Jessica M. Kramer
Jessica is always prepared, organized and in tune with the changing law. A litigation attorney by training since earning her law degree in 2004, Jessica draws upon years of experience in courtrooms, administrative hearings, depositions, settlement negotiations, and as a legal advisor to businesses in private practice and as in-house counsel at a human resources company.
Her passion for the law is perhaps most apparent when fervently providing informed legal advice and proactive solutions for business clients looking to work through an issue with an employee, in reviewing a contract that may need reworking, or in handling a tenant that stopped paying rent. She also provides appropriately aggressive representation to businesses in disputes involving contracts, payment of wages, discrimination, security deposits, tenants and employment issues.
Since 2012, Jessica has been assisting landlords with all aspects of landlord-tenant law. The web of laws that governs the landlord-tenant relationship can be a tangled one, particularly in the City of Madison. Landlords look to Jessica for her skill in navigating the tangled web. Jessica drafts and reviews residential and commercial leases, advises landlords on compliance and best practices, and pursues eviction actions against tenants from start to finish. Jessica also defends landlords in actions filed against them, whether it be a claim for money filed by a former tenant, a fair housing or discrimination complaint filed before the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission, a housing code violation, or a complaint before the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Jessica particularly enjoys walking landlords through their options in how to handle delicate tenant situations and protect the landlord’s rights while complying with the laws.
Jessica received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000 and her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2004. Jessica is admitted to practice before all Wisconsin state courts, the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Jessica is a member of the Apartment Association of Southcentral Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Housing Alliance, and Business Networking International – Success by Referral chapter.
In her free time, Jessica enjoys cooking, fitness, getting outdoors, and spending time with family. A Wisconsin native, Jessica is an avid fan of the Packers, Badgers, and Brewers.
Leslie B. Elkins
Leslie primarily represents businesses, listening carefully to the goals and operational approach of the business and working closely with the owner or company representative to find smart solutions to complex problems.
Leslie loves seeing the spark in the entrepreneurial eye of a new business owner, and is drawn to assist a business owner, or soon to be business owner on the path to legal compliance and business success. Leslie counsels business start-ups regarding entity choice, entity registration, client contracts, trademark registration, compliance as well as serving as a seasoned pair of eyes for potential legal pitfalls.
Leslie loves the challenges her established business clients bring to her on a daily basis. She provides legal representation in a variety of matters plaguing business owners including intellectual property concerns, lien filing and enforcement, contract disputes, business and asset sales and purchases, as well as employment issues. In her career, Leslie has represented both employers and employees in a multitude of employment matters, and uses this experience as an invaluable tool to understand both perspectives in successfully representing her clients regarding employment concerns. Drawing on her employment experience, Leslie provides representation regarding employment discrimination and retaliation, wage claims, independent contractor analysis, employee handbooks and employment contracts, unemployment insurance issues, worker’s compensation matters, FMLA compliance, prevailing wage compliance, and defense in administrative agency matters. Leslie is no stranger to the courtroom and represents clients in matters including trademark and copyright infringement, business owner disputes, and contract disputes.
Leslie graduated from the University of Illinois in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Economics, and received her law degree in 2009 from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She began her career in Chicago working in criminal defense before moving to Wisconsin and working for a non-profit, and then settling into her preferred role representing small businesses. Leslie is licensed to practice law in all state courts of Wisconsin and Illinois, as well as the Western District of Wisconsin, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Northern District of Illinois and Central District of Illinois.
Leslie is proficient at reading, writing and speaking Spanish. She is a member of the BNI Champions Chapter and a Fitchburg Chamber Ambassador.
Leslie has always loved small businesses, shopping small and independent whenever possible. When not working, Leslie spends as much time as possible outdoors with her family, and enjoys swimming, skiing, biking, camping, growing food, cooking and traveling.
Nicholas C. Watt
Understanding the importance of searching for creative solutions to difficult challenges whether prior to, during, or after litigation, Nick works tirelessly to advocate for his clients’ best interests. He immerses himself in litigation, enjoying legal research and writing to artfully present his case, and assertively questioning defendants. Nick thrives in the courtroom and has a winning record for jury trials, both at the state and federal level.
Nick particularly enjoys fighting on behalf of oppressed minority shareholders, picking apart contracts in breach of contract suits, holding less than competent attorneys accountable for their poor representation, and litigating cases based on fraud.. Through representation of business owners in disputes, Nick has become increasingly familiar with the state of Wisconsin’s limited liability company statutes and corporate statutes and represents individuals seeking to enforce their rights against their business partners and seeking what is often termed a “business divorce.”
Nick also represents clients in appeals and has experience preparing cases for argument before the Wisconsin appellate court as well as the Seventh Circuit. Nick’s success for his clients led to a published opinion from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (Kraft v. Steinhafel, 2015 WI App 62) which helped clarify the law so that clients canhold negligent attorneys accountable.
For family law clients, Nick listens carefully to individual goals of his clients and adjusts his litigation style accordingly, whether working toward an amicable solution or aggressively litigating complex property division cases and/or contentious child custody and placement issues. Nick also works with individuals seeking to express their property division wishes through a marital property agreement.
Nick graduated with Honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2010 and graduated as a James Scholar from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Nick is admitted to practice in Wisconsin, the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Nick was honored to be named Time’s Person of the Year for 2006.
Nick enjoys traveling, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, bacon, Game of Thrones, poker, and roller derby.