About Melvin Butch Hollowell
Melvin Butch Hollowell serves as Managing Partner of The Miller Law Firm Detroit where he oversees the firm’s practice at its downtown Detroit location. He specializes in complex commercial litigation, class actions, government regulation, sensitive investigations and election law.
Hollowell received his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1984 where he was President of the Black Law Students Association. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Albion College in 1981 where he was elected commencement speaker. He is a graduate of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, Class of 1977.
He represents clients including Fortune 500 and publicly traded companies such as international waste management leader GFL; the Detroit International Bridge Company, which operates the Ambassador Bridge between the U.S. and Canada; TeamHealth, one of the nation’s preeminent health care companies; top-tier universities and colleges; national real estate development companies; major foundations and nonprofits; and governmental agencies and public officials across the United States and Canada. He is frequently engaged to conduct investigations for companies, colleges and government agencies that have been charged with discriminatory or other unlawful conduct. He was formerly Corporation Counsel of the City of Detroit, and General Counsel of the Detroit Branch NAACP, the nation’s largest chapter and a member of the National NAACP Legal Committee.
Hollowell was featured on the cover of the 2023 Super Lawyers magazine titled “No Place Like Home. Butch Hollowell has Detroiters’ backs.” Hollowell is a “Fellow” of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, a recognition reserved for the top five percent of Michigan lawyers, and a member of the State Bar Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He received the Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Leader in the Law” award, and for many continuous years is the recipient of coveted peer review professional recognitions such as “Leading Lawyer,” “Super Lawyers” and “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell.
Hollowell successfully represented the interests of Michigan’s Governor and County Prosecutors in the nationally-watched injunction trial defending a woman’s right to choose under the Michigan constitution. The presiding judge cited Hollowell’s cross examination of opposing counsel’s chief witness, concluding that as a result of the questioning he should give “zero” weight to the witness’s testimony.
Immediately prior to his association with The Miller Law Firm, Hollowell completed a four-year term as the City’s chief legal officer where he reduced annual litigation payouts by 50%, won the case ending 11 years of Department of Justice oversight of the Detroit Police Department, and managed the City’s legal process through the 2014 Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings, including the recoupment of $20 million from consultants for overbilling. He created “Project Clean Slate,” a first-in-the-nation program providing free legal representation in non-violent criminal expungements.
Upon stepping down from his position at City Hall, Mayor Mike Duggan’s stated, “Under Butch Hollowell’s leadership, not only has the city saved millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements that can be used for critical city services, his vigorous efforts to address the issues of commercial blight, illegal graffiti and illegal dumping have greatly improved the quality of life in Detroit’s neighborhoods. It’s no surprise The Miller Law Firm recognized Butch’s outstanding abilities as a lawyer and administrator and recruited him to their team.”
He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the City of Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority and the City’s Public Lighting Authority. He was elected the first African American Chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, was a Member of the Democratic National Committee, and was elected to the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Convention.
Awards & Recognition
Hollowell is a “Fellow” of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, a recognition reserved for the top five percent of Michigan lawyers, and a member of the State Bar Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He received the Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Leader in the Law” award, and for many continuous years is the recipient of coveted peer review professional recognitions such as “Leading Lawyer,” “Super Lawyer” and “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating for attorneys in the United States and Canada. He received the Wolverine Bar Association’s “President’s Award,” the Association’s highest honor.