Wausau Pilot & Review

Editor’s note: Business of the Week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally-owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and the ways they contribute to the metro area’s unique flavor. Learn how to feature your business by emailing christina@wausaupilotandreview.com.

This week’s featured business is Weld Riley, S.C., a law firm in downtown Wausau that longtime residents will remember as the former Mallery & Zimmerman, S.C. The Wausau office joined the Weld Riley fold in July 2021, adding to the firm’s offices in Eau Claire, Black River Falls and Menomonie. Weld Riley represents the people and businesses that make up our central Wisconsin communities, as well as a number of government entities who create the ordinances and rules by which we live. From labor and employment to business law, estate planning, tax representation, municipal law, frac sand, mining and mineral rights, environmental law, banking and creditors’ rights, civil litigation, worker’s compensation defense, criminal defense, immigration, and divorce and family law, Weld Riley represents clients in a wide range of areas.

For the past 25 years, the team at Weld Riley has grown to include attorneys with a wide range of practical knowledge and litigation experience. The Wausau office, at 500 N. Third St. Suite 800, is centrally located with a group of attorneys who are accessible and ready to work with you when you need it.

Lawyers play a fundamental role in our daily lives and in our society. They protect you when harmed and defend you when accused. They’re trained to protect your rights and ensure that you’re treated fairly by the legal system. They can also help you pursue your life goals, ensure your future is protected and hold corporations, organizations and sometimes even the government accountable. Finding the right attorney to represent you, your business or your organization is vital.

At Weld Riley, attorneys Dean Dietrich, John Cravens, John Wagman, Nathan Miller, Mark Sauer, Evan Mayer, Davis Runde and Matt Mayer each bring a unique set of qualifications to the table, along with two paralegals and five legal assistants who work as a team to navigate even the most complex legal issues. Their lawyers offer clients the sophistication and experience of a large firm, paired with our comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the people, businesses, government entities and court systems of central Wisconsin. Smart, sophisticated, and collaborative,  this team of lawyers offers everything the nation’s best law firms do— minus the pretense. 

Matthew Mayer, Wausau managing partner and attorney, said the law is meant to help everyone.

“Too often, it is seen as a tool to take advantage of someone,” Mayer said. “Attorneys are for everyone, not just the big and powerful, and part of our job is to help everyone feel like they are protected from being disadvantaged. Weld Riley will do what is necessary to get every client a legal and just result.”

The perfect balance of personal and professional, Weld Riley combines industry-leading insight with responsiveness in a way that truly sets them apart. Here, Mayer shares Weld Riley’s vision, the staff’s passion for serving the community and what you should know before deciding on legal representation of your own.

Left to right: Attorney Davis Runde, Attorney at Law/Mediator Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist Matthew Mayer; Attorney Evan Mayer. Not pictured: Attorney John Cravens, Attorney Mark Sauer, Attorney John Wagman, Attorney Dean Dietrich and Attorney Nathan Miller

Q: Who is your typical client?  

A: Individuals and families are a key focus of Weld Riley. We provide services for wills and estate planning, real estate disputes and issues, as well as family law that includes divorce, custody, paternity, adoption and post judgment issues. We also represent individuals if they are being sued or with issues that require a lawsuit to be filed.

Weld Riley also takes great pride in its ability to partner with and assist businesses. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to handle all stages of the life of a business from creation and onwards, including mergers and acquisitions, transfer of interests and sales. Our business attorneys also have a broad knowledge of industry sector regulations from energy and banking to organized labor. Our employment law attorneys are also available to assist businesses navigate investigations, terminations, human resources issues, and collective bargaining. Weld Riley’s experienced litigators bring years of courtroom experience to assist our clients with lawsuits or when threats arise. 

For government entities, our attorneys have the knowledge, expertise, and skill to advise on all issues that cities, villages, towns and school districts face. 

What makes your firm stand out from others?  

With Weld Riley, a client will not wait for a response or action to be taken. The number one complaint we hear from our clients about their previous counsel was the lack of responsiveness. That is unacceptable to Weld Riley. 

Weld Riley’s size and expertise allow it to work efficiently and decisively to provide our clients with the resources of a large law firm while maintaining a high degree of personal client services at the reasonable costs of a small firm. We have an outstanding mix of attorneys that allows collaboration to address both common and novel issues our clients face. 

Legal strategies can quickly change based on current trends, whether we’re talking about employment law, environmental issues, education, or the ever-fluctuating real estate market. How has your firm evolved in this changing world?  

Our firm prides itself on being leaders in the law. We actively research and adjust our practices to best serve our clients. Our 26 attorneys have represented and worked with clients in every corner of Wisconsin.  Our statewide presence allows us to be aware of the law and the issues being addressed. We also utilize technology to assist in effective and cost-efficient representation.    

When someone is looking for legal representation, what types of questions should they ask and how do they know they’re hiring someone reputable who will look out for their best interests? 

Hiring an attorney is no easy matter. Not only is the attorney’s expertise important, but it is equally important to be comfortable working with an attorney. Thus, personality fit is also vital. Not only should people inquire about experience regarding their specific legal issues, but first meeting with an attorney in person can help ensure the representation is a good fit. Lastly, a prospective client should take note about the responsiveness of the attorney they are contemplating hiring. 

Your firm puts a focus on community involvement. Why do you feel so strongly about being active community members and creating relationships within the areas you serve?

Connect with Weld Riley

  • Address: 500 Third St. Suite 800, Wausau
  • Phone: 715-845-8234
  • Online: WeldRiley.com

Individual attorneys:

Our business is to protect the communities we serve, which inherently includes the people, families, and businesses which make up those communities. Additionally, we recognize the immense amount of trust that is placed in us. Being active in the community shows that we are committed to building powerful, trusting partnerships with our clients and our communities. We take great pride in our community involvement and are honored to receive our community’s trust and business.  

When someone is facing a challenge like starting a new business or navigating a will or trust, it can be tempting to try to go it alone and avoid contacting a lawyer. But how crucial is having an attorney to guide the process?

Google and other search engines can provide a bare essential education to the average person about many legal issues. However, the strength of an attorney is not just interpreting what a law says, but applying each situation’s unique facts. This allows the attorney to navigate around potential legal issues that broad information online will not. 

Often, people contact us when it is too late and we need to do a substantial amount of additional work to unwind simple mistakes. What could have started as a relatively quick transaction morphs into an expensive, time-consuming representation. 

Lastly, individuals often believe the cost of an attorney means tens of thousands of dollars. Often, however, the necessary work only involves a meeting or two, and can be accomplished for a fraction of that anticipated cost. 

What draws people to the legal field? What is it about the system and processes that your attorneys find the most compelling? It’s not an easy job to have – or to train for.

Attorneys are problem solvers. Often the problems encountered can offer multiple solutions. Attorneys must enjoy not only identifying all possible solutions, but recognizing which ones best meet their client’s goals. As each client differs, getting to know the client personally is vital to setting a course for the representation. 

When hiring attorneys at your firm, what qualities do you look for? What do you want your attorneys to represent?

Our attorneys have a strong desire to live in the communities where Weld Riley  practices. Many have been born and raised in this area and want to make sure Central Wisconsin and its citizens thrive. We seek highly motivated people who want to be the best attorneys in the area for our clients. That requires not only drive and knowledge, but also an understanding of who our clients are.