Scott W. Howard

• Judicial Clerkship
• Publications

• Appellate Decisions

• Professional Presentations

• Community Involvement

Scott specializes in conservation easements and natural resource protection; municipal law; real estate; zoning; brownfield redevelopment; and appellate work. Representative clients include the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Grand Traverse County Board of Public Works, Resort Township, the Village of Elk Rapids, the Grand Traverse Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the Minervini Group, the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance, the Great Lakes Children’s Museum, and the Michigan Land Use Institute.

Scott has done numerous professional presentations on conservation easements, natural resource protection and conservation law. He has also taught legal research and writing as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern Michigan College. He has published in the areas of brownfield redevelopment and international law.

Scott is a graduate of the James Madison College at Michigan State University, and a cum laude graduate of Wayne State University Law School. He is also a member of the Order of the Coif, an honorary society recognizing outstanding academic achievement in the study of law.

Before joining Olson, Bzdok & Howard, Scott spent two years clerking for the Honorable Michael F. Cavanagh, Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

Scott is the President of TART Trails (a regional trails organization) and has served on the County Solid Waste Planning Authority. He a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Environmental Law Section, the Real Property Section, and the Appellate Law Section. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association.



Judicial Clerkship

  • Fall 1997 to Fall 1999:
    Law clerk for Justice Michael F. Cavanagh
    Michigan Supreme Court Lansing, Michigan


  • "Brownfield Redevelopment: Keeping an Eye on the Public Interest" with James M. Olson. Planning and Zoning News, April 2000, at 14.

  • "Terrorism, Aliens, and Due Process"
    Michigan International Lawyer
    (Spring 1996 at 19.)

  • "Limited Development Through Environmental Thresholds"
    Building Sustainable Communities Regional Cooperation Series
    (The Global cities Project 1993, No. R207, 1993)

  • "Coordinate Growth and Transportation"
    Building Sustainable Communities Regional Cooperation Series
    (The Global cities Project 1993,No. R208, 1993)


Appellate Decisions

Scott has appeared as an attorney or co-attorney of record in the following appellate decisions:

  • Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v Nestle Waters North American Inc.
    269 Mich App 25; 709 NW2d 174(2005); aff'd in part, rev'd inpart 479 Mich 280; 737 NW2d 447 (2007). 
  • National Wildlife Federation v. Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co.,
    471 Mich 608; 684 NW2d 800 (2004).
  • Glen Lake–Crystal River Watershed Riparians v Glen Lake Ass’n
    264 Mich App 523; 695 NW2d 508 (2004).
  • Township of Bingham v RLTD Railroad Corporation
    463 Mich 634, 624 NW2d 725 (2001).
  • Friends of the Crystal River v Kuras Properties
    456 Mich. 950 (1998); recons'd 459 Mich 899 (1999); appl dism'd 465 Mich. 899 (2001).


Professional Presentations

  • Ask an Attorney Program (Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy “Advancing Conservancy Excellence” Program, February - April 2009).
  • Mineral and gas rights effect on conservation easements: Tips for minimizing damage and traps to avoid (Conservation Defense Network, June 2008).
  • Leftover Environmental Liabilities -- What's Not Covered by Your Prospective Purchaser Agreement (National Brownfields Conference Legal Symposium, May 2008).
  • Mineral Rights and Land Conservation in the Midwest Online Training (Land Trust Alliance, March 2008).
  • Mineral Rights and Land Conservation in the Midwest (Midwest Land Conservation Conference, March 2008).
  • Conservation Easement Best Practices Panel Discussion (Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy Third Annual Member Summit, December 2007).
  • Forests With Handrails? The ADA and Land Preservation (Land Trust Rally, October 2007).
  • Brownfield Redevelopment Panel Project Discussion (Michigan Brownfield Conference, July 2005).
  • Conservation Easements and Estate Planning (Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, June 2005).


Community Involvement and Professional Associations

  • President, TART Trails

  • North American Vasa Board of Directors

  • Member of the Grand Traverse County Solid Waste Planning Authority

  • Michigan Bar Association (MBA)
    - Environmental Law Section
    - Real Property Section
    - Brownfield Redevelopment Committee
    - Appellate Practice Section 

  • Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association
    -Law Library Committee
    -Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee



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 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