Butzel Long traces its roots to 1854 when Detroit’s economy was based on the Great Lakes shipping trade. Admiralty law was the specialty of founding senior partner William Austin Moore. He was called to Buffalo, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Chicago to handle some of the most important cases of his time.
Moore played a prominent role in politics and served as president of the Detroit Board of Education. His political activism attracted Don M. Dickinson to the firm in 1867. Dickinson developed a national reputation as a lawyer and gained prominence in national politics as an adviser to Grover Cleveland. He managed Cleveland’s successful campaign for president in 1884 and went on to serve as postmaster general. Another member of the firm, Henry Thurber, served as Cleveland’s personal secretary at the start of his second term as president in 1893.
The firm’s political leanings attracted another top lawyer and Democratic activist, Elliot G. Stevenson, in 1887. He served as chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee in the 1890s. He represented all five Detroit newspapers in libel matters and established a national reputation as a libel lawyer. The Chicago Tribune called on him when Henry Ford filed his famous libel suit in 1918. Ford won the suit, but Stevenson won the day when the jury awarded damages of just six cents.
Stevenson tangled with Ford again when he represented brothers John and Horace Dodge in their successful suit over withheld dividends. The Dodge brothers went on to create their own automotive empire, while Ford took his company private in order to prevent further meddling in his affairs.
In 1910, Will Durant turned to Stevenson to untangle the legal complexities involved in consolidating many companies into what became General Motors. The law firm provided a sound legal, financial and corporate platform for the newly recast venture.
The law firm is named for Leo Butzel, who joined in 1896, and Thomas Long, who joined in 1909. Long worked on the General Motors restructuring and in 1920 tried the only matter of litigation that arose out of the entire reorganization. Butzel’s list of clients included Durant, the Dodge Brothers, Chrysler, Ford, Kelsey and the Fishers in the auto industry, and the Scripps and the Booths in the publishing field. The firm also represented several prominent financial institutions, railroads, and other significant businesses during the height of Detroit’s industrial growth.
Another prominent Democrat joined the firm in the 1920s. Frank Eaman served as chairman of the state Democratic Central Committee and held several high-profile public posts, including Detroit civil service commissioner and state prison commissioner. When he served as Detroit’s police commissioner, Eaman fired the superintendent and abolished the jobs of 10 other ranking officers in an attempt to eliminate corruption in the department. He was one of the founders of the Legal Aid Society in Detroit.
Butzel Long now takes a more neutral stance on party politics, working with both Republican and Democratic officials on behalf of clients. Community involvement, economic development, and pro bono work are important priorities for many firm members.
The firm has maintained its close ties to the automotive industry and represents a number of American, European and Asian manufacturers and suppliers. Butzel Long’s tradition as counsel to cutting edge developments in the automotive industry continues with its representation of Covisint, planned as the world’s premier e-commerce trade exchange.
Butzel Long attorneys have been involved in major transactions in other industries. The firm helped create the Michigan Bell Telephone Company (now part of Ameritech), and a senior partner went on to become President of the Burrough’s Corporation (now part of Unisys). The firm served as counsel for the acquisition of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company by the Stroh Brewing Company in 1982, and later the Heileman Brewing Company.
Butzel Long continues to provide legal counsel to newspapers and other media concerns. The Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press was worked out with the help of Butzel Long attorneys. The firm represented Reader’s Digest and members of the “60 Minutes” team in landmark libel and invasion of privacy suits. The firm’s media attorneys also continue to play a leading role in cutting edge issues involving the internet, privacy, and other related issues.
Representing clients with global interests has led to a long tradition of expertise in international law. From its origins in the mid-1800’s representing international shipping concerns, the firm provided legal counsel in some of the country’s most important international trade disputes at the turn of the 20th century. In the early part of the last century, a Butzel Long attorney served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan. In 1991, to assist clients with business and legal concerns throughout the world, Butzel Long was a founding member of Lex Mundi, one of the first and largest associations of independent law firms from around the worldShow more +
Teresa N. Taylor is a Shareholder in Butzel Long's Washington D.C. office. Ms. Taylor defends individuals and corporations during investigations and before federal courts, the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other involved federal agencies (BIS, OFAC, SEC, FBI, DHL, IRS, etc.) concerning alleged civil and criminal violations of U.S. trade sanctions and import-export regulations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and anti-money laundering statutes, and related laws (IEEPA, TWEA, US Patriot Act, ITAR, etc.). Teresa also completes compliance work relating to the above.
Teresa successfully represented Appellant, Epsilon Electronics, at the trial and appellate levels against the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the OFAC; and her appellate briefs and oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia resulted in effectively a ground-breaking reversal of a maximum egregious penalty imposed by OFAC against her client. Epsilon Elecs., Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of the Treasury, 857 F.3d 913, 920 (D.C. Cir. 2017). The opinion may be viewed HERE, and oral argument heard HERE.
Before joining Butzel Long, Ms. Taylor was a partner in a DC boutique law firm, a Senior Attorney at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and an Associate at a prominent “Magic Circle” global law firm. Ms. Taylor also served as a federal law clerk for three U.S. District Court judges in the Western District of Virginia: The Hon. James C. Turk, The Hon. James P. Jones, and The Hon. Michael F. Urbanski.
Ms. Taylor’s international human rights work includes participation in the UN Conference on the Establishment of the International Criminal Court, where she assisted in drafting the gender crimes portion of the Statute of the Court and advocated to country delegations on the need for inclusion of gender crimes in the Statute. She additionally founded and served as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization whose mission was to raise awareness of contemporary genocidal atrocities not receiving adequate media attention with a focus on the need for justice and accountability under international humanitarian law.
Ms. Taylor is an appointed member to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Board on Professional Responsibility, Hearing Committee. The Hearing Committee hears cases concerning attorney disciplinary matters and makes recommendations for discipline to the Board. Ms. Taylor has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and other colleges.
Ms. Taylor’s pro bono work includes appellate criminal defense and prosecution in New York for both the Office of the Appellate Defender in Manhattan, and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Appeals Bureau; and representation of a death row inmate before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.
Outside of the office, you can find her on the polo field, spending time with her son, traveling, painting, and sculpting.
Teresa also holds the exclusive White Collar Crime membership in New York, please view her profile here.Show more +
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