Skip to main content
A Better Partnership

Daniel P. Ettinger

Partner | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.752.2168

    f. +1.616.752.2500

    m. +1.616.485.9950


Dan Ettinger practices in the areas of mining, natural resource and renewable/alternative energy development, environmental litigation, zoning and administrative law and NEPA/NHPA compliance, with a special focus on issues related to Native American tribes and cultural resources. He advises mining and natural resource development clients regarding tribal engagement and consultation, compliance with laws aimed at protecting tribal interests and resources, such as the National Historic Preservation Act and other cultural resource issues that can arise in the course of permitting a development project. Dan also has extensive experience representing mining and other natural resource development companies in federal and state courts and before administrative tribunals. He enjoys forging relationships with clients, helping them see a project through from beginning to end while seeking ways to proactively manage their risk.



  • Duke University J.D. 1995
  • Tufts University B.A. 1991


  • 1995, Michigan


  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan in 1995
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit in 1997
  • U.S. Supreme Court in 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit in 2005

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Litigation Section, Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section, Dispute Resolution Section, State & Local Government Law Section, Environment, Energy & Resources Section
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2017 Grand Rapids Litigation - Environmental Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2013-Present
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan, 2014


  • Successfully assisted an international natural resources company in obtaining the first non-ferrous metallic mineral mining permit issued in Michigan, together with other associated permits, for a nickel mine in the Upper Peninsula. The case resulted in two published decisions by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The mine is now operational  
  • Counsel of record in case obtaining 8-1 decision in favor of client in the U.S. Supreme Court, defeating claims of the federal government that sovereign immunity allowed the government to take land into trust for operation of a tribal casino and that client did not have prudential standing: Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak, 132 S. Ct. 2199 (2012)
  • Represented several mining and natural resource development companies in the upper Great Lakes region on permitting issues, compliance matters, tribal engagement and appeals in federal and state courts
  • Successfully represented a mining company against efforts to enjoin project development in state and federal courts
  • Successfully represented a renewable energy developer in federal NEPA litigation, resulting in a published decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Advised national wind energy facility developers on zoning and compliance issues for wind energy development projects in Michigan
  • Successfully represented CBS Outdoor, Inc. and other Michigan clients in municipal zoning and litigation matters
  • Successfully represented Goodwill Industries of West Michigan on employment discrimination case, which was the first reported Michigan appellate court decision addressing the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Obtained judgment for Market Development Corp., striking down as unconstitutional the City of Fenton’s water and sewer tap-in ordinance 
  • Successfully appealed employment discrimination case on behalf of Holland Community Hospital after trial court granted summary disposition
  • Assisted in successful representation of Wrench LLC in an idea misappropriation case against Taco Bell, obtaining a $30.1 million jury verdict and reversal of the trial court's grant of summary judgment by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Obtained dismissal of hospital privileges case in federal court; decision was upheld on appeal by the Sixth Circuit


  • "Understanding the role of cultural resources in development projects," Grand Rapids Business Journal, 1/18/13
  • Co-author, Administrative Law Chapter, Michigan Environmental Law Deskbook, 2nd Edition

One Court of Justice Blog


Speaking Engagements

  • "Indigenous Consultation: Business Partnerships or Tribal Consent? A Perspective from the U.S. Great Lakes Region," International Bar Association Annual Conference, 2013

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.



+ -