Harris Butler, III

Butler Curwood, PLC
140 Virginia Street
Suite 302
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 648-4848
www.butlerroyals.com


Professional Experience

Mr. Butler is a founding member of the firm. He primarily represents employees in employment matters and has handled individual and class employment matters for private and public employees on a wide range of issues. His firm’s cases frequently attract state and national media attention. Harris is a regular speaker at continuing legal and judicial education programs, lecturing on a variety of employment and civil litigation topics.  Peers have recognized him as among the best employment trial lawyers in the region for decades.  In 2003, Virginia Business Magazine named him “The Best Employment Lawyer” in Virginia and for years the magazine has included him among the group of Labor/Employment Law lawyers recognized each year. From 2006-2021 Virginia Super Lawyers has also included Harris among the “Best Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyers” and in 2006 and 2007 listed him among the “Top 10 Attorneys in Virginia” in all categories.  In 2016, Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly honored Harris as a “Leader in the Law” and, more recently, named him among the 2021 class admitted to the Lawyer’s Weekly “Hall of Fame” for lifetime achievement.  In 2009, Mr. Butler accepted invitation to fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Representative Engagements

Many of the matters Mr. Butler is involved in are resolved on a confidential basis. However, he is proud to have represented both the CEO and the maintenance man; the police officer and the ex-convict; the teacher and the student; the hospital administrator and the nurse; the physician and the secretary; the general counsel and the paralegal; the department store regional manager and the part-time clerk; the high-tech computer salesperson and the installer; the executive and the entry level employee; the City Manager and the city worker. All are employees, and he has helped them receive what they were due under the law.

During Mr. Butler’s 36+ years of Virginia practice, he has quietly garnered the respect of his peers in the Employment Bar. Much of his work is by referral from other lawyers – including lawyers who represent management and appear regularly against him. He works tirelessly to advance employee rights, serving on bar committees and speaking both locally and nationally on employment litigation topics as an employee advocate. His cases often involve challenges to large and well-resourced companies on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals. Many are resolved confidentially. All are handled with the highest degree of loyalty, attention, and discretion. He and his staff are experienced in working with victims of workplace harassment. He understands the needs of his clients, and does his best to help them pursue their claims in the most effective and advantageous ways. Harris is committed to understanding the facts of a case to develop the most appropriate theory for his clients’ claims.

Sample Decisions

McIntosh v. Flint Hill School; No. 181678 (Jan. 2, 2020) – Virginia Supreme Court unanimously affirmed summary judgment in Fairfax Circuit Court on private school attorneys’ fee clause favoring school, holding it unconscionable and unenforceable under Virginia law.

Askew v. Collins, 283 Va. 482 (2012) – Virginia Supreme Court affirmed $350,000 defamation verdict brought by former court administrator against circuit court judge, refusing to offset additional $120,000 in pre-trial settlements paid by newspaper and city co-defendants due to the separate nature of their defamation.

Aponte v. Eagle Jet Airline (2000) – $1.45 million sexual harassment jury verdict (capped by statutory maximum) See https://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-xpm-20011101-2001-11-01-0111010161-story.html

1999 to date: certifications of numerous employment class and collective actions in multiple-plaintiff actions [each later resolved confidentially with federal court approval]

Education
       
  • J.D., University of Houston Law School, 1981
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  • B.B.A., Texas A&M University, 1978

Admissions
       
  • Texas (1981)
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  • Virginia (1986)
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  • District Of Columbia (1986)
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  • U.S. Northern District of Texas
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  • U.S. Southern District of Texas
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  • U.S. Eastern District of Texas
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  • U.S. Western District of Texas
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  • U.S. Eastern District of Virginia
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  • U.S. Western District of Virginia
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  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits
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  • United States Supreme Court

Professional Membership and Affiliations
       
  • American College of Trial Lawyers – Fellow (FACTL)
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  • Virginia Bar Association
         
    • Labor Relations and Employment Law Section, Former Chair
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    • Law Practice Management Section, Former Chair

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  • Virginia Bar Association
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  • Richmond Bar Association
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  • National Employment Lawyers’ Association
         
    • former VA Affiliate Chair
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    • former service on Amicus and Ethics Subcommittees

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  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Former Chair
         
    • Employment Litigation Topics, Frequent Lecturer

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  • American Association for Justice

Community Activities
       
  • Adjunct Professor, Trial Skills, University of Richmond School of Law (2015-2017)
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  • Battery Park Christian Church, elder and other lay leadership positions for over 30 years

Personal

Harris is married to Teri Lynn Butler. The Butlers live in the Northside area of Richmond. Between them, they have eight adult children/step-children, five sons and daughters-in-law, and eight grandchildren spread across the country – plus all the great memories that go along with a large family. In addition to time with the kids and grandkids, they enjoy hiking, biking and visiting the Blue Ridge mountains. Closer to home you can often find them grilling out with a few good tunes and a couple glasses of wine.