Nathan T. Otis

Nathan T. Otis

Madison, Wisconsin

Attorney Nathan Otis has been practicing law since 2010.  Before beginning his legal career, he spent three years working in Austin, Texas as a sales representative and corporate trainer for Dell, Inc.  Upon graduating summa cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, he entered the legal field by accepting a Federal Clerkship with the Honorable Robert W. Pratt, District Court Judge for the Southern District of Iowa.  In this position he honed his knowledge of the federal criminal law, working on criminal cases involving:

  • Felon-in-possession of a firearm
  • Possession and/or distribution of child pornography
  • Manufacturing and/or delivering controlled substances


He also developed an expertise in applying the complex federal sentencing guidelines.  One of the cases he worked on will be argued before the United States Supreme Court during its upcoming term. 

Upon completing his Federal Clerkship, Nathan returned to Madison where he initially worked as a Special Prosecutor for the Dane County District Attorney's Office.  As a prosecutor, Nathan primarily handled OWI and other traffic cases, learning the intricacies of Wisconsin's drunk driving laws.  However, he also handled a variety of felony and misdemeanor cases ranging from battery to theft.  This position afforded him the opportunity to learn the practices and procedures used by prosecutors, and to refine his litigation skills, as he appeared in Court on a daily basis. 

Since joining Nicholson & Gansner in January of 2013, Nathan has represented clients in a variety of criminal and family matters.  The majority of his practice focuses on criminal defense, where he represents individuals facing a wide array of charges, including:

  • OWI
  • Drug possession and distribution
  • Domestic-abuse charges
  • Fraud


He has secured the dismissal of all charges for clients in OWI cases in both Madison Municipal Court and Dane County Circuit Court, as well as the dismissal of all charges for various clients charged with domestic-abuse crimes such as battery, disorderly conduct, and criminal damage to property.  Most recently, he obtained a not-guilty verdict for a client falsely charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child. 

In addition to these results, Nathan has represented a number of clients during the pre-charging stage of criminal proceedings.  In this capacity, he assists clients after they have been arrested, but before charges have formally been filed, to either reduce the number and severity of charges that they face, or to avoid criminal charges all together.  At any stage of criminal proceeding, Nathan understands the importance of aggressively representing his clients' interests while also being accessible to address the questions and concerns of those enduring the stress of a criminal prosecution. 

Nathan also devotes a substantial amount of his practice to family law.  In this capacity, he has assisted clients in matters including divorce, establishing paternity and child-placement, child-support modification, and obtaining guardianship of minors.  He knows the difficulties, pitfalls, and limitations that exist when trying to solve familial problems using the legal systems.   Because of this, he assists clients in identifying and prioritizing their interests, and helps them focus on achieving their big-picture family and financial goals. 

Nathan is a member of the Wisconsin Bar and the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Nathan also works as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he teaches trial advocacy through the Mock Trial program.


Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Law
  • Drug Charges
  • Sex Offenses
  • Family Law


  • University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wisconsin
    • J.D. summa cum laude - 2010
  • University of Michigan - 2004

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Wisconsin Bar Association, Member
  • Iowa Bar Association, Member
  • Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers , Member
  • Adjunct Professor University of Wisconsin Law School