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Scott Steiner

"The Brothers Karamazov contained everything there was to know about life."

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 5

Key Service Areas

  • Agriculture Industry Services
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Law
  • Real Estate Law


legal assistant - Emma Poteracke

About Scott

What legal issues do your clients typically face?

My clients face navigating a complex environmental regulatory scheme in order to implement a project or address environmental liability with the state or federal government. These projects include the remediation and closure of contaminated sites; redevelopment of “brownfield” sites; the securing of land use permits involving natural resources such as wetlands, sand dunes, rivers and lakes and mining of minerals; addressing oil, gas and mineral rights issues; and handling property tax issues.

What is the most important advice that you have given a client?

You have to consider the long-term consequences of what is happening now.

What case did you find the most rewarding to work on?

The brownfield redevelopment projects are always rewarding for me. Instead of working to avoid a negative result for the client, you are working in cooperation with private and public partners towards a positive result that will provide a benefit for the community. Representing the downtown Grand Rapids campus of Grand Valley State University was the most rewarding for me because it was one of the first brownfield projects in the State of Michigan and it has truly been transformational for the University and Grand Rapids.


Wayne State University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1988

Central Michigan University, B.S., cum laude, 1984

Q: If you weren't a lawyer, what would you be?


To make a living, I would probably be involved in either producing or preparing food, as a farmer or chef. Otherwise, I would spend the day riding bikes, running, nordic skiing, paddling and fly fishing on my home waters of the Au Sable River, reading, and listening to music either live or from my vinyl record collection.

Scott previously served as the President of the Schrems West Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimited and as Environmental Counsel for the Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited. He was a founding member of the Rogue River Watershed Council. Scott has served as an adjunct instructor at Grand Valley State University.


Grand Rapids Bar Association, Real Estate and Environmental Law Sections (Past President)

State Bar of Michigan, Real Estate Section

State Bar of Michigan, Environmental Law Section Council, Past Chair

State Bar of Michigan, Past Chair of Water Law Committee and Environmental Litigation and Administrative Practice Committee

American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources-Water Quality and Wetlands Committee, Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee, Mining and Mineral Extraction Committee

Association of Redevelopment Initiatives

Michigan Manufacturers Association, Mining Policy Committee and Environmental Policy Committee

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Member

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum

Greater Grand Rapids Bicycling Coalition

City of Grand Rapids Sustainable Streets Task Force, Mayoral Appointee

Bar Admission


U.S. Court of Appeals – Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Awards and Recognition

Best Lawyers of America®, "Lawyer of the Year", Environmental Law, 2015

Best Lawyers of America®, "Lawyer of the Year", Environmental Litigation, 2019, 2022, and 2024

Best Lawyers of America®, Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation, and Real Estate Law

Martindale Hubbell, Highest AV Preeminent® Rating

Leading LawyersSM, Energy & Environmental Law

American Lawyer Magazine, Legal Leader in Land Use and Zoning

Grand Rapids Magazine, Top Lawyer in Environmental Law

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