Skip to main content
Erik R. Guenther

Erik R. Guenther

Practice areas:

Criminal Defense, Child Abuse, White Collar Crime, Violent Crime, Federal Crime

About Me


For over a decade, Erik Guenther has assisted your neighbors, friends and fellow Wisconsinites. Some of them have been accused of crimes. Others have needed counsel when they have been the victims of crime or subject to a swindle or fraud. Erik has represented attorneys, elected officials, teachers, doctors, business executives, police officers, college students, veterans, retirees and people from many other walks of life who have needed legal help.

In addition to assisting individuals, Erik also provides services to business entities seeking a confidential investigation of possible employee embezzlement, fraud or other malfeasance. Erik provides a thorough investigation and can offer advice on how to address a criminal misconduct by an employee, whether internally, in civil court or with a referral to state or federal law enforcement.

Erik is developing a reputation as a top litigator as recognized by the Wisconsin Law Journal, In Business magazine and repeatedly by peers in the Wisconsin Super Lawyers® survey. He was profiled in the 2007 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® magazine in an article titled "Peer Recognition: How Erik Guenther Gets Juries to Sympathize with Clients Accused of Sexual Assault."


 


Early in his legal practice, Erik Guenther was recognized as the “Volunteer Attorney of the Year” by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation (ACLU-WIF) and was also a recipient of a 2003 Journal Times Award for his contributions to Racine County. The Racine Journal Times noted that, “It takes tremendous courage to fight City Hall. As the Racine community has learned this year, attorney Erik Guenther is no coward.” The Electronic Music Defense and Education Fund (EM:DEF) stated that, “the electronic music community is deeply indebted to Attorney Erik Guenther...” following his successful defense of hundreds of individuals who received municipal citations based on their attendance at an electronic music concert.

In 2008, the Wisconsin State Journal profiled Erik in a front-page story, describing him as a "rising star in the state legal establishment and already a teacher in cutting-edge legal issues and a civil liberties expert."

Erik limits his practice of law to the areas that he most enjoys and is best at; a good formula for making an enjoyable living. If you need help and you aren't sure if Erik is the right attorney for you, give him a call. If he can't help you, he'll try to get you to an attorney who can.

In addition to Erik's work as a lawyer, he has also worked for rule of law programs funded by the U.S. Department of State on four occasions - once in Belize and three times in Afghanistan.  Erik served as the Defense Mentor in the Justice Sector Support Program (JSSP); a program funded by the U.S. Department of State. JSSP focuses on helping the government of Afghanistan improve criminal justice reform through training for judges, prosecutors, police officers and defense counsel. The Dane County Criminal Defense Bar Association selected Erik as its 2007 "Warrior of the Year" for his service in Afghanistan.

Erik has also served as the Deputy Country Director in Belize for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. The program was funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.


 


At present, Erik is serving as the Defense Attorney Justice Advisor with the Justice Center Advisory Team in Afghanistan.  This Justice Center Advisory Team is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.  In this role, Erik is assisting Afghan defense lawyers in the defense of national security (terrorism) cases at the Justice Center in Parwan.



On helping clients:
“I don’t like bullies, and bullies can take a lot of different forms in a criminal proceeding. My job is to balance the scales to help get my client through a tough time with the best possible outcome.”

On Understanding:
“It’s very important to understand the client and why they made the choices they made in a particular situation. A good lawyer doesn’t believe or disbelieve. A good lawyer helps the jury see themselves in the client’s shoes.”


Emphasis


• Defense of individuals and business entities accused of crimes.
• Representation of targets of police investigation.
• Representation of elected officials or political candidates in response to alleged ethical violations.
• Confidential due diligence investigations on behalf of business entities, non-profits and educational institutions.
• Defense of licensed professionals.
• Cleaning up a criminal record by sealing court records/expungement.
• International criminal law training.


