Kevin M. Butler draws on his experience serving as in-house counsel to local governments as an advocate for and advisor to political subdivisions and private clients. Kevin has served as law director to the cities of Lakewood and Brooklyn, Ohio, and is able to leverage his experience as general counsel to those municipalities in his representation of other public entities and private clients seeking to do business with or before governments. In his practice he has focused on counseling government clients, businesses and individuals on zoning matters, government regulation, labor and employment law, public-official ethics and conflicts of interest, public records and open meetings, economic development and financing, real estate and land use issues, election matters, and business succession and estate planning.
Kevin practices in all Ohio courts, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He has appeared numerous times before and has represented public boards and commissions including zoning and planning boards, civil service commissions, boards of election, boards of building appeals and others. Kevin has served as an attorney with a respected firm focusing heavily on real estate, commercial and construction matters. At the outset of his career he was a staff attorney in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, advising the court on hundreds of unique lawsuits.
A graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Miami University and St. Edward High School, Kevin has lectured at several continuing education seminars, including courses on zoning applications and appeals, residential construction cases, mediation techniques and lawyer ethics. He authored an article for the journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association on the airtight settlement of lawsuits. In 2015 he was named by Crain's Cleveland Business as the government attorney of the year for his work as Lakewood's chief lawyer.
Kevin is a recent past president of both the Northeast Ohio Law Directors Association and the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, as well as a member of the St. Edward High School President's Advisory Council and Alumni Association board. He was twice elected to Lakewood City Council and has been involved in a number of community and pro bono activities, including frequent work with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and service as a director of the Lakewood Hospital Association, Seeds of Literacy, one of the nation's foremost adult literacy and equivalency-test training programs, and Chaplain Partnership, an ecumenical agency providing spiritual care services in hospitals and other settings. Kevin and his wife, Catherine, have a daughter and live in Lakewood.
- Served as law director of Lakewood and currently serve as law director of Brooklyn, Ohio, in in-house general counsel role to municipalities of more than 60,000 constituents and 600 employees.
- Advised public and private clients on all aspects of land use, real estate, zoning and economic development and finance matters involving, for example, a $100 million mixed-use development on former hospital site; the sale of municipal land for development of $34 million healthcare facility; tax-increment financing, job creation tax credit and community reinvestment area financing for the redevelopment of a former world headquarters office and industrial site; and the transformation of a closed municipal landfill for solar power generation.
- Advised public entities on public-official ethics, conflict of interest, public records, regulatory and open meetings matters.
- Defended public entities to favorable outcomes in public records mandamus litigation.
- Advised clients on all aspects of zoning and land use regulation and administrative actions, including advocacy and appearances before boards of zoning appeal, township and municipal planning commissions and other civic bodies.
- Successfully defended municipality through trial and appeals against taxpayer actions, open meetings cases and other actions aimed at halting progress on municipal initiatives affecting both public, for-profit and nonprofit partners.
- Serving as counsel to municipality in defense of court actions related to dispute between municipal electric company and PUCO-regulated utility over extraterritorial competition.
- Appeared before boards of county commissioners and elections in successful representation of clients in contracting- and elections-related protests.
- Managed and handled numerous large- and medium-scale commercial and residential real estate and development matters for government and private clients, from genesis through closing and post-closing issues.
Admissions - Court
- Ohio Supreme Court
- Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. Supreme Court
Admissions - State
Public Service and Volunteerism
- Past president of the Northern Ohio Law Directors Association
- Past president of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association
- Member of the St. Edward High School President's Advisory Council
- Twice elected to Lakewood City Council
- Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
- Trustee of the Lakewood Hospital Association and Chaplain Partnership
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