Buting ,Williams & Stilling ,S.C. | A Criminal Defense Law Firm

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Jerome F. Buting

Brookfield, WI

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Avvo Rating | 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Criminal Defense

Criminal defense law practice focused primarily on defense of serious and complex criminal offenses, both state and federal, trial and appeal. Homicides, sexual assaults, vehicular homicides, drug offenses, white collar, wrongful convictions, Expertise in DNA and other forensic sciences. Defense of liberty and constitutional rights in all cases. Many high profiles cases handled discreetly. Designated as Super Lawyer from 2006 through 2019.

Year Joined Firm

  • 1993

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Law 95%
  • Appeals
  • Homicides and Violent Crimes
  • Sex Offenses
  • Drug Offenses
  • Child Pornography
  • Internet Sex Crimes
  • Juvenile Offenses
  • Wrongful Convictions
  • False Confessions and Illegal Searches
  • DNA & Computer Evidence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drunk Driving

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin, 1981
  • District of Columbia, 1982
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1981
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1992


  • University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    • Doctor of Jurisprudence – 00/1981
    • Honors: cum laude
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts – 00/1978
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

Representative Cases

  • State v. Schaefer, 308 Wis.2d 279, 746 N.W.2d 457, 2008 WI 25 , 2008, Wis. Supreme Ct
  • United States v. Muhammad, 502 F.3d 646 , 2007, 7th Cir
  • State v. Armstrong, 283 Wis.2d 689, 700 N.W.2d 98, 2005 WI 119, 2005, Wis Supreme Ct
  • Bertrand v. Oswald, 374 F.3d 475 , 2004, 7th Cir
  • State v. Brienzo, 267 Wis.2d 349, 2003, Wis. Ct App
  • State ex rel Tate v. Schwartz, 257 Wis.2d 40, 654 N.W.2d 438 , 2002, Wis. Supreme Ct
  • State v. Agnello, 226 Wis.2d 164, 593 N.W.2d 427 , 1999, Wis. Supreme Court


  • 2014 National Association Criminal Defense Lawyers, Las Vegas, “The Trouble With Torrents: Beating Back the File Sharing Child Porn Cases”
  • 2014 Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, “Just A Touch: DNA Transfers and Other New Developments in Forensic DNA”
  • 2012 Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, “Defense Use of DNA: Make It Work”
  • 2012 Annual Criminal Defense Conference, “Cross Examination in Ineffective Assistance Challenge”
  • 2011 Wisconsin State Public Defender, “Hot Topics for Appellate Litigation”
  • 2010 Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, “Whatever Happened to the Science in Forensic Science?”
  • 2008 Wisconsin State Public Defender, “Defending DNA Cases”
  • 2008 Wisconsin State Bar Annual Convention, “Discovery Opportunities in Sex Offense Cases.”
  • 2006-2005 State Bar Annual Convention

Honors and Awards

  • Designated as Super Lawyer, 2006 through 2019
  • Recipient of the 2001 David Niblack Award by the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. This award is presented to individuals, “For standing with the indigent in their times of need and thereby protecting the rights of us all.”
  • Recipient of the John Jay College 2016 Fierce Advocate Award. This award is bestowed on individuals who have shown “outstanding leadership in the pursuit of justice” for the advocacy on behalf of Steven Avery, chronicled in the series “Making a Murderer.”
  • Recipient of the 2017 Champion of Justice Legal Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. This award is bestowed upon individuals who have staunchly preserved or defended the constitutional rights of American citizens and have fought to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member, 1982
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Board of Directors, 1990 to 1992
  • American Bar Association, Member, 1982
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Member, 1981
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Criminal Law Section, Board of Directors, 1998 to 2018
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Criminal Law Section, Chair, 2005 to 2007
  • Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, President, 1990 to 1991
Practice Areas

“I just want to say thank you for the outstanding work you have done for him and let you know how much we appreciate the time and attention you gave to his case. We are obviously overjoyed by today’s dismissal!” (Child pornography case dismissed after motion to suppress was granted)”

“After having had time to exhale, we thank each one of you and all the others who contributed to the exemplary Supreme Court presentation. We are proud of your efforts on our behalf and, equally important, on behalf of the many present and future defendants statewide.” (Client’s comment after Supreme Court oral argument)

“Thank you. Thank you. I am so pleased to hear that we won. It doesn’t seem that it was even a close call. I appreciate your efforts.” (Oconto County defendant after Buting, Williams & Stilling got his prison sentence overturned in the court of appeals) ”

“Your time and advice was appreciated more than words can express at a time when we really needed someone to guide us.” (Client)

“The outcome was amazing, one unavailable even under identical circumstances in probably 98 percent of federal courtrooms around the country. Separate and apart from the outcome, though, I am supremely impressed by your efforts on your client’s behalf. Your comments in support of the requested sentence were perfect in tone and, having now reviewed the extensive sentencing memorandum you filed, your work in that regard was exemplary as well. Your client was certainly fortunate to have you as his attorney.” (Local federal court attorney present at a sentencing)

“I can’t thank you enough, not only for all of the tireless work that you and your staff put into my case, but for telling me what I needed to hear, at a time when I absolutely had to hear it. I consider myself blessed for everything turning out the way it did, especially since I blindly picked you out of a phone book! You helped me, my family and friends in many more ways than the money ever could.” (Child pornography client)

“I think you will find that in any circles where Kathy’s name is raised, people will always respond positively and identify her as an extremely hardworking, knowledgeable and ethical lawyer who is timely and effective with any endeavor she takes on. These circles would include colleagues, friends, prosecutors, judges, professors and others who have crossed paths with Kathy. They would also include the many lawyers like me who have referred numerous cases to Kathy, invariably with positive feedback from the clients regarding her knowledge of their case, empathy, professionalism and fair-mindedness in addressing their concerns.” (Fellow attorney)

“Thank you for giving [our son] back to us. Wonderful work!” (Family of client accused of armed robbery after charges were dismissed)

“Yes, His perfect time and perfect place, you were a part of this plan. I almost didn’t hire you, but I took a step of faith trusting Him and look what happened? Praise God. Our Lord put you in your vocation for a reason, continue to help those He brings your way. May He bless you in ALL you do!” (Client who was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault in a northwestern Wisconsin county. He was released from prison after attorneys got his conviction reversed.)

“I really cannot thank you enough for your past help. You really know your stuff. It is actually funny when I think about my other past attorney’s knowledge and then when I talk with you. It’s like night and day. You’re like a walking book of knowledge with a purpose-driven life. Thanks.” (Brown County client of attorney Buting)

“A year later and I still believe your defense is the single best example of lawyering I have ever seen.” (Television reporter commenting on attorney Buting’s defense of Steven Avery)

“You have a certain brilliance that makes me sure that when you talk, it is good information and I am in good hands. You tell it to me like it is even when the things you say are not always the things that I would like to hear. You keep it REAL!!!” (Brown County client)

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel like this was one of the biggest blessings that happened in my life. I put this along with my children being born healthy and when I survived that horrific shooting. I appreciate everything you have done for me. I couldn’t ask for better lawyers. I want to say thank you to everybody at your firm. I owe you more than the fee you so rightfully deserve. … You gave me back hope. Thank you, man! Out of my 36 years … I have never seen such kindness before. I don’t know what I did to deserve this; I’m very thankful nonetheless. Thank you for giving me hope again. Thank you for your generosity. There are still some really good people around.” (Federal criminal appeal client)

“There is no other attorney I’ve ever even heard of I’d rather have as chief counsel and leader of my defense/appeals than Jerome Buting. You’re the best. Period.” (Dane County client)

“Your advice and counsel were greatly appreciated. We appreciate you taking the time on your Sunday and evenings to help us. We are SO happy about the results! Thanks again.” (Waukesha County client)

“Thank you again … for everything. Five and one-half years of commitment, so many ups and downs and an outcome like that. You did a GREAT job.” (Waukesha County felony drug offense client)