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James Sweet

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Bankruptcy Attorney in Madison, WI

Steinhilber Swanson LLP
122 W Washington Ave, Suite 850
Madison, WI 53703-2732
Phone: 608-310-5501
Fax: 608-827-6890
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2021
Licensed in Wisconsin Since: 1978
Practice Areas: Bankruptcy: Business (50%), Creditor Debtor Rights: Business (30%), Mergers & Acquisitions (20%)
Attorney Profile

As partner at Steinhilber Swanson LLP, James Sweet represents individuals and businesses in Wisconsin, northern Iowa, Minnesota, Delaware and Northern Illinois in cases of bankruptcy.  He represents clients in Wisconsin in purchase or sale of business assets, state court receiverships and out-of-court restructuring, workouts, and reorganizations. He is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, named to the Best Lawyers in America list and a top lawyer named by Madison Magazine. For his commitment to legal ethics and professional accomplishments, Mr. Sweet earned the highest peer rating possible of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Sweet is admitted to practice in Wisconsin, and before the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa and the Supreme Court of the United States. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Sweet attended UW School of Law for his Juris Doctor in 1978.

He has been the president, chairman of the board, a member of the board of directors, chairman of the standards committee and treasurer for the American Board of Certification. A member of the American Bar Association, Mr. Sweet was also on the board of governors for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Throughout his career, Mr. Sweet has represented receivers, bankruptcy trustees, creditor committees, debtors, banks, and other creditors. He regularly presents and lectures on topics of insolvency and bankruptcy throughout the Midwest and is ranked by Madison Magazine as one of the top financial services/commercial lending law and bankruptcy lawyers in Dane County.

* AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Mr. Sweet is a debt relief agent. He helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Practice Areas
  • 50%Bankruptcy: Business
  • 30%Creditor Debtor Rights: Business
  • 20%Mergers & Acquisitions
Focus Areas

Bankruptcy Law, Collections, Debt Discharge, Loan Modifications


17 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2021

Certificates and Credentials

About James Sweet

First Admitted: 1978, Wisconsin

Professional Webpage:

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Guest lecturer, University of Wisconsin Law School, Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights General Practice Course, 1998
  • Collection and Bankruptcy, Volume 4, Outlines State and Federal Insolvency Practices and Procedures for Wisconsin Practitioners, Wisconsin Business Advisor Series, State Bar of Wisconsin, Co-Author, 2006
  • SBI Annual Bankruptcy Seminar

Educational Background

  • University of Wisconsin School of Law,, J.D., 1978
  • University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, B.A., 1975, 1975

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Treasurer, American Boards of Certification, 1995-1996, 1995
  • President, American Board of Certification, 1997 - 1998, 1997
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin, CLE Committee, 1991 - 2000, 1991
  • Past President and Founding Member, Western District of Wisconsin Bankruptcy Bar Association, 1996
  • Chairman, American Board of Certification, Standards Committee, 1995 - 1996, 1995
  • Chairman, American Board of Certification, 1998 - 1999, 1998
  • Wisconsin, 1978, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2009, 2009
  • Chairman, American Boards of Certification, 1998, 1998
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin, Board of Governors, 1988 - 1991, 1988
  • Chairman, State Bar of Wisconsin, CLE Committee (ATS-CLE), 1989 - 1991, 1996 - 2000, 1989
  • Member, Dane County Bar Association, 1979
  • Co-Chair, American Bankruptcy Institute, Professional Compensation Committee, 1999 - 2005, 1999
  • Member, ABI Special Fee Study Committee, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2005 - Present, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1978, 1978
  • Member, American Boards of Certification, Standards Committee, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1983, 1983
  • President, American Boards of Certification, 1997
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Iowa, 2014
  • Member, American Bar Association, 1979
  • Chairman and Past Program Chairman, State Bar of Wisconsin, Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Creditors Rights Section, 1991 - 1995, 1991
  • American Board of Certification, Board of Directors, 1991 - 2001, 1991
  • Chairman, American Bankruptcy Institute, Western District Membership Committee, 1991 - Present, 1991
  • Member, American Board of Certification, Standards Committee, 1992 - 1997, 1992
  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute, 1989
  • Board member, American Boards of Certification, 1991
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1981, 1981

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Past President and Chairman of the Board, Bishops Bay Country Club, 2010
  • Bishops Bay Country Club, Board of Directors, 2003 - 2021, 2003


  • Co-winner, Turnaround Management Association National and Midwest Small Company Transaction Awards, 2015 - Present, Turnaround Management Association National and Midwest Snall Company Transaction of the Year, TMA, 2011
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, 2005 - present, SuperLawyers, 2005
  • Top Lawyer, Madison Magazine
  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy, 2014 - present, Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy, 2014
  • Co-winner, 8th annual M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, 2014 - Present, 8th Annual M&A Advisor Turnaround National Transaction of the Year, M&A Advisor, 2014
  • One of the Top Financial Services/Commercial Lending Law and Bankruptcy Lawyers, Madison Magazine, Madison Magazine
  • Steering Committee Member and Judge, Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, 2010, Moot Court Steering Committee Member and Judge, Duberstein National Moot Court Competition, 2010
  • Advisory Board Member, St. John's University, Masters in Bankruptcy Program, 2009-2012, Advisory Board Member, St. John's School of Law Masters in Bankruptcy Program, 2009
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2005 - present, Best Lawyers in America, 2005
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers Top 25 Madison
  • AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Industry Groups

  • Middle Market Companies--all Sectors; Closely-held And Family Companies--all Sectors
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Office Location for James Sweet

122 W Washington Ave
Suite 850
Madison, WI 53703-2732

Phone: 608-310-5501

Fax: 608-827-6890

Last Updated: 8/27/2021

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