Attorney Profiles

Kurt E. Olafsen

Kurt E. Olafsen

Kurt has concentrated his law practice in civil litigation since 1981. He represents clients in a wide variety of lawsuits and disputes including business and corporate litigation, professional malpractice, personal injury, probate and estate litigation, construction disputes, and real estate litigation. Kurt has successfully tried numerous jury and non-jury cases in federal and state court.

Kurt graduated summa cum laude from Dickinson College and was a member of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated first in his class from Cornell Law School in 1980, receiving his law degree with summa cum laude honors. While in law school, Kurt was Note Editor of the Cornell Law Review. After graduation, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Collins J. Seitz, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Following his clerkship with Chief Judge Seitz, Kurt joined the Portland law firm Verrill Dana. He practiced with Verrill Dana for nine years, including three years as a partner of the firm. Kurt left Verrill Dana in 1990 to start his own practice, and later joined forces with Lou Butterfield to form the litigation firm of Olafsen & Butterfield. Kurt was a member of Bernstein Shur's litigation practice group from 2004 to 2006. After three years of solo practice, he and Lou began practicing together again as Olafsen & Butterfield LLC in January 2009.

Kurt is a member of the Cumberland, Maine State and American Bar Associations, and the Maine Trial Lawyers Association. He has also taught litigation for the Paralegal Program at the University of Southern Maine. Kurt is a long-time youth baseball coach and a former member of the board of directors of the Deering Little League, Baldwin Youth League, and Sacopee Valley Babe Ruth League. He has also served as president and director of the Baldwin Historical Society and as a member of the Baldwin Board of Zoning Appeals.

Louis B. Butterfield

Louis B. Butterfield


When Lou Butterfield passed away unexpectedly in June 2010, he was only 47 years old.  He was a devoted husband and father who was at the peak of his legal career.

Even though his life was cut short, Lou achieved much:  valedictorian of his high school class; magna cum laude graduate of Dickinson College; second in his class at the University of Maine School of Law; member of the board of editors of the Maine Law Review; legal writing instructor; adjunct professor of employment law at the law school; partner at Bernstein Shur and Moss Shapiro; founding member of Olafsen & Butterfield; and listed in Chambers Legal Directory as one of the leading employment lawyers in Maine.  Lou’s legal experience included numerous jury and non-jury trials in favor of his clients in both federal and state courts, and he successfully argued several cases on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

But these achievements, impressive as they are, don’t capture the real Lou Butterfield.  Lou had a keen analytical mind, great writing skills, and the highest ethical standards.  And more importantly, he cared about his clients.  Lou often talked clients out of filing a case even though it would have been lucrative for him; he took cases that he believed had merit even if the client couldn't pay; he discounted his bills for struggling clients without even telling them; and he frequently found himself awake at 3 o'clock in the morning wrestling with how best to solve his clients’ problems.  Lou’s dedication, professionalism, sense of humor, and quiet dignity will be missed by the clients, lawyers, and judges who were fortunate to have an opportunity to know him during his legal career.

“Lou Butterfield was a ‘lawyer’s lawyer.’  He took on the most difficult problems and handled them with skill, determination, grace, and sensitivity. Lou cared about taking care of people, and their problems became his problems.  I have known only a few ‘lawyer’s lawyers,’ and Lou Butterfield was one of them.” (Paul F. Driscoll, Esq.)