’s appellate scored an unprecedented victory in the Michigan Supreme Court in The Detroit News, Inc v Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, ____ Mich ____ (December 20, 2021) where Butzel filed an original action with the Court regarding the Defendant’s violation of the Open Meetings Act, and obtained a swift result merely weeks after filing. Butzel's appellate also scored a victory in Lockhart v. Quicken Loans, No. 355709 (Mich. App. Jul. 28, 2022), successfully defended on appeal a ruling that Quicken Loans did not commit age- or race-discrimination when it declined to hire the plaintiff-candidate, who was also ordered to pay sanctions for bringing a meritless claim.

As such, Butzel’s Appellate Team regularly achieves favorable outcomes in multiple state and federal courts, including the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

Individuals, entities, businesses, companies, appellants, and appellees all turn to the Butzel Appellate Practice Specialty Team to provide a broad range of appellate services before State and Federal Courts of Appeals. Clients frequently turn to Butzel to defend or challenge a result obtained by prior counsel. Our skilled team also knows that the best odds on appeal begins with creating the best record possible in the trial court. Our appellate attorneys, including those who have served on the Michigan Supreme Court Jury Instruction Committee, routinely collaborate and work with trial counsel to craft trial strategies, motion practice, and jury instructions that enhance the chances of success.


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