PROMOTION:Law firms in Dane County are as unique as the attorneys who work there.

Unique attorneys and law firms in Dane County.
PROMOTION:Law firms in Dane County are as unique as the attorneys who work there.

Jason M. Hunt, an attorney with Boardman & Clark, says his firm offers the services of 65 attorneys based in Madison who work with a wide variety of clients including individuals, businesses, school districts and local governments. While the company has strong Madison roots, its practice also extends regionally, nationally, and even globally.

The firm practices in more than 20 major areas of law, providing a broad range of legal services to organizations, businesses and individuals. These services include estate planning, elder law, family law, general business law, employment, real estate, taxation, and intellectual property matters. “We also serve public entities, including school districts and local governments, in the areas unique to clients in the public sector,” Hunt says. “And, while our priority is helping clients avoid unnecessary legal disputes, we also provide litigation services in each of these areas as needed.”

PROMOTION:Law firms in Dane County are as unique as the attorneys who work there.

As part of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group, Hunt provides services in the areas of patent law, trademark law, copyright law, trade secret law and intellectual property litigation. “I counsel clients in the strategic planning, management, protection, monetization, licensing, enforcement, and defense of patent, trademark, and copyright portfolios,” he explains. “I also work with companies to develop and grow their businesses, designing intellectual property portfolios which align with the company’s objectives and budgets.” Hunt also chairs Boardman & Clark’s Emerging Companies Group, which provides counseling and services for startup and early stage companies.

Hunt says his path to becoming an attorney took a bit of a winding road. He started out in college as a music major but eventually changed direction, graduating with a degree in biochemistry. He also worked in a research lab on campus along the way. With this experience, he began a career as a pharmaceutical chemist. “It was a terrific job, but I wanted to be more involved with the end product. I was looking for an opportunity to blend my interests in music and science. That led me to my current career,” he says.

As an intellectual property attorney, Hunt works with scientists, engineers and musicians. “To me it’s the best of both worlds,” he says. “It’s incredibly rewarding to help clients who are so excited about their original work, whether it’s a new product, a new song, or a new business. It’s hard not to get caught up in that excitement.”

Hunt sees one continuing trend with a significant impact on the Madison market in patent law. “Specifically, the issue involves whether an invention is eligible for a patent,” he explains. “A patent provides an inventor–and, potentially, a company–with the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, and importing the invention named in the patent. Without the ability to secure a patent, an inventor and/or a company may have difficulty carving out a competitive edge, as well as fending off others who like the idea and decide to emulate it. In Madison, a lot of innovation occurs in biotechnology and software, which are two of the most difficult areas to prove that a particular invention is eligible for a patent. A patent can still be obtained in these areas, but the process has become more complex and difficult.”

Pines Bach is another multiservice law firm dedicated to achieving excellent results for clients through advice, negotiation and courtroom advocacy. Attorney Jordan C. Loeb describes the company, founded in 1979, as deeply committed to Madison and very connected to the people and organizations in this area. “We’re going through a transition right now, as the first-generation partners make way for the next generation,” he says. “We’ve recently changed our name [from Cullen Weston Pines & Bach] and adopted the tagline ‘Deep roots, new branches,’ which really encapsulates our legacy and our mission going forward. Many of us went to school here, and we’re all individually engaged in the community through political activity, and social and religious institutions.”

PROMOTION:Law firms in Dane County are as unique as the attorneys who work there.

Loeb, who holds a bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has 20 years of experience as a litigator in criminal defense, white collar crime, embezzlement, sexual offenses, computer crimes, drug offenses, civil litigation, UW discipline, and defense of licensed professionals. “I think of myself as a problem-solver focusing on individuals, small businesses, and organizations and their members,” he says. “The work I enjoy the most is conflict resolution and strategic planning. It’s all about working with people to find a positive outcome and, ultimately, getting things done.”

Loeb believes that one of the things that sets Pines Bach apart from other law firms is its history. “The original partners were steeped in the anti-war movement. That grew into a passion for defending individual rights and making sure people get a fair shake in the legal system,” he says. “Eventually the firm’s work expanded into dealing with public sector labor unions, which put us in touch with needs of the members of those unions and associations.”

Over the years, the law firm has been an advocate for Planned Parenthood, several Wisconsin police associations, and teachers unions. It also challenged Wisconsin’s Act 10 when that legislation was initially introduced. “We tend to take on cases of great local importance because we understand that knowledge of the community is very important,” Loeb says.

Another attribute that sets Pines Bach apart is the firm’s commitment to personal service. “I want every one of my clients to feel that they have my undivided attention–that they are my most important case, because their legal issues are the biggest thing happening in their lives,” says Loeb.

In addition, the firm is looking toward the future. “We work to stay engaged with the community, to know what people need and have resources available to provide for that,” Loeb says. The firm is also deliberately getting younger. “We want insight into the next generation, so we have millennials and Gen Xers on our staff representing those populations,” he says. “We’re also staying abreast of developing issues in everything from domestic partnerships and LGBT issues to alternative and renewable energy.”

Loeb feels that his commitment to working with people and his skills in listening have enhanced his professional life. “By listening closely, I can identify concerns and then identify what within the law can address those concerns,” he explains. “Also, if I’m working with an individual who has been charged with a misdemeanor, I want to work with the whole person, not just the legalities of the situation. I look for any underlying problems. Sometimes it’s substance abuse. Sometimes it’s more complicated. By solving other problems, I can help get people out of crisis so they can make better decisions, so they can stay out of the court system. They can move on with their lives, whether that means going back to school, going to counseling, or straightening out a work situation.”

Although Loeb finds his work very satisfying now, he was not always sure he wanted to pursue a career in law. “My dad was a lawyer, and he always hoped I’d come to this profession,” he says. “I’m from an immigrant Jewish family, so my parents and other relatives had mapped out my future from a young age. When I was working with an organization as a youth director after college, they regarded it as ‘taking time off before law school,'” he says, with a smile. —