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Overview

An award-winning legal writer and seasoned oral advocate, Joe gives clients the upper hand on appeal and in complex litigation.

Joe has briefed appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the D.C., Seventh, Eighth, Tenth and Federal Circuits; and the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Georgia Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the Illinois Appellate Court. He has orally argued appeals in the Seventh Circuit, the Eighth Circuit, the Federal Circuit and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Joe also litigates administrative appeals and high-stakes disputes in trial courts across the country. No matter the forum, Joe draws on a unique background in freelance journalism and music composition, bringing unmatched creativity to analyzing complex legal issues.

Joe specializes in challenges to government action, including judicial review of decisions issued by federal agencies, state agencies and local governments. He also has significant experience defending class actions and litigating cases involving issues of constitutional and administrative law; land use, zoning and permitting; and international trade law. He serves clients in various sectors, including food and agribusiness, telecommunications, and traditional and renewable energy, among others.

In addition to writing as an advocate for his clients, Joe has published several scholarly and popular articles on constitutional law and appellate practice. His work has appeared in the SMU Law Review, the Villanova Law Review, the University of Cincinnati Law Review, the Fordham Urban Law Journal, the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice & Comment, Wisconsin Lawyer (where he serves on the editorial board), InBusiness Madison, Law360, Our Lives and elsewhere. Joe’s articles have been cited in state and federal judicial opinions.

Industries

Services

Recognition

  • In Business Madison, Forty Under 40, 2024
  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants, 2024
  • Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, High Honors, 2022 and 2023
  • Hon. Charles Dunn Author Award, 2019
  • Terence T. Evans Prize for Humor and Creativity in the Law, 2017
  • Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission, Pro Bono Honor Society, 2017-2022
  • Western District of Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2018
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Appellate, 2019-2023

Education

  • J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School
    • summa cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
    • Wisconsin Law Review, articles editor
    • Ray and Ethel Brown Award in Legal Writing
    • Best Brief Award
  • B.M., University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Music Composition
    • with distinction

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin
  • District of Columbia

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • State Bar of Wisconsin 
    • Appellate Practice Section, Board of Directors, Chair-Elect
  • Dane County Bar Association
    • Former Board of Directors, 2020-2022
  • Wisconsin Lawyer, Editorial Board
Experience

Federal Appellate Experience

  • Briefed, orally argued, and won appeal in Louis DeGidio Inc. v. Industrial Combustion, LLC, 66 F.4th 707 (8th Cir. 2023), on behalf of manufacturer of institutional boilers and burners in commercial dispute with former distributor. The Court affirmed summary judgment, cementing a complete defense victory on claims for violation of the Minnesota Franchise Act, breach of contract, and promissory estoppel.
  • Won appeal in Stockbridge Munsee Community v. Ho-Chunk Nation, 922 F.3d 818 (7th Cir. 2019), a case brought by one American Indian tribe against another over the latter's right to conduct gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Affirming the district court's ruling in favor of the Ho-Chunk Nation, the Court held that the plaintiff-tribe's claim was both outside the statutory zone of interests and barred by the statute of limitations.
  • Authored successful amicus brief in Guam v. United States, 141 S. Ct. 1608 (2021), a case providing important guidance on the interpretation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund). Filed on behalf of a politically and geographically diverse coalition of 26 states and territories in support of the prevailing party (Guam), the brief was discussed in detail at oral argument.
  • Authored successful amicus brief in Bostock v. Clayton County, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020), which held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender status. The brief was filed in support of the prevailing employees and stressed many of the textual, logical, and institutional arguments the Court ultimately found persuasive.
  • Authored several other amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, including at the merits stage, at the petition stage, and in support of emergency applications.
  • Presented oral argument in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh, Eighth and Federal Circuits—including an en banc oral argument in the Seventh Circuit.

State Appellate Experience

  • Won appeal in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in CityDeck Landing v. Circuit Court, 2019 WI 15, on behalf of a real estate developer in a case announcing important limits on a trial court's authority to interfere with private arbitration proceedings.
  • Won appeal in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in Enbridge Energy Co. v. Dane County, 2019 WI 78, which held that a local government exceeded the scope of its land-use authority when it imposed unlawful conditions on an energy pipeline company's permit.
  • Won appeal in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in Red Rock Granite, Inc. v. Kafka Properties, LLC, 2019AP1633, in which Court held that our client's mineral fabrication facility was a permissible use of property under a restrictive covenant.
  • Won appeal in the Illinois Appellate Court in Prairie Surgicare v. Encompass Specialty Network, 2021 IL App (3d) 200176-U, which affirmed the trial court's discretionary denial of sanctions.
  • Authored successful amicus brief in the Supreme Court of Georgia in Raffensperger v. Jackson, 888 S.E.2d 483 (Ga. 2023), in which the Court declared a restrictive occupational licensing law unconstitutional as an unreasonable infringement on an individual's due process right to pursue a lawful profession.
  • Authored amicus brief in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in Michels v. Lyons, 2019 WI 57, a case implicating individual liberty interests under the Fourteenth Amendment. The brief was discussed at oral argument and cited in an opinion.
  • Authored multiple successful petitions for review to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
  • Presented oral argument in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Administrative Appeal & Trial Experience

