Murn, Donald J.

Donald J. Murn

Kelly Barlow


Donald Murn is a partner at Axley. He focuses his practice on real estate development and general business and corporate matters, including drafting, reviewing and negotiating commercial contracts; corporate real estate transactions and litigation, including condemnation matters; matters involving public utilities and telecommunications; and banking issues, including complex foreclosure actions and security issues involving real estate; and land use and zoning. Mr. Murn joined Axley in 2012 after a long career at Murn & Martin, S.C., a Waukesha law firm he built with his father, Attorney Frank Murn.

Mr. Murn has represented national and publicly traded companies in real estate matters. He also represents a number of businesses, small and large. He excels at helping these clients to identify and address important organizational issues and to develop succession plans. He has experience in family businesses, second marriages and marital property. His extensive experience managing complex litigation brings valuable expertise and perspective to his clients’ corporate litigation issues. Mr. Murn has a number of published cases and has argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Mr. Murn’s clients benefit from his more than 30 years as a practicing attorney, but they frequently find his experience as a real estate developer and business owner to be equally valuable. He currently owns, and regularly participates in, commercial real estate investments. Mr. Murn started his own house-painting company at age 17, and began his real estate career at age 19, when he bought and rehabbed a duplex, and continued to purchase and sell real estate after his graduation from Marquette University Law School. He was a boat dealer and was the general contractor on several of his building projects. He often draws upon his personal knowledge of construction and development in his law practice.

Mr. Murn is a former member of the Zoning Board of Appeals of the city of New Berlin and the Plan Commission of the town of Genesee. He is a former president of the Fire Commission of Genesee-Wales, as well.

Mr. Murn has run – and continues to run – properties for forest products. He has extensive knowledge in this area, as well as Wisconsin’s managed forest law (MFL). When Mr. Murn is not at work, he is operating his MFL property in Clark County or working on his farm in the town of Genesee. He also enjoys recreational water skiing, boating, hunting, golf, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing. Mr. Murn and his wife live in Mukwonago on Eagle Spring Lake and have three adult children.

Admitted to practice in the State Courts of Wisconsin and Federal Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin.


J.D., Marquette University Law School
B.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison

Involvement & Recognition


  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, State Bar of Texas
  • Member, Waukesha County Bar Association
  • Zoning Board of Appeals, City of New Berlin, Wisconsin, 1998-1990
  • Plan Commission, Town of Genesee, Wisconsin, 1991-1993
  • President, Fire Commission, Genesee-Wales, Wisconsin, 1998-2001
  • Volunteer, WisLAP


  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© (2021-2024 Edition) – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© (2021-2024 Edition) – Real Estate Law
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© (2022-2024 Edition) – Trusts and Estate
  • 2016 Leader in the Law Recipient by Wisconsin Law Journal
  • Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™

Client Successes

Attorney Ed Lawton and Attorney Don Murn represented a client in the successful completion of a $26.5 million refinance transaction. The transaction required the client to defease their existing mortgage loan. Attorney Lawton and Attorney Murn dealt with the complex array of loan and defeasance documents on behalf of their client to complete the transactions and also guided the client and the other parties through the complex multi-tier ownership structure that governed the underlying real estate asset.


Other Presentations & Publications
Article: Feeling the Burnout - Take Care of Your Practice by Taking Care of Yourself Wisconsin Law Journal (4/27/16)
Article: "Lessons Learned: Lawyers Offer Their Best Advice for Trials” Wisconsin Law Journal (3/02/16)


Devotion to client service is notable in this day and age, and we won’t forget the incredible amount of dedication Attorney Don Murn gave toward our case. Due to scheduling constraints, Don could have said, “I couldn’t deliver due to lost time,” but he didn’t, and that meant a lot to us. Not only was he diligent in helping us get our estate plan, wills and powers of attorney in order quickly and efficiently, but it was noticeable that Don went above and beyond to make sure our home was protected. Thank you Don!

- Randy & Nickie Thompson
Estate Planning, Trust & Estates