In Memory of William P. Butterfield

In Memory of
William P. Butterfield

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Bill Butterfield on December 13, 2016. Bill was a long-time member of The Sedona Conference Working Group Series, culminating in his current term as Chair of the Working Group 1 Steering Committee. Chair Emeritus Ariana Tadler remembers Bill as "a model for all of us. Not only was he a great lawyer, but he was an amazing partner, friend, teacher, mentor and most significantly, a wonderful husband, who dearly loved his wife Susan."

Although he contributed to innumerable Sedona Conference publications and programs, he was perhaps best known (and most cited) as Editor-in-Chief of "The Case for Cooperation," 10 Sedona Conf. J. 339 (2009).

Bill was a partner at Hausfeld LLP in Washington, DC. His practice focused on antitrust litigation, financial services litigation, and electronic discovery. In 2011, Bill testified before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, regarding the costs and burden of civil discovery. He was an adjunct professor at American University, Washington College of Law, where he taught a course on electronic discovery. Bill also served on the Advisory Board for the Georgetown University Law Center Advanced E-Discovery Institute.

Obituary from Hausfeld LLP

Legaltech News

The memorial service for Bill Butterfield will be held on Friday, January 6, 2017, 11:00 am, at:

Potomac United Methodist Church
9908 South Glen Road
Potomac, Maryland 20854

There will be a luncheon immediately following the service at:

Tournament Players Club (TPC) Potomac
10000 Oaklyn Drive
Potomac, Maryland 20854

In order to assist with accomodations, please RSVP by January 2nd to [email protected] if you plan to attend the memorial service and luncheon.

For those of you who want to make a charitable donation to honor Bill's memory, his family has designated the following charities:

Butterfield/Washington Center Scholarship (301900)
BGSU Foundation, Inc.

132 Administration Building, ATTN: Gift Processing
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403

The First Tee of Greater Washington DC
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite #106
Washington, DC 20006

Thank you to all who share your thoughts and remembrances of Bill Butterfield

"Bill was a first-rate lawyer who plainly understood, and lived by, the idea that there are things out there that are bigger than we are as individuals, and who knew how to set aside his personal preferences for the greater good. He was a good, wise, and loyal friend. I will miss his willingness to listen, his counsel, and his presence. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family. May he rest in peace."
David Shonka, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC

"I had the joy of knowing Bill as a mentor, a lawyer, a teacher and a dear friend. He and Mike Lackey were on opposite sides of a hideously complicated case in which I was assigned to supervise discovery. We made a deal that we would talk every Tuesday and we did. We talked and tried to head off problems before they became expensive, litigation breeding wars. It worked; in several years of doing this, we literally did not have a single problem that we could not resolve. Watching Bill do that was like watching Rembrandt paint. He had an instinctive sense of what was important and what was not, of what he needed, and how to get it without meaningless expense and trouble. He was a walking personification of the kind of cooperative professionalism that Sedona has tried to advance and he played the most extraordinary role in advancing those values in every thing he did.
I remember one time we were in some airport drinking what was charitably called coffee, and Bill told me of his plans to get a little place at the beach, sit in the sun, and read with his lovely wife at his side. If honesty, integrity, and devotion to his clients and students count, I know he will find that place.
Good bye, dear friend. "
Hon. John M. Facciola (ret.), Alexandria, VA

"When you open a dictionary to the definition of "empathy", there should be a picture of Bill. More than maybe anyone I have ever known, Bill was genuinely happy when saw or heard something good happening to someone. And he was equally sad when something bad happened to someone. Bill was surprised when I commented on this to him - he seemed to think everyone had this capacity for empathy. Sadly, we do not - I certainly don't. The legal system needs a lot more empathy, and a lot more ability to see things from the other side's point of view. The legal system could use a lot more Bills. We will all miss him dearly."
Dean Kuckelman, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, Wichita, KS

"Bill was a friend and, at one time, a law partner. We worked together on cases and watched Nats games together. I can’t think of a kinder, more thoughtful person. I will miss him tremendously."
Daniel A. Small, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Washington, DC

"What a tragic loss - to those who knew and loved him - and to all others who were and might have been touched/impacted by him. He was such a kind, even-mannered, reasonable, gentle, friendly person - and so very smart, knowledgeable, and strong."
Sherry Harris, Consultant, Richmond, VA

"I started working with Bill back in 1999 at what was then Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran. He was unfailingly kind, gracious and a gentleman in every sense. He was a true friend and mentor and I will miss him deeply. I am so very grateful that I had the privilege of knowing him."
Conor Crowley, UBS AG, Hong Kong

"Bill listened."
Will Hoffman, William E. Hoffman Law Corporation, Pacific Palisades, CA

"The world has lost a special person on the passing of William Butterfield. Over the years that I've known Bill, he has personified what a strong, but professional trial attorney should be. He was extremely intelligent, articulate, and remained focused on the issues in the face of flying comments. I very much respected his gentle, but firm, spirit and his giving back to the legal profession in his role as the educator and mentor. His appearances and presentations at the ASU eDiscovery conference will always be remembered. His insightful guidance was carefully considered by all."
Michael R. Arkfeld, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

Photos of Bill contributed by his friends and colleagues

Three long time Sedona WG1 friends golfing in Scotland and visiting Bill's ancestors

October 2013 in Santa Monica - about to tee off

2009 Twelfth Night party at Pete Pepiton's

Courtesy of Sue Butterfield

Courtesy of Sue Butterfield

Courtesy of Sue Butterfield