 


Bar Admissions


Wisconsin
U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin


U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
International Criminal Court 


 


Education


University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, J.D.
Honors:
Joseph E. Davies Award for Scholarship and Outstanding Commitment to the Law as a Service Profession
State Bar of Wisconsin Award for Excellence in Corporate Finance
University of Wisconsin International Law Journal: Note and Comment Editor
Clinical: Legal Defense Program

Carthage College, Kenosha, WI, B.A.
Honors:
Magna Cum Laude, Lincoln Scholar, Dean's List, Honor's List
Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
Major:
Economics & Business Administration


More 

Photos and Videos

1504629 1253637384

1504629 1265918205

1504629 1265918255

1504629 1265918294

Practice Areas

Licensed since 2002

  1. Criminal Defense: 45%
    13 years
  2. Violent Crime: 15%
    13 years
  3. White Collar Crime: 15%
    13 years
  4. Child Abuse: 15%
    13 years
  5. Federal Crime: 10%
    13 years

Payment

Fees:

Fixed (Sometimes), Retainer (Always)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

6 total 

  • Christian K. Lassen

    Talented lawyer.

    More 

    Christian Lassen Personal Injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Karyn T. Missimer

    There is no lawyer more detail-orientated and thorough than Erik. His grasp of complex legal concepts is amazing, as are his trial skills. Erik is dedicated to his clients, as well as upholding the Constitution. I would not hesitate to recommend Erik to a friend or family member in need.

    More 

    Karyn Missimer DUI & DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
WIGood Standing200203/24/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Awards
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Top Rated Lawyer: White Collar Criminal Defense LawCorporate Counsel magazine and Martindale-Hubbell2015
Top Rated Lawyer: Appellate LawCorporate Counsel magazine and Martindale-Hubbell2015
Top Rated Lawyer: Appellate LawCorporate Counsel magazine and Martindale-Hubbell2014
Top Rated Lawyer: White Collar Criminal Defense LawCorporate Counsel magazine and Martindale-Hubbell2014
Certificate of Appreciation from Ambassador James B. CunninghamU.S. Department of State2014
Super Lawyer (top 5% of lawyers by peer survey)Super Lawyers and Rising Stars®/Milwaukee Magazine2014
Top Rated Lawyer: Appellate LawCorporate Counsel magazine and Martindale-Hubbell2013
Honorable Charles Dunn Author AwardState Bar of Wisconsin2013
Super Lawyer (top 5% of lawyers by peer survey)Super Lawyers and Rising Stars®/Milwaukee Magazine2013
Top Rated Lawyer: White Collar Criminal Defense LawCorporate Counsel magazine and Martindale-Hubbell2013
Top Rated Lawyer: Criminal LawCorporate Counsel magazine and Martindale-Hubbell2013
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review RatingMartindale Hubbell2012
Rising Star (top 2.5% of lawyers under 40 by peer survey)Super Lawyers and Rising Stars/Milwaukee Magazine2012
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers2012
Rising Star (top 2.5% of lawyers under 40 by peer survey)Super Lawyers and Rising Stars/Milwaukee Magazine2011
Listed, Marquis Who's Who in American LawMarquis Who's Who in American Law2011
Rising Star (top 2.5% of lawyers under 40 by peer survey)Super Lawyers and Rising Stars/Milwaukee Magazine2010
Rising Star (top 2.5% of lawyers under 40 by peer survey)Super Lawyers and Rising Stars/Milwaukee Magazine2009
Up and Coming LawyerWisconsin Law Journal2009
Listed, Marquis Who's Who in American LawMarquis Who's Who in American Law2009
Rising Star (top 2.5% of lawyers under 40 by peer survey)Super Lawyers and Rising Stars/Milwaukee Magazine2008
Listed, Marquis Who's Who in American LawMarquis Who's Who in American Law2007
Rising Star (top 2.5% of lawyers under 40 by peer survey)Super Lawyers and Rising Stars/Milwaukee Magazine2007
Warrior of the YearDane County Criminal Defense Bar Association2007
Rising Star (top 2.5% of lawyers under 40 by peer survey)Super Lawyers and Rising Stars/Milwaukee Magazine2006
"40 Under 40"In Business2005
Journal Times AwardRacine Journal Times2003
Volunteer Attorney of the YearAmerican Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation2003
Joseph E. Davies Award for Scholarship and Commitment to the LawUniversity of Wisconsin Law School2002
Lincoln ScholarshipCarthage College1995

