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About me

Jim Olson's experience is extensive as a litigator. He became a Certified Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Attorneys in 1987. He has achieved great success handling products liability and personal injury cases. His accomplishments include obtaining the first personal injury jury verdict in excess of $1 million in Dane County, the first personal injury verdict in excess of $1 million in Juneau County and the largest verdict, about $5.5 million, in the history of Dodge County. In addition, he was lead counsel on a case that recovered $6.7 million for Tri-State homeowners - a case that involved six appeals and two reported opinions.

In addition to obtaining numerous substantial jury verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs, Jim Olson has been a tireless advocate on behalf of consumers who have been injured or whose rights have been otherwise violated. He recognized a need and, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin Madison, helped found the Consumer Law Clinic/Center for Public Representation. The Clinic handles cases that would not otherwise be brought to court because either the plaintiffs have limited financial resources or the potential financial recovery for the attorneys and plaintiffs is small. He served on the Advisory Board from 1996 to 1999.

Jim Olson served two terms on the Board for the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers and served on the Public Intervenor Board of Directors for approximately ten years.

Jim Olson was a finalist in 2000 for the Wisconsin Trial Lawyer of the Year and was rated by Madison Magazine as one of Madison's Top Lawyers in Products Liability and Environmental Law in January 1994.



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Practice areas


  1. Lawsuits & Disputes: 30%
    50 years
  2. Personal Injury: 30%
    50 years
  3. Class Action: 20%
    28 years
  4. Insurance: 20%
    50 years



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Contact info

Lawton & Cates, S.C.

Ten East Doty Street Suite 400
P.O. BOX 2965
Madison, WI, 53701-2965


WIGood Standing196603/02/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2013
Super LawyerLaw & Politics Media and Milwaukee Magazine2013
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2012
Super LawyerLaw & Politics Media and Milwaukee Magazine2012
Super LawyerLaw & Politics Media and Milwaukee Magazine2011
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2011
Super LawyerLaw & Politics and Milwaukee Magazine2010
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2010
Super LawyerLaw & Politics and Milwaukee Magazine2009
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2009
Super LawyerLaw & Politics and Milwaukee Magazine2008
Top Lawyer in Products Liability and Environmental LawMadison Magazine2008
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2008
Top Lawyer in Products Liability and Environmental LawMadison Magazine2007
Super LawyerLaw & Politics and Milwaukee Magazine2007
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2007
Top Lawyer in Products Liability and Environmental LawMadison Magazine2006
Super LawyerLaw & Politics and Milwaukee Magazine2006
Super LawyerLaw & Politics and Milwaukee Magazine2005
Certified Civil Trial AdvocateAmerican Association for Justice1987
MembershipMillion Dollar AdvocatesN/A
Finalist, Wisconsin Trial Lawyer of the YearWisconsin Academy of Trial LawyersN/A
AV RatingMartindale-HubbellN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyLawton & Cates, S.C.1966 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Board of Trial AdvocacyMember1982 - Present
American Trial Lawyers AssociationMember1978 - Present
Wisconsin Academy of Trial LawyersMember1976 - Present
State Bar of Wisconsin, Environmental Law SectionChairN/A
Dane County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Wisconsin Citizens Advisory Board to the Public IntervenorMember1976 - 1982
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Yao v. Chapman, 705 N.W.2d 272 (Wis.App. 2005)N/A
State v. Chvala, 693 N.W.2d 747 (Wis.App. 2005)N/A
State v. Jensen, 681 N.W.2d 230 (Wis.App. 2004)N/A
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Wisconsin Law ReviewWilcox v. Wilcox: The Beginning of a New Approach to Conflict of Laws in Tort Cases1966
Wisconsin Law ReviewProgress and Problems in Wisconsin's Scenic & Conservation Easement Program1965
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1966
University of Wisconsin, MadisonN/ABS - Bachelor of Science1961
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolInsurance CoverageN/A
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolEnvironmental LitigationN/A
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolProducts LiabilityN/A
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolTrial TacticsN/A
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolConsumer LawN/A