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William P. Butterfield

Hausfeld lost a dear friend and trusted colleague when partner William P. Butterfield passed away on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. Bill was an outstanding and accomplished lawyer, whether as an advocate, teacher, or scholar. He was a true gentleman and deeply respected by all who knew him. He will be sorely missed by the entire Hausfeld family, and we are grateful for the invaluable contributions that he made to the firm. For any client-related inquiries, please contact Brian Ratner at 202-540-7155 or We invite those who knew Bill to share their remembrances with us at

Bill Butterfield’s initial career as a prosecutor led to his interest in finding information that would help his clients prove their cases. His passion for problem-solving in large cases (finding the important information within millions of electronic records) and creating out-of-the-box solutions, led to his pioneering work in the field of electronic discovery. These skills made Bill uniquely suited to provide unparalleled services to clients, always with the goal of providing sensible solutions to his clients’ needs.

As partner at Hausfeld, Bill chaired the firm’s Financial Services Practice Group, and concentrated on financial services and antitrust litigation. He was also an internationally recognized authority on electronic discovery. In over 30 years of legal practice, Bill represented governmental agencies, brokerage firms, corporations, directors and officers, attorneys and investors in private litigation over securities, commodities, antitrust and consumer claims, and in investigations commenced by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also defended clients in bankruptcy adversary proceedings and commercial litigation. Additionally, Bill served as a leader in several legal think tanks, taught law, and wrote and spoke frequently on legal topics. Bill had a rating of AV®, the highest rating available in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. In 2016, he was named by Super Lawyers as a top Antitrust lawyer in Washington, D.C. He was also recognized for his e-discovery expertise by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers Global, and Global Competition Review's - Who's Who Legal.

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University of Toledo, College of Law, J.D., 1978

Bowling Green State University, B.S.Ed., 1975

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States District Court of Maryland

United States District Court for the District of Columbia

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Affiliations & Memberships

Super Lawyers - Antitrust Litigation (2016)

Chair, Steering Committee, Working Group 1, (Electronic Document Retention and Production) (2015) 

Who’s Who Legal “Electronic Discovery Experts,” (2015)

Vice Chair, Steering Committee, Working Group 1, (Electronic Document Retention and Production) (2014)

SmartCEO, Washington Power Player for 2014

Bowling Green State University Foundation Board, Inc. (Director, 2010 – present) 

The Sedona Conference®

Member, Working Group 6

International Electronic Information Management



Georgetown University Advanced E-Discovery Institute- Member of the Board Advisory Counsel

Martindale-Hubbell Attorney ranking of AV®; the highest rating available  

American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section 

Ohio State Bar Association 

Chambers and Partners, Ranked for Litigation: E-Discovery Expertise in Chambers USA and Chambers Global Guides.

News & Press

SmartCEO Names William P. Butterfield as Washington Power Player for 2014. (Sep. 16, 2014). 

"Standards for Using Predictive Coding, Machine Learning, and Other Advanced Search and Review Methods in Discovery," DESI V Workshop, Rome, Italy, June 2013, Interview. 

Bloomberg Businessweek, "Butterfield: Libor Damages Will Be Very Substantial" (July 2012)

BBC Podcasts, Simon Cox Examines the Implications of the Libor Rate Scandal, (July 2012)

BBC News, "Lawyers Predict Libor Losers Will Sue For Compensation," (July 2012)

Law Technology News, Coping With Preservation and Proportionality in Legal Holds (May 2012)

The Economist, "An Expensive Smoking Gun - Court Documents Shed Light on How LIBOR Was Allegedly Manipulated."  (April 2012)

Law Technology News, House Judiciary Subcommittee: No Need to Act on EDD (December 2011)

Association of E-Discovery Certified Specialits,"Holding powers other branches lack, Congress enters e-discovery fray to probe new rules, growing costs," (2011)

William Butterfield - "E-Discovering Hausfeld," Legal Bisnow, October 16, 2009

William P. Butterfield Appointed to The Sedona Conference® Steering Committee on E-Discovery. (October 14, 2009)

Quoted in Lawyers Weekly: “E-Discovery: Business is Booming and Lawyers are getting in on the Trend.” (March 14, 2006; subscription required)


Reality Bites: Why TAR's Promises Have Yet to be Fulfilled (co-author with Conor R. Crowley & Jeannine Kenney); Presented at: DESI V Workshop on June 14, 2013 in Rome, Italy

Pension Committee Revisited: One Year Later - A Retrospective on the Impact of Judge Scheindlin's Influential Opinion (Legal Hold Pro, February 2011) (Edited by Brad Harris & Ronald Hedges) (Perspectives from Craig Ball, Kevin Brady, William Butterfield, Maura Grossman, John Jablonski, Ralph Losey, Browning Marean, Jonathan Redgrave, Denise Talbert, and Paul Weiner)

Milberg, LLP/Hausfeld, LLP, E Discovery Today:  The Fault Lies Not In Our Rules, 2011 Fed. Cts. L. Rev. 4 (2011), 

Contributor, Shira A. Sheindin et al., Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence: Cases and Materials (West 2009).

William P. Butterfield, Conor R. Crowley, Melinda R. Coolidge, “Diving Deeper to Catch Bigger Fish,” DESI III Conference, June 8, 2009

William P. Butterfield, Editor-in-Chief, The Case for Cooperation, 10 Sedona Conf. Journal, 339-362 (2009 Supp.)

Thomas Y. Allman, William P. Butterfield, et al., Preservation, Management and Identification of Sources of Information that are Not Reasonably Accessible, 10 Sedona Conf. Journal at 281-298 (2009)

Presentations & Speeches

IAALS Fourth Civil Justice Reform Summit, Denver, CO, February 25-26, 2016, Speaker

Chair of the Sedona Conference, Working Group 1 Midyear Meeting 2015, Dallas, TX, April 29, 2015

Zapproved Conference on Preservation Excellence, Portland, OR, September 16-18, 2015, Speaker

"Proportionality, A View From All Sides," "First, Do No Harm: Preserving and Collecting," "Part 2: TAR- Not as Sticky as It Appears," ASU 2013 e-Discovery and Digital Evidence Conference, Phoenix, AZ, March 14, 2013, Panelist

"The experiences in the US Compared to the UK and Europe," IBC's Antitrust and Collective Redress Conference, London, UK, November 4, 2013, Presenter

"Understanding the Practical Ethical Realities of the Emerging New World of Civil Discovery: Applying Cooperation, Transparency and Proportionality in Your Cases," "Best in Class" E-Discovery, Denver, CO, June 22, 2013, Panelist

"Ten Years After- Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going?" The 10th Annual Advanced eDiscovery Institute: Applying Lessons from the Last Decade to Challenges in the Next, McLean, VA, November 21-22, 2013, Panelist

"e-Discovery Issues on the Horizon," Sedona Conference, St. Louis, MO, April 26, 2013, Panelist

"Preservation: A Vital Litigation Tool for Plaintiffs who Avoid the Landmines," Plaintiff Electronic Discovery Conference, New York, NY, June 27, 2013, Presenter

"ESI Rules: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?" "Crafting Model Orders, Guidelines, and Rules," The 2nd Annual Educational Summit for State Court Judges, Denver, CO, September 19-20, 2013, Faculty

"Federal Rules Committee and E-Discovery," 9th Annual Meeting for the American College of Business Court Judges, Fairfax, VA, September 16, 2013, Panelist

"Reality Bites: Why TAR's Promises Have Yet to be Fulfilled," DESI V Workshop, Rome, Italy, June 7, 2013, Keynote Speaker

E-Discovery Seminar for Federal Judges, Philadelphia, PA, September 10, 2013, Faculty

“Four Perspectives on Preservation and Proportionality: The Judge, The GC, Plaintiffs’ and Defense Counsel,” New York City Bar Association, New York, NY, May 17, 2012, Panelist 

“Mass Tort Litigation Conference With Judge Marina Corodemus (Ret.),” Philadelphia, PA, June 4, 2012, Panelist

"Cooperation in Discovery and Litigation" and "What are the Difficulties in Preservation for Individuals and Companies," E-Discovery Boot Camp, Denver, CO, June 23, 2012, Panelist

"Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules," Sedona Conference, Atlanta, GA, September 14, 2012, Panelist

E-Discovery Seminar for Federal Judges, Baltimore, MD, September 19, 2012, Faculty

"Cooperation and the Use of Special Masters," Master's Conference, Washington, DC, October 8, 2012, Panelist

"When Things Go Wrong: Incident Response from Different Perspectives," 9th Annual Georgetown Law Advanced eDiscovery Institute, Washington, DC, December 7, 2012, Panelist

“Future of the Rules/New Developments,” 8th Annual Georgetown Law Advanced E-Discovery Institute, Washington, D.C., November 18, 2011, Panelist 

“Preservation: Will This be the Next Change to the Federal Rules,” The Masters Conference, Washington, D.C., October 3, 2011, Panel Moderator 

“Time for Change? Amending the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” Kroll OnTrack, Inc., Webinar, September 28, 2011, Panelist

“ESI Report Podcast Recording,” Legal Talk Network, September 28, 2011, Speaker 

“The 34th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference,” Beijing, China, June 2011, Panelist 

“How I Would Attack Your ERM Program in Discovery and Trial,” ARMA International Podcast, June 1, 2011, Speaker 

E-Discovery Seminar for Federal Judges, Charleston, SC, June, 2011, Faculty

"A Talk with the Wolf Before He Gets into the Hen House: How I Would Attack Your Electronic Records Management Program in Discovery & Trial,” The MER Conference, Chicago, IL, May 23, 2011, Speaker

E-Discovery Reality Show: Surviving the Meet & Confer,” LegalTech, New York, NY, January 31, 2011, Panelist 

“Discovery in a Virtual World: A Mock Meet and Confer in Federal Court,” ARMA International Conference & Expo, Washington, D.C., October 17, 2011, Panelist 


Ischemia Research and Education Foundation v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 1-04CV-026653, Cal. Superior Court, Santa Clara County. (Testified as expert witness regarding litigation hold and spoliation issues involving electronically stored information.)

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution: regarding the costs and burdens of civil litigation, December 13, 2011

U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure regarding proposed electronic discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (2005)

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