Legal Team


Stephen O. Schultz

Steve Schultz first became involved in treaty matters in 1979 when he assisted Ted Swift and Bill Hicks in protecting the remaining stock of lake trout in Grand Traverse Bay following the 1979 Court opinion issued by Judge Noel Fox. Thus started an almost 40 year involvement in working with natural resource interest groups and inland lake associations related to treaty matters. In 1985, Steve was involved in the negotiation of the very first Consent Decree involving the exercise of Treaty rights on the Great Lakes, including serving as lead counsel coordinating the litigation over a challenge to that Decree. In the years leading up to the adoption of a new Consent Decree covering the Great Lakes in 2000, Steve again worked with organizations concerned with the Great Lakes fishery in negotiating and supporting that Decree. Finally, Steve worked with resource groups and lake associations concerned with litigation and negotiation over the exercise of treaty rights on inland hunting and fishing.

During most of these years, Steve was an attorney with Foster Swift Collins & Smith before he and three of his partners founded Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC in 2008. After serving as the firm’s President for eight years, Steve became “of counsel” in 2017, but he continues to serve the Coalition to Protect Michigan Resources in matters related to the state’s natural resources.

In addition to his involvement in treaty and natural resource matters, Steve has had an extensive practice in Municipal and Labor and Employment law. He has served as the attorney for numerous cities, counties, townships and libraries for many years. He was named “Lawyer of the Year” in employment law by U.S. News’ Best Lawyers publication in 2012, 2016 and 2018. Steve has also been included in “Best Lawyers in America” since 2005.


Christopher Patterson

Chris Patterson started working on tribal fishing issues with the Coalition to Protect Michigan Resources in 2013. Chris was drawn to the case as an avid outdoorsman, who enjoys mountain biking, winter camping, fishing, and upland bird hunting.

Chris is an attorney with Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC. He joined the firm in 2013 after serving two years as Law Clerk for Federal District Court Judge, the Honorable Lawrence P. Zatkoff. Chris received his Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, from Michigan State University College of Law in May, 2010. Chris also specializes in general municipal law, administrative law, as well as commercial and real property law.