William Rastetter

• Federal Court Experience
• Reported Decisions
• 1836 Timeline
• GTB Highlights

Of counsel to the firm, Bill has more than 40 years of experience in federal litigation, Indian law, and civil rights law.  His work in "Indian country" began more than 30 years ago when he was recruited to serve as Litigation Director with Michigan Indian Legal Services, specifically to represent the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians ("GTB") in the historic "United States v. Michigan" litigation.  Since 1982, he has served as outside counsel for GTB, and has been primarily responsible for most of the complicated litigation involving the Tribe in federal and state courts as well as Tribal Court.  In 2007 Bill was the recipient of the Tecumseh Peacemaking Award from the American Indian Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Bill received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and was an honors graduate of Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington.  He then clerked for Judge Wilbur F. Pell, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Chicago, Illinois. Later he was named a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow, and served as Litigation Director of the Legal Services Program in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was lead counsel in several landmark civil rights cases. 

Early is his career Bill successfully litigated a challenge to Indiana law requiring presidential election candidates to take a loyalty oath that was upheld on appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Bill's extensive federal court civil litigation experience during the past four decades is unequalled by any other Northern Michigan lawyer.

Bill is a member of the Michigan and Indiana (currently inactive) Bars, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, and all United States District Courts in Indiana and Michigan.

E-mail: bill@envlaw.com


Federal and State Court Litigation Experience

  • Litigation Director, Legal Services Program of Fort Wayne Indiana
  • Litigation Director, Michigan Indian Legal Services


Reported Cases

  • United States, et al. v. Michigan, et al.
    (W.D. Mich. File No. 2:73-CV-26 [M 26-73]): See decisions reported at 471 F.Supp. 192 (1979), aff'd. 653 F.2d 277 (6th Cir. 1981), cert. denied 454 U.S. 1124, 102 S.Ct. 971 (1981); see also 712 F.2d 242 (6th Cir. 1983), 623 F.2d 448 (6th Cir. 1980), 534 F. Supp. 668 (1982), 520 F. Supp. (1981), 508 F.Supp. 480 (1980), 505 F.Supp. 467 (1980), 115 F.R.D. 621 (1987), 89 F.R.D. 307 (1979), and 12 ILR 3079 (1985)
  • Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians v. U.S. Attorney for the Westerm District of Michigan, et al.
    (W.D. Mich. File No. 1:96-CV-466): 198 F.Supp.2d 920 (W.D. Mich. 2002), and 46 F.Supp.2d 689 (W.D. Mich. 1999), aff'd. 369 F.3d 960 (6th Cir. 2004)
  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odwawa Indians, et al v. Great Spring Waters of America, Inc.
    (W.D. Mich. File No. 1:02-CV-127): 203 F.Supp.2d 853 (W.D. Mich. 2002)
  • Michigan Pork Producers Ass'n., Inc. v. Veneman (W.D. Mich. File No. 1:01-CV-34): See 174 F.Supp.2d 637 (W.D. Mich. 2001), aff'd. 348 F.3d 157 (6th Cir. 2003), vacated 544 U.S. 1058, 125 S.Ct. 2511 (2005).
  • Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians v. Director, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, et al.
    (W.D. Mich. File No. 1:94-CV-707): 971 F.Supp. 282 (1995), aff'd. 141 F.3d 635 (6th Cir. 1998), cert. denied 454 U.S. 1124, 102 S.Ct. 971 (1998).
  • Friends of the Crystal River, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al.
    (W.D. Mich. File No. 1:92:CV:325): 794 F.Supp. 674 (W.D. Mich. 1992), aff'd. 35 F.3d 1073 (6th Cir. 1994)
  • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, et al. v. Engler
    (W.D. Mich. File No. 1:90-CV-611): See 93 F.Supp.2d 850 (W.D. Mich. 2000); 800 F.Supp. 1484 (W.D. Mich. 1992), aff'd 5 F.3d 147 (6th Cir. 1993); see also 146 F.3d 367 (6th Cir. 1998)
  • Keewanaw Bay Indian Community v. State of Michigan
    152 F.R.D. 56 (W.D. Mich. 1992)
  • In re: Adams
    133 B.R. 191 (W.D. Mich. 1991)
  • United States v. Bay Mills Indian Community, et al.
    (W.D. Mich. File No. M 85-335): 692 F. Supp. 777 (W.D. Mich. 1988), vacated 727 F. Supp. 1110 (W.D. Mich. 1989)
  • Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians v. Bureau of Indian Affairs, et al.
    (W.D. Mich. File No. G 85-382)
  • United States v. Dakota
    666 F.Supp. 989 (W.D. Mich. 1985)
  • Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians v. Leelanau County and Leelanau Indians, Inc.
    (W.D. Mich. File No. G 83-834)
  • People v. Hubbard
    115 Mich. App. 73, 320 N.W. 2d 294 (Mich. App. 1982)
  • Leelanau Indians, Inc. and Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
    (W.D. Mich. File No. G 80-526): 502 F.Supp. 741 (W.D. Mich. 1980)
  • Local 1903 (UAW), et al. v. Bear Archery, et al.
    (1976-1980): See 617 F.2d 157 (6th Cir. 1980)
  • Liuzzo v. Federal Bureau of Investigation
    (1977-1980): See 485 F. Supp. 1274 (E.D. Mich. 1980)
  • Organic Growers of Michigan, et al. v. Michigan Department of Agriculture
  • Oscoda Chapter of PBB Action Committee v. Michigan Dept of Natural Resources
    403 Mich. 215, 268 N.W. 2d 240 (1978)
  • Williams v. Andrus, et al.
  • Webster, et al. v. Bechtel, Inc.
    621 P.2d 890 (Alaska 1980)
  • Communist Party of Indiana v. Whitcomb
    414 U.S. 441, 94 S.Ct. 656, 38 L.Ed. 2d 635 (1974)
  • Green v. Stanton
    451 F.Supp. 567 (N.D. Ind. 1978), and 364 F. Supp. 123 (N.D. Ind. 1973)
  • Barkley v. Warner
    409 F.Supp. 1303 (E.D. Mich. 1976)
  • Franks v. Johnson
    401 F.Supp. 669 (E.D. Mich. 1975)
  • Mothers & Childrens Rights Organization, Inc. v. Stanton
    371 F.Supp. 298 (N.D. Ind. 1973)
  • U.S. ex rel. Iverson v. Rhodes
    465 F.2d 402 (7th Cir. 1972)


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