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
Juvenile Justice Advisor (Afghanistan)Justice Sector Support Program (funded by the U.S. Department of State)2014 - Present
Defense Attorney Justice Advisor (Afghanistan)Justice Center Advisory Team (funded by the U.S. Department of State)2012 - 2014
Deputy Country Director (Belize)American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (funded by the U.S. Department of State)2011 - 2012
Lawyering Skills Course FacultyUniversity of Wisconsin Law School2011 - 2011
Defense Mentor (Afghanistan)Justice Sector Support Program (funded by the U.S. Department of State)2007 - 2008
Criminal Defense AttorneyHurley, Burish & Stanton, S.C.2004 - 2012
AttorneyHostak, Henzl & Bichler, S.C.2002 - 2004

Associations
Association NamePosition NameDuration
State Bar of Wisconsin - Communications Committee (editorial board for Wisconsin Lawyer magazine)Committee member2012 - Present
Rotary Club of Belmopan (Belize)Member2011 - 2012
Carthage CollegeInterdisciplinary Studies Division - Advisory Committee2010 - Present
International Criminal Defence Attorneys AssociationMember2010 - Present
ITT Technical InstituteSchool of Criminal Justice - Advisory Committee2010 - Present
Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Lawyers' Assistance Strike Force CommitteeChair2009 - 2011
American Civil Liberties Union of WisconsinPresident, Board of Trustees/Board of Directors2007 - 2011
Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL)Board of Directors2007 - Present
State Bar of Wisconsin, Legislative Oversight CommitteeCommittee Member2007 - 2013
International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL)Member2007 - Present
Young Professionals of RacinePresident2004 - 2004
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)White Collar Crime Committee2004 - 2013
Dane County Criminal Defense Bar AssociationMember2004 - 2013
Dane County Bar AssociationMember2004 - 2013
State Bar of Wisconsin, Civil Rights and Liberties SectionBoard Member (and Former Chair)2003 - 2014
State Bar of WisconsinMember2002 - Present
American Bar Association, Criminal Justice SectionInternational Committee Member2002 - 2013

Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
Siefert v. Alexander, 608 F.3d 974 (7th Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 131 S.Ct. 2872 (2011)A three-judge panel agreed with the Honorable John Siefert, and amicus curiae, that Wisconsin’s prohibition on judges belonging to political parties, SCR 60.06(2)(b)1, was unconstitutional.
Fields et. al. v. Smith et. al., 712 F.Supp.2d 830 (E.D.Wis. 2010)The United States District Court found Wisconsin Statute 302.386(5m) to be unconstitutional "as applied" and facially unconstitutional.
Racine Wisconsin "Rave Raid"The City of Racine agreed to dismiss and expunge citations issued to all 441 attendees to avoid a class-action lawsuit.

