Paul Butt, a longtime Albuquerque resident and founding member of Butt, Thornton & Baehr, died in August 2009. He was 78.
Butt was born in Memphis, Tenn., but moved to New Mexico with his family shortly thereafter. He met his future wife, Dolores Smith, when they were both students at Albuquerque High School. He enrolled in the UNM School of Law in 1952, after serving two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. From his entering class of 66 students, 13 graduated in 1955, including Butt. He was a member of the National Guard throughout law school.
Following graduation, he struck out on his own, eventually joining up with Gill Shaffer, Duke Thornton and Ray Baehr to form the firm now known as Butt, Thornton & Baehr. He was a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, holding the rank of Diplomate, practicing law for more than 40 years before retiring to San Carlos, Mexico, in 1995, where he continued to hold “fishing court”. Butt also belonged to the Kappa Alpha Fraternity, the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club and the New Mexico National Guard Association. He served as a major in the Judge Advocate General Corps, U.S. Army Reserve, retiring in 1972.