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Kai Hovden

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  • J.D., cum laude, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • B.A., cum laude, Winona State University


  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin

Kai is a civil litigation attorney in DeWitt’s Madison office. While he has litigated in numerous practice areas in state and federal courts, Kai’s primary practice areas are: (a) intellectual property litigation, including representing businesses and individuals in patent, trademark, and copyright lawsuits; and (b) trusts and estates litigation, including probate contests and complex fiduciary litigation. Kai also frequently litigates in the transportation and logistics sector, representing shippers, carriers and brokers.

Although his practice spans several areas of the law, the common thread of Kai’s advocacy is his clear, compelling writing. Cases are often won or lost long before trial, based on the parties’ written arguments to the Court. Kai’s unique background and experience navigating various types of cases enable him to solve complex legal problems and communicate legal arguments in an engaging and accessible manner.

He graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was a Senior Managing Editor of the Wisconsin International Law Journal, earned the Dean’s Academic Achievement Award, and was named to the Dean’s List. Kai also gained advocacy experience during law school by representing individuals in proceedings before the Immigration Court as a member of the Immigrant Justice Clinic. Prior to law school, Kai studied international politics and competed in Division II cross country at Winona State University.

Kai is a nature and wildlife photographer, as well, and takes every opportunity to explore the natural areas of Wisconsin and beyond. He is also an ardent Manchester United supporter, and goes to great lengths to never miss a match.


  • State Bar of Wisconsin - Board of Governors
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Litigation Section)
  • Dane County Bar Association (Litigation and Young Lawyers Divisions)
  • Madison Audubon Society
  • Wisconsin Society for Ornithology

Articles & Presentations

Awards & Recognitions

  • Western District of Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2018
  • Pro Bono Society Award of Distinction
  • Dean’s Academic Achievement Award
  • Former Senior Managing Editor, Wisconsin International Law Journal

Notable Representations

  • Cascade Mountain Land Holdings, LLC v. American Transmission Company LLC et al., Columbia County Case No. 17-CV-368, (2019);  successfully represented a property-owner client involved in an eminent domain dispute, helping to obtain a multi-million dollar just compensation verdict against American Transmission Company (“ATC”) following a two-week-plus jury trial, in connection to ATC’s Badger-Coulee transmission line project.  Because the condemnation verdict was more than 15% greater than ATC’s final jurisdictional offer, ATC was also legally obligated to reimburse DeWitt’s client for all reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses it incurred in the litigation
  • Defended a Wisconsin marketing firm in a trademark infringement lawsuit brought against it in Florida federal court, resulting in a Court decision to dismiss all claims
  • Won full summary judgment in federal court for a local business owner defending against breach of contract and breach of loyalty claims, enabling the client to collect a substantial settlement from the party that initiated the lawsuit.
  • Authored an appellate brief to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, which resulted in a ruling to reverse the trial court’s decision on several key points
  • Defended a Wisconsin business against allegations that its product infringed an out-of-state company’s patent, allowing the business to dismiss the lawsuit on favorable terms
  • Represented a Madison nonprofit organization in a small claims trial, winning complete recovery on a breach of contract dispute

Service Area Subspecialty

  • Intellectual Property
    • Trademarks