William Rastetter 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.
William 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 William 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. William’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.
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