Mark A Frankel

  • Owner, 2007


Madison, WI



Mark A. Frankel is an acclaimed mediator/arbitrator whose knowledge, experience, skill, and track record of success have garnered state and national recognition including:

  • Best Lawyers in America in ADR, 2006 - 2011
  • 'Wisconsin Super Lawyer' in business litigation, 2005 - 2010
  • #1 lawyer in ADR, Madison Magazine poll, 2007 & 2009
  • 1st Annual Distinguished Service Award, ADR Section, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Selected for listing by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators, National Arbitration Forum, and CPR Institute, among others.
  • President of Wisconsin Association of Reserve Judges
  • Board of Directors of Group Health Cooperation – HMO

Mark has been practicing law since 1973, when he received his J.D. from the UW Law School. After working for U.S. District Judge James E. Doyle, he helped to establish the Madison law firm of Frankel, Langhammer & Pines. In 1979, he was elected to the Dane County Circuit Court, becoming one of the youngest judges in Wisconsin history. Mark currently serves as a Wisconsin Reserve Judge.

During his 20 years on the bench, Mark pioneered the use of mediation in the courtroom. He earned a reputation as a judge who not only adjudicated cases, but also afforded litigants an opportunity to resolve their disputes in an informal yet binding manner. He was invited to join the faculty of the Wisconsin Judicial College, where he taught judges across the state about how, when, and why to use mediation in court proceedings, and became an Assistant Dean of the Judicial College. He also authored and edited the Wisconsin Benchbook, a desktop reference guide for judges. As his reputation as a judicial educator grew, Mark was asked to join the faculty of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, where he taught advanced evidence to judges from around the country for a number of years.

In 1999, Mark left the bench to become vice president, general counsel, and secretary to Madison Gas & Electric Co. In 2001, he became a partner with the law firm of Godfrey & Kahn S.C., where he built a successful ADR practice. With the benefit of both large and small law firm practice, corporate law practice, and 20 years of judicial experience, he established Frankel ADR in 2007.

A prolific writer, Mark has authored numerous articles in professional and law journals. He recently was selected to author the State Bar ADR Section's amicus brief in Borst v. Allstate Insurance Co. (2006 WI 70, 291 Wis. 2d 361, 717 N.W.2d 42), a case that gave the Wisconsin Supreme Court an opportunity to clarify several ill-defined aspects of the tripartite arbitration process. In its unanimous opinion, the Court adopted much of the reasoning presented in the amicus brief, providing clarity to lawyers, litigants, and arbitrators about the rules that govern arbitration in Wisconsin.

Areas of Practice

  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Complex Civil Cases
  • Divorce
  • Real Estate Probate


  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    • J.D. - 1973
    • Honors: clinical internship with U.S. District Court Judge James E.
  • University of Michigan
    • B.A. - 1970

Representative Cases

  • Borst v. Allstate Insurance Co., WI 70, 291 Wis. 2d 361, 717 N.W.2d 42, 2006


  • Lecturer, University of Wisconsin Law School in Trial Advocacy
  • Faculty Member & Assistant Dean, Wisconsin Judicial College
  • Faculty Member, National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada (Advanced Evidence), 1994 to 1999
  • Frequent Lecturer at both Judicial and Legal Education Seminars

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America in ADR
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyer' in business litigation
  • #1 lawyer in ADR, Madison Magazine poll
  • 1st Annual Distinguished Service Award, ADR Section, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Selected for panel listing by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), CPR Institute, and National Arbitration Forum among others
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America - ADR
  • Wisconsin SuperLawyers
  • Madison Who's Who of Executives and Professionals

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Arbitration Association, Panel Member
  • FINRA - Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

Past Employment Positions

  • Frankel, Langhammer & Pines, Partner, 1973 to 1979
  • Madison Gas & Electric Co., Vice-President & General Counsel & Secretary, 1999 to 2001
  • Godfrey & Kahn, Partner, 2001 to 2007

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