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 almost 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. Scott Howard's clerkship with a Michigan Supreme Court justice 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 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.