Douglas M. Poland

608.960.7430  |  dpoland@rathjewoodward.comV-Card  |  Linkedin | Download Bio

Practice Areas
  • Appellate Law
  • Litigation
  •  Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D., 1994) summa cum laude, Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society, Lead Articles Editor, Loyola Law Journal
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois/U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judicial Extern to the Hon. Ilana D. Rovner (1992-1993)
  •  Northwestern University (B.A., 1988), departmental honors in History
  • 1994 State of Illinois
  • 2005 State of Wisconsin
  • 1994 U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • 2001 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • 2004 U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • 2005 U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • 2005 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • 1994 U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • 2017 U.S. Supreme Court

Doug is a Member of Rathje Woodward, and the founding member of the firm’s Madison office. Doug has more than 25 years of significant experience in class action, mass tort, product liability, and other complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts in Wisconsin, Illinois, and throughout the US. Doug has served as lead counsel in trials before federal, state, and administrative courts, as well as in ADR proceedings. He is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, Wisconsin Supreme Court, Illinois Supreme Court, and various federal appellate and district courts across the country.

Doug’s practice focuses on complex litigation, with emphasis on business, contract, and real estate disputes, election and voting rights law, and environmental toxic torts, products liability, and consumer fraud lawsuits. Doug also counsels clients on regulatory and pre-litigation issues. Doug has served as co-lead trial counsel for plaintiffs who successfully challenged the Wisconsin Assembly legislative districts before three-judge federal panels in 2012 and 2016, and is one of the members of the legal team that represented the respondents before the U.S. Supreme Court in Gill v. Whitford, and in the remand of the case to the district court.

Doug is actively engaged in community service.  Currently, he serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Downtown Madison, Inc., a non-profit membership organization that represents the interests of Madison businesses, residents, employees, and visitors.  Doug also serves on several neighborhood, civic, church, and bar organizations.

Elections/Voting Rights

  • Zignego, et al. v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, et al. (Circuit Court of Ozaukee County, WI)
  • Whitford, et al. v. Gill, et al. (U.S. District Court, W.D. Wis. /U.S. Supreme Court)
  • Baldus, et al. v. Brennan, et al. (U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis.)
  • Kenosha County v. City of Kenosha (Circuit Court of Kenosha County, WI)

 Consumer Fraud/Product Liability

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Mortgage Law Group, LLC (U.S. District Court, W.D. Wis.)
  • Maynard v. Abbott Laboratories (U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis.)
  • Estate of Koopmeiners v. Sarah Gumm, et al. (U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis.)
  • Heparin Products Liability Lawsuits (Circuit Court of Dane County, WI)
  • Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company, et al. v. Paper Machine Converting Company, et al. (Circuit Court of Brown County, WI)
  • In re: Engine Horsepower Litigation MDL (U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis.)
  • Richardson v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis.)
  • Tomberlin v. Adolph Coors, et al. (Circuit Court of Dane County, WI)
  • Frances Young v. Eli Lilly, et al. (Circuit Court of Dane County, WI)
  • State of Wisconsin v. Philip Morris, et al. (Circuit Court of Dane County, WI)

Toxic Tort/Environmental/Real Estate

  • Trost, et al. v. Haack Homestead Inspections, LLC, et al. (Circuit Court of Dane County, WI)
  • Country Visions Cooperative v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, et al. (Circuit Court of Fond du Lac County, WI)
  • Global Proppant Supply v. Shadowland Holdings, et al. (Circuit Court of Juneau County, WI)
  • Adkins v. Chevron Corporation, et al. (U.S. District Court, E.D. Tenn.)
  • Smead, et al. v. Chr. Hansen Inc., et al. (Circuit Court of Milwaukee County, WI)
  • June, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al. (U.S. District Court, D. Colo.)
  • Cook, et al. v. Rockwell Int’l Corp. (U.S. District Court, D. Colo.)
  • Thomas v. Mallett (Circuit Court of Milwaukee County, WI)
  • In re: U.S. Department of Energy (High Level Waste Repository)


