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Milwaukee Office
411 East Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 2400
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

Contact
(414) 277-5145
Fax: (414) 978-8987


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Patricia K. Ballman / Retired Partner
Professional Experience

Attorney/Mediator
Pat Ballman is a retired partner with Quarles & Brady. After over 32 years practicing family law, Pat Ballman chose to limit her practice to mediation and expert witness work. In her 32 years, Pat’s practice focused on divorce, treatment of business interests, tax considerations, and premarital and postnuptial agreements. She also had substantial depth of experience dealing with business valuations, close corporations and trust interests.

Pat is a trained, certified mediator and was able to facilitate resolution of family disputes for those parties who seeked to avoid courtroom conflict.

Pat is also uniquely qualified to serve as an expert witness in family law matters, most frequently acting as an expert on the issue of the enforceability of prenuptial agreements.

Pat brought to each case a deep personal commitment to obtaining the best possible results for parties in mediation and for her clients. She had the depth of legal experience, creativity and the understanding to achieve successful results. Here are a few examples of the unique results she achieved:

  • Prenuptial Agreements: When arguing to a court that a particular prenuptial agreement should or should not be enforced, not many divorce attorneys can cite their own publications as authoritative on the subject of prenuptial agreements. Pat is recognized as the leading lawyer in Wisconsin concerning prenuptial agreements. As a result, Pat Ballman successfully represented, in trial, a divorce client in enforcing his prenuptial agreement.

  • Stock in Close Corporation: In a divorce, owning stock in a closely held company may become almost more of a liability than an asset. Usually the stock must be valued, which can cause a great disruption in business operations. Additionally, a court’s valuation may cause a divorcing minority shareholder to owe the spouse an unrealistic amount of money – or may result in the spouse being awarded half of the stock; this is usually an unworkable result. Pat had a proven track record in representing clients in these situations and the ability to solve business problems in creative ways, whether it meant mediating or negotiating to create a new class of non-voting stock, stock voting trusts or other devices to separate property. Pat achieved this while preserving the viability of the business.
Education and Honors
  • Marquette University Law School (J.D., with honors, 1977)
    Marquette Law Review.
  • St. Louis University (B.S., with honors, 1967)
  • Mediation Training, Kankakee Center for Conflict Resolution (Certification)
Bar Admissions
Wisconsin, 1977

Court Admissions
U.S. Supreme Court, 1986
U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 1983
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1980
U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1977
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1977

Professional Recognition
  • Listed in Who's Who of American Women (1985-present).

  • Court Commissioner, Milwaukee County

  • Fellow, American Academy of of Matrimonial Lawyers

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated.

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2005-2010 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (Family Law)

  • Named as one of the Top 25 Female Lawyers in Wisconsin.

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2010: Family Law).

Professional and Civic Activities
Pat is a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a member of Association of Women Lawyers, and a master member of Fairchild Inns of Court. Pat was elected by the lawyers of Wisconsin to serve as president of the State Bar of Wisconsin from 2002 to 2003; she was elected by Milwaukee lawyers to serve as president of the Milwaukee Bar Association from 1995 to 1996; she was elected president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Wisconsin chapter and served from 2002 to 2004; she was elected to serve on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Law Foundation and of the Milwaukee Bar Foundation.

Past and Present Community Service:

  • Benedict Center (Board of Directors, Past President)

  • Governor’s Task Force on Ethics Reform in Government (Member, 2002).

  • Office of Lawyer Regulation (District II Committee)

  • Family Justice Clinic (Volunteer)

  • Village of Shorewood (Board of Review, Past Chair)

  • United Way Finance Division

  • United Way Personnel Committee (Past Chair)
Selected Presentations/Publications

Publications:

  • “Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements, Requirement of Financial Disclosure”, Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, April 2008.

  • Updated chapter on “Marital Property“ for Wisconsin Practice Series, Methods of Practice, West Publishing, 2007.

  • “Plan Now to Avoid Potential Divorce Complications”, Small Business Times, May 25, 2007.

  • “Equitable Attorneys Liens: Security for Collection of Fees,” Wisconsin Family Journal of Family Law, July 2006.

