Attorney James A. Olson has been named a Super Lawyer every year since 2005. He also has been awarded the Best Lawyer award every year since 2008, naming him one of the Best Lawyers in America for the past 6 years. James Olson was a finalist for the Wisconsin Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2000. Additionally, he has been rated a Top Lawyer in Products Liability and Environmentally law since 1994.

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.

Representative Cases

  • Yao v. Chapman, 705 N.W.2d 272 (Wis.App. 2005)
  • State v. Chvala, 693 N.W.2d 747 (Wis.App. 2005)
  • State v. Jensen, 681 N.W.2d 230 (Wis.App. 2004)
  • State v. Chvala, 678 N.W.2d 880 (Wis.App. 2004)
  • State v. Chvala, 673 N.W.2d 401

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin, 1966
  • U.S. Federal Court, 1966

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1978 – Present (Member)
  • Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1976 – Present (Member)
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1982 – Present
  • Wisconsin Citizens Advisory Board to the Public Intervenor, 1976 – 1982
  • Capital Community Citizens, 1980 – 1981 (Chairman)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Chairman, Environmental Law Committee)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Member)
  • Dane County Bar Association (Member)

Honors and Awards

  • AV Rating – Martindale-Hubbell
  • Certified Civil Trial Advocate, 1987 – Present
  • Finalist, Wisconsin Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2000
  • Rated by Madison Magazine as a Top Lawyer in Products Liability and Environmental Law, 1994 – Present
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum Member
  • Super Lawyer 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014; Law & Politics and Milwaukee Magazine
  • Best Lawyer 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014; Best Lawyers in America

Certifications and Specialties

  • Civil Trial Advocate
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy

Published Work

  • Progress and Problems in Wisconsin’s Scenic & Conservation Easement Program Wisconsin Law Review, No. 2, 1965, Wilcox v. Wilcox:
  • The Beginning of a New Approach to Conflict of Laws in Tort Cases Wisconsin Law Review, No. 3, 1966

Classes and Seminars Taught

  • Lecturer, Environmental Litigation, University of Wisconsin
  • Lecturer, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Lecturer, Trial Tactics, Discovery, Products Liability, Environmental Litigation, Consumer Law and Insurance Coverage, NBTI and University of Wisconsin School of Engineering


  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 1966, J.D.
  • Law Review: Wisconsin Law Review, Member, Board of Editors, 1964-1966
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 1961, B.S.

Practice Areas

  • Personal Injury and Accidents
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Business Litigation
  • Class Actions
  • Environmental Law
  • Toxic Torts
  • Products Liability Law
  • Consumer Law
  • Natural Resources Law