See all Legal Cases 

Publications
Publication NameTitleDate
The ChampionBook Review, (August 2013) (reviewing Mark S. Silver, Handbook of Mitigation In Criminal and Immigration Forensics (3d ed., 2011)).2013
Indictment (funded by the U.S. Embassy for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and the British High Commission in Bridge Town, Barbados)Witness Security in Afghanistan2013
Wisconsin LawyerNullification: A Jury's "Secret" Power2012
The ChampionBook Review, (April 2012) (reviewing Elizabeth S. Scott & Laurence Steinberg, Rethinking Juvenile Justice (2008))2012
Wisconsin LawyerBook Review, 83 Wis. Law. 32 (2010) (reviewing Frederick W. Daily, Tax Savvy for Small Business (2009))2010
Wisconsin LawyerBook Review, 82 Wis. Law 31 (2009) (reviewing Paul W. Kahn, Sacred Violence: Torture, Terror and Sovereignty (2008))2009
Plea Bargaining and Penology: An Appraisal, M.N. Bhavani, ed., 2008, Amicus Books of Icfai University PressCan Defense Counsel Ethically Breach A Plea Agreement?2008
Wisconsin LawyerBook Review, 81 Wis. Law. 35 - 36 (2008) (reviewing Tracy Coenen, Essentials of Corporate Fraud (2008))2008
Wisconsin LawyerBook Review, 80 Wis. Law. 34 (2007) (reviewing H. Robert Baker, The Rescue of Joshua Glover: A Fugitive Slave, the Constitution, and the Coming of the Civil War (2007))2007
Wisconsin Law JournalMinimizing the Danger of an Online World2006
Wisconsin LawyerBook Review, 79 Wis. Law. 25 (2006) (reviewing Sherri Bourg Carter, Children in the Courtroom: Challenges for Lawyers and Judges (2005))2006
Wisconsin DefenderCan Defense Counsel Ethically Breach a Plea Agreement?2005
Wisconsin DefenderWhat’s Truth Got to Do With It? The Burden of Proof Instruction Violates the Presumption of Innocence2005
Wisconsin LawyerBook Review, 76 Wis. Law. 31 (2003) (reviewing James Hamilton & Ted Trautmann, Reporting Duties of Corporate Attorneys: SEC Rules and Explanation (2003))2003
RightsRaving Lunacy: How Mainstream Misconceptions of Electronic Music Events Threaten Civil Liberties2003

Education
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolN/AJuris Doctor2002
Carthage CollegeEconomics and Business AdministrationBachelor of Arts1999