  • Schneider v. Schneider, et al. (U.S. District Court, W.D. Wis, and Circuit Court of La Crosse County, WI)
  • Materials Development Supply Company v. Wildcat Companies II (private arbitration)
  • Greenwood Fuels, et al. v. Baycor Fiber Products, et al. (U.S. District Court, E.D. Wis.)
  • General Motors dealership litigation (State of Wisconsin Division of Hearings and Appeals)
  • Downtown Madison, Inc.
    • Board Chair (2019-present)
    • Board Vice-Chair (2017-2018)
    • Board Member (2011-present)
    • Chair, Ad Hoc Inclusiveness Committee (2015-2017)
    • Chair, Transportation and Parking Committee (2012-2016)
    • Chair, Bicycle Subcommittee (2011-2012)
  • Madison’s Central Business Improvement District
    • Board Member (2019-present)
  • James E. Doyle Inn of Court, Member, Programming Committee (2015-present)
  • John Knox Presbytery
    • Personnel Committee (2016-present)
    • Presbytery Council, Chair (2015-16)
    • Presbytery Council Member (2011-2016)
    • Presbytery Council Technology Committee, Chair (2011-2016)
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church
    • Ruling Elder (2008-present)
    • Chair, Technology Committee (2013-2016)
    • Session, Ruling Elder Member (2008-2011)
  • Vilas Neighborhood Association, Member, Edgewood/ Neighborhood Liaison Committee (2014-2018)
  • Monroe Street Fine Arts Center
    • Capital Campaign Committee (2019-present)
    • Board President (2012-2015)
    • Board Member (2007-2015)
  • City of Madison South Capitol District Planning Committee, Citizen Member (2013-2014)
  • DRI Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, Annual Seminar Program Chair (2010-2011)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Environmental, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation, 2010 – 2019)
  • Recognized as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer (2012 – 2019)
  • Douglas Poland & Jeffrey Mandell, Federal appeals court checks the legislature’s expanding power, Wisconsin Examiner, November 19, 2019
  • Douglas Poland & Jeffrey Mandell, Partial Veto is a deliberate check on legislative power, Wisconsin Examiner, Aug. 29, 2019
  • Democracy in the Balance: The Future of Gerrymandering and What It Means for Your Practice, IADC Midyear Meeting (2019)
  • Whitford v. Gill and Ending Partisan Gerrymandering, Milwaukee Rotary Club (2016)
  • South-Central Wisconsin Electronic Discovery Summit (2013)
  • Yucca Mountain Update/American College of Radiology’s Appropriateness Criteria, North Central Chapter Health Physics Society Spring Meeting (2010)
  • DRI Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar (Program Chair) (2010)
  • Yucca Mountain Update, North Central Chapter Health Physics Society Spring Meeting (2009)
  • Radiation Litigation: An Overview and Recent Developments, Health Physics Society 53rd Annual Meeting (2008)
  • What They Didn’t Teach You In Law School, Meeting of the James E. Doyle Inn of Court (2008)
  • The Chemical Products Liability Trial: Winning At Every Stage (2007)
  • Managing Product Liability Risk in the U.S. Marketplace Council of Great Lakes Governors’ Forum on Chinese Trade & Investment in the Great Lakes Region (2007)
  • Evidence of Juror Misconduct and Its Effect on Jury Deliberations and Verdicts,  Meeting of the James E. Doyle and Thomas E. Fairchild Inns of Court (2007)
  • Recent Developments in Radiation Litigation, Health Physics Society 51st Annual Meeting (2006)
  • Recent Developments in Radiation Litigation, Health Physics Society 50th Annual Meeting (2005)
  • Douglas M. Poland, People v. DiGuida: Freedom of Expression on Private Property Under the Illinois Constitution, 24 Loyola Univ. Chicago Law Rev. 524 (1993)

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