Cari Anne is a proven leader with a unique set of personal and professional skills ranging from policy development and analysis, negotiation and dispute resolution, external relations and crisis management, to litigation and litigation management. She excels at navigating complex legal and policy matters to effectuate sound decision-making. Her unique experience includes being both a former government regulator as well as an advocate for clients that are highly regulated by the government.
As general counsel for the governor’s top cabinet member and chief administrative agency, she was responsible for directing and coordinating the provision of legal services to the governor’s office, the department and sixteen other cabinet agencies in the executive branch. Cari Anne also served as Chief of Staff to Wisconsin’s transportation department where she directed external affairs including crisis management, legislative matters, federal, state and tribal partnerships, and communications with key stakeholders.
Cari Anne’s focus is to proactively assist businesses and associations as they interpret and comply with state and federal statutory schemes and regulations. Her unique experience in policy development gives her a rare "insider's" advantage when it comes to navigating complex regulatory affairs.
Government Relations and Public Administration
- Assisted a national corporation respond to a multi-million dollar RFP issued by the State of Wisconsin and negotiated the resulting contract.
- Assisted a large construction contractor achieve Wisconsin Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) certification.
- Represented a food processing facility regarding a disputed food safety inspection and successfully resolved the matter short of remedial action by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection.
- Provided counsel related to central state government functions including the state budget, legislative initiatives, state procurements, state and federal constitutional matters, facilities management and construction projects, contract negotiations, environmental compliance, administrative rules and public records.
- Successfully managed the development of a controversial package of legislative rules by negotiating between multiple levels of government, state agencies, industries and consumer groups.
- Served as counsel in regard to co-ownership and operation, including complex dispatch and cost concerns, of an electric generating facility that was co-owned with a local utility.
Environment and Renewable Energy
- Represent the only metallic mine to be planned, permitted, operated and reclaimed under Wisconsin's modern mining laws. Successfully defended the mine in a citizen suit brought in federal court alleging violations of the Clean Water Act.
- Represented a small chromium electroplating facility in enforcement action brought by state regulatory agency for alleged Clean Air Act violations.
- Worked with citizen groups and state and federal regulators to develop a consent decree to resolve environmental compliance (Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act) violations at the largest state-owned heating plant.
- Member of executive leadership team that coordinated a $250 million engineering, design and construction project. The project included managing staff and consultants as well as negotiating with agencies, companies, utilities and key stakeholders to replace the largest state-owned coal-fired heating plant.
- Successfully assisted a non profit citizen group advocate to the Federal Highway Administration and the Minnesota Department of Transportation for the inclusion of a bicycle and pedestrian accommodation on an interstate bridge.
- Served as lead counsel to Wisconsin’s transportation department for the $800 million Marquette Interchange reconstruction project to deliver the project on time and under budget.
- Directed all activities related to the implementation of Wisconsin’s High Speed Rail Program that included contract negotiations, inter-governmental affairs, external relations and policy development.
- Provided legal counsel related to construction, maintenance, finance, and regulation of transportation facilities and infrastructure.
- Drafted, negotiated and enforced highway construction contracts and resolved related disputes.
- Provided advice in regard to state and federal regulatory authority and responsibilities, including antitrust rules, public bidding, construction contracts and labor law compliance.
- Defended various enforcement actions initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and citizen groups.
- Managed the state’s successful defense, through the Wisconsin Supreme Court, of a challenge to the procurement of a multimillion dollar redevelopment and construction contract.
- Achieved summary judgment disposition of multi-claim public records enforcement case in circuit court.
- Obtained Wisconsin Supreme Court review of a municipal enforcement action on behalf of a small, family-owned business.
- Served as a member of the State Claims Board, hearing and deciding damages claims against Wisconsin.