Claudia Rast is a shareholder based in Butzel Long's Ann Arbor office. Blending her expertise in law, business, and science, Ms. Rast assists companies in their strategic choice and use of technology. She counsels companies both large and small on innovative and emerging issues in the areas of privacy, cybersecurity, data theft, intellectual property licensing and registration, and the forensic preservation and analysis of electronically stored information. With the rise of cyber events in recent years, her background in forensics, IT environments and security has proved invaluable in working with clients to both defend against and respond to pervasive cyber attacks. Similarly, over the past several years, Ms. Rast has worked within both the IT entrepreneur community and the automotive supplier network to negotiate contracts covering innovative technologies associated with autonomous and connected vehicles, such as security, privacy, IP ownership, and new and potential regulations.
Ms. Rast is also an experienced environmental lawyer, focusing on alternative energy and sustainability practices, including work on the development of a global Rule of Law Index for environment and energy with the World Justice Project. Nationally, she was appointed by the President of the American Bar Association in 2013, and reappointed in 2016 to serve on the ABA's Presidential Cybersecurity Legal Task Force, where task force members examine risks posed by criminals, terrorists and nations that seek to steal personal and financial information, disrupt critical infrastructure, and wage cyberwar. Locally, she is a Board Member of the Clean Energy Coalition (CEC), where she developed the legal framework for the DOE's $15M grant to the CEC for the Michigan Green Fleets project and the Michigan Public Service Commission's $4.5M grant for the Cities of Promise program. In Ann Arbor, she is a Board member with the New Enterprise Forum, where she coaches technology start-ups in their efforts to connect with management expertise, venture capital, and business partners.
Ms. Rast is a frequent national speaker on matters ranging from Cybersecurity, Privacy, Data Breach, eDiscovery, and Social Media. Her publications include articles for Environmental Compliance and Litigation Strategy (August 1998) and the Institute of Management Consultants USA (March 1999). She was a contributor to ICLE's Michigan Environmental Law Deskbook, Vols. I-II (1994), and co-authored the annual update on Environmental Law for The Wayne Law Review in 1990. On the business and technology side, she has written articles for Michigan Banker Magazine (April 1997), Detroiter (June 1998), Environmental Compliance and Litigation Strategy (August 1998), the Institute of Management Consultants USA (March 1999), and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce magazine, Michigan Forward (February 2000). She is also a contributing author to ICLE's Advising eBusiness Startups (June 2001), and The Internet & Technology Guide for Michigan Lawyers (ICLE 1996-1999), with licensed editions in California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Ms. Rast also authored an online course for CPE credit, CPA's Guide to Privacy (Bisk Education 2006, 2012, 2014 & 2016), and a chapter on Privacy & Data Breach for Thompson Reuters' "Inside the Minds" Aspatore Book series (April 2013). More recent articles include those for the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Trends newsletter on “Cybersecurity for Lawyers to Critical Infrastructure Clients” (Jan 2014 & Feb 2017), a book chapter entitled “Confidentiality and Security in a Modern World” for the ABA book entitled Ethics for the Environmental Lawyer, and a chapter in the 2d edition of the ABA Cybersecurity Handbook entitled Cybersecurity for the Home Office: The Lawyer's Guide to Taking Charge of Your Own Information Security (September 2017).
Ms. Rast's memberships include the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, where she has been involved in the leadership of the Section since 1999, including Chair of the Section in 2008-2009, Ann Arbor's New Enterprise Forum Board of Directors (2008-present), the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Board of Directors (2008-2013), ICLE's Technology Training Advisory Board (1998-present), and Walsh College’s Technology Advisory Board (2016-present). In 2001, she was the only lawyer named as a Technology Industry Leader in Crain's Detroit Business, and in 2003 the Ann Arbor Chapter of American Women in Computing named her as one of twenty "Top Michigan Women in Computing." In 2015, she was named by Michigan’s Lawyer’s Weekly as a “Leader in the Law,” defined as someone who is “changing the law, expanding access to justice and improving the profession and their communities.”
Ms. Rast is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.S., Natural Resources) and cum laude graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Detroit Law Review. In 2014, Ms. Rast successfully completed the four-week online program, "Tackling the Challenges of Big Data," developed and taught by the faculty of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in collaboration with MIT Professional Education.
Claudia Rast will participate in the World Justice Forum working session Legal Tools for Advancing Environmental Justice and Public Health.