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James Friedman

James A. Friedman

  • Biography
  • Representative Experience
  • Admissions, Activities & Honors
  • Updates, News & Presentations
  • Education
James Friedman

James Friedman is the former team leader of the Insurance & Reinsurance Practice Group and former co-team leader of the Litigation Practice Group, working out of the Madison office. He practices in the civil litigation area with an emphasis on insurance coverage, insurance liquidation and guaranty fund work, media law, appellate litigation, intellectual property and health care.

Before joining the firm, James served as the law clerk to Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Donald W. Steinmetz. He is the author of the chapter “Creative Strategies and Responses to Changes in Insurance Coverage Law” of the book “Inside the Minds: Recent Developments in Insur ance Coverage Litigation” and the co-author of the chapter “Understanding Traditional and Non-Traditional Bad Faith Claims” of the book “Inside the Minds: Extracontractual Claims Against Insurers.” He is also the co-author of the NCIGF Annotated Model Insurance Guaranty Act, five chapters in the Media Law Resource Center’s “50-State Survey of Libel and Privacy Law,” the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press, 50-state Compendium of Shield Laws, and the article “State Constitutions: The Shopping Mall Cases,” published in the 1998 Wisconsin Law Review.

James is admitted to practice before all Wisconsin courts, state and federal; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has successfully represented insurance, news media, health care, and other business clients before administrative tribunals, through state and federal trial courts (including several jury trials), in intermediate appellate courts, and before the Wisconsin and United States Supreme Courts.

Representative Experience

Wis. Patients Compensation Fund v. Wis. Health Care Liability Insurance Plan, 200 Wis. 2d 599, 547 N.W.2d 578 (1996) (insurance)

Moua v. American Family, 230 Wis. 2d 747, 604 N.W.2d 34 (Ct. App. 1999) (unpublished) (insurance/class action)

Progressive Northern Insurance Company v. Romanshek, 2005 WI 67, 281 Wis. 2d 300, 697 N.W.2d 417 (insurance; amicus curiae)

Larson v. United Healthcare Ins. Co., 723 F.3d 905 (7th Cir. 2013) (counsel for WPS; health insurance/ERISA)

Schinner v. Gundrum, 2013 WI 71, 349 Wis. 2d 529, 833 N.W.2d 685 (insurance; amicus curiae)

Kimble v. Land Concepts, Inc., 2014 WI 21, 353 Wis. 2d 377, 845 N.W.2d 395 (insurance/punitive damages; amicus curiae)

Wis. Pharmacal Co. v. Neb. Cultures of Cal., Inc., 2016 WI 14, 367 Wis. 2d 221, 876 N.W.2d 72 (insurance/coverage; amicus curiae)

Boyden, et al. v. Wis. Dep’t of Employee Trust Funds, et al., U.S. Dist. Court, W.D. Wis. Code No. 17-CV. 264 (2017) (counsel for WPS; health insurance/coverage)

In the Matter of the Segregated Account of Ambac Assurance Corporation, Dane County Circuit Court Case No. 10 CV 1576 (insurance; Wisconsin and insurance counsel for bank group receiving $4.6 billion settlement and several other interested parties)

In the Matter of the Rehabilitation of Northwestern National Insurance Company, Dane County Circuit Court Case No. 06 CV 3585 (counsel for Rehabilitator)

In the Matter of the Liquidation of American Star Insurance Company, Dane County Circuit Court Case No. 92 CV 4579 (counsel for Liquidator)

In the Matter of the Liquidation of Reliance Insurance Company, Dane County Circuit Court Case No. 01 CV 2807 (counsel for Wis. Insurance Security Fund)

Wisconsin Insurance Security Fund v. Krist Oil Co., Wisconsin Court of Appeals 2008AP3094 (December 18, 2009) (counsel for Wisconsin Insurance Security Fund)

Wisconsin Newspress, Inc. v. School District of Sheboygan Falls, 199 Wis. 2d 768, 546 N.W.2d 143 (1996) (open records)

