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Erika L. Bierma

Criminal defense Attorney at Madison, WI

3.0   6 reviews

About Erika

Learn Erika’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense

    17 years

  2. Juvenile law

    17 years

  3. Federal crime

    17 years

  4. Education
    School and University discipline and expulsion proceedings

  5. Expungement

    17 years

  6. Appeals

    17 years

  7. Litigation

    8 years

Erika is passionate about helping people who find themselves having to navigate through the legal system.  Given the pervasive power of prosecution and the court of public opinion, Erika works with those accused criminally—and civilly-- to protect their rights and to ensure a fair outcome.

Criminal Defense:

Erika represents individuals accused of serious felonies, including but not limited to, repeated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault, child pornography, drug offenses, burglary, and many other felonies as well as misdemeanors. She represents individuals at all stages of the criminal process—from investigation to pre-charging negotiations to jury trial and through appeal. She appears in court almost on a daily basis and well respected by the judges, prosecutors, and courthouse staff. Erika has significant jury trial experience.

She is a former Associate Federal Defender where she represented individuals accused of a wide range of serious federal crimes.  Some of which include white collar, computer, and tax crimes.  Erika has also represented victims of crimes as well as grand jury and John Doe witnesses. 

School Disciplinary Proceedings:

Erika’s practice also includes representing students subject to investigations in non-academic misconduct proceedings students at both the high school and university level. 

Representing the Interests of Business Clients:

Erika represents the interests of business clients, having successfully recovered misappropriated funds for financial institutions, private individuals, and corporations. Her experience also includes assisting business clients with investigations and compliance of grand jury subpoenas.

Civil Litigation:

In addition to her criminal practice, Erika also practices civil litigation. Her experience includes:


  • ordinance defense
  • traffic matters of all types including OWIs

  • injunctions

  • personal injury defense

  • insurance defense

  • immigration status questions

  • property damage cases

  • adult protective service investigations

  • CHIPS investigations

  • child abuse injunctions

  • domestic restraining orders

  • harassment restraining orders


Licensed for 18 years
State WI
Status Good Standing
Acquired 2004
Updated 09/07/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Erika

