In Remembrance – Melissa Warner

July 6, 2023

Dear Axley Friends and Family,

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of a member of our Axley Family, Attorney Melissa Warner. She fought a long battle with cancer with strength and grace over many years. She passed away the morning of Wednesday, June 21. Melissa was a bright light both at our firm, and in the Madison Community. She touched many lives and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Melissa joined Axley in 2003 and recently celebrated her 20th anniversary with the firm. As a lawyer, Melissa helped clients with business law, estate planning, and tax law. With a Master of Laws in Taxation, Melissa excelled at helping her clients with one of the most complex areas of the law. There was little Melissa wouldn’t do for a client, and she greatly enjoyed her more challenging cases. Her office, which she named Café Disco, was routinely inhabited by the associates she tirelessly mentored, the staff who adored her, and even her Great Dane, Chloe. Aside from her practice, Melissa was a member of the firm’s executive committee. She also served on the firm’s hiring committee for a number of years.

In 2018, her hard work was recognized by the Wisconsin Law Journal as they named her one of the Women in the Law recipients. In addition, she was named to the list of Super Lawyers® for more than 8 years.

Outside of the office, Melissa’s impact on the community was immeasurable. She founded the By Women For Women Golf Outing with Attorney Rebecca Orvick, raising over $400,000 in her 10 years of service for Susan G. Komen South Central Wisconsin and Breast Cancer Recovery. In addition, she was the recipient of the Komen Impact Award by the South Central Wisconsin Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, where she served as President and an Advisory Board Member. She was also a Board Member for Justice for a Cure and Work Plus.

Our hearts go out to Melissa’s family and close friends. They are forever a part of our Axley family. Our time with her was too short, but her light and laughter will never be extinguished in our halls and will continue to live on in all of us at Axley and all the lives she touched. In her memory, Axley will be making a donation to the UW Carbone Cancer Center.


Greg Collins
Axley’s Managing Partner