At LawtonCates, Our Community Is Just as Important as Our Clients

With close to seven decades in business, we at LawtonCates know that our foundation is the community we serve. We also understand that dedication to service extends past courthouse and law office doors. That’s why our attorneys and legal support staff give back to our area’s many outstanding organizations and causes.

Each year, our law firm sets aside special funding and time to volunteer for local events, projects, and civic groups. It’s an honor for us to be involved in their common mission: to make South Central Wisconsin a better place to live for everyone.

These are some of the Madison, Jefferson, and other area organizations and events we proudly support.

The Triangle Community Ministry

For nearly five decades, the Triangle Community Ministry has helped hundreds of residents living in Madison’s Triangle Neighborhood. Most of these people are vulnerable, as they are challenged by chronic mental, physical, emotional, and/or developmental disabilities. TCM works to foster personal dignity, self-empowerment, and community building among its residents. This includes providing holistic health services at no cost to the individual.

Because one of the best ways to connect with others is at the dinner table, LawtonCates hosts a regular dining event. Our law firm purchases ingredients, our lawyers and staff cook an abundance of meals, and we deliver them to TCM residents’ apartments. But we don’t just hand these meals off — we also share a seat at the residents’ table. In doing so, we all enjoy meaningful conversation and connection as well as great food.


Homelessness is a major problem in Madison and the greater Dane County area. Since 1984, Porchlight has worked to help the destitute with compassion and open arms. This group’s mission is to “provide shelter, affordable housing, and supportive services that eliminate barriers and empower the individuals and families we serve.”

LawtonCates’ involvement with Porchlight began more than 20 years ago, when one of our law partners became the organization’s executive director. Our law firm is a proud sponsor for their major fundraiser, while our employees volunteer at several of the group’s ventures and programs.

The Simmy Foundation

The Simmy Foundation is dedicated to improving mental wellness of veterans, especially those hospitalized in Wisconsin. It’s named for Jason Simcakoski, a U.S. Marine whose death in 2014 prompted Congress to pass the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act, also known as “Jason’s Law.” This legislation helped reform the VA’s opioid prescribing practices and instill stronger oversight and accountability for veterans’ care.

Simcakoski’s family and friends, along with LawtonCates established The Simmy Foundation as a means of bringing hope to other families and veterans who face addiction and mental health issues. The organization brings an evidence-based approach to treatment and rehabilitation. It also works to provide recreational activities and alternatives to improve the health and wellness of veterans and their families. This includes refurbishing a golf course that is part of a veteran’s hospital and providing instruction at the course.

Two LawtonCates attorneys became involved in Simcakoski’s case: Terry Polich represented Simcakoski’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit against the VA, and Dixon Gahnz was the guardian ad litem for the family’s minor child. LawtonCates attorneys serve on The Simmy Foundation’s board and are a major sponsor of their main fundraiser.

Do Good Wisconsin

Countless individuals, organizations, and businesses make a difference across the Badger State. Do Good Wisconsin spotlights and supports them. From giving grants for worthy causes such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association, to collecting and distributing school supplies for classrooms, this nonprofit strives to make an impact.

We at LawtonCates value the education of our children, which is why we sponsor supply drives for local teachers and offer our financial support to Do Good Wisconsin.

The Rotary Club of Jefferson County

Founded by Chicago attorney Paul P. Harris in 1905 as the Rotary Club of Chicago, the Rotary Club is one of the world’s first service organizations. Its goal was to be “a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.” The name came from the group’s initial practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member. Rotary is now 1.2 million members and 200 countries strong, with a local network of volunteer leaders who devote their time and talent “to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.”

The Rotary Club of Jefferson County works to help young people develop leadership skills and provides scholarships to enable our community’s children to get a higher education.

Michael J. Stingl, lead attorney at LawtonCates’ Jefferson office, is on the group’s board and is involved in the planning of events. Our law firm regularly sponsors and volunteers at Rotary events.

The Salvation Army of Dane County

The local branch of this long-respected international organization is “dedicated to serving those in need without discrimination.” In Dane County, The Salvation Army has one worship and community center and two homeless shelters. It also helps get families into homes and be provided with health care.

Our law firm sponsors and volunteers for several fundraisers for The Salvation Army. Many of our lawyers serve or have served on the group’s advisory board over the past 20-plus years.