Axley Brynelson, LLP
2 East Mifflin Street, Suite 200
Madison, WI, 53703


3.0 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | August 23, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly competent, trustworthy, personable, and down to earth
Erika handled our child's delinquency case. She guided us skillfully through a situation that was incredibly frightening and difficult for our family. She was able to speak to our child with clarity and compassion, but included us as parents in as much of the process as legally possible. She answered our many questions patiently and gave us honest and useful guidance. She also has a good sense of humor, always judiciously employed, which helped us have some much-needed lightness in the midst of a dark time. She was able to achieve a good outcome for the case, which left us all feeling like there really could be a second chance for our child. She understands that children are developmentally very different from adults and deserve a justice system that treats them as such. She is thus a passionate advocate for her younger clients. I am forever grateful to her and I would recommend her to anyone.
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Posted by anonymous | March 3, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best criminal defense lawyer. Goes the extra mile.
Erika not only defended me against criminal charges, she helped me learn about the circumstances in my life that brought me to that point and genuinely cared enough to get me to reach out for help I needed to learn and grow in a healthy way. Erika spent an incredible amount of time and emotional energy defending me and reaching the most favorable result possible. I recommend Erika to everyone. You could not ask for a more knowledgeable and caring advocate.
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Posted by Ryan | April 17, 2015
Thank You Erika!
Erika helped me through a very difficult time in my life after I was arrested for my second OWI. She was very knowledgeable of the laws and other information pertaining to my specific situation, and we had a sound plan for the case shortly after our first meeting. Thanks to Erika, I didn't have to set foot in court until my final plea hearing. She handled all the necessary paperwork and went to court for me during the initial proceedings. Throughout all of this, Erika kept me very informed and responded to any questions I had in a very timely manner. As a result of her hard work my sentence was greatly reduced and the entire procedure was about as stress free as it could have been given the personal circumstances. With constant law changes and tons of paperwork needing to be filed in specific manners, I don't think I would have been able to handle the situation without Erika. Overall, Erika is an excellent lawyer and was very helpful in making the best out of an unfortunate situation. Her passion and dedication for her work shines through and makes her an easy person to relate to and be honest with. Erika truly cared for me, not only for my case but for my overall well being and I'm truly grateful for that. Thank you so much, Ryan
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Posted by ds | October 25, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Uncaring, not engaged
We hired Erika Bierma to represent us for an OWI event in 2019. It felt as though she wasn't engaged with the case. She spent very little time getting to know the defendant. It wasn't until the hearing that she took notes to represent the individual. During the video review, we had to wait while she figured out how to play the video and wait an additional two hours while we were waiting to hear. Of course, we were charged for the waiting time. The result of the hearing was jail time, 16 mo. interlock, and 16 mo. driver's license revocation. I would not recommend Erika to represent for OWI defense.
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Posted by anonymous | January 15, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Erika Bierma is the WORST Attorney in the world. She wants an extraordinary amount of money, and then gives you nothing in return. From my experience, I would hire someone who was thinking of going into law school and had not even started before I hired her!!!
Posted by Don | March 14, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Not Trustworthy
We hired Erika for some trouble my son got into at an after school activity. My wife and I are both cancer survivors and don’t have a lot of money so Erika came recommended. We met with her a few times to tell her what we wanted from the school district and are co cerns moving forward with our son. We finally had the meeting with the district and Erika said that it went very well and we have to wait for the district to get back to us. we never received a phone call or a email for at least 2 weeks and we were on pins and needles cause we wanted this situation over for us and most of all our son. Then I decided to give Erika a call again my second call and not getting any response she finally answered the phone and told us that she went to a different firm and know this case is a conflict of interest. We were in shock that she did that to my son and us, we called the law firm she was from and they were in shock that she did that to us. Come to find out the district tried contacting her at least 3 times if not more, ( she was still working for that firm) the district finally got tired of waiting and considered the case closed as we didn’t have a clue she totally ignored everything the district was trying to reach out to her. We are so upset that she basically ruined my sons senior year by basically abandoning my son s shot at enjoying the Last part of his senior year. We don’t know where to go as we put our faith In Erika and she did this to us. Run when you hear her Name as she has no empathy for anyone especially kids
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AVVO RATING 7.0 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Senior Associate
  • Axley Brynelson, LLP
  • 2019 - Present
  • Senior Associate
  • Stafford Rosenbaum, LLP
  • 2013 - 2019
  • Associate Federal Defender
  • Federal Public Defender
  • 2007 - 2013
  • Associate Attorney
  • Sipsma, Hahn & Brophy
  • 2004 - 2007
View all work experience


  • Creighton University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2003
  • University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1998

Legal Cases

  • U.S. v. Williams
  • Vacated
  • U.S. v. Howard
  • Affirmed
  • U.S. v. Swope
  • Dismissed
View all legal cases


  • Recovery Foundation
  • Board Member
  • 2016 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • Dane County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • Western District Bar Association of Wisconsin
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
  • Wisconsin Assocation of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2004 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (0)
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Erika is an extremely intelligent and proven criminal defense attorney. She is comfortable in the courtroom and cares about her clients. She can handle the most complex cases and those that are routine. A tough advocate who gets results."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney Bierma is an accomplished and caring advocate. She is highly experienced in federal criminal cases; having worked with the Federal Public Defender. Just as impressive is her volunteer work with troubled juvenile offenders. She also devotes her time to agencies that help ex-prisoners find work and housing in the community. She is truly dedicated to her clients."
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Madison Criminal defense Lawyer Erika L. Bierma
Erika L. Bierma
Criminal defense Attorney
Madison, WI
Licensed for 18 years