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Carthage College (South Africa Study Tour)What Criminal Defense Lawyers Do and Why It Matters to Everyone2014
Justice Center Advisory Team AfghanistanHierarchy of Laws in Afghanistan and International Human Rights Law2013
Justice Center Advisory Team AfghanistanAttacking Fingerprint Evidence2013
Justice Center Advisory Team AfghanistanDefending National Security Cases - An "Elements-Based" Approach2013
Wisconsin State Public Defender's 2012 Annual Criminal Defense ConferenceWisconsin Goes International: Training in the Criminal Justice System Abroad2012
University of Wisconsin-Madison Legal Studies AssociationInternational Criminal Law: The Defense Function2012
University of Wisconsin-MadisonA Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Know Your Rights2012
Rotary Club of Belmopan (Belize)Individual Rights under the Belize Constitution (Part One)2012
Rotary Club of Belmopan (Belize)Individual Rights under the Belize Constitution (Part Two)2012
Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Civil LibertiesIndividual Rights Under the Belize Constitution2012
A Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Know Your RightsA Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Know Your Rights2012
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolLawyering Skills Program - Criminal Proceedings2011
University of Wisconsin - Green BayA Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Know Your Rights2011
Belize Police ProsecutorsTrial Skills and the Evidence Act (Part One)2011
Belize Police ProsecutorsTrial Skills and the Evidence Act (Part Two)2011
Belize Police Prosecutors"To See That Justice Is Done": Ethics for Police Prosecutors2011
Belize Police Department Basic Recruit Training"The Preservation of Law and Order": Ethics for Law Enforcement Officers2011
Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office 2010 Annual Criminal Defense ConferenceUnderstanding the Power of the Court: Obtaining Expungement of Court Records After Dismissal or Acquittal2010
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hip Hop As A Movement Week: Universal DialectHip-Hop Profiling2010
University of Wisconsin-Madison Greek WeekSurviving the Mifflin Street Block Party: Know Your Legal Rights2010
University of Wisconsin-Green BayA Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Know Your Rights2010
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolUnderstanding Wisconsin Open Records Law2010
University of Wisconsin - MadisonA Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Racial Disparities in the Justice System and Your Rights2010
University of Wisconsin - Green BayDo You Cyber[Law]?: Facebook and the First Amendment2010
State of Wisconsin Joint Legislative Council, Special Committee on Review of Records Access of Circuit Court DocumentsAccess to Online Court Records and the Risk to the Innocent2010
ITT Technical InstituteCybercrime2010
Indian Trail AcademyWhat Criminal Defense Lawyers Do and Why It Matters to Everyone2010
Goodman Community CenterPreventing and Defending School Disciplinary Proceedings2010
Dane County Bar Association Mentorship ProgramDo You Cyber[Law]?: Facebook and the First Amendment2010
Constitutional Rights: Freedom of ExpressionDo You Cyber[Law]?: Facebook and the First Amendment2010
Constitutional Law I: Separation of PowersUnderstanding the Power of the Court: Obtaining Expungement of Court Records After Dismissal or Acquittal2010
Wisconsin State Public Defender Annual Criminal Defense ConferenceWeapons of Choice for the Defense: Using Open Records Law, Document Subpoenas and Brady Demands to Obtain "Smoking Gun" Evidence2009
University of Wisconsin-Madison Legal Studies AssociationFreak Fest: Know Your Legal Rights2009
University of Wisconsin-Madison Greek WeekSurviving the Mifflin Street Block Party: Know Your Legal Rights2009
University of Wisconsin - Green BayA Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Know Your Rights2009
Marquette University Law SchoolInternational Career Panel2009
Law Librarians Association of WisconsinAdvancing the Rule of Law in Afghanistan2009
Law and SocietyWhat Criminal Defense Lawyers Do and Why It Matters to Everyone2009
Edgewood CollegeKnow Your Rights: A Student's Guide to Criminal Law2009
Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Civil LibertiesDo You Cyber[Law]?: Facebook and the First Amendment2009
Constitutional Law I: Separation of PowersWhat Criminal Defense Lawyers Do and Why It Matters to Everyone2009
Comparative LawInternational Criminal Law and the Law of Afghanistan2009
Annual Drunk Driving Defense SeminarWeapons of Choice for the Defense: Using Open Records Law, Document Subpoenas and Brady Demands to Obtain "Smoking Gun" Evidence2009
University of Wisconsin - Eau ClaireA Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Know Your Rights2008
Northeastern Wisconsin Education Association (NWEA) ConferenceTeaching the Bill of Rights: The Courthouse, the Capital and the Classroom2008
Law & SocietyA Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Know Your Rights2008
Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers AssociationThe International Criminal Court and the Law of Afghanistan2008
Dane County Bar Association - New Lawyers SectionInternational Criminal Law and the Law of Afghanistan2008
Constitutional Law I: The Constitution and PowerA Practical Guide to Criminal Law: Know Your Rights2008
Comparative LawInternational Criminal Law and the Law of Afghanistan2008
ACLU of Wisconsin Membership and Activist ConferenceDo You Cyber[Law]?: Facebook and the First Amendment2008
UW-Madison Students for a Sensible Drug Policy and ACLU-UWDon't Get Arrested Over Spring Break!2007
Professional Association of Wisconsin Licensed InvestigatorsJust the Facts: Investigations in Criminal Defense Litigation2007
Briarpatch Youth ServicesSchool Discipline and Student Rights Workshop2007
Advocacy Institute for Racial EqualityPreventing and Defending School Disciplinary Proceedings2007
Constitutional Rights: Freedom of ExpressionProtecting Fringe Expression Through Impact Litigation2006
Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Civil LibertiesThe Right To Counsel2006
UW-Madison Students for a Sensible Drug PolicyA Student’s Guide to Criminal Law2005
Wisconsin Association of Legal Professionals (Racine-Kenosha Chapter)Civil Rights Litigation2004
UW-Madison Students for a Sensible Drug PolicyA Student’s Guide to Criminal Law2004
University of Wisconsin - ParksideLegal Environment of Business2004
Leadership RacineRacine County: The People, The Place, The Plan2004
Carthage College, Paralegal ProgramOverview of Constitutional, Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination Law2003
Carthage College, Paralegal ProgramOverview of Constitutional, Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination Law2003
ACLU College Freedom Tour & Statewide Student ConventionAnatomy of a First Amendment Violation2003