Madison Lisotto Whalen


41 South High Street
Huntington Center, 21st Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
P 614.723.2025
F 614.463.9792

Madison Lisotto Whalen


Phone: 614.723.2025
Fax: 614.463.9792

Ms. Whalen focuses her practice in the area of public law with an emphasis on administrative law, regulatory compliance, and government relations, including legislative and executive agency lobbying and government contract procurement.

She creates comprehensive strategies to elevate clients’ political and governmental presence and achieve government affairs goals. Ms. Whalen represents clients as an advocate before all branches of Ohio government and the United States Congress. Additionally, she counsels clients on campaign finance issues and political giving strategies.

Ms. Whalen also advises clients on administrative law and regulatory compliance matters focusing on cannabis law, liquor law, and state tax law. Ms. Whalen helps clients navigate the emerging and complex medical marijuana industry, advising clients in all facets of the industry including cultivation, processing, and dispensing. She also works closely with state regulators to represent clients selling, purchasing, and transferring liquor permits as well as defending against state tax audits and controversies before the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Before joining Roetzel, Ms. Whalen worked under current Ohio Governor John R. Kasich as Deputy Legislative Liaison where she developed legislative strategies, working closely with the Ohio General Assembly and interested parties, to advocate for and implement the Governor’s public policy agenda.

Representative Matters

  • Lobbies the Ohio Legislature and administration on behalf of private and public entities in a diverse range of industries including health care, financial services, engineering, construction, energy, telecommunications, statewide non-profit organizations, public school districts, and municipalities
  • Successfully passes legislation from inception to enactment, which includes conducting policy research, working with legislators and clients to draft legislation, and navigating the advancement of legislation through the House and Senate
  • Successfully pursued administrative agency rule changes for various clients
  • Represents a Coalition of Ohio medical marijuana license holders
  • Assisted in the application preparation of medical marijuana cultivator, processor and dispensary licenses
  • Secured millions of dollars in capital funding for public projects including hospital and healthcare facility upgrades, construction of infrastructure, and building demolition
  • Negotiated state and local incentives on behalf of corporations and municipalities
  • Represents companies during state tax controversies, including a fortune 500 company with a sales and use tax audit, decreasing the overall amount due to the state by several hundred thousand dollars
  • Worked to transfer, or modify, the ownership of numerous retail liquor permits
  • Counseled political campaign committees and 501(c)(4) organizations on permitted activities and filing and disclosure requirements
  • Advised corporations, individuals and political action committees on political giving strategies
  • Assisted with building a multi-state coalition of over 350 organizations to support federal legislation
  • Served under current Ohio Governor John R. Kasich as deputy legislative liaison where she oversaw and advised the legislative departments within numerous state agencies including the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Higher Education, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections, and Ohio Department of Veterans Services
  • Served as Legislative Aide to the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR)
  • Served as Legislative Aide to the Chairman of the Transportation and Justice Subcommittee of Finance and Appropriations, where she was closely involved in the $7 billion State Transportation Budget Bill and $1.5 billion Turnpike Bonding legislation


  • Ohio State Bar Association Leadership Academy
  • Columbus Bar Association Leadership Program
  • Columbus Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Steering Committee
  • Leadership Columbus, Class of 2019


  • J.D., Capital University Law School
    • cum laude
    • Order of the Curia
    • Trustees’ Merit Scholar
    • Brian A. Freeman Memorial for Excellence in Constitutional Law Scholar
    • CALI Awards for Excellence in Contracts II, Law and Religion, and Business Associations II
    • Studied international criminal law in The Hague, Netherlands and Nuremberg, Germany (2013)
  • B.A., Kent State University
    • magna cum laude

Professional Affiliations

  • Ohio State Bar Association
    • Young Lawyers Section
    • Administrative Law Committee
  • Columbus Bar Association
  • Columbus Chamber of Commerce
  • Ohio Women in Government

Community Affiliations

  • Alzheimer's Association, Volunteer
  • The Salvation Army of Central Ohio, Volunteer
  • Ohio Center for Law Related Education, Volunteer



  • "It is High Time to get Blunt about Medical Marijuana" - CREW Columbus (November 2018)

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