|Advisory Board Member|
| 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:
U.S. District Court
Eastern District of Michigan
6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court
University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1984
Law School Honors/Involvement:
Black Law Students Association, president
Albion College, B.A., 1981
Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement:
Commencement speaker, class elected
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
Exemplary Service Award
Downtown Development Authority
DDA’s 4.1(c) Subcommittee Contracts Oversight
Detroit Election Commission
Police and Fire Pension Board
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.
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