Madison Attorney Edwin Hughes

Edwin J. Hughes,
Partner

Practice

Ed joined Stafford Rosenbaum LLP for the first time in 1982 after working for four years in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington. The emphasis of his work with the firm was litigation and appeals, primarily involving contract, dealership, antitrust and utility law. He served as the state’s Telecommunications Advocate from 1997 until the position in the Wisconsin Department of Justice statutorily expired in 1999. Ed remained at the Justice Department until 2004, where he worked on consumer protection, antitrust and utility matters and criminal appeals. After a year as a sole practitioner, Ed rejoined the firm in 2005.

Ed’s areas of practice include:

Utility Law. In addition to his telecommunications work, Ed has experience both in private practice and as an assistant attorney general in electric utility matters. Representing a utility, he took a lead role among intervenors in challenging on market power grounds the subsequently-abandoned merger proposal of Wisconsin Energy Co. and Northern States Power Co. Ed represented the commissioners of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several provisions of the Wisconsin Utility Holding Company Act. The Seventh Circuit upheld the principal provisions under challenge in 2003. 

Antitrust, Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection. Ed’s extensive experience in antitrust and trade regulation comes from his work as a prosecutor at the state and federal level and from representing plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of litigation matters. He also has a deep understanding of the state’s consumer protection laws and regulations and the ways in which the laws are typically enforced. 

Business Litigation and Appeals. Ed has represented plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of business litigation from initial complaints through appeals. In one of his last cases with the firm before joining the Justice Department, he won a breach-of-warranty jury verdict in excess of $3 million in federal court on behalf of a small Wisconsin dinnerware business against the Japanese supplier of a line of dinnerware that contained excessive lead.    

Ed is admitted to practice in Wisconsin. Click here for Ed’s lawyer rating. Ed was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 in the fields of Communications Law, Energy Law, and Litigation – Antitrust.

Education

  • University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1978)
  • Georgetown University (A.B., 1974)

Professional Recognition and Awards

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (since 2007), Litigation - Antitrust, Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year, 2016 

Publications

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Dane County Bar Association

In 1982, Ed moved to Madison from Washington D.C., following his now-wife Ann Brickson, who is the children and youth program coordinator at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Since then, kids arrived and, by and large, left. Ed and Ann's trips to visit their children are logistically challenging, since son Chris, 25, lives and works in Chapel Hill, NC, and daughter Claire, 18, attends Pomona College near Los Angeles.

Ed is a member of the Madison School Board and whiles away most of his spare time in meetings and other school-related endeavors. Back when he had time to read for pleasure, his favorite authors included Richard Russo, Richard Ford, Calvin Trillin and E.B. White. Ed's taste in movies tends toward the mindless and in food toward the unhealthy. He enjoys stays near either ocean with his family and camping with friends and family on Rock Island, off the tip of Door County. Ever since his sixth grade music teacher told him to just stand in the back and move his mouth, Ed's ambition has been to dazzle an audience with his singing. It is a goal he will never achieve.

Community Involvement

Madison School Board, Member

City of Madison Economic Development Commission, Former Chair

Atwood Community Center Board of Directors, Former Vice President

City of Madison Community Development Block Grant Commission, Former Member