Monday Profile: Susan Sadler

Susan J. Sadler is a founding member of Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler, PLC. in Bloomfield Hills, and heads the Environmental, Energy and Sustainability practice group. She concentrates her legal practice on a broad spectrum of environmental issues.

Since the early 1980s, she has provided counsel on compliance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Wetland Regulations, Endangered Species Act, and state environmental statutes and permitting requirements.

Sadler frequently defends corporations in administrative proceedings and environmental litigation brought by citizens groups, Michigan’s Attorney General Offices, the EPA and the Federal Justice Department. Her legal expertise includes representing corporations in toxic tort litigation brought by individuals claiming damage and physical injury from exposure to chemicals, and representing individuals, corporations, municipalities and business entities in all aspects of environmental regulations. She also has experience in negotiating settlements with insurance carriers regarding pollution claims.

Sadler is LEED-AP accredited and is one of the few attorneys with this distinction.

She is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Litigation and Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental law sections and past vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee. She is a board member of the Great Lakes Center for Legal Studies.

A frequent author, Sadler has made significant past contributions to various professional publications and law reviews, College of Law Review, the first and second edition of The RCRA Practice Manual, and Environmental Law for Contractors. She has been a lecturer for the American Bar Association and State Bar of Michigan and a faculty member of the Law Institute Program of the Defense Research Institute.

Sadler earned her J.D. from the University of Toledo in 1980 and a bachelor’s degree from Albion College in 1977.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

Favorite websites: Given the pending elections, probably It’s a single resource that consolidates all of the major information related to political events and happenings.

What is your most treasured material possession?
I have a very small Fabergé egg that was made by Fabergé in their studio in St. Petersburg, Russia.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Attending summer camp as a kid. Like most people, there’s not one single memory I can really point to — I just remember it being so much fun, living in a cabin with no parents and the many humorous things that happened in that setting.

When you were considering law school, what was Plan B? There was no Plan B, I always wanted to be an attorney and worked very hard to become one.  Ultimately, I focused on environmental law when I was asked to help on one of Michigan’s first environmental emergencies in the early 1980s.

What would surprise people about your job? I think the one thing that would surprise people is how little repetition there actually is on a daily basis.

What do you wish someone would invent? We need a replacement for orange barrels during construction season. Some sort of barrier that is easily put up in the area where construction workers are present — and then taken down so there are no orange barrels on roads without any workers present.

Do you prefer email, text, or a phone call? I’m definitely an email person over texting or phone calls.

What word do you overuse? I tend to say “No problem” too much.

What is your most typical mood? I’m usually pretty even-keeled, if not mildly upbeat.

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party? First on my list would be a really great chef — someone that can prepare a really fantastic meal. I would also want old college friends to be there just from a pure fun perspective. I actually still keep in touch with a lot of my friends from college.

What question do you most often ask yourself? What can I do better, and which choice is consistent with the goal?

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been?
I happened to be in the area of the World Trade Center about two weeks after the events of September 11, and the enormity of everything that happened there was just so surprising. I also recently did some work for Rev. Faith Fowler at Cass Community Social Services, and she’s an incredible inspiration. She’s really doing a lot to rebuild the community for the underprivileged — and that’s awe-inspiring to see.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? I had a client who emigrated to the U.S. from Russia and had a family heirloom of a mounted shark, caught by her father. This was seized at the airport as an attempted illegal import of a protected species in violation of the Endangered Species Act and certain U.N. treaties. As you can imagine, the client was heartbroken to have lost a prized family possession. I was able to work with her, a translator and the EPA to get it returned to the client and give her back that piece of family history.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do? I would like to learn to sing — I have a horrible singing voice.

What is the best advice you ever received?
“This too shall pass, and have some perspective. In the whole scheme of things, this is insignificant.”

Subscribe to the Legal News!
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available