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Education & Honors
  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. 1989; Order of the Coif; Virginia Law Review; First Place, William Minor Lile Moot Court Competition; Eppa Hunton IV Memorial Award; Stephen Pierre Traynor Award
  • George Mason University, MAIS Public Policy, 1986
  • James Madison University, summa cum laude, 1983
  • Fellow, The American College of Trial Lawyers
  • National Commercial Lawyer of the Year, Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2016
  • "Top 50 Trial Aces," Law360, 2015
  • "Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America," Benchmark Litigation
  • Listed in The Washingtonian Magazine and The Washington Post Magazine as one of the area's best commercial litigators and defense lawyers
  • "AV-Rated" by Martindale-Hubbell®
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  Dane H. Butswinkas
TEL: 202-434-5110
FAX: 202-434-5029
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Williams & Connolly LLP
725 Twelfth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005


Co-chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Group and its Financial Services and Banking Group, Dane Butswinkas focuses his practice on trial and arbitration work.  Based on his extensive experience trying cases throughout the United States in both state and federal courts, Law360 named him one of the top fifty "Trial Aces" in the nation in 2015.  Benchmark Litigation recognized Dane as National Commercial Lawyer of the Year in February 2016. 

A truly versatile commercial litigator, Dane has developed insight and experience in numerous sectors at the heart of the global economy.  Dane’s experience in the financial services sector includes defending financial institutions, directors, officers, and countries in civil and criminal litigation involving securitizations, hedge funds, bond and mortgage markets, investment vehicle structuring, and corporate governance.  He also defends corporations, directors and officers in actions arising under securities laws, deceptive trade practice statutes, RICO, ERISA, and the Clayton and Sherman Acts, as well as in grand jury investigations.

Dane’s diverse experience also includes defending corporations and individuals in product liability actions, including pharmaceutical companies in trials such as the Nexium, Baycol, Vioxx, and Seroquel litigations; in medical malpractice trials; and in the most significant defamation case to go to trial in many years.

In other sectors, Dane has defended companies in the food, telecommunications, technology, and power industries in commercial litigation throughout the United States as well as in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. 

Dane also has a significant track record representing corporations in domestic and international arbitrations before the AAA and the ICC.


Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Dane’s experience as lead trial counsel includes:

  • Winning a defense verdict in Boston for a major pharmaceutical company in landmark antitrust litigation seeking $60 billion;
  • Winning a defense verdict in New York for a Pennsylvania corporation against allegations of fraud and breach of contract arising from a failed securitization;
  • Winning a defense verdict in New York for Home Box Office in the first major media defamation case to go to verdict in about two decades;
  • Winning acquittal on all counts for a Bear Stearns officer in a securities fraud insider trading and conspiracy trial in New York;
  • Securing dismissal of all charges in Afghanistan against an Army Battalion Leader in a criminal case alleging negligent homicide and dereliction of duty;
  • Securing arbitral award and attorneys’ fees in New York in an unfair competition claim against a Canadian company;
  • Winning a defense verdict in a $200 million corporate fiduciary duty trial in Indiana;
  • Winning a $20 million fraud verdict for an international corporation in California;
  • Winning acquittal on all counts in a criminal conspiracy case in New Hampshire;
  • Winning dismissal on vindictive prosecution grounds in a false statement case in Maine;
  • Winning dismissal for a financial institution of a $100 million commercial claim in New York;
  • Winning summary judgment for a corporation in a $150 million securities action in Seattle;
  • Securing dismissal and sanctions against plaintiffs for a corporation in a $200 million fraud action in California;
  • Prevailing against a $55 million commercial claim and receiving a multi-million dollar award, including attorneys' fees, for an international corporation before the ICC;
  • Successfully defending and winning an award of fees for a corporation in a product liability arbitration before the AAA in Texas; and
  • Winning defense verdicts for a government official in a commercial litigation in the District of Columbia, a corporate officer in a Virginia sexual harassment trial, and a nationally-recognized teaching hospital in a wrongful death trial.

Dane joined the firm in 1989.  He served on the firm's Hiring Committee from 1992-2004 and is currently serving a second term on the firm’s Executive Committee.  He was appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court to serve on the faculty of the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course (2004-2007).  Dane is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and Benchmark Litigation identified Dane as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in America.