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Joseph S. Diedrich

Joseph S. Diedrich

Associate
Madison
office: 608.258.7380
fax: 608.258.7138
Overview

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

This creativity enables him to talk and write about the law in a clear, refreshing way with clients and courts alike. To that end, Joe is frequently tapped to represent clients in appellate courts, as well as in trial courts, when effective written communication matters most. He has advocated for his clients’ interests through all stages of litigation, including at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and in trial courts across the country. He also serves on the board of directors of the State Bar of Wisconsin Appellate Practice Section. Some of Joe’s recent experience includes:

  • Co-authored an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Gill v. Whitford, a redistricting case involving claims of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.
  • Won summary judgment for a real estate developer pursuing a claim for fraudulent transfer, enabling the developer to collect a substantial prior judgment.
  • Represented a national outdoor advertising company before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in an appeal involving fundamental questions of property rights under the Fifth Amendment’s constructive takings and nonconforming use doctrines.

Joe’s practice spans a broad range of legal subject matters, including constitutional and statutory challenges to government action, land use and zoning, property rights, commercial contracts, and civil fraud. He serves clients of all sizes in a variety of industries, including real estate development, food and agriculture, energy, and construction. Joe also maintains an active pro bono practice and has, for example, represented a transgender inmate in a civil rights lawsuit involving constitutional questions under the Eighth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.

After completing a formal music education, Joe graduated summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Wisconsin Law School. While in law school, he served as an articles editor of the Wisconsin Law Review, was named to the Dean’s List, and received the Ray and Ethel Brown Award in Legal Writing, the Best Brief Award, the Dean’s Academic Achievement Award, the Duane Mowry Scholarship, and Best Performance Awards in several courses. Before attending law school, Joe gained legal experience as a paralegal and worked at a local tech startup and as a freelance writer.


Services

Recognition

  • 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

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

Admissions

  • 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
Experience
  • Co-authored an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Gill v. Whitford, a redistricting case involving claims of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.
  • 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.
  • Represented a national outdoor advertising company before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in an appeal centered around property rights issues under the Fifth Amendment's regulatory takings and nonconforming use doctrines.
  • Authored an amicus brief on behalf of a national public-policy research foundation 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 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.
  • Authored successful petitions for review to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
  • Successfully defended a municipality in a multi-million dollar CERCLA (Superfund) contribution matter related to an environmental clean-up site along the Lake Superior shoreline.
  • 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.
  • Assisted in writing an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Murr v. Wisconsin, a case looking at how courts should apply Fifth Amendment regulatory takings law.
Community Leadership

Joe celebrates his passion for 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.

Joe is also a leader in his professional community, serving on the board of directors of the Wisconsin State Bar Appellate Practice Section and as an active member of the Dane County Bar Association.

  • Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
    • Board of Directors
    • Finance Committee
  • Downtown Madison, Inc.
    • Economic Development Committee
    • Inclusiveness Committee
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
    • Appellate Practice Section, Board of Directors
    • Litigation Section
    • Civil Rights & Liberties Section
  • Dane County Bar Association