Firm Overview

We focus on consumer bankruptcy, representing cooperatives, police and fire commissions, tenant, real estate and housing law including fair housing, estate planning, family law, small business and nonprofit businesses.

The firm was established in 1973 by Scott Herrick and Robert Gruber. I joined the firm in 2006 after working at the King Street Law Collective and in other private practice settings for 25 years (more detail is available on the website). It is located in the historic Churchill Building (formerly known as "the Gay Building") on the Capitol Square in Madison.

Example cases

Cardinal Stritch University v. Stefanie Kuehn: Sued university for holding former student's transcripts for unpaid tuition; got finding of contempt, damages and attorneys' fees from the Bankruptcy Court, District Court and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Have assisted numerous clients is keeping their homes through Chapter 13 reorganizations and helped with some mortgage modifications while in Chapter 13 (and less frequently, Chapter 7); last divorce case was resolved through binding arbitration using retired circuit court judge to arbitrate maintenance and property division issues.

Main Office

Main
16 N. Carroll Street
Suite 500
Madison  WI  53703

Phone
  • (608) 257-1369
Fax
  • (608) 250-4370

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

Yes; for bankruptcies. One hour.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

Yes. My bankruptcies are flat fees and vary from $1,100 to $2,700 depending on type of bankruptcy and complexity of the case (e.g. involving real estate, number of creditors, above-median income, etc.). Divorces are hourly fees.

Hourly Rates

$150 to $200.

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Office Manager

Thuy Nguyen

Emergency After Hours

Yes

Languages Spoken

Spanish and Vietnamese.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I started practicing mainly family law, but found that my strengths were more suited to bankruptcy practice (always scored better on the math portion), and that I could accomplish more for my clients in bankruptcy. That isn't to say that I have no grateful divorce clients, but I found it harder to deal with the trauma, especially where children were involved after I had children of my own.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I strongly support this and have assisted people with self-representation to a great degree for seventeen years of my practice, though less often recently. I try to assist clients or non-clients I'm advising to explore all alternatives and make their own decisions for which they ultimately bear the consequences.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I'm willing to do this for an hourly fee.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

I have done this in divorces and simple bankruptcies. There are some instances where I don't think it's effective (e.g. Chapter 13).

Patricia Hammel

I have been engaged in private practice since graduating from law school. I had my own law office from 1981 to 1985, then joined the King Street Law Collective in Madison where I was an attorney/collective member from 1985 to 2002 when that office closed. That firm had an emphasis on self-help legal advice and I practiced primarily family law and bankruptcy there. I again had my own practice in Madison and commuted to Janesville Wisconsin where I worked with Baner & Associates half of the time (a high volume bankruptcy practice in Rock County) from 2003 to 2006 when I joined Herrick & Kasdorf. I have reduced my family law caseload in the last year due to the high demand for bankruptcy representation and the increased work required by the bankruptcy reform law and the foreclosure/loan modification aspect of the current economic climate.

I've lived in cooperatives with large numbers of diverse people, lived and worked in collectives where we all had to make decisions together, helped run housing and farming and law cooperatives, ran for office (Attorney General of Wisconsin on the Labor-Farm ticket in 1990), and debated politicians and judges, had to run my own business, set up my own computers and do my own books and taxes, raised (almost) two kids, worked on organizing people to promote issues and elect (or not) candidates, lived in another country where I didn't speak the language that well, and have trained in martial arts for 20 years.

I am very laid back and non-judgmental, though I do tell clients things they don't want to hear about risks involved in their cases because I think they need to hear them. I tend to do almost all the work aside from data entry and don't delegate much to assistants. I believe I'm pretty good at explaining legal concepts due to my experience assisting self-represented litigants. I almost never have other attorneys appear at hearings for me, and am respected by the trustees and (I think) the judge for carefully preparing cases and not giving up on cases.

Personal interests:

Politics, fine arts, martial arts, cross country skiing, camping, gardening, and biking.

License
  • Bar Number: 1019166
    Wisconsin , 1981
Education
  • University of Wisconsin
    Juris Doctorate , 1980
    Madison, WI
    Indian Law and Environmental Law; Chair of Madison Chapter National Lawyers' Guild; and Organizer for Women's Rights and Environmental Issues.
  • University of Wisconsin
    Bachelor of Arts , 1977
    Madison, WI
    History Major; Crisis Counselor for Community Center; and Director of Free Ride Service for Women.

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