A senior attorney in the firm’s Petoskey office, Gretchen L. Olsen concentrates her practice in the areas of municipal liability and medical and legal malpractice, but also represents a wide range of clients in both state and federal courts in other litigation as well.

In the municipal arena, Ms. Olsen represents clients directly and through insurance carriers in a broad range of claims, including employment, civil rights, police liability, highway defect and zoning.

Ms. Olsen’s professional liability practice includes the defense of lawyers in various types of malpractice cases, as well as the defense of real estate agents and brokers, insurance agents, directors and officers, accountants and other professionals in various types of complex litigation. She also represents doctors and nursing homes in medical liability matters.

Representative Client Work

  • Trial counsel for the Michigan Municipal Liability and Property Pool
  • Defended to jury verdict a closed head injury claim against a municipality involving their operation of a ski hill; no-cause received with a demand in excess of $1,000,000
  • Defended a wrongful death drowning claim in excess of $2,000,000 in federal court; no cause received after three-week trial
  • Defended numerous excessive force/false arrest claims in federal court all of which resulted in no-cause verdicts
  • Defended real estate company in a significant mold case involving four different claimants
  • Defended several nursing homes in claims greater than $1,000,000
  • Defended lawyers throughout Northern Michigan, including through trial, against claims of legal malpractice/professional negligence

Professional Affiliations

  • Emmet-Charlevoix County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan (Litigation Section)
  • American Bar Association (Litigation Section)
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (Past Board of Directors)
  • Michigan State Bar Character and Fitness Committee (Former Member)

Community Involvement

  • Northern Michigan Regional Health System, Board of Directors (Past Vice-chair and former member of the executive committee)
  • Hospice of Little Traverse Bay, Board of Directors (Past President)
  • First National Bank, Former Director
  • Petoskey – Bay View Country Club (Board of Directors, Past member)
  • Zonta Club of Petoskey

Publications and Lectures

  • Authored various publications in conjunction with numerous lectures and presentations on all aspects of municipal law, including, but not limited to, the Freedom of Information Act; Open Meetings Act; Governmental Immunity including highway defect claims, public building claims, police chase issues; private and public nuisance issues including takings, trespass/nuisance issues; as well as various constitutional and civil rights issues. Has also lectured on various aspects of medical malpractice and deposition and cross-examination techniques.



  • Detroit College of Law, cum laude, J.D., 1984
  • Michigan State University, B.S., 1981
  • Trinity University, B.A., 1979


  • Michigan, 1984
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1989


Honors & Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating-AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated



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