Mike Wittenwyler is an administrative and regulatory attorney, and the lead attorney in the firm's Political Law Group. He advises businesses, trade associations and other organizations in their interactions with government - local, state and federal.
Mike works with clients each day on campaign finance, election law, ethics and lobbying regulation, and the tax regulation of political and lobbying activities. He performs legislative planning, analysis and drafting for business and industry groups. His work on administrative and regulatory matters includes responding to agency investigations and enforcement actions as well as the review of and challenge to agency actions. He often participates in litigation on these matters on behalf of coalitions of individuals, businesses and trade associations. Many of Mike's clients are tax exempt organizations and he understands how these organizations operate as well as how increasing regulation affects their activities.
Mike navigates businesses through state and local government approvals and has negotiated government contracts as well as challenged and defended government procurement processes. Through his work, Mike has a comprehensive understanding of the regulation of alcoholic beverages under Wisconsin law and is a member of the National Association of Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Attorneys.
Many of the matters Mike works on are controversial, high-profile and involve the courtroom of public opinion. He is skilled at explaining legal issues in compelling but accessible language and frequently interacts with the media.
As part of his work on political law matters, Mike provides consulting services to a variety of organizations in connection with their government affairs activities. Working with lobbyists and lobbying organizations, Mike helps organizations improve their public policy programs through audits and reviews of an organization's legislative and political effectiveness. He is consulted on structural and staffing changes by organizations and has participated in the recruitment and hiring of many government relations professionals.
Mike frequently speaks at events organized by businesses and trade associations and teaches "Political Law: Campaign Finance, Ethics & Elections" at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He is a member of the Council on Governmental Ethics Law, American Association of Political Consultants as well as the American Bar Association's Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section. In surveys of other attorneys, Mike has been repeatedly recognized by several publications as a "top lawyer" and "rising star."
Mike is a principal in Capitol Opinion, LLC, a non-partisan survey research firm.
Mike has direct experience with political campaigns and media relations and, prior to law school, worked as a congressional aide in Washington, D.C. Before joining the firm, he served as campaign manager and spokesperson for U.S. Senator Russ Feingold's (D-WI) successful 1998 re-election.
In 1995, Mike graduated with distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor's degree in political science and earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1998. In addition to his position as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, Mike is actively involved with the University of Wisconsin and is a member of the Political Science Department's Board of Visitors.
Mike is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.