Michael R. Vaughan, Emeritus

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Michael R. Vaughan, Emeritus

We are saddened to announce the passing of Michael R. Vaughan on July 20, 2022. See his obituary here.

Attorney Mike Vaughan represented a wide variety of clients in the legislative and administrative law process during his tenure at Murphy Desmond (which began in 1972), and he had been recognized by his peers for his accomplishments prior to his retirement.

Vaughan was named Madison "Lawyer of the Year" in Government Relations Practice by Best Lawyers in America in both 2012 and 2015, and was listed in Best Lawyers in America since 2007. He is also listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law, and was named a "Top Lawyer" by Madison Magazine in 2003 in public interest law. An article about lobbyists and the legislative process in Corporate Report Wisconsin called him "...one of the best. An intellectual who can grasp the subject matter of a situation as well as the politics."

Prior to joining the firm, Vaughan headed the Wisconsin Legislature's Bill Drafting Section for ten years. During that time he also served as a Wisconsin Commissioner on Uniform State Laws. 

  • Wisconsin, 1962
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, LL.B.
  • University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
Awards & Recognition
AVBest Lawyer of the YearBest Lawyers Generic 2012

  • Madison Lawyer of the Year - Government Relations Practice, Best Lawyers in America (2012, 2015)
  • Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and lawyers.com
  • Best Lawyers in America - Government Relations Practice (2007 - 2019)
  • Listed, "Who's Who In American Law"
  • Listed, "Who's Who in America"
  • Ranked as a "Top Lawyer" in Public Interest Law, Dane County, Madison Magazine (2003)
Associations and Memberships
  • National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, 1971 - 1973, Legal Consultant
  • National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1966 - 1972, Member representing Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Legislature, 1968 - 1972, Director of Legislative Attorneys
  • Dane County Bar Association, 1972 - Present
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Director, Government and Administrative Law Section, 1971 - 1978, Member, Interprofessional and Business Relations Committee 1976 - 1989
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, 1962 - Present, Member
  • American Bar Association, 1962 - Present, Member
Published Works
  • Contributor to Professionalizing Legislative Drafting - The Federal Experience, American Bar Association
  • Wetland Legislation: The Muck Farmer's Perspective, Wisconsin Academy Review, December, 1982
Classes/Seminars Taught
  • Lecturer, Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Lecturer, University of Wisconsin - Extension
  • Lecturer, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Lecturer, State Bar of Wisconsin