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Stephen P. Hurley - Madison, WI

33 East Main StreetSuite 400 Madison, WI 53703

Super Lawyers®


Updated: 03/27/2017

Madison Criminal Defense Lawyer


Steve Hurley is a trial lawyer. People come to him when they have a serious problem that needs to be fixed; whether it's a criminal charge or a civil complaint. Highly regarded for his ability to solve problems and to try cases, Steve was nominated and elected by his peers to the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers and, for a decade, has been selected as one of the Top 10 Lawyers in Wisconsin by Superlawyers®...

About Stephen P. Hurley

Practice Areas

  • Criminal Defense 90%
  • Business Litigation (Defense) 10%


  • 100%

Current Employment Position(s)

  • Partner


  • English
  • French


Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1972
  • Wisconsin, 1976
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1972
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1976
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1976
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1976
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1976

Other Affiliations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, 1999 - Present (Fellow)
  • Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin, 2005 - Present (Board Member and Past President)
  • Board of Federal Defender Services Wisconsin Inc., 2009 - 2013 (Chair)
  • Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Former Member of the Board Directors)
  • Board of Trustees, Madison Opera, 2010 - 2012 (President)
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Wisconsin Defender (Member)
  • Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (Member)
  • Dane County Bar Association, 1992 (Member)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Member)
  • Western District Bar Association, Standing Committee on Criminal Justice, 1993 (Former Chairman)
  • American Inns of Court, James E. Doyle Chapter, 1992 - 1999 (Master Bencher)


  • University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois
  • Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois
    Honors: Dean's List
    Major: Political Science

Fraternities and Sororities

  • Sigma Nu

Past Positions

  • University of Wisconsin Law School, Adjunct Professor of Law, 1989 - 2017
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Consultant to the Office of General Counsel, 2003
  • Dane County, Wisconsin, Court Commissioner, 1982 - 1999
  • Office of the State Appellate Defender, Fifth Judicial District Mt. Vernon, Illinois, Deputy Defender, 1974 - 1976
  • Office of the State Appellate Defender, Third Judicial District, Ottawa, Illinois, Assistant Defender, 1972 - 1974

Pro Bono Activities

  • Madison Opera Board of Trustees (Member and Past President), 2008 - Present
  • Chairman, Wisconsin Education Fund (U.S. Representative Scott Klug), 1992-1994

Classes and Seminars

  • ABA National Institute on White Collar Crime, March 4, 2015
  • University of Wisconsin Law School: Evidence and Trial Advocacy, 1989 – present
  • Introduction to the American Legal System, East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, China, 2011-2014; Thamassat University, Bangkok, Thailand, 2015
  • K-9 Dogs and Drug Searches, Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Appleton, Wisconsin, September 30, 2011
  • K-9 Dogs and Drug Searches, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 19, 2009
  • Crossing Dogs: Drug Dogs, Cadaver Dogs, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 1, 2008
  • Doggone Dogma: Dogs, Alerts & Admissibility, Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, April 8, 2008
  • Wisconsin Evidence Workshop, Professional Educations Systems, Inc., 1992 – 2004
  • American Jurisdiction over Foreign Business, National Cheng Chi University, Taiwan, 1996
  • Evidence, Doshisha University Law School, Kyoto, 2017 - Present


Other Sources of Feedback About Stephen P. Hurley

Included on the 2023 Wisconsin list

Past Lists

  • 2022 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2021 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2020 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2019 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2017 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2016 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2015 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2014 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2013 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2012 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2011 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2010 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2009 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2008 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2007 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2006 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list
  • 2005 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list

View the profile for Stephen P. Hurley on Super Lawyers


  • The Wisconsin Law Foundation’s Charles I. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award
  • The Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ William Coffee Award
  • The University of Wisconsin Law School’s Warren L. Stolper Award, 2004
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers In America, 1995 - Present
  • Super Lawyer - Super Lawyers and Rising Stars®/Milwaukee Magazine, 2005 - 2008
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • Leading Wisconsin Attorney, 1999
  • Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Legal Defense Service, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, 1994
  • Certificate For Contributions, Drama Series "Picket Fences" Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 1992 - 1993
  • Super Lawyer®, 2005 – present
  • Super Lawyer®, 2016 – Top 10 Statewide (Ranked #2)
  • Super Lawyer®, 2016 – Top 50 Statewide, Top 25 Madison

Video & Photo


Office Information


33 East Main StreetSuite 400 Madison, WI 53703


  • (608) 257-5764

Accepts Credit Cards




  • Can Defense Counsel Ethically Breach A Plea Agreement?, Wisconsin Defender (Reprinted in Plea Bargaining and Penology: An Appraisal, M.N. Bhavani, ed., 2008, Amicus Books of Icfai University Press) (June 2005)
  • The Attorney-Client Privilege: The Self Defense Exception To The Attorney-Client Privilege, Wisconsin Defender (January 1998)
  • Admissibility of "Soft Science" Expert Testimony in Wisconsin and Techniques to Challenge its Use, Wisconsin Defender, December, 1998
  • Straw, Sticks or Bricks: How Strong is the Attorney-Client Privilege? A Cautionary Tale for Defense Counsel, Wisconsin Defender (June 1998)
  • “Sharp Practice:” The Use of Section 908.01(4)(b) Admission by Party-Opponent to Hoist A Prosecutor By His Own Words, or the Lessons of State v. Cardenas-Hernandez, Wisconsin Defender (December 1999)
  • Hurley for the Defense, Isthmus, 2007
  • When Honesty is Not Best Politics, American Bar Association Journal, 2007
  • Rainy Day Man, Wisconsin Super Lawyers® Magazine, 2008
  • Stand and Deliver: Tips on Trying Your First Case, American Bar Association Journal Podcast (May 7, 2012)
  • Best in Show: Admissibility of Police Dog Evidence., Hurley, Burish & Stanton (2011)
  • Defense Juvenile Case in Wisconsin (1993)
  • Wisconsin Criminal Defense Manual (1992)
  • Case Study: Medication Errors and Criminal Negligence, Journal of Nursing Regulation, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2010

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Firm Address

(608) 257-5764
Google Map
33 East Main StreetSuite 400 Madison, WI 53703

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