Vultaggio v. Yasko, 215 Wis. 2d 326, 572 N.W.2d 450 (1998) (libel)

Erdmann v. S.F. Broadcasting, Inc., 229 Wis. 2d 156, 599 N.W.2d 1 (Ct. App. 1999) (libel; amicus curiae)

GPS, Inc. v. Town of St. Germain, 2004 WI 81, 273 Wis. 2d 103, 681 N.W.2d 533 (open records)

Jimmy D. Davis, Jr., et al. v. Meghan A. Dwyer, et al., U.S. Dist. Court E.D. Wis. Case No. 17-CV-561 (Libel)

Lands’ End, Inc. v. Eric Remy, et al., U.S. Dist. Court, W.D. Wis. Case No. 05-C-0368 C, slip op. (Sept. 1, 2006, summary judgment; IP)

Lands’ End, Inc. v. Genesys Software Systems, Inc., U.S. Dist. Court, W.D. Wis. Case No. 13-CV-38 (IP)

Marine Travelift, Inc. v. Cimolai Technology S.p.A, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. Wis. Case No. 16-CV-338 (local counsel; IP)

Lands’ End Direct Merchants, Inc., et al. v. Color Image Apparel, Inc., U.S. Dist. Ct., W.D. Wis. Case No. 16-CV-338 (IP)

University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, Inc. v. Meriter Hospital, Inc., et al., Dane County Circuit Court Case No. 11‑CV‑5005 (healthcare)

Admitted To Practice

Wisconsin - 1993

Court Admissions

Federal Trial Courts of Wisconsin
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
United States Supreme Court
Wisconsin Court of Appeals
Wisconsin Supreme Court
Wisconsin Trial Courts

Professional Associations

American Bar Association
International Association of Insurance Receivers
State Bar of Wisconsin


Appointed by Governor to the Wisconsin Public Records Board in 2019

Georgia Tech – President’s Scholarship Committee/Regional Chair

James E. Doyle American Inn of Court – One of the Founding Members and Past Program Coordinator (for two years), member of Program Committee

Joint Legislative Council, Study Committee on the Use of Police Body Cameras – Member

Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation – Board Member

University of Wisconsin Law School – Lecturer, Constitutional Law; Guest Lecturer, Entrepreneurship Clinical

Wisconsin Innocence Project – Advisory Board Member, Chair of Development Committee 

Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation – Board Member, Secretary-Treasurer

Wisconsin Newspaper Association Services – Board Member


Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation 

Recognized by AI Legal Awards as a 2016 leader in Insurance & Reinsurance - Wisconsin

Listed by A.M. Best Company as Best's Recommended Insurance Attorney for over 25 years

Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star (General Commercial and Insurance, 2012 - present)

Recognized by Best Lawyers in America:

  • 2013 Litigation – First Amendment “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison
  • 2014 Appellate Practice “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison
  • 2015 Litigation – First Amendment “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison
  • 2017 Litigation – First Amendment “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison
  • 2018 Appellate Practice “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison
  • 2019 Litigation – First Amendment “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison
  • 2023 Litigation – First Amendment "Lawyer of the Year" in Madison
  • Appellate Practice (2008 – present)
  • Commercial Litigation (2008 – present)
  • Litigation – First Amendment (2008 – present)

Recognized as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer (2006 - present)

Listed in In Business Magazine's "Executive Register"

Listed in In Business Magazine's 2005 "40 Executives Under 40"

Designated by the International Association of Insurance Receivers as an Accredited Insurance Receiver

Recognized by Chambers USA (Litigation, 2022)


Juris Doctor, University of Wisconsin Law School, 1992, with honors

Master of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1992

Bachelor of Science, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1988, with high honors

One East Main Street
Suite 500
Madison, WI
Lauren Kowalk
833 East Michigan Street
Suite 1800
Milwaukee, WI

Best's Honor 25 Years

James Friedman_Top 25

James Friedman_15 years

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