Mike Wittenwyler is an administrative and regulatory attorney at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., and the lead attorney in the firm's Political Law Group. Splitting his time between Madison, Wisconsin and Washington D.C., he advises businesses, trade associations and other organizations on 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 specializes in the tax regulation of lobbying and political activities as well as other tax-exempt legal matters.
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. He works with businesses in all three-tiers of the alcohol beverage industry – suppliers, wholesalers and retailers. He serves as counsel to both the Wisconsin Wine and Spirit Institute and the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association.
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.
Mike regularly speaks at events organized by businesses and trade associations and taught for over 10-years, "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 mentioned by several publications as a “best attorney,” "top lawyer" and "rising star," including recognition by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.
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 former member of the Political Science Department's Board of Visitors.
Mike currently serves on the board of directors for The Madison Club and The Wisconsin Group.
Mike is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
Admitted To Practice
Washington, D.C. - 2006
Wisconsin - 1998
American Association of Political Consultants
American Bar Association
Council on Governmental Ethics Law
National Association of Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Attorneys
State Bar of Wisconsin
American Bar Association's Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section - Member
Wisconsin Group - Board Member
University of Wisconsin Law School - Adjunct Professor
Other Other Club - Board of Governors
National Association of Alcoholic Beverages and Licensing Attorneys - Member
Council on Governmental Ethics Laws - Member
City of Madison Downtown Safety Committee - Board Member
Listed in Best Lawyers (Administrative/Regulatory Law, Corporate Compliance Law, 2013 - present)
Juris Doctor, University of Wisconsin Law School, 1998
Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1995, Political Science