Patricia K. Ballman, Retired Partner


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)
  • Kankakee Center for Conflict Resolution (Certification)

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin

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 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
  • 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)

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in Who's Who of American Women (1985-present)
  • Court Commissioner, Milwaukee County
  • Fellow, American Academy 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)
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