Houghton Lake    989-366-5361

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Traverse City        231-933-5291  

Call us FIRST! If you didn't, at least call us SECOND for a FREE second opinion.

Houghton Lake


Traverse City


Service since 1971



Michael L. Bauchan, Juris Doctor (J.D.) 1970 and Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (B.E.E.) 1966, says "Call us first. If you didn't, at least call us second."


Michael L. Bauchan founded Bauchan Law Offices, P.C. September 17, 1971 when he bought the office of a retiring attorney, Robert O'Boyle. Mr. Bauchan incorporated his firm June 1, 1973. Our building has been a law office for well over half a century.


Mr. Bauchan, who was double promoted in grade school from the third grade to the fifth grade, graduated from Cheboygan (Michigan) High School and at age 17 entered General Motors Institute (GMI is now Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan.


Mr. Bauchan, who is now retired, received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering Degree in 1966 from General Motors Institute. He was sponsored by General Motors Proving Ground at Milford, Michigan through GMI in a 5 year co-operative program in which half of the academic year is spent in an accelerated program at GMI of about 28 classroom hours per week (including lab time) carrying an academic load of about 25 credits. The other half of the academic year Mr. Bauchan spent as a General Motors Proving Ground employee where in each six week work session Mr. Bauchan was assigned to work in one of the many Proving Ground departments.


Mr. Bauchan was thus trained as an apprentice to engineers, mechanics, heavy equipment operators, data processors, and administrators. The GMI program during each work session required each co-op student write a Coordination Report about work performed that session. Each report was reviewed and graded for technical content and writing skills by Mr. Bauchan's immediate supervisor, the Proving Ground personnel officer in charge of GMI students, and an English professor at GMI. During the last semester of his GMI engineering program Mr. Bauchan worked full time at the Proving Ground during which he wrote his final thesis titled "Development of a Remote Throttle Control" on a specific electrical engineering project.


In 1966 Mr. Bauchan received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from GMI and transferred to the GM Patent section which assigned him to their Washington D.C. office.


From 1966 to 1968 Mr. Bauchan worked 40 hours per week as a Patent Engineer doing patent searching for GM while attending Georgetown University Law School five nights a week for two years, during which Mr. Bauchan studied for and on his first attempt passed the United States Patent Office Bar Exam and became a licensed Patent Agent.


In 1968 the GM patent Section transferred Mr. Bauchan to their Detroit office where he worked 40 hours per week as a Patent Agent writing patent applications and attended Wayne State University Law School two hours per night five nights per week.


In 1970 Mr. Bauchan received a Juris Doctor Degree from Wayne State University Law School. He then passed the State Bar of Michigan Bar Exam on his first attempt and became a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan while employed as a GM patent attorney.


In 1971 Mr. Bauchan decided to serve individual clients rather than the huge General Motors Corporation that had been his only employer in the decade since he graduated high school. Mr. Bauchan had only practiced patent law, but bought the Houghton Lake, Michigan law office of Robert O'Boyle, a highly esteemed retiring general practice attorney with many years of experience who became Mr. Bauchan's personal general practice mentor for several years, and moved his family to Houghton Lake.


Mr. Bauchan applied the same intense work ethic to serving the public as a Private Practice Attorney he demonstrated as a five year GMI engineering co-op student and four-year full-time patent section employee attending law school five nights per week.


In 1971 Mr. Bauchan was one of only four Roscommon County criminal defense attorneys. By 1972 two of the other three Roscommon County criminal defense attorneys ceased practicing law, leaving Mr. Bauchan and one other attorney to provide most of the criminal defense work in Roscommon County. Even though court appointed criminal defense work then paid attorneys a reduced hourly wage, Mr. Bauchan tirelessly worked diligently on behalf of all clients regardless whether the county paid him, often resulting in the county only paying him less than half of the already reduced hourly rate the county paid other court appointed attorneys.


