John J. Butts


Vice Chair, Litigation/Controversy Department

Vice Chair, Business Trial Group

Butts, John J.

John Butts is a partner and vice chair of the firm's Litigation/Controversy Department, vice chair of the Business Trial Group, and is a member of the Securities Department and the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Practice Group. He joined the firm in 2000.


Mr. Butts has a diverse litigation practice with an emphasis on securities and financial services litigation, business disputes and class actions. He has defended corporate and individual clients in a wide range of matters with significant financial implications including cases that include allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of ERISA, unfair and deceptive trade practices and violation of the RICO Act. Mr. Butts has tried cases to juries and arbitrators, and has argued before the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He has extensive experience in electronic discovery.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Butts served as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy.

Honors & Awards


Publications & News


November 13, 2007

WilmerHale Names New Partners and Counsel for 2008

December 19, 2003

US Supreme Court Foreshadows the Constitutional Analysis of Database Protections

by Belinda Juran, David Cerveny and John Butts

January 1, 2001

Business Method Patent Litigation in an Uncertain World

by John J. Regan and John J. Butts

Speaking Engagements

Recent Highlights

  • Obtained dismissal, and successfully defended a subsequent appeal, of a putative nationwide class action asserting claims under the Massachusetts consumer protection statute and common law based on an allegation that consumers were injured by overpaying for a product that was later recalled from the market due to safety concerns;
  • Defended a number of multinational companies and individual defendants in putative class actions alleging breaches of ERISA fiduciary duties, including several cases which alleged that employer stock held in an employee stock ownership plan was an imprudent investment because of artificial inflation caused by undisclosed information;
  • Obtained dismissal of a putative nationwide class action against a major insurance carrier that asserted claims under, among other things, RICO and the Massachusetts consumer protection statute relating to the sale of equity indexed annuities to senior citizens;
  • Defended a number of public companies and their officers and directors in securities class actions brought under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and the Securities Act of 1933;
  • Obtained dismissal of a putative nationwide class action against a leading insurance carrier in a complex multi-district litigation which asserted, among others, RICO, ERISA, antitrust and common law claims relating to the payment of contingent commissions to insurance brokers;
  • Obtained a favorable settlement in a commercial dispute relating to a long term supply contract that involved breach of contract, tort, and unfair and deceptive trade practice claims; and
  • Obtained favorable settlements for multiple companies in litigation involving claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair and deceptive trade practices.


Skip Navigation Links.


JD, cum laude, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1999, editor-in-chief, University of Pennsylvania Law Review

BS, cum laude, Villanova University, 1992

Bar Admissions



The Hon. Patti B. Saris, US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 1999 - 2000

Skip Navigation Links.