Daniel E. Conley, Partner


Dan is a trial lawyer who serves as a trusted advisor to corporations, executives, and lawyers on business disputes, litigation and transactions, legal ethics, class actions, and legal malpractice defense. He has over thirty years of experience in roles ranging from trial advocate, to mediator, business advisor, crisis response consultant, expert witness and trustee.

A “lawyer’s lawyer,” Dan maintains a Band 1 evaluation from Chambers USA, and served for many years as legal counsel to Quarles & Brady. A past chair in the firm's Litigation Group, he currently leads Quarles & Brady's Class Action and Crisis Management Teams, and regularly advises clients on sensitive matters subject to significant media scrutiny.

Among other matters, Dan:

  • Has significant experience handling cases in Wisconsin's Commercial Court Pilot Program
  • Negotiated a $350 million settlement for a client in a complicated three way dispute requiring multiple levels of government approval
  • Defeated or successfully tried or resolved numerous class actions in matters ranging from securities, antitrust, ERISA, consumer fraud, warranty, merger and acquisitions, torts and product liability claims
  • Successfully tried and defended on appeal a consumer class action
  • Challenged and had struck down a state law as violative of the Commerce Clause
  • Led many outside crisis response teams and investigations on matters ranging from alleged executive misconduct to catastrophic explosions and workplace deaths
  • Acted as a lead negotiator in the sale of an NBA franchise
  • Successfully defended a number of the nation’s leading law firms in legal malpractice actions and bar investigations

Trial Work: Dan is listed in Chambers USA®, Band 1 and in The Best Lawyers in America®. He has also been recognized in the Wisconsin Super Lawyers® list. In addition to his work as a counselor and mediator, he has successfully represented clients in mediation, arbitrations, and state and federal trial, and appeal courts across the country.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1985)
    • Judicial Intern for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice William A. Bablitch, 1984
    • Wisconsin Law Review
  • University of Wisconsin (B.A., with distinction, 1981)

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1986

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable John W. Reynolds, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1985–1987

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in Chambers USA, Band 1 (Litigation)
  • Best Lawyers® 2022 Milwaukee Litigation - Environmental "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Best Lawyers® 2017, 2020 Milwaukee Litigation - Securities "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Best Lawyers® 2018 Milwaukee Bet-the-Company Litigation "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Ranked "Top 50 Attorneys" by Wisconsin Super Lawyers® (2020)
  • Named a Wisconsin Leader in the Law by Wisconsin Law Journal (2015)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin – Pro Bono Honor Society (2015)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® 5.0/5.0 Peer Review Rated
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (Commercial Litigation / Health Care Law / Litigation – Environmental / Litigation – Intellectual Property / Litigation – Securities)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (Business Litigation)

Federal and State Court Committees:

  • Past Court Appointed Member of the Local Rules Committees for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Eastern District of Wisconsin Standing Committee on Indigent Defense, and Wisconsin Judicial Conduct Advisory Committee

Significant Bar Activities:

  • President of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association (2006-2007); Board of Directors for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association (2003-2009); Former Chair of CLE and Courts Committees for the Milwaukee Bar Association

Legal Teaching Experience:

  • Lectured to law students, attorneys and judges on complex litigation, legal ethics, securities law, First Amendment, press and public relations, crisis management and communication, Federal and Local Rules of Procedure, and other topics
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