How We Started
One opens a door. Many pass through.
How rare it is, that a person makes a decisive and dramatic personal change; a seemingly instantaneous alteration of his life’s direction and avocation. But that's what happened when, in 1979, the former minister of the First United Methodist Church of Phoenix, his wife and two young sons, packed every stick of their possessions and pointed the car to Tampa, Florida. It was there that the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Jurisprudence founded the law firm which, today, is Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig.
At a glance, it would seem that two careers could scarcely be more opposed than the Church and the Law; the one dealing, as it does, in spiritual comfort; the other in earthly conflict. But yet a closer look reveals how, in the case of Paul Butler and the firm he made, there are deep-seated commonalities. One is service; service to others and service to clients. The welfare of the client and the protection of the client’s interests are, and always must be, at the root of all we do in providing a professional service. Nothing is too great for the client to ask, and nothing too hard that it cannot be achieved with diligence, devotion and teamwork.
Another fundamental principle linking such disparate worlds is integrity. Said Paul: “In our law practice, we will not end with advising our clients what the law allows them to do. We will, in the proper instance, counsel them on what is the right thing to do.” For more than thirty-five years, this motif has set Butler apart and garnered both appreciation and respect from clients.
Not surprisingly, as a young lawyer, Paul had been drawn to the problems of the disadvantaged and powerless. And, in the fullness of time, he has returned to that calling, as President and Chairman of “Faces in Need,” a charity that operates the Manaleni Achievement Centre in KwaMhlanga, South Africa.
In the meantime, Butler has prospered and grown. Paul’s inculcation of the principles: service, teamwork and doing the right thing, has stood the firm in good stead with clients and friends from Tampa, to Miami, to Tallahassee, to Mobile, to Charlotte, to Chicago and to Philadelphia. One opens a door. Many pass through.