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With a unique background in writing and music composition, Joe brings unmatched creativity to analyzing and solving complex legal problems.

Because of his creative approach to talking and writing about the law, Joe is frequently tapped to represent clients in appellate and trial courts, when compelling written communication matters most. He has advocated for clients through all stages of litigation, including at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as well as in trial courts across the country.

Joe’s practice spans a broad range of legal subject matters, including constitutional and statutory challenges to government action at the local, state and national levels; land use, zoning and property rights; civil fraud and RICO; and commercial contracts. He serves clients of varying disciplines, including real estate developers, construction companies, renewable energy developers, energy pipeline companies and agribusiness operations of all kinds – from small and large dairy farms, to industrial refiners, to business brokers.

In addition to writing as an advocate for his clients, Joe is a published scholar on topics of constitutional law and judicial authority. His latest article, Article III, Judicial Restraint, and this Supreme Court, is forthcoming in the SMU Law Review. His written work has also appeared at Wisconsin Lawyer, The Foundation for Economic Education, Law360 and elsewhere.



  • 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
  • Western District of Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2017-18


  • 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
      • Dean’s Academic Achievement Award
      • Best Performance Awards 
      • Dean’s List
      • Duane Mowry Scholarship
  • B.M., University of Wisconsin
    • Music Composition
    • with distinction


  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Wisconsin 
    • Appellate Practice Section, Board of Directors 
    • Litigation Section
    • Civil Rights & Liberties Section
  • Dane County Bar Association
  • Achieved victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a real estate developer in CityDeck Landing v. Circuit Court, a case announcing important limits on a trial court's authority to interfere with private arbitration proceedings.
  • Authored an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Gill v. Whitford, a major redistricting case involving claims of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.
  • Authored multiple successful petitions for review to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
  • Authored an amicus brief in Michels v. Lyons, a Wisconsin Supreme Court case involving questions of constitutional interpretation and the protection of individual liberty interests under the Fourteenth Amendment.
  • Won summary judgment for a real estate developer pursuing a claim for fraudulent transfer, enabling the developer to collect a substantial prior judgment.
  • 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.
  • Assisted in writing an amicus brief in Murr v. Wisconsin, a significant U.S. Supreme Court case about regulatory takings under the Fifth Amendment.
  • Represented a national outdoor advertising company before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in an appeal about regulatory takings and nonconforming uses.
  • Defended an international IT consulting firm against federal claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and state claims for trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition.
Case Studies
CityDeck Landing LLC

What began as a private arbitration regarding a dispute over the construction of an apartment building in Green Bay turned into a case with much larger implications when a subcontractor’s insurer filed a separate action in Wisconsin state circuit court seeking a declaration regarding its coverage obligations, as well as a stay of the arbitration until the coverage issues were resolved.

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, with Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” as a favorite symphonic work. Joe is also a classically trained composer and has had several pieces performed, including “Night at the Lake” for four percussionists.

At home, Joe likes to cook for friends. Go-to recipes include mushroom risotto, chocolate cake, and macaroni and cheese. He also spends time reading history, economics and other nonfiction works. A favorite recent book was Bill Bryson’s “At Home,” an room-by-room history of domestic life in Europe and America.

Community Leadership

Joe serves his community through pro bono work, the arts and civic development.

Joe maintains an active pro bono practice. He has, for example, represented a transgender inmate in a civil rights lawsuit involving constitutional questions under the Eighth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.

Joe celebrates and supports classical music by serving on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, an organization dedicated to building diverse, inclusive communities through music and musicianship.

That same commitment to community drives Joe’s involvement with Downtown Madison Inc., where he is an active member of both the Economic Development Committee and the Inclusiveness Committee.