Butzel’s Appellate Specialty Team is comprised of a renowned group of legal professionals you—or your organization—can depend on to navigate this specialized area of practice. Collectively, this assembly of top appellate experts has earned a reputation as an elite and powerful group of practitioners, making countless contributions to the success of our clients and supporting the many practice groups across all Firm offices.

The Appellate Specialty Team consists of a well-rounded bench of seasoned shareholders that possess clerking experience at the state and federal court level, ambitious young lawyers, and former Supreme Court Justices. Our appellate attorneys, including those who have served on the Michigan Supreme Court Jury Instruction Committee, routinely collaborate with trial counsel to craft trial strategies, motions, and jury instructions that enhance the probabilities of success.

The depth of this experience provides Butzel with an unparalleled reputation that no other Michigan firm can match. Butzel’s Appellate Specialty Team works collaboratively to provide the highest level of legal expertise and detailed precision, providing our clients and trial counsel with the best odds of prevailing at trial and on appeal.

Our Appellate Team has achieved a lengthy and distinguished record of success spanning several decades of representation, in landmark cases including:

  • 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.
  • 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 Specialty Team scored an unprecedented victory in the Michigan Supreme Court in The Detroit News, Inc v Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, ____ Mich ____ (December 20, 2021) where our Team 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 Team also scored a victory in Lockhart v. Quicken Loans, No. 355709 (Mich. App. Jul. 28, 2022), where we 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.

The Team regularly achieves favorable outcomes in multiple state and federal courts:

  • Michigan Court of Appeals
  • Michigan Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Individuals, entities, businesses, companies, appellants, and appellees all turn to the Butzel Appellate Specialty Team to provide a broad range of appellate services before State and Federal Courts of Appeals. Clients frequently seek our legal expertise to defend or challenge a result obtained by prior counsel. Our skilled team knows that the greatest odds for success on appeal begins with creating the best record possible in the trial court.


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