  • Won trial in Campbell v. Kallas, 2020 WL 7230235 (W.D. Wis. 2020), a civil rights lawsuit involving constitutional questions under the Eighth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. Our client, a transgender inmate with diagnosed gender dysphoria, was awarded an injunction against state officials, requiring them to provide medically necessary gender confirmation surgery.
  • Won favorable judgment and vacatur of government action in CSC Sugar LLC v. United States, 317 F. Supp. 3d 1334 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2019), on behalf of sugar refiner in a case challenging the Department of Commerce's approval of countervailing and antidumping duty trade agreements.
  • Won favorable judgment and injunctive relief for telecommunications carrier in suit against city government for violations of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 related to city's denial of permits to install small-cell wireless facilities in public plaza.
  • Won summary judgment for a telecommunications developer in a land-use dispute with a local government, allowing the developer to move forward with two telecommunications tower construction projects, each valued at over one million dollars.
  • Won summary judgment and attorneys' fees for a professional organization in a copyright infringement suit that hinged on whether the organization's volunteers were agents under the "work made for hire" doctrine.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for grocery store chain in class action involving greenwashing claims.
  • Obtained zoning approval for Greywolf Partners to add a nursing school to Honey Creek Corporate Center in Milwaukee, requiring a zoning change opposed by various municipal policymakers.
Case Studies
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Husch Blackwell put together a coalition to help clarify CERCLA in an influential U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief.

CityDeck Landing LLC

Our team filed a rare petition for a supervisory writ with the Wisconsin Supreme Court—and won the case.

CSC Sugar LLC

Our team secured a first-of-its-kind decision from the U.S. Court of International Trade.

White Papers | December 28, 2023
International Trade Law: 2023 Year in Review & Outlook for 2024

U.S. importers and exporters are navigating a new enforcement landscape where government officials are working collectively across agencies and increasingly leveraging new technologies.

White Papers | December 21, 2022
International Trade Law: 2022 Year in Review & Outlook for 2023

How to get trade ready in 2023.

Articles | November 2018
Wisconsin Lawyer: The State of Stare Decisis in Wisconsin

During the 2017-18 term, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled its own precedent on three separate occasions, more than in any other recent term. Joseph Diedrich explores Wisconsin's approach to stare decisis in principle and in practice.

Insight | September 25, 2018
Amicus Brief: Michels v. Lyons

Along with the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro, Husch Blackwell’s Joseph Diedrich has co-authored an amicus brief in Michels v. Lyons, a case currently pending before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin involving the scope of constitutional rights in the family context.

Articles | July 02, 2018
TerraLex: New Life for Dead Capital

Joseph Diedrich explores how multiple locales have begun experimenting with blockchain-based title registration.

Articles | June 29, 2018
Law360 Expert Analysis: Is It Time For A Challenge To Chevron Deference?

Joseph Diedrich examines Justice Kennedy’s final word on Chevron deference and analyzes what the future might hold.

Articles | 2018
Wisconsin Lawyer: Transgender Rights in Wisconsin

Joseph Diedrich writes that awareness of the legal status and rights of transgender persons is vital for Wisconsin lawyers.

Media Mentions | May 28, 2021
The Regulatory Review: Week in Review
Media Mentions | April 26, 2021
C-SPAN: Guam v. United States Oral Argument
News Releases | November 11, 2019
26 Husch Blackwell Attorneys Named to 2019 Wisconsin Super Lawyers/Rising Stars

The firm has 16 attorneys named to the Super Lawyers list and 10 attorneys named to the Rising Stars list.

News Releases | July 15, 2019
Husch Blackwell Prevails for Enbridge Energy in Land-Use Permitting Dispute

The Court agreed that the relevant insurance statutes prohibited Dane County from imposing the insurance conditions in Enbridge’s permit.

News Releases | May 07, 2019
Husch Blackwell Prevails in Seventh Circuit for Ho-Chunk Nation

The Seventh Circuit affirmed the lower court ruling on the untimeliness of the lawsuit, but also noted limits to the scope of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which is of great importance to tribes.

News Releases | April 23, 2019
Husch Blackwell's Diedrich Receives Author Award from State Bar of Wisconsin

Diedrich’s article “Transgender Rights in Wisconsin” was originally published in the March 2018 issue of the Wisconsin Lawyer, the official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

News Releases | February 22, 2019
Husch Blackwell Prevails in Case Defending Rights of Parties in Private Arbitration

Relying on decades of precedent, the Court reaffirmed that a trial court possesses only limited, statutory powers with respect to private arbitration.

Media Mentions | January 31, 2019
Isthmus: The next frontier
News Releases | September 28, 2018
Diedrich Elected to Board of Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin

Joseph Diedrich was elected to the Board of the State Bar of Wisconsin's Appellate Practice Section.

Media Mentions | July 06, 2018
InsideEPA.com: Kennedy's Parting Words May Drive New Curbs On EPA's Chevron Deference

Joseph Diedrich is noted for his analysis of what a post-Kennedy Supreme Court portends for Chevron deference.

Outside the Office

Joe enjoys golfing and is especially fond of Quit Qui Oc Golf Club in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the course where he grew up learning the game. He’s also a classical music fan and a classically trained composer. Several of his original works have been performed, including “Night at the Lake” for four percussionists.

Community Leadership

Joe serves as Chair of the board of directors of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Among other programs, the orchestra performs the widely popular Concerts on the Square series, which attracts upwards of 250,000 audience members per season.

Joe also maintains an active pro bono practice and has been an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in and out of court. For example, he authored an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 10 Wisconsin-based advocacy organizations; successfully represented a transgender inmate in a civil rights lawsuit involving constitutional questions under the Eighth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause; and is a frequent speaker and author on LGBTQ+ legal issues.