  • “Non-Traditional Relationships: Cohabitation, Common-Law Marriage, Civil Unions, Domestic Relationships and Same-Sex Marriage, Part II”, Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, October 2005.

  • “Non-Traditional Relationships: Cohabitation, Common-Law Marriage, Civil Unions, Domestic Relationships and Same-Sex Marriage, Part I”, Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, July 2005.

  • “Legal Separation: Is It a Termination of Marriage or a Suspension of Marriage?”, Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, (January 2005).

  • Authored chapter on “Marital Property” for Wisconsin Practice Series, Methods of Practice, West Publishing, 2004.

  • Authored chapter “Fair and Enforceable Prenuptial Agreements,” 2004 Family Law Update, Aspen Publishers.

  • “Rolling Divorce Settlement Seeds into the Prenup”, Family Advocate, Vol. 24, No. 3 (American Bar Association Journal), Winter 2002.

  • “Marital Property Agreements: Ineffective Shields Against Spouses’ Judgment Creditors,” Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, January 2002.

  • “Enforceability of Stock Buy-Sell Agreements at Divorce,” Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, April 2001.

  • “Stock Options in the Dot-Com Economy: Classification, Apportionment and Valuation,” Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, July 2000.

  • “Advanced Prenuptial Drafting”, Wisconsin Journal of Family Law, October 2000.

Presentations:

  • “The Changing faces of Family Law,” Divorce Wisconsin Style, Wisconsin Chapter American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, March 19, 2009.

  • “Ethics for the Family Lawyer in ADR,” Divorce Cooperation Institute (Kohler, WI), December 11, 2008.

  • “Negotiating Successful Premarital Agreements,” Divorce Wisconsin Style, Wisconsin Chapter American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, March 20, 2008.

  • “Ethics 2000 and the Cooperative Lawyer,” Divorce Cooperation Institute (Kohler, WI), November 2006.

  • “Ethics 2000”, Serjeant’s Inn (Milwaukee, WI), October 19, 2006.

  • “Ethical Pitfalls for the Family Law Attorney, New Case Studies,” Divorce Cooperation Institute (Kohler, WI), December 2, 2005.

  • “Same Sex Marriage: Where It Is and How It Will Affect All Practice Areas, Constitutional Issues,” Fairfield Inns of Court (Milwaukee, WI), May 11, 2005.

  • “Ethical Pitfalls for the Family Law Attorney,” Divorce Wisconsin Style, Wisconsin Chapter American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, March 17, 2005.

  • “Non-Traditional Relationships, Co-Habitation, Common Law Marriage, Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships and Same-Sex Marriage,” ABA, Family Law Section Annual Meeting, October 22, 2004.

  • “Easier Challenge to Prenuptial Agreements,” AAML Seminar (Milwaukee, WI), March 18, 2004.

  • Guest lecturer, University of Wisconsin Law School, March 2004.

  • “Advanced Prenuptial Drafting,” LEI, Trusts and Estates Seminar (Snowmass, CO), January 8, 2003.

  • “Advanced Prenuptial Drafting,” LEI, Trusts and Estates Seminar (Snowmass, CO), January 7, 2003.

  • “Prenuptial Agreements: Provisions to Ease Enforceability,” Madison Estate Council, April 22, 2002.

  • “Prenuptial Agreements: Provisions to Ease Enforceability,” Midwinter Estate Planning Clinic, February 9, 2002.

  • “Prenuptial Agreements: Provisions to Ease Enforceability,” Milwaukee Estate Planning Council, September 24, 2001.

  • “Pitfalls, Perils and Positives of Prenuptial Agreements,” Divorce Wisconsin Style, Wisconsin Chapter American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, March 2001.

  • “Stock Options in the Dot-Com Economy: Classification, Apportionment and Valuation,” LEI, Family Law Seminar (Vail, Colorado), January 2001.

  • “Trust Assets Subject to Property Division and Trust Principal and Income Available for Child Support,” Divorce Wisconsin Style, Wisconsin Chapter American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the State Bar of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI), March 1999.