Federal Practice

Each of the firm's attorneys is experienced in federal court litigation. Collectively we have participated in more than 50 federal court cases on both the trial and appellate levels; and we also have represented clients in matters before federal agencies. Our federal practice group is coordinated by Bill Rastetter, who has more than 40 years of federal practice experience including clerking for a federal appellate court judge in 1970-71. Mike Dettmer's service as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan during the Clinton administration (1994-2000) contributes invaluable experience with the federal litigation process and various federal agencies. The experience of Kate Redman, Scott Howard, and Jim Olson as clerks with Michigan Supreme Court justices augments this firm's appellate practice. We maintain a federal practice library to stay abreast of recent developments.

Consistent with our approach in environmental cases where we often serve as co-counsel with municipal or corporate counsel, the firm stands ready to join with local counsel in representing northern Michigan clients in matters before federal agencies and courts. We provide the expertise of a large metropolitan law firm at substantially lower cost, and working with local counsel enables us jointly to better serve the clients' interests.

The expertise of Olson, Bzdok & Howard in federal court practice as well as environmental law has been recognized by national organizations that selected our firm as Michigan counsel to represent their interests in federal court litigation, including Sierra Club, National Parks and Conservation Association, and the Campaign for Family Farms. We also served as co-counsel with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund in a successful federal court litigation, and our firm was selected by the Michigan Audubon Society when that organization initiated federal court litigation to protect its interests.

In the event a client is threatened with federal criminal prosecution, our firm has a relationship with one of Michigan's most distinguished federal criminal defense attorneys, F. Randall Karfonta. By coordinating our activities we are able to minimize risk and better serve our clients' interests.


Kate Redman Discusses Crowd-Funding Rules in TC's Record-Eagle

“Investment crowdfunding has been leading the industry globally, but we should see a really startling growth in the U.S. once these new rules are effective,” said Kate Redman, attorney with Olson, Bzdok & Howard PC in Traverse City. Redman will offer training “labs” starting in May for businesses and nonprofits interested in investment crowdfunding. Contact her at kate@envlaw.com for more information.

Traverse City Record-Eagle (01-24-16) 

The Traverse City law firms, Olson, Bzdok & Howard, P.C. and Sondee, Racine & Doren, PLC, are pleased to announce our formal affiliation as of January 1, 2016. Our firms will be working together closely to represent clients as a team, and provide our clients with a greater variety and depth of legal services.

Each firm will retain its own identity, but Sondee, Racine & Doren will be “of counsel” to Olson Bzdok & Howard. This means that all of our attorneys will have a close, continuous and regular professional relationship and that we all will work together for you.

Each firm will be maintaining its own office and staff, and all attorney contact information will remain the same.


Public Trust Framework Recommended for Great Lakes

The International Joint Commission (IJC) of the United States & Canada has issued a report recommending the application of a bi-national Public Trust framework to help fill regulatory gaps and guide decision-making that will ensure the protection of the long-term ecological integrity, economic stability, and the many public and private uses of the Great Lakes.

Firm founder Jim Olson has advocated for the active implementation of Public Trust principles in Great Lakes decision-making for decades, so this recommendation is both a welcome development, and a tremendous accomplishment. Congratulations Jim!

Full Report (pdf): Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes 

Kate Redman is one of TC's 40 under 40!

Kate Redman, Community Enterprise Attorney and Partner at Olson, Bzdok & Howard, has been selected as one of Traverse City's Most Influential Professionals under 40 for 2015. This is the second year in a row Kate has been selected by the TC Business News as part of TC's "40 under 40." Congrats Kate!

Sept. 1, 2015 

Partnership Announcement

Olson, Bzdok & Howard is pleased to announce that Ross A. Hammersley and Kate E. Redman became shareholders with the firm. Please take a look at their attorney profiles to learn more about these young legal trailblazers.

March 20, 2015