Lawrence E. Bechler

  • (608) 268-5601(608) 268-5601
  • (608) 257-2508(608) 257-2508
Lawrence E. Bechler

Attorney Larry Bechler's practice emphasizes municipal, probate and property tax law. Larry has substantial experience in representing municipal governments, as well as citizens in their relationship with governments, in such areas as land use, subdivision, zoning, property tax and economic development law. He is a co-chair of Murphy Desmond's Municipal Law Practice Group.

While municipal law is Larry's primary area of practice, he has a solid background helping clients in estate planning, probate, and real estate development. He has considerable experience in civil and appellate litigation, as well.

Larry is recognized on lists for Best Lawyers in America and was named "Municipal Lawyer of the Year-Madison" in 2019, 2017 and 2012, and "Litigation-Municipal Lawyer of the Year-Madison" in 2018 and 2016 by Best Lawyers. In 2016, he was elected a Member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (only 1% of lawyers in each jurisdiction are eligible), and he was inducted into the Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation in 2017. Larry is also included on lists for Wisconsin Super Lawyers, including being named a "Top 50 Wisconsin" Super Lawyer and "Top 25 Madison" Wisconsin Super Lawyer. He is rated AV (top rating) by Martindale-Hubbell, 10.0 "Superb" on, and included in Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in America.

  • Wisconsin, 1977
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1977
  • University of Wisconsin, 1977, J.D.
  • Ohio State University, 1972, B.A.
    Honors: With Distinction
  • Ohio State University, 1974, M.A.
Awards & Recognition
  • Featured in 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers magazine, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" (December 2018)
  • Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation (2017)
  • Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, Wisconsin (2016)
  • Rated 10.0 "Superb" on
  • Madison Lawyer of the Year-Municipal Litigation, Best Lawyers in America (2016, 2018, 2022)
  • Madison Lawyer of the Year -Municipal Law, Best Lawyers in America (2012, 2017, 2019)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers - State/Local/Municipal Law (2007-Present)
  • Best Lawyers in America - Municipal Law; Litigation-Municipal
  • Who's Who in America
Associations and Memberships
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Board of Directors (2010-Present); Treasurer (2017-Present)
  • Madison Savoyards, Ltd., Board of Directors (2010-Present)
  • Madison Repertory Theatre, Board of Directors (2008-2009)
  • Madison Board of Water Commissioners, Member (1983 - 1999); Vice President (1986 - 1992); President (1992 - 1999)
  • Wisconsin Joint Legislative Council, Member, Special Committee on Recodification of Town Highway Law (2002-2003)
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association, Member
  • Madison Solid Waste Advisory Committee, Member (1992-1993)
  • League of Wisconsin Municipalities - Attorneys Section, Secretary, (2011-2012); President (2012-2013)
  • Dane County Bar Association, Member
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Section Leaders Council (2007 - 2008)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Board of Directors, Administrative & Local Government Law Section, (2003 - 2009); Vice President, (2006 - 2007); President, (2007 - 2008)
  • American Bar Association, State and Local Government Law Section, Committee Coordinator (2014-2015); Publications Director (2017-Present)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Member, Convention and Entertainment Committee (1979-1983)
Published Works
  • Urban Agriculture, Co-author, Published by the Section of State and Local Government Law, American Bar Association, 2015
  • "Supreme Court Defines Special Assessment Standards", Administrative and Local Government News No. 62 (December 2006)
  • "2005 Wis. Act 81 and Elimination of Nonconforming Uses", Administrative & Local Government News No. 61 (April 2006)
  • "The Importance of the Recent Recodification of Town Highway Law", Administrative & Local Government News No. 58 (October 2004)
  • "Property Tax Law in Wisconsin", National Business Institute, (1995-1996); (1999-2003)
Classes/Seminars Taught
  • Author and Lecturer: "The New World of Prevailing Wage Requirements for Local Governments", State Bar CLE Seminar (2010) and League of Wisconsin Municipalities (2009)
  • Lecturer: "New Developments in Wisconsin Impact Fee Law", State Bar of Wisconsin (2007) and League of Wisconsin Municipalities (2007)
  • Lecturer: "Property Tax Law in Wisconsin", National Business Institute, (1995 - 1996), (1999 - 2003)
  • Instructor, Real Estate Law and Probate Law, General Practice Course, University of Wisconsin Law, (1989)
  • Lecturer: Review of Wisconsin Administrative Determinations: Chapters 68 and 227, League of Wisconsin Municipalities ((2013))