Nicholas F. Gansner
  • Partner

Location :

Madison, WI

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Attorney Nick Gansner is a Madison native and a graduate of West High School, Dartmouth College, and the University of Virginia School of Law.  After Dartmouth, Gansner spent three years in New York City working in the film and entertainment industry at Miramax Films, including as the executive assistant to the Co-Chairman of Miramax.  While at Virginia, Gansner was awarded a fellowship in the Dillard Fellow Program, for excellence in legal writing.  He also helped found, and served two years as Secretary, of the Rape Crisis Advocacy Program.  During the summers, he first externed for the Honorable Ronald A. Guzman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and then served as a summer associate at a large, international corporate law firm in Chicago.

Following graduation from Virginia, Gansner worked at the firm in Chicago before returning to his hometown of Madison and serving as Staff Attorney to the Honorable Steven Ebert and Honorable Daniel Moeser of the Dane County Circuit Court.  He then joined the Dane County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney, prosecuting all manner of misdemeanors and criminal traffic cases, including felony OWI’s and OWI homicides, and second-chairing several violent homicides.  He quickly earned a promotion to a felony drug-prosecution caseload.

In 2009, Gansner returned to Chicago and re-entered private practice for a boutique business litigation firm where he participated in depositions and helped litigate a multi-day evidentiary hearing regarding whether the parties to the action had ever been legally married, a significant matter in the larger context of the dissolution of the business the parties had created together during their relationship.  In 2010, Gansner joined the Office of the Illinois Attorney General as an Assistant Attorney General in the Statewide Grand Jury Bureau, a unit responsible for multi-county drug, gang, and gun prosecutions across Illinois.

Gansner re-joined the Dane County District Attorney’s Office in 2011, assuming a caseload in the Domestic Violence Unit.  In that position, Gansner mentored younger prosecutors and prosecuted cases of domestic abuse and sensitive crimes ranging from simple Disorderly Conduct and Misdemeanor Battery to Child Abuse to First Degree Sexual Assault.  He directed and oversaw a more than year-long investigation into a Human Trafficking ring in Dane County, resulting in charges against five individuals in a thirty-two page Criminal Complaint. 

Gansner has tried over two dozen cases to a jury on everything from Disorderly Conduct to 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child.  He has particular experience with charges relating to domestic abuse and sensitive crimes, including sexual assault and child abuse.

As a prosecutor, Gansner was lauded for his decency and compassion in working with victims of crime as well as his expertise, skill, and powerful advocacy in the courtroom.  He brings those same qualities to his representation of those accused of crimes, and to those bringing civil or family actions: decency, compassion, skill, and powerful advocacy. 

Gansner is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Dane County Bar Association, and the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Areas of Practice

  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Defense
  • Family Law

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin, 2007


  • University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia
    • Honors: Fellowship in the Dillard Fellow Program
  • Dartmouth College


  • WACDL’s Trial College, Faculty

Honors and Awards

  • WACDL’s Trial College, Faculty

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers , Member
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Member
  • Dane County Bar Association, Member
  • Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Miramax Films, Executive Assistant to the Co-Chairman
  • Rape Crisis Advocacy Program, Secretary
  • Honorable Ronald A. Guzman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Extern
  • Honorable Steven Ebert and Honorable Daniel Moeser of the Dane County Circuit Court, Staff Attorney
  • Dane County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant District Attorney
  • Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, 2010 to 2011
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