Our History

Integrity, Excellence, and Honor. Since 1879.

Stafford Rosenbaum traces its roots to 1879 and a prominent Madison figure, lawyer John M. Olin. After earning his law degree from the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Olin opened a law office on Main Street in Madison on September 1, 1879. Mr. Olin, who died in 1924, was described as a “brilliant jury lawyer, one of the greatest lawyers this state has ever produced.” Mr. Olin played an integral role in developing Madison's park system. Olin Park is named in his memory.

In 1891, Mr. Olin and Harry Lincoln Butler formed the law firm Olin & Butler. Like Mr. Olin, Mr. Butler was an accomplished litigator. Justice Rector said of him: “Mr. Butler's professional integrity was absolute. No one in the history of the Wisconsin bar ever enjoyed a more unquestioned reputation.”

In 1940, two partners at Olin & Butler — Robert M. Rieser and Clifford Mathys — started the Rieser & Mathys law firm, for which they hired a young associate named Willard Stafford. In 1949, after Stafford and William McNamara became partners, the firm changed its name to Rieser, Mathys, McNamara & Stafford. Among the prominent attorneys who joined the firm as associates — and later became partners — were William Rosenbaum (1950), William T. Rieser (1957), and John A. Hansen (1960). Following the deaths of Mr. Mathys and Robert M. Rieser, the firm changed its name to Stafford, Rosenbaum, Rieser & Hansen.

The firm shortened the name to Stafford Rosenbaum and registered as a limited liability partnership in 2000.

In 2005, the firm moved to the 9th and 10th floors of the Network222 Building at 222 West Washington Avenue, Madison.

In 2007, Stafford Rosenbaum expanded into the Milwaukee market with the opening of an office in Brookfield. In 2011, to accommodate its growing Milwaukee area practice, the firm relocated the Milwaukee office to the High Pointe Office Center at 1200 North Mayfair Road.

Current Stafford Rosenbaum attorneys represent clients in 18 different practice areas and maintain the long tradition of legal excellence and honor established by our predecessors.