Donald K. Schott, Partner


Don Schott is a seasoned litigator, with more than 30 years of experience and success trying cases. He is also a deeply trusted advisor to some of Wisconsin’s largest companies. In negotiations or in court, he wins over judges, juries, and mediators by taking the complexity out of issues and making the decision-making process obvious. Don’s manner is diplomatic and approachable, making dispute resolution less about confrontation and more about confidence in his analyses. His intelligent and thoughtful leadership is also evident in his longtime tenure as a member of the firm’s governing Executive Committee and as the chair of the Madison-office Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group.

Don has tried cases in state and federal courts around the country, and argued before the 7th and 9th Circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals and before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, reflecting a long history of high-level casework. He is also admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. His particular strengths lie in securities, business fraud, commercial disputes, health care, and energy-related disputes, but he has also tried environmental and lender liability matters and has engaged in class action defense, among numerous other areas of law.

As a litigator, Don recognizes that his work is about much more than “winning” or “losing.” His clients are often immersed in what can be a strange and stressful situation, over which they have little control. Don has the tools to litigate, mediate, and otherwise deftly resolve disputes, but he considers it a priority to guide his clients through the adversarial process, making sure they understand the entire situation and the possible outcomes so that they can make better decisions and sleep well, knowing he’s taking good care of them.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Harvard Law School (J.D., 1980)
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • University of Wisconsin (B.S., 1977)

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1995
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1991
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1980
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1980

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow)
  • Quarles & Brady Executive Committee (Member, 1999–present)
  • Legislative Assistant to the Governor of Wisconsin (1983–1985)
  • American Bar Associations (Member)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Board of Directors, Young Lawyers Division, 1982–1983)
  • Dane County Bar Associations (Member)
  • Western District Bar Association

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2015, 2017 Madison Litigation – Bet-the-Company "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Named a 2015 Wisconsin Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation
  • Named a 2014 Leader in the Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal
  • Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2012 Madison Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2013 Madison Litigation – Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® each year since 2001 (Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Environmental; Litigation – Mergers & Acquisitions; Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy); Litigation – Securities)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Wisconsin Super Lawyers® list each year since 2005 (General Litigation)
  • Listed in Chambers USA® (2015–present: Litigation: General Commercial)