In Memoriam: Alfred M. Butzbaugh

Alfred M. Butzbaugh, the 65th president of the State Bar of Michigan 1999-2000, died Jan. 11 in Fitchburg, Wis., at the age of 79.

"Al Butzbaugh leaves a legacy of extraordinary accomplishments," SBM Executive Director Janet Welch said. "He was an unsurpassed champion for access to justice, a legendary mentor, and an all-around role model not just for lawyers in Michigan but for human beings everywhere."

"All of us are so saddened by the news of the passing of Al Butzbaugh," SBM President Dennis M. Barnes said. "Al was greatly loved and admired by lawyers across the state, and indeed, by all who knew him. He will be deeply missed."

Butzbaugh had served as chief judge at the Berrien County Trial Court 2nd Judicial Circuit. Prior, he was a senior partner with the St. Joseph firm of Butzbaugh & Dewane, a practice focused on civil litigation, business transactions, and estate planning.

He served on the State Bar Board of Commissioners beginning in 1992 and rose to the rank of president after serving as treasurer (1996-1997), vice president (1997-1998), and president-elect (1998-1999). He represented Berrien County on the Representative Assembly 1973-1979 and 1996-2000.

Butzbaugh served as chair of the State Bar of Michigan Access to Justice For All Task Force from 1996 to 1999, where he championed creation of the Access to Justice Campaign.

He received the State Bar's Roberts P. Hudson award in 2001 and was the 2019 Founder Award Recipient presented by the Michigan State Bar Foundation.

Butzbaugh served as president of the Berrien County Bar Association from 1982-1983.

He was a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and American Bar Association Foundation. He was also a member of the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association.

Butzbaugh received his B.A. and law degrees from the University of Michigan and M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

A memorial service is planned for the spring.


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