Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C. - Madison Criminal Defense Law
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Practice Areas

Exceptional trial attorneys. Exceptional experience. Exceptional knowledge. Exceptional results.

Criminal Defense / /

Domestic Violence, DUI/OWI, Traffic Violations, Homicide, Drug Offenses, Misdemeanor Crimes, and Sex Crimes

View Criminal Defense Section

Family Law / /

Paternity, Restraining Orders, and Divorce.

View Family Law Section

Wisconsin Criminal Defense Law

Not all lawyers have the same level of experience, expertise, judgment or skill. Just because a lawyer holds a law license does not mean that he or she is well-equipped to handle a serious case. Hiring a Wisconsin attorney is a decision that can affect your entire life. Before you do so, you should ask a lot of questions, like:

  • How many trials have you handled in the past year?
  • What was the last trial you handled?
  • What were the results of that trial?

Choosing an attorney with a record of success in cases similar to yours is the best way to ensure that he or she has the experience and in-depth knowledge to achieve the best possible results for you.

A Boutique Law Firm Focusing on Success in the Courtroom

At Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., in Madison, we bring together attorneys and staff members with valuable backgrounds and experience throughout the legal system. Our entire team shares one goal: to provide aggressive, prepared trial litigation in Wisconsin state and federal courts.

We proudly identify ourselves as a boutique litigation and trial firm. We provide exceptional legal representation and prioritize clear and open communication with clients in all our practice areas, including:

Criminal defense, including OWI charges, traffic violations, drug charges, homicide, sex crimes and other felony and misdemeanor charges

Family law litigation , including divorce, child support, paternity and restraining order matters

Temporary restraining orders and injunctions , including harassment, domestic abuse and child abuse


Why Trial Skills Matter

In criminal proceedings, the proper oral advocacy skills in an attorney can make the difference between exoneration and conviction, between liberty and incarceration. In family court, a prepared lawyer can help secure the best interests of your children and preserve the financial assets you have worked years to earn and save.

A courtroom is intimidating for people who are not familiar with the workings of the legal system. We know that those who seek our services need honest, diligent and skilled advocacy to help navigate through court proceedings. Our attorneys have the superior experience, knowledge and judgment to do just that.

The attorneys at Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., are experienced, knowledgeable, respected and, most importantly, successful trial attorneys. We will put our track record of trial experience and success up against anybody.

Why Choose Us to Represent You?

Our attorneys do not simply pay lip service to trial skills. Each attorney at Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., has significant courtroom experience. Our office has handled thousands of cases, and our attorneys are in Wisconsin courtrooms every day.

We are lawyers in the trenches, devoting our working hours to mastering the rules of evidence, case law knowledge, and written and oral communication skills that set our representation apart from other firms because of the level of preparation and quality put into each case and client we handle. And, perhaps most importantly, our pretrial and trial records reflect winning results for our clients.

Email Us For A Response
  • Jessa Nicholson Goetz
  • Nicholas F. Gansner
  • Nathan T. Otis
  • Paisley S. Hoffman


  • NG Results: Otis gets OWI case dismissed.
    By Nathan Otis of Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., posted in OWI on Thursday, Jan. 03, 2019

  • NG Results: Young client's case spurs discussion on policy change.
    By Nick Gansner of Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016

  • NG Results: Nicholson prevails at sentencing hearing, keeps client out of prison.
    By Nick Gansner of Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016

  • NG Results: Nicholson convinces judge that mandatory minimum sentence isn't mandatory.
    By Nick Gansner of Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016

Read More


Learn more about how we can put this experience to work for you. Call 608-620-0018 or contact us online for a free 30 minute initial consultation about your criminal defense or family law case at our office in the heart of downtown Madison. We also offer off-site, weekend and evening appointments upon request.


  • "Jessa Nicholson made me feel like I was her most important client. From pre-trial litigation through settlement she fiercely advocated for me at every step. She knows the law intimately and explored every strategy. And she usually wins. I don’t intend to need a criminal attorney again but, if I do, Jessa will be my fist and only phone call."

  • "Back in October of 2011, I was involved in criminal damage to property and was originally charged with a felony. My friend referred Jessa Nicholson to me because he stated, 'She's the best.' After today, I can vouch for that statement and completely agree that Jessa is the best. She was able to lower my original charge down to a misdemeanor prior to my initial court date."

  • "I worked with Jessa on two occasions and I have the utmost respect for her as an attorney. Jessa was articulate and detailed. She was patient with all my questions and listened intently while I expressed my thoughts. She never made me feel like she didn't have time to address my concerns and explained all legalities until they were clear."

  • "I was facing the loss of my children and freedom because of a DUI charge. I chose attorney Jessa Nicholson as my legal counsel by a stroke of luck. If I had researched her background, I would have discovered Ms. Nicholson is a top-notch, common-sense attorney who is understanding, honest and a straight shooter."

Read More
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  • DCBA
  • 10 Best Law Firms
  • Avvo Rating

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22 East Mifflin Street, Suite 90
Madison, WI 53703

Phone: 608-620-0018
Fax: 608-819-8273
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