Attorney Graham K. Crabtree -

Graham K. Crabtree

Of Counsel / Lansing


  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (J.D., 1980)
  • Michigan State University (B.A., with honors, 1977)

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan

Graham K. Crabtree is an appellate specialist who provides outstanding representation in appellate matters before all levels of the state and federal appellate courts. Before joining Fraser Trebilcock in 1996, he specialized in appellate practice for ten years as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Oakland County, followed by five years of service in state government as Majority Counsel and Policy Advisor to the Judiciary Committee of the Michigan Senate.

As legislative counsel, Graham gained unique knowledge of Michigan's state government and legislative process while continuing to perfect his appellate advocacy skills through preparation of amicus curiae briefs filed on behalf of the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. At Fraser Trebilcock, he has continued to specialize in state and federal appellate practice, successfully representing clients as litigants and amicus curiae in a broad variety of litigation matters.

Other Professional Experience

  • Michigan Senate, Majority Policy Office
    • Majority Counsel and Policy Advisor to the Judiciary Committee (1991-1996)
    • Senior Policy Advisor in charge of the Legal Division (1993-1996)
  • Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Oakland County (1980-1991)
Professional Associations
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan, Appellate Practice Section
    • Member of Appellate Practice Section Council and Chairman of its Legislative Committee (2007-Present)
  • Ingham County Bar Association
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
    • Lansing Regional Chairperson (1999-2000)
    • Member, Board of Directors (2000-2004)
  • Michigan Society of Association Executives
  • Registered Lobbyist Agent since 1997
Honors & Distinctions
  • Rated "AV Preeminent" by Martindale Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice in Lansing 2023; Lawyer of the Year in Appellate Practice for Lansing 2014, 2017, and 2022; first listed in Best Lawyers in 2013
  • Selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a "Michigan Super Lawyer" in Appellate Practice (2006-2022)
  • Selected as a '2022 Leading Michigan Lawyer' by Leading Lawyers for Civil Appellate Law; first named in 2014
  • Selected as 2015 Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Volunteer of the Year
  • Selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of its 1999 "Lawyers of the Year" for appellate representation of the defendant physician in Badalamenti v Beaumont Hospital, 237 Mich App 278 (1999)
  • Awarded the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review "Distinguished Brief Award" for the Appellant's Brief in People v Leonard, 421 Mich 207 (1984)
Publications & Presentations
  • ""What were they thinking? Finding and Presenting Evidence of Legislative Intent" Michigan Appellate Practice Journal (Vol. 19, No. 2, 2015)
  • “The Rapid Growth and Slow Shrinkage of the Michigan Court of Appeals” Michigan Appellate Practice Journal (Vol. 16, No. 2, 2012)
  • “Don’t be Absurd: The Repudiation and Rebirth of ‘Absurd Results’ Analysis in Michigan” Michigan Appellate Practice Journal (Vol. 13, No. 2, 2009)
  • Regular contributing author of the “Legislative Report” for the Michigan Defense Quarterly, the quarterly publication of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (2000-2004 and 2007-2020  current and archived issues available at
  • Lecturer for Ingham County Bar Association Luncheon Lecture Series (1995, 1996, 2008) Presentations on the legislative process in Michigan and evidence of legislative intent; legislation pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee; and preservation of the record for appellate review
  • Lecturer for ProNational Insurance Company Seminar “Michigan’s Emerging Law of Medical Malpractice: Emphasizing Tort Reform” (2000) Presentation on 1993 and 1995 tort reform legislation
  • Lecturer for Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Winter Meeting (2005) Presentations on “Effective Oral Argument” and “Preserving the Record”
  • Organizer and lecturer for Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Civil Defense Basic Training Seminar Series (2000-2003, 2007) Presentations on “The Basics of Appellate Practice” and “The Legislative Process in Michigan” 
Testimonials & Client Matters

"In my professional experience, Mr. Crabtree has always displayed the highest levels of analysis and scholarship." – Private Practice Attorney

"Graham is an excellent appellate lawyer." – Private Practice Attorney

"Top notch lawyer, all the way around." – Private Practice Attorney

"Graham is a fine gentleman and an excellent appellate attorney." – Private Practice Attorney