Mr. Bauchan and two other attorneys also provided substantially all civil law practice in Roscommon County for several years until other attorneys moved to the county.


After Mr. Bauchan became well grounded under the tutelage of Robert O'Boyle in general practice law while also engaging in patent law private practice, Mr. Bauchan affiliated with a Personal Injury and Malpractice specialist from Southern Michigan who became of counsel to Bauchan Law Offices, P.C. and mentored Mr. Bauchan in such matters. Mr. Bauchan utilized his engineering background and the tutelage of these attorneys to become a hard working, well-known and respected trial attorney with expertise both in general practice and also Personal Injury and No-Fault claims, diligently working on behalf of injured persons. When settlement negotiations did not result in offers from defendants and insurance companies acceptable to Mr. Bauchan's clients, he did not hesitate to try their cases.


While providing this intense, hard working service to the public Mr. Bauchan served as Secretary/Treasurer, Vice-President and President of the 34th Judicial Circuit Bar Association, which in 1971 included Roscommon County and four other counties from Gaylord to Standish and later was reduced to three and then two counties.


Mr. Bauchan generously gave of his professional services free of charge to several Houghton Lake non-profit organizations, including the Houghton Lake Merchants Association, the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Houghton Lake Lake Association and various other organizations and churches.


Mr. Bauchan has also served the Houghton Lake Community as officer, director, member and worker of several non-profit organizations.


Mr. Bauchan was one of six founding members of the Houghton Lake Merchants Association, which grew from those six business members to approximately 100 business members by the time Mr. Bauchan served as its President in 1979. He also served as a Director for several years and worked tirelessly on its behalf. He proposed various Houghton Lake Merchants Association projects and chaired their committees.


Mr. Bauchan literally "helped put Houghton Lake on the map" when he proposed and chaired the Houghton Lake Merchants Association Highway Sign Committee when Michigan Department of Transportation expressway signs did not direct the public to Houghton Lake. His work resulted in a Michigan Department of Transportation public meeting at the Houghton Lake Community Center. Mr. Bauchan used his legal talent and the MDOT rules and regulations to successfully persuade MDOT to change their highway signs on expressways etc. so that I-75 and U.S.-127 (formerly U.S.-27) name Houghton Lake as a community so as to direct the public to the Houghton Lake community even though it is an unincorporated legal entity.


The sign committee Mr. Bauchan chaired, comprising Mr. Bauchan and an assistant, also surveyed and diagrammed numerous intersections for 36 miles around Houghton Lake and identified the lack of signs around Houghton Lake directing the public to various Houghton Lake areas. Their work resulted in the Roscommon County Road Commission substantially increasing and improving signage directing the public around the shores of Houghton Lake, which is Michigan's largest inland lake.


Mr. Bauchan also served the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce for many years, including several years as one of its directors, and served many years as a member of the Houghton Lake Lions Club and Houghton Lake United Methodist Church in which he held various leadership positions.


Mr. Bauchan is retired. He helps Bauchan Law Offices, P.C. and staff administratively and maintains its equipment, mentoring attorneys and secretaries by drawing upon his many years of Bauchan Law Offices, P.C. service.


When clients call Bauchan Law Offices, P.C. about subjects not handled by either staff or of counsel attorneys, Mr. Bauchan takes the time to discuss such matters in detail with callers at no charge and refers them to an appropriate attorney in whom Mr. Bauchan would have confidence if he stood in the client's place.


Mr. Bauchan's guiding principles, which he expects his staff to follow, include:


1. Serve clients as you would expect to be served and keep them informed.


2. Give prompt, competent, ethical and honest service at a reasonable price.


3. Always tell the truth and treat everyone ethically and honestly.


Mr. Bauchan always puts client’s interests first. Where clients are not well served by previous attorneys, he candidly states his opinion, discusses legal malpractice and makes referrals to legal malpractice attorneys. Like Mr. Bauchan always said:


"Call us FIRST. If you didn't, at least call us second."