Founding Partner Ron Butler Passes Away at Age 79


CHICAGO, August 24, 2016 – Ron Butler, a founding partner of the Chicago litigation boutique Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP, passed away on Aug. 22, 2016. Butler, who practiced law for 42 years, had retired in 2004. He leaves behind a distinguished legacy of professional and personal accomplishments.

“The Chicago business community has lost an outstanding lawyer, and we at Butler Rubin have lost an ideal partner and close friend,” said Jim Rubin, one of the firm’s founding partners. “Ron always put his clients and his partners before himself.”

In 1980, following his tenure as a partner at Winston & Strawn, Butler opened his own firm. Over the next two years, he recruited other talented attorneys to join him as partners in the firm now known as Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP. In his role as founding partner, Butler served as a friend and mentor to his law firm colleagues and many others.

“Ron always looked for opportunities to help develop and guide talent,” said Gerry Saltarelli, Butler’s friend since 1973. “He wanted everyone to be the best lawyer he or she could be. He will be greatly missed.”

Much of Butler Rubin’s success is due to Butler’s dedication to his clients and to his team. “Ron would say that everyone he hired was going to be smarter than him,” said Craig Boyd, deputy general counsel at IDEX Corporation and a former name partner at Butler Rubin.  “He was always focused on surrounding himself with talented people . Now, his legacy will live on through the many attorneys he supported and influenced.”

A 1961 graduate of Northwestern Law School, Butler began his career as an Assistant State’s Attorney of Cook County.  Over the years, his accomplishments included:

  • Successfully arguing the case of Boyle v. Laundry before the United States Supreme Court in February 1969;
  • Joining Winston & Strawn in March 1969 and becoming a partner in 1971;
  • Securing a $3.8 million judgment against the United States in his capacity as a Special State’s Attorney for Illinois Counties of Bureau, Henry and Whiteside on the ground that the federal government violated contractual duties to the plaintiff counties by condemning county-owned property;;
  • Forming Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP, and managing the firm while maintaining an active litigation practice;
  • Serving as an Associate Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent Law School; and
  • Serving as Chairman of the Advisory Group on the Civil Justice Reform Act for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Butler, a longtime resident of suburban Riverwoods, is survived by his wife of 57 years, Lynne, and three children, Susan, Keith and Rick, their spouses and eight grandchildren. Services for Butler will be held on Friday, August 26th at noon at The Chapel, 195 N. Buffalo Grove Rd., Buffalo Grove, IL.

Formed in 1980, Chicago-based Butler Rubin assists clients nationally and internationally in complex business disputes, including antitrust law, class actions, defense of corporate directors and officers, labor and employment law, reinsurance, insurance, healthcare litigation, and insolvency.