Lester A. Pines

Lester A. Pines

Senior Partner, Pines Bach LLP

Lester Pines is a Senior Partner in the firm.

A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, he is a respected civil and criminal litigator and appellate advocate. In his over 40 years of practice, he has appeared in trial and appellate courts throughout Wisconsin, in numerous federal district courts, and before the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. After a recent trial, one of Lester’s clients wrote:

"Seeing you in action was like watching an artist create a classic painting from a blank canvas but instead of paint you used facts, figures and, most importantly, words to achieve a masterpiece in the courtroom."

His wide-ranging civil trial practice encompasses commercial claims, employment disputes, constitutional and civil rights matters, personal injury and intellectual property cases. His criminal defense work has involved many high profile cases, especially involving teachers, police officers and other public employees. He is counsel to Madison Teachers Inc., which represents the employees of the Madison Metropolitan School District.

Recently, Lester was featured in a cover story in Isthmus, a Madison weekly newspaper, " Activist Attorney – Lester Pines draws on faith and family in his practice and beyond."

Recent challenges to the constitutionality of newly enacted laws that Lester brought on behalf of his clients include:

  • A challenge to Wisconsin’s Voter I.D. law for the League of Women Voters.
  • Challenges by Planned Parenthood to laws limiting access to abortion services.
  • An action to defeat legislation aimed at limiting the power of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, representing a citizen group

Previously, in cases in which he was appointed by former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, Lester defended Wisconsin’s law creating domestic partnerships for same sex couples and stopped an attempt by then Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to suppress voting in the 2008 Presidential election.

Among the many cases Lester has argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, two in particular have shaped Wisconsin law. In 2010 he represented the Zurich American Insurance Company inMiller v. Hanover Insurance, securing the reversal of a $2,000,000 default judgment against his client and achieving a significant change in Wisconsin law regarding relief from such judgments. In an original action in 1996, he successfully argued the case of Thompson v. Craney, which delineated the constitutionally vested powers of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and protected them from being altered by the Legislature, which the Wisconsin Supreme Court reaffirmed in 2016 in Coyne v. Walker.


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