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   3Melvin Butch Hollowell Jr.Detroit(313) 483-0880MBH@millerlawpc.comMBH@millerlawpc.comThe Miller Law Firm PCmillerlawpc.commillerlawpc.comhollowellmelvin.jpgCannabis LawCommercial LitigationElection, Political & Campaign LawGovernmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative LawReal Estate Law: CommercialMunicipal and Election LawRegulatory and Compliance LawBusiness Litigation and Bankruptcy LawCorporate Transactions and Civil Rights LawComplex Commercial and Class Action Litigation
Melvin Butch Hollowell
The Miller Law Firm PC
1001 Woodward Ave Ste 850
Detroit MI 48226
Ph.(313) 483-0880 
Recommended by peers in:    Extensive Experience in:
Cannabis Law    Municipal and Election Law
Commercial Litigation    Regulatory and Compliance Law
Election, Political & Campaign Law     Business Litigation and Bankruptcy Law
Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law     Corporate Transactions and Civil Rights Law
Real Estate Law: Commercial     Complex Commercial and Class Action Litigation
Advisory Board Member
County:  Wayne
Litigator:  Yes

Practice Description:  
Mr. Melvin "Butch" Hollowell Jr. serves as managing partner of The Miller Law Firm, P.C.'s Detroit office, where he oversees the firm’s practice at its new downtown Detroit location. Mr. Hollowell specializes in complex commercial litigation and class action matters, municipal law, election law, corporate transactions and civil rights.

Notable Cases and Results:  
While in private practice, Mr. Hollowell was retained by The Miller Law Firm to handle a significant federal class action matter, Davidson v. Henkel of America, Inc., (2:12-cv-14103-LPZ-DRG) involving the loss of retirement pay sustained by the class through defendant’s failure to take advantage of available favorable tax treatment for applicable company retirees in its deferred compensation plan. Mr. Hollowell prevailed in the matter, winning a 100% recovery for the class.

While general counsel of the Detroit Branch N.A.A.C.P., he litigated voting rights, redistricting and equal access to education matters in the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court (Schuette v. Cantrell, 572 U.S. 291; 134 S. Ct. 1623 (2014); Docket No. 12–682.

As corporation counsel to the City of Detroit (see Employment History below), Mr. Hollowell's accomplishments included:
  • Reducing litigation payouts by nearly 50 percent, from a historic average of $30 million per year to $16 million in 2016.

  • Leading the case that ended 11 years of Department of Justice oversight of the Detroit Police Department, saving the city $86,000 per month and establishing the DPD as a constitutional policing agency.

  • Managing the city’s legal process through the 2014 Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings.

  • Collecting $20 million from bankruptcy consultants for overbilling.

  • Creating the Commercial Blight Unit to hold property owners accountable for compliance with city standards. This unit collected over $601,650 in judgments from non-compliant property owners, and never lost a case.

  • Creating the Income Tax Unit to ensure citizens and businesses in the city pay their fair share for city services. This unit has collected over $5.3 million and never lost a case.

  • Creating Project Clean Slate, a pioneering program in which 100 volunteer lawyers and 100 volunteer law students provide free legal representation in non-violent criminal expungements in exchange for the applicant agreeing to sign up for the city’s job readiness program. The participating lawyers and law students in this project never lost a case.

  • Working with the Duggan Administration and the city council to write and implement the city’s first medical marihuana ordinances which took effect March 1, 2016; also oversaw regulation and compliance with the ordinances, alongside the police department and the Buildings Safety Engineering and Environmental Department and defended the ordinances in court. The law department lost none of these cases.

Bar Admissions:  
U.S. District Court
   Eastern District of Michigan
6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court

Additional languages spoken:  

Law School:  
University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1984

Law School Honors/Involvement:  
Black Law Students Association, president

Undergraduate School:  
Albion College, B.A., 1981

Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement:  
Commencement speaker, class elected

Employment History:
Immediately prior to his association with The Miller Law Firm, Mr. Hollowell completed a four-year term as corporation counsel of the City of Detroit, the city’s chief legal officer. He was appointed to the position by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, unanimously confirmed by the Detroit City Council, and sworn into office in January 2014. During this transformative period in the life of the city, he assumed the role of director of the city’s 70-attorney law department and was lead counsel to the mayor, city council, city clerk, police and fire departments, and all city departments, boards, commissions and agencies. In this role he also served as the city’s chief criminal prosecutor.

Prior to his corporation counsel experience, Mr. Hollowell was a shareholder at Butzel Long, P.C. and at Allen Brothers PLLC, practicing commercial litigation, business transactions, and municipal and election law. Mr. Hollowell also served as Insurance Consumer Advocate for the State of Michigan by appointment of the governor. He was appointed to Vice President Al Gore’s litigation team in Miami (pro hac vice), under Kendall Coffey during the 2000 presidential recount, was the first African American chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, served on the Democratic National Committee and was elected to the Rules Committee of the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Bar/Professional Association Involvement:  
State Bar of Michigan
American Bar Association

Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
Leading Lawyers, Law Bulletin Media, 2018-present
Michigan State Bar Association
Leader in the Law, Michigan Lawyer's Weekly
President's Award. Wolverine Bar Association
AV Pre-Eminent Rating, Martindale Hubbell
U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference
   Life member

Community Involvement:  
Board member:
  • N.A.A.C.P., Detroit Branch
  • Cass Community Social Services
  • Wolverine Bar Association
  • Marygrove College
  • Albion College
  • Wayne State University Medical School
  • Detroit Music Hall
  • Nature Conservancy, Michigan Chapter
  • University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy
City of Detroit Office of the Corporation Counsel
   Exemplary Service Award
   Testimonial Resolution
Downtown Development Authority
   Board member
   DDA’s 4.1(c) Subcommittee Contracts Oversight
Detroit Election Commission
Police and Fire Pension Board

Firm Description:  
The Miller Law Firm, P.C. specializes in litigation and dispute resolution at all levels, including trials, arbitrations, mediations and appeals. The Miller Firm began with three attorneys in 1996, has grown into a nationally recognized premium litigation boutique, and has handled client litigation nationwide. The Miller Law Firm, P.C. handles a broad range of disputes, including automotive supply chain and warranty disputes, real estate litigation, investor rights and partnership disputes, shareholder oppression and fiduciary duty case. The firm has successfully litigated cases ranging from the low six figures to hundreds of millions of dollars - from the most basic disputes to the most complex and arcane.

The Miller Law Firm is also committed to supporting its local and regional communities: attorneys and staff members are actively engaged in a wide variety of programs, non-profit charities, organizations, and service on boards and committee - giving back to the broader community on many levels.

Mr. Hollowell was born at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. He has two children, Melvin III and Desiree, three grandchildren, Jack, Allie and Jacob, and lives in downtown Detroit. He is an avid tennis player, has traveled widely, and plays acoustic guitar in a band called "the Meltones" with his son.
Map to Office:   Click here to view map

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