Valerie J.M. Brader

Valerie J.M. Brader

Practice Areas

Energy and Utility Law
Identify strategies for success for energy-related companies using deep familiarity with business, regulatory, and legislative processes.

  • As head of Michigan’s Agency for Energy, was a central player and drafting in all energy law changes from 2011-2017, including the enactment of Michigan’s 2016 comprehensive energy reform, the Detroit lighting package, and laws regarding ratemaking, performance contracting, and energy security. Participated in MISO, PJM, and FERC processes and gave legislative testimony at federal and state levels.

Environmental Compliance
Advise clients on issues involving environmental permits and compliance, as well as assisting in defense of alleged violations.

  • Guided client in launch of new chemical manufacturing facility in Michigan, including documenting brownfield status in property purchase to limit future liability, securing permits related to possible air and water discharges, and training employees on various compliance practices.

Governmental Law
Advise clients on governmental structures to facilitate major projects or  formation of authorities and other intra-governmental bodies, including potential financing mechanisms or tax incentives available for new facilities.  

  • Secured real and personal property tax abatements, income tax abatements, utility tax abatements, zoning changes and other incentives for clients expanding or locating businesses in Michigan.  

Education and Admissions

  • Georgetown University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
  • University of Oxford, M.St. in Historical Studies (Rhodes Scholar)
  • University of Oxford, M.Sc. in Environmental Change and Management (Rhodes Scholar)
  • Harvard University and Radcliffe College, A.B. in government, magna cum laude
  • Admitted in Michigan, U.S. District Court for the E.D.Michigan, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Federal Trial Court Appointments

  • Clerk, Hon John Feikens
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Judicial Adjunct, Hon. John Feikens and Hon. Sean Cox, United States vs. Detroit, Case No. 77-71100

Representative Publications

  • Congress’ Pet: Why the Clean Air Act’s Favoritism of California Is Unconstitutional under the Equal Footing Doctrine. Published in issue 13.1 (2007) of the Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law & Policy.
  • Shell Games: Vicarious Liability for State and Local Governments for Insufficiently Protective Regulations Under the ESA (Endangered Species Act).  Published in University of New Mexico's Natural Resources Journal.  45:1 NAT. RESOURCES J. 103 (2005).
  • Complying with Surface Water Regulations Through Pollution Prevention. Presented and published at 2001 Joint Services Pollution Prevention and Hazardous Waste Management Conference.