Administrative law may seem remote and mundane – but not to those clients who fall under its ever-expanding and often complex regulatory reach. Don Bach understands this full well. From rulemaking to agency contracts, to permitting decisions and challenges, to enforcement actions to executive clemency, Don has been in the middle of it all during his career as a lawyer.
He has first-hand knowledge of the inner operations of government which also gives him an added perspective in the area of administrative law. He served in a number of capacities while working for the state of Wisconsin including Legal Counsel to Governor Tommy Thompson, Acting Chief of Staff, Pardon Counsel and Chairman of the Governor's Pardon Advisory Board, Acting Chairman of the Wisconsin Parole Board, Administrator of the Division of Administrative Services in the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Administrator of the Division of State Agency Services in the Wisconsin Department of Administration and Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
From 1997 to 1999, Don served as Chairman of the State Bar's Bench-Bar Committee, a committee of lawyers and judges tasked with evaluating and making recommendations for changes in Wisconsin's system of justice. He also served as Chairman of its Survey Committee. In May 1998 he was named by the Governor's Advisory Council on Judiciary Selection as "one of the three best qualified candidates" for appointment to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. In 2004, Don was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to the Wisconsin Judicial commission, the entity which investigates judicial misconduct and disability. He served as its Chair in 2007.
Don represents clients ranging from individuals to small businesses to multi-national corporations.
- Don served as co-counsel in defending against a multi-jurisdictional challenge to a major distribution center in Waukesha County. All challenges were denied, including a challenge to an air permit brought in an administrative law contested case proceeding. All necessary permits were successfully obtained and the distribution center is currently operating.
- Don was a lead counsel in successfully fighting off a multi-party administrative law contested case challenge against the siting a major power line from Duluth, Minnesota to Wausau, Wisconsin. All necessary permits were issued as a result of the evidence presented at the contested case adverse hearing and the challenge was denied.
- When a marina on Castle Rock Lake faced challenges to its DNR permit Don stepped in to assist. Don took on the opponents in a contested case hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and the permit was sustained. This proceeding was the latest of numerous pier/shoreland development contested cases Don has undertaken over the years.
- Acting as co-counsel representing a mining company before an Administrative Law Judge, he helped the client obtain a Certificate of Completion of Reclamation.