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James D. Sweet
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James D. Sweet is a partner in the firm of Steinhilber Swanson LLP. He represents businesses, individuals and other interested parties throughout Wisconsin, northern Iowa, Minnesota and northern Illinois in bankruptcy cases, state court receiverships, purchase or sale of business assets, and out-of-court restructuring, workouts and reorganizations.

Mr. Sweet has extensive experience representing debtors, creditor committees, bondholder committees, bankruptcy trustees, receivers, banks and other creditors as well as purchasers of assets and businesses.

His skills, knowledge and experience have earned him inclusion in a myriad of professional associations and have garnered multiple awards. He is AV Preeminent* peer-review rated through Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Sweet was recognized by his peers and by being chosen as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, the profession's highest honor. The college chooses fellows who have demonstrated a career of excellence and effective representation in their profession, dedication to community service, and consistent charity.

Mr. Sweet is a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy, insolvency and workout matters throughout the Midwest. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute. He is the past president and chairman of the American Boards of Certification.

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

*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 Ratings™ fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

James Sweet
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Areas Of Practice

  • Bankruptcy
  • State Court Receiverships
  • Purchase or Sale of Business Assets
  • Out-of-Court Restructuring, Workouts and Reorganizations

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1981
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2009
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Iowa


  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    • J.D. - 1978
  • University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    • B.A. - 1975

Published Works

  • Collection and Bankruptcy, Volume 4, Wisconsin Business Advisor Series, State Bar of Wisconsin, 2006


  • Lecturer: Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights Practice, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • SBI Annual Bankruptcy Seminar (Iowa)

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers Top 25 Madison
  • Turnaround Award - M&A Advisors 2011
  • Top Lawyer by Madison Magazine
  • Ranked as One of the Top Financial Services/Commercial Lending Law and Bankruptcy Lawyers, Dane County, Madison Magazine
  • AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy
  • Co-winner, Turnaround Management Association National and Midwest Small Company Transaction Awards
  • Co-winner, 8th annual M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Board of Governors, 1988 to 1991
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Chairman, CLE Committee (ATS-CLE), 1989 to 1991
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Member, CLE Committee, 1991 to 2000
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Chairman, Western District Membership Committee, 1991
  • American Board of Certification, Board of Directors, 1991 to 2001
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Bankruptcy Section, Chairman and Past Program Chairman, 1991 to 1995
  • American Board of Certification, Member, Standards Committee, 1992 to 1997
  • American Board of Certification, Chairman, Standards Committee, 1995 to 1996
  • American Board of Certification, Treasurer, 1995 to 1996
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Chairman, CLE Committee (ATS-CLE), 1996 to 2000
  • American Board of Certification, President, 1997 to 1998
  • American Board of Certification, Chairman of the Board, 1998 to 1999
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Co-Chair, Professional Compensation Committee, 1999 to 2005
  • Bishops Bay Country Club, President, 2003
  • Bishops Bay Country Club, Board of Directors, 2003
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member of ABI Special Fee Study Committee 2005-Present
  • Dane County Bar Association, Member
  • Western District of Wisconsin Bankruptcy Bar Association, Past President and Founding Member
  • Commercial Law League of America, Member
  • Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, Steering